Josh Asks: I have begun going back to college. I am 39. What are your thoughts on intergenerational romantic relationships?

Hi Josh,

Congrats on going back to college! That’s awesome! And yup, your new stomping grounds would certainly bring opportunity for intergenerational romance. Honestly, I don’t believe these kinds of relationships are better or worse than couples who are closer in age. It just brings on a different set of things to consider.

The tough thing about new relationships is that everything is so rainbows and unicorns. We often ignore the rougher habits of our new partner while simultaneously acting on our own best behavior. This makes it hard to see the pitfalls(?) you might face. How we come to acknowledge and approach these things sets the road ahead for success.

Think of it like a literal road that you’ve never been on. You can either take the time to create a map that estimates where all the potholes will be before you take the journey. Or you can just wing it once you start driving. This applies to all couples.

In my observation, the more a new couple excitedly has things in common, the more they tend to ignore the need for a road map and just hit the road without any fear of potholes at all. To me, this is where an intergenerational couple can have an advantage. You’re in a scenario where you KNOW you’re going to have differences. It can give you the awareness to be proactive about figuring those and creating your road map.

That’s what my partner and I did. We have 14 years between us and were already different people as it was. He’s an introverted home body and I’m an extroverted socializer. By discussing such things in the beginning, we learned how to float in and out of each other’s interests as well as letting each other do our own things without being clingy or needy about it. For this reason, our intergenerational relationship has thrived.

Each person in a couple has strength and weaknesses to bring to the table. Your age differences will certainly be a factor in those strengths and weaknesses. So, actually lay them out on the table and don’t let your ego get in the way.


Bare InkSlinger