Age-gap anxiety... One tricky source of anxiety in a relationship is when there's an age gap in reverse of the traditional older man-younger woman scenario. A client Jennifer, 46, was fretting over the 15-year age gap with her partner Marcus, 31. [All personal details changed as in every article]
They've been together a year and as they get more serious, she gets more worried. Jennifer explained that when they met she assumed it’d just be a fling. They had great fun, shared many interests, plus the sex was passionate.
But counter to Jennifer's expectations, the ‘fun’ went on and on and now they talk of moving in together. If truth be told she's terrified inside about staying with Marcus. Yes, as a youthful 46 she feels she can hold her ground now and that the size of the gap isn't so obvious. What of the future, though? When she's wrinkled and things are sagging southwards at an alarming rate - will his eyes start wandering, she wonders?
As I explained the real problem is the fact she's creating a problem with her paranoia where there probably wasn't one. Jennifer admitted maybe she was, seeing as they have a great relationship now on both the emotional and physical sides. But initially that still didn't allay her fears that wouldn't be enough in future.
In further conversations Jennifer realised the point she was missing was that there’s no rock-solid guarantee for any relationship. She could be with an older man whose eyes wander. Her eyes could wander if she tired of Marcus. Or their relationship could falter over something completely unrelated to their age gap and her fears that physically she wouldn't be attractive to him a few years hence.
Jennifer then accepted there’s no guarantee that those things wouldn't happen so why give up their relationship prematurely because of age? She's now relaxing and enjoying their relationship - that's how it should be when you've got a good thing.
An edited version of this was published in The Times