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"People still mistake me for his daughter." 14 women on the reality of age-gap relationships.

Take a look at Hollywood and you'll find a number of couples in age gap relationships, from George and Amal Clooney to Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas.

But in day-to-day life, dating someone relatively younger or older than you can often be met with judgment.

In fact, studies have found that couples with more than a 10-year age gap experience social disapproval. 

Watch: The Mamamia team confess our relationship deal breakers. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia.

But despite the criticism, dating someone outside of your age bracket does come with its advantages. For some, it’s the comfort of maturity, while for others it’s the excitement of feeling young and free-spirited even as you age. 

To find out exactly what it’s like to be in an age-gap relationship, Mamamia asked 14 couples to share the benefits and challenges of being with someone who isn't the same age as them.  

Here’s what they said. 

'We have definitely received judgemental comments about him being my dad or grandfather.' — Corinne, 22 years difference. 

"My husband is 22 years older than me. We have been together 10 years and married for five. We have definitely received judgement, like comments that 'I’m a gold digger' and about him being my dad or grandfather. But honestly, it really doesn’t matter to me as I married my best friend. His kids are my age and we are all such close friends. We honestly laugh that I’m the step mum! Love is what it is, and it works for us!"




 
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"We met when I was 24 and he was 38."— Emma, 14 years difference. 

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"My husband is 60 and I am 46. We met when I was 24 and he was 38 when I started at a new workplace and he was my supervisor. It was very tricky at first. When we first got together, there was judgement because I think the age difference was visible as I was fairly young looking and he looked older. Now, fewer people are aware that there is much of a difference.

"The benefits are that he was well established financially when we got together and we could buy a house quickly and be financially stable. He was able to support us while I did further study. However, we did have kids earlier than I planned because he was older and now he is slowing down a bit when I still have a long time in my career. I have made sure I have a plan to support myself in retirement if he is not around."

"Our age gap started to affect our relationship when he retired." — Joanne, 27 years difference. 

"He is 80 I am 53. We met at work 30 years ago, and we've been married for 25 years. For the first part of our marriage, there was no issue with our age difference, we loved each other and that’s all that mattered. Our age gap started to affect our relationship when he retired just over 10 years ago. I am still out and about mixing with people and working, and he has become a recluse at home not wanting to see anyone except family. I get along very well with his children who are only a few years younger than me.

"We received plenty of judgement about our age difference but I always brushed it off it was none of their business. Now, the big challenge in our relationship is him being exceptionally needy and not wanting me to go anywhere or do anything."

"I ended things because he wanted to settle down and I thought he needed to live life a little before that happened." — Michelle, nine years difference. 

"We met originally when I was 31 and he was 22. We were together for 18 months until I ended things as although he said he wanted to settle down, I thought he needed to live life a little before that happened. Fast forward to three years ago, we ended up reuniting at ages 36 and 27 and are now engaged and have two beautiful children together. 

"The age difference, now we are older, feels irrelevant and we have encountered very little judgement of our relationship. It's less common to see an older woman and a younger man, so some raise an eyebrow if they don't know us but once they've spent time with us, they see how well suited we are to each other. We also have some laughs when I talk about TV shows I watched as a child before he was born."

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"I’ve definitely got engaged sooner than I thought I would as he is older." — Maddi, 13 years difference. 

"I’m 22 and my fiancé is 35. We met when I was 19 and he was 32, so we’ve been together for three years after meeting at a pub. The gap has never fazed me, but at first, it was something which kind of came up a lot and made it hard for us to tell our families. However, it turns out they were totally okay with it — they could see how happy we were and knew that we were well matched in every other way.

"I’ve definitely got engaged sooner than I thought I would and will probably have kids like five to 10 years earlier than I had initially planned as he is older and more financially stable. I sometimes feel like I will be the first of my friends always going through milestones, and it’s rushed my life timeline a bit. I’m also scared to be working for 10 to 15 years longer than him and him potentially being old and sick when I am younger.

"In the first few years, the age difference had a huge effect on my self-esteem." — Lauren, 11 years difference. 

“We started dating when I was 20 and he was 31. We did long distance for one-and-a-half years (Perth to Brisbane), and now live in Brisbane. We have been together for six-and-a-half years and married for nearly two of those. In the first few years, it had a huge effect on my self-esteem. I was only 20, lived at home, hadn’t been to uni yet… he had travelled, lived overseas, had an established and successful career, had more sexual experiences, was very confident. I felt BORING and STUPID. 

"Not anymore though! We don’t even notice the age gap and he has always treated me as an equal, even in the earliest stages of our relationship.

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"I think his family were a bit unsure when they first heard he was dating a 20-year-old, but they could see very early on how compatible we were."




 


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"It did make things harder at times, especially when people asked if he was my son." — Bridget, 13 years difference. 


"I was in a relationship for about two years with a guy who was 13 years younger than me. I was 34, and he was 21 when we met on a cattle station. We didn't really get together at first because we were so worried about the judgement. Yet in the end, he convinced me to ignore the comments. 

"The age gap did make things harder at times, especially when people asked if he was my son… The thing to remember I guess about these relationships is that often it's about the connection people have. Sam and I just kind of clicked… 

"He passed away about four years ago in an accident... I don't know if we would have lasted or if the judgement from the Greek Chorus would have gotten to us eventually. I am so glad I got to be with him though, he was such a good guy. When I asked him if the age gap bothered him his response was, 'You were just born earlier then me, I can't do anything about that, why should I suffer for something I have no control over.'"

"I love that he knows what he wants in life… Not many guys my age are settled in their lives and career." — Kate, 11 years difference. 

"He is 11 years older than me and we have been together for two years. I often forget we have an age difference. We never run out of things to talk about, I love that he’s wise and I can discuss anything with him. The only time I really notice a difference is when he references older actors or old movies I haven’t seen..."

"I love that he knows what he wants in life and has an established career and has himself sorted. Not many guys my age are settled in their lives and career, they generally have a lot of growing up to do still. If you love someone never worry about age, it’s really just a number. Don’t let that stop you meeting the love of your life.” 

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"People still mistake me for his daughter which is annoying." — Penny, 25 years difference.

"My husband is 25 years older than me, and we’ve been together for 27 years. Now my husband is older he’s facing pretty serious health issues that are scaring me to death. I nearly lost him three years ago, and it was the first time I’d really considered what the age difference meant in terms of my future, probably eventually without him. 


"Early on we copped a bit of slack from our families but things righted themselves as everyone got used to us as a couple. We don’t get judged now but people still mistake me for his daughter which is annoying.

"One of the biggest challenges was that I grew up quicker than my friends and had different experiences. Travelling for us wasn’t backpacking and roughing it. I sometimes wonder what I missed out on... I’m incredibly lucky to have had the life I’ve had with this man. We choose each other every day and I can say I love him probably more than I did when we married."

"I had an issue with his age so we parted ways until I realised I’d missed out on a great guy because of an arbitrary issue that didn’t exist." — Melanie, eight years difference.

"I am 35 and my partner is 27.  I’d gone to a concert in Brunswick with a young friend and went across the road to the bar after. He saw me and wanted to date me when we first met. Because I had an issue with his age, we parted ways until I realised I’d missed out on a great guy because of an arbitrary issue that didn’t exist and he didn’t have a problem with.”

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"We have officially been together for five months 24/7 thanks to COVID (which has sped up things)… Nobody has a problem because we don’t give anyone an opportunity to pass judgement."

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"The biggest thing I worry about is that I am taking away their opportunity to have their own children." — Alice, 10 years difference.


"We met a sporting club and have been together for four-and-a-half years. I think we are perfect for each other in our current phase of life. I wonder if this will change once they want to have a family. As I already have children, I have said repeatedly I won't be having anymore. Whether they understand the reality of this, I do not know. That is the biggest thing that I worry about, that I am taking away their opportunity to have their own children. Other than that, it's the best, most rewarding relationship I have ever been in and I wouldn't change it for the world."

"There are no real issues other than sometimes he can be a bit Dad-like, but I quickly reign him in!" — Peta, nine years difference. 

"He is almost 54, and I will be 45 in November. We met on Tinder! We have been together for almost five years and have a daughter who completes our family of five children.

"There are no real issues other than sometimes he can be a bit Dad-like, but I quickly reign him in! We are a very compatible couple and it’s clear to others… I guess the biggest challenge has been that he has older children, and it took longer to develop a trusted and loving relationship with them. My relationship with them changed the moment our daughter was born.

"Age is merely a number. What matters is connection, love, respect and happiness. If you have that, you need nothing else."

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"The only way the age gap is noticed is with music taste." — Kathryn, 10 years difference. 

"We were involved in the same sporting group and knew each other peripherally for several years before we got together when he was 24 and I was 34. We have been married (my second, his first) for almost 20 years with a 17-year-old son. We were both keen to have a child and knew the time challenges for me so we got to it straight away, so to speak. The only way the age gap is noticed in our relationship is with music taste."

"My parents had some reservations when we first started dating, and thought that a guy his age would come with some 'baggage'."— Kate, 11 years difference.

"I’m 31 and my husband is 42 this year. We met through a friend and have now been together for five years. We were engaged after 13 months of dating and are now married with two beautiful children. I don’t think the age gap affects our relationship at all! It’s such a non-issue for us we often forget the difference. 

"My parents had some reservations when we first started dating, and thought a guy his age would come with some 'baggage'. They wanted to know 'what was wrong with him' if he wasn’t married at his age.

"The only challenge in our relationship would be when to have children. I always wanted kids, and he didn’t want to be an 'old dad' so we started trying as soon as we got married. I do wonder if he was my age if maybe we would have waited a few years and enjoyed being newly married before we took that next huge step."

Are you in an age-gap relationship? What has your experience been like? Tell us in the comments below.

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