Marriage Missions International

AGE GAP – Should It Matter?

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-By Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.

The following article was prompted by an email we received here at Marriage Missions. We have edited it and changed the name to protect the identity of this writer. (Following this email request and my response, we will include a few web site links to additional articles with differing approaches:

I have an issue on my mind that bothers me about marriages. I have found lately that couples tend to use the differences in ages as a barrier to keep them apart, which I personally feel is looking into the flesh, rather than what God has planned for them together. Our marriages are supposed to fulfill the purposes God has for us together and I believe that God chooses us as human beings put together to fulfill His purposes.

It’s sad that couples that have the same desire to serve the Lord, are God-fearing, compatible, and have many other healthy ingredients to have a successful marriage, stay apart because of what society thinks of them differing in ages —more so if the man is younger that the woman.

I really look forward to hearing about this from you. There are many people that could benefit from reading about this aspect of marriage especially when choosing a partner.

Many Thanks,
A Concerned Reader

Dear Concerned:

You make several excellent points in your letter about the barrier that age differences cause. Age differences and the role it plays in marriage can definitely be used in a “fleshly” manner in emotionally separating married couples more than it looks like it should when you view it from a spiritual standpoint.

But unfortunately, we live in the day and age where divorce is becoming such a common way for couples to resolve differences that seem too difficult to bridge. For that reason we have to be all the more cautious when we advise couples who are entering into marriage. That’s probably why it’s almost impossible to find articles for couples considering marriage (where there is a big age difference which will put a positive spin on it because too often it eventually causes divisive problems in marital relationships. (Not in all cases but in enough of them that it’s something to be concerned about.)

The age differences aren’t as much of a problem when the couple is younger. It’s amazing how young love can seem to conquer all! But later on in life when the couple gets progressively older it becomes more of a problem because the older spouse eventually gets into health and energy issues that the younger spouse often finds too troublesome to deal with in their own stage in life.

And in all fairness though, it really can be a problem. I look at the energy and desire that our sons have to do certain things (because of their younger stage of life) and I can’t even imagine having to do those things at this stage in my life. If I had a younger spouse (or if it was my husband who had a younger spouse) this would have to be dealt with —and it would definitely cause its share of problems.

Years ago when Biblical commitment in marriage was more steadfast, this was something that couples would deal with and not allow to separate them. But that’s not as common in today’s world. It’s tragically sad but true. As a result, there may be some couples (with large age gaps) that God would want to work in and through, to show how His grace is sufficient to sustain unconditional loving, that He’s not able to, because of the choices we decide to make. I’m sure this grieves His heart!

But to be truthful, because of the influence of today’s world on harming marriages, I would greatly caution any couple that is contemplating marriage (where there is a large age gap). They need to look very carefully and prayerfully at the reality of what the upcoming years could most likely bring to challenge their love and commitment to live out the rest of their lives with each other (and still “finish well” as Marriage Message #191 discusses).

Deciding during the courtship stage, not to marry because of the stress their age gap would bring into their marriage, can be a wise decision to make. They have to be sure beyond a shadow of doubt that they both have the commitment it would take to overcome the huge obstacles they may encounter because of the differences in their ages.

I have seen a few good marriages where the large age gap worked out fine and they have very good marriages. But I’ve seen more where they end up disastrous. That’s why I would counsel couples to be very, VERY sure they’re considering marriage for more reasons than the emotional rush and that they’ve considered the possible “costs” involved up front so they’re willing to work extra hard in their commitment to each other when difficulties come up. (That goes for ALL marriage, but especially for marriages in this type of situation.)

Love can be very romantic to be involved in before marrying but true love is “patient, and kind” (as 1 Corinthians 13 talks of) even when your partner doesn’t have the desire or energy to participate in doing activities that you crave to do (as a person who is much younger). They may have done those things earlier in their life together, but their progressing age may change that.

According to 1 Corinthians 13, love does not envy others (who do more youthful activities together or have more things in common than you may have). The interests of a 40 or a 50 year old most often is different than those of a 60 or 70+ year old. Progressing age brings different “problems” with it. When you grow old together, being close to the same age at each stage, it can be somewhat easier to take. But when a 25 year old marries a 45 year old, the gap physically and emotionally grows wider with each passing year. That’s just a reality of life that you need to face!

Love also, is “not rude” (when you see the sags and bags that your spouse may be developing a lot sooner than you are). It also is “not self-seeking”, especially when you realize that your spouse may not be able to “keep up” so many things (because of the complications their age may bring with it) when you feel a need that they do so.

Love also “is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs” (and is supportive when your spouse is no longer as exciting as they used to be). To see them nodding off to sleep in the next chair when you want to go off dancing or socializing together can happen to even younger couples, but it can be even more of a reality as our ages progress. (Of course, we want to note here that there are always exceptions to this. Some 70 year olds lead more vigorous lives than some 30 year olds. But that isn’t usually the norm.)

As the Bible says, love “always perseveres.” Those who marry need to deal with the reality of what they may be getting themselves into later in their marital relationship. If they aren’t sure they could persevere through these (and other trials) then they need to reconsider BEFORE marrying. That would be the honorable thing to do.

The Bible talks about “considering the cost” before you do something. In Luke 14, it talks of the person who wants to “build a tower” and how important it is for them to make sure they have enough money to complete it otherwise they set themselves up for ridicule when they begin to build something they aren’t able to finish to completion. It also talks of a king who is about to go out to war who needs to “consider” if he is able to fight with the soldiers he has against all obstacles because if he can’t he needs to reconsider.

Marriage can be put into the same context. Make sure you and the person you are marrying have considered “the cost” of what you are about to do and if not, the honorable thing to do would be to back away before the marriage —not afterward.

Marriage is meant by God to be a commitment for life even when difficulties develop that deeply stress one or the other marital partner and strains their “happiness” together. If you don’t both go into marriage with the same steadfast commitment to God to make every marital situation that could come into your lives together work to the glory of God, I’d really advise the couple not to marry. It’s too important to God and should be too important of a fact for us to ignore as well, in what marriage is supposed to be all about from God’s kingdom standpoint!

As Dr Emerson Eggerichs states (which we agree with),

“Marriage is a tool and a test to deepen your love and reverence, trust, and obedience for Jesus Christ. This is not about you. It’s about Christ—becoming as Christ in your character as to how you relate to each other.”

I hope my answer to you will give you some kind of insight into this type of situation. I wish I could paint a different picture of this situation but this is the way that I see it from a marriage education standpoint —even as a Bible-living Christian.


PLEASE NOTE: Since writing this original article it has been pointed out to us that some marriages, where there is a large difference in ages, DO work out well. And that is a great point that I should have stated stronger originally. We don’t ever want those who are in this type of situation who are considering marrying to back away because a marriage like this would be hopeless in working —because that would be untrue. It would not give God the elbow-room to work miracles in situations He has ordained to work this way. And we definitely serve a miracle-working God!

But rather, we want those who are considering entering into this type of marriage to be prepared for the possible problems that could await them. If you’re taking a long journey and you have the opportunity to be better prepared ahead of time because you were fore-warned, it could definitely work to your benefit. That’s how we hope to help you. If you plan to climb Mount Everest and you didn’t take the proper equipment or you didn’t know to take along certain gear that you’d need, you’d be glad to know that ahead of time.

But on the other hand, if you’re planning on climbing Mount Everest and you (or your partner) really aren’t the type person who could withstand the rigors this type of “journey” could thrust upon you in the long-run, you would be foolish to proceed. We want you to prayerfully consider if you’re in one type of situation or the other because a wrong decision could bring devastating results.

Thoughts of marrying someone can be very romantic. It’s easy to think that we can climb over any type of mountain, as long as we’re together. But we need to make sure that we’ve considered ahead of time all we need to so we go into this very important commitment prepared as best we can —or stop from proceeding any further if that would be best. We hope the above article has done that for you.

For additional information, below are links to articles that may help you in the prayerful decision-making process. Please click onto the links below to read:

•  UNDERSTANDING AGE GAP RELATIONSHIPS

[DON'T] MIND THE AGE GAP (part 1)

[DON'T] MIND THE AGE GAP (Part 2)

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Comments

172 Responses to “AGE GAP – Should It Matter?”
  1. Sara says:

    (IRAN) I’m in love with a man who is 42 and I’m 22. We both are very happy together but we both are scared of the future. My relatives are not satisfied with my relationship/my mom is very unhappy about this. I’m very counfused and tired of conflicts with my mother about this. I love him very much maybe because I didnt have any good relationship with my father and now I feel he makes me safe and secure; also he’s very kind, smart and succesful man. Well, I’m very happy when I’m with him and we enjoy all we have together but I’m very worried because of my parents cause I know they don’t want me to marry him and I don’t know what to do. Please help me guys.

    • HDW says:

      (USA) You are in love with this man. But what happens when everything settles down? The truth is in 30 years you will be 50 and he will be 70. You may be a widow at the age of 55. You may not be able to have sex with him past the age of 50. That’s an important emotional need. Plus, he may have to enter a nursing home long before you. Then he isn’t making you feel safe and secure anymore. Then it’s your responsibility.

      You need to think very carefully. Listen to advice of others.

  2. Appu says:

    (INDIA) I am 27 and girl is 15… that is a 12 year difference!! So… is this age ok to marry???

    • HDW says:

      (USA) The problem is that you are marrying a child. Her brain is not yet fully developed. So you need to understand that. Is this pre arranged marriage?

      If you get married then read His Needs, Her Needs by Dr Bill Harley. It will help you meet her emotional needs and have a romantic marriage with her. The first few years (10 years) will be challenging. It’s important you have a plan on how to encounter childish ideas while still making her feel validated.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Appu, She is still a child –one who needs some time to grow up and experience her youth and grow into maturity so she is better prepared for grown-up matters. Even though she may not look like a child or appear to act like one most of the time, she hasn’t had enough life experiences and the ability to live out her youth to be ready to marry. Sure, there are some children who marry at this age. But that doesn’t mean that they should. Marriage is for grown-ups. Let those who are young, grow up first in years and maturity and then see if they can handle all that will come their way. Marriage can be wonderful, but if you aren’t mature and ready enough to handle all that comes with it, it becomes all the more difficult for everyone –especially this young one.

      Please don’t let your age determine her readiness (even if she swears she is ready –lots of people can swear that, but that doesn’t mean that they are). 12 years is a large age gap for two adults. But you put an adult and child into the mix and she will be forced into growing up faster than she should. You will be in more of a father role, than a husband. That’s not a good mix for a marriage. Marriage is about partnership –not parenting the other. Please pray about this.

  3. RosMine says:

    (INDIA) I am loving a Girl age is 18 and my age is 25… that is a 7 year difference!! So… is this age ok to marry???

    • Cindy Wright says:

      RosMine, Again, I’ll say it, maturity of BOTH partners and readiness to commit to a lifelong commitment is more important than a few years here and there. 18 is pretty young to be that committed, but I don’t know her either. Some people can be more mature. 7 years isn’t that much of a spread of years if both people are mature, committed, ready to deal with the hard stuff that marriage brings, and they have truly worked through the big emotional issues that can later cause problems in their relationship.

  4. Iman says:

    (IRAN) Please consider the fact that there are huge differences between a man and a woman. Men might be attracted to younger women even at age of 60+, so if there is no age gap between the two partners, then it may result in betrayal, etc.

    In my point of view age gap should be between 5 to 12 years, when the man is older. On the other hand, generally girls attain maturity in younger ages compared to men, as in average girls are 6 years prior to boys. For example a 20 year old girl is as mature as a 26 year old boy.

  5. Shiva says:

    (IR) I’m three years older than my boyfriend and we plan to marry. We have a lot in common and understand each other. I’m 26 while he’s 23. Do you think that we’ll have problem in future? What should I do?

    • Arash says:

      (IRAN) Shiva, Please note that marriage is a long term relationship and men are so much different from women, at first you may find it easy, but gradually you will face problems, you should look for a man who is 5 to 10 years older than you based on mutual understanding as well.

  6. Anil says:

    (NEPAL) Hello, I am in love with a 27 year old girl and my age is 24 but we love each other and we are planning to get married. So I want to know your opinion on our age gap. Is it good for us to get married?

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Anil, Three years is not that much of an age gap between you unless maturity, strength of character, plus the resolve to persevere through all obstacles is lacking in one or both of you.

  7. John says:

    (INDIA) I want answer for my question. Can anybody there give me an answer? My age is 22 and I love one girl–her age is 26. Shall I marry her? Please tell me.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      John, Once again, the answer is that 4 years is not a huge age-gap, no matter who is the older one. It’s more important to make sure that you are spiritually compatible with each other, that she and you are ready to marry and give your all to persevere through any trial that you encounter, and that you are both mature enough to marry. Age isn’t the tell-all of maturity or readiness… it’s how wisely you are able to face problems, which is more revealing. Marriage is for grown-ups — it’s for a man and woman who are willing to approach every obstacle without throwing tantrums and being self-serving, etc. Please prayerfully consider all of this and whatever else the Lord shows you as you ask Him for guidance on marrying. He may say, yes, or wait, or no… you should be willing to act according to what He shows you. THAT’S when you will know if you should marry this woman or anyone else. I hope the best for you.

  8. Deepu says:

    (INDIA) I am a 22 yr old man. I have been in love with a 23 yr old girl for the past 4 years. Is this a problem for me to marry her and for my future? We both love each other… I can’t imagine this world without her? Is there any problem regarding biological and traditional factor in our INDIAN culture? Should I marry her? Please reply to my question. I’ll be awaiting for the reply.

  9. Mona says:

    (IRAN) Well, I believe that being spiritually compatible does matter, but please consider the fact that there are differences between the two genders, men attain their maturity in older ages irrespective of exceptions, we must face this with real point of view rather than fantasy. Menopause in women is another thing which should be considered as men may would like to have a relationship with younger women when they get older. So in my point of view that would be better if a woman looks for an older man and vice versa, as age is not just a number but an indication of many factors such as experience.

  10. Ali says:

    (INDIA) I’m loving a girl; she is 20 years old and my age is 19. So is this age ok to marry???

  11. Malik says:

    (INDIA) Hi, I am 24 years old but my girl partner is 30 years old. I want to know if I can get married to her, because she seems perfect for me to face problems in my life together. She is educated, completed m.ed and net course. She is giving a coaching and also trying lactrale-teacher job. Please anyone, let me know, should she be married to me or not?

  12. FRANCIS says:

    (GHANA) I’m 30 and she is 33. I found out that she’s 30 after we were introduced to the church to be getting married in July. I’m not comfortable with the age gap and think I cannot love her as I’m supposed to after the marriage. I’m seriously confused and don’t know what to do. Please, I need advice.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Francis, If you’re already having doubts, then don’t. Don’t get married. Don’t get pressured into marriage for any reason. Slow this whole thing down, at the very least. Get to know each other. If the age gap keeps bothering you, then don’t proceed forward. Marriage is tough enough to grow into being good, but to start out without a strong bond of love and commitment, you are entering into dangerous territory to be miserable for life. Keep in mind that marriage is for life. You are to grow strong in the Lord and strong in your partnership –displaying the love of Christ to each other for as long as you both shall live. At the very least, cancel July, slow this down to better get to know each other and see if your feelings grow for each other or against each other to marry. July is too soon for you to marry, if at all.

  13. Lizzy says:

    (USA) I’m so happy to have found this blog! It’s everything I needed, as I’m going through a tough time in the “dating” world, being a single woman of God. Here’s an issue I’m hoping for feedback on: I met an amazing guy at a Bible study. He’s 47, saved for 20 years, handsome, a recent divorcee with a child (not my ideal). I’m 28 (with degrees from top universities, beautiful, no kids, abstinent 4 years). It started when he held my hand for prayer. I felt a surge as soon as he touched me. I thought nothing of it, at the time. We saw each other at church in passing for a few weeks, but he never made the move to speak to me. After Bible study one day, we were leaving at the same time, and I introduced myself.

    A few weeks later, we spoke after church. I wanted to interview him for a project, which he agreed to do. I took his number and contacted him. We met at a coffee house. The interview went well, was professional, relaxed, and lasted about an hour and a half. The next hour and a half was us chatting, getting to know each other. Afterward, he had to run an errand and asked if I would ride with him to continue our conversation, which I agreed to. I parked my car at his house. When we came back I needed to use the restroom so he let me inside his home. After my potty break, he showed me some of his library (we both love books) and spent another 2 hours talking. Amazing conversation. He eventually asked me if I wanted to kiss him, which I did. He said he did too. So we kissed; it was great. He rubbed my shoulder, eventually going in my blouse a little but nothing major. He made sure to ask if I was ok with it, which I found respectful (but I stopped it there because I know myself and the flesh of men lol).

    LONG story made short, we kissed again. I left floating on a cloud…until the next morning, when my phone rang. It was him. He said that he was attracted to me, had a great time, thinks I’m amazing, intelligent and an anointed woman of God. BUT he feels we should be friends, because he thinks the age gap is too big. He 1) knows people his age who dated people much younger. As time progressed the younger partner got bored, the older one couldn’t keep up, and the younger one found someone their age. 2) is apprehensive and reluctant to “give his heart to a woman much younger than himself” (his words). 3) would date me if I was 10 years older or him 10 years younger. 4) wouldn’t want to lead me on because I’m a Christian and don’t deserve that. But we obviously connected on multiple levels.

    *Sigh* was it something I did? Did I go too far? Is he apprehensive because we attend the same church? Still scared from his divorce? I know he’s still healing from the divorce. I don’t want to rush him, but to be flat out rejected because of something I can’t control…I don’t get it and I’m hurt. Out of all the things I’m attracted to, it’s his commitment to God that I like the most. Any insight would be great. Thanks :)

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Lizzy, You seem like a great gal, and one who has a lot going for you. But this is a situation where it would be best not to try to second guess the “why’s” and instead accept that it is what it is and it’s best to leave it alone. Yes, there was a great chemistry that went on between you, but please accept it as that –great chemistry but it’s not something that should go further.

      This man is not only much older than you (which may or may not be problematic) but the fact that he’s a recent divorcee WITH a child, can be problematic. He needs time, much, much more time before he would even start to be ready to trust himself, or be trusted in another relationship. Give him grace and space. Perhaps if he’s given that, he would reconcile with his wife and unite his family back together again. (I’ve seen this happen before and then the girlfriend, who by then was very involved, is horribly hurt.)

      I read the following concerning the after-effects of divorce from a marriage expert,
      “Emotional and spiritual healing from divorce or the death of a spouse takes time; in fact, the average person requires three to five years before they can be discerning about a new relationship.” I’ve read that from many other resources. This is much too premature for this man to be involved with anyone.

      Please release this man and move on. That would be the kindest thing you could do for both of you. It really doesn’t matter what his reasoning is, he has said “no” and so be gracious and release him and this situation. You’re an attractive gal… his reasoning isn’t about you, but about what he believes is best. And I agree.

      I HIGHLY recommend you read an article posted on the Today’s Christian Woman web site. It’s titled, “We’ve Got Chemistry” and is something I wish I would have read when I was younger and felt that “surge” you referred to in your comment, when you held this man’s hand. The article can be read at: http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2008/september/gotchemistry.html. Another article you might find helpful to read is found at a National Geographic web site. It’s a more technical article, but very informative for a young gal to read. It’s found at: http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-body/true-love.html. I know you aren’t inferring that you “love” this guy, but you’re wanting to know him more because of the great connection you had together. But these articles could help you to know more of the science behind why. I hope you can release this guy and I hope this reply will help you to let go and move on. May God bless you in this, Lizzy.

  14. Clarissa says:

    (NIGERIA) Hi. I read through this article and I must agree that it’s informative but I feel age should probably be the 4th consideration on a list of 5 -hypothetically that is. I’m in a relationship with a significant age difference- 20 and it’s really been a wonderful experience -ups and downs -but we are still together waxing strong… Except my family is strongly aversed to it, still trying to find our way around it. I feel more important things to consider are compatiblity, understanding, trust, respect, companionship, etc.

  15. Nathan says:

    (GHANA) I am 14 yrs older than her and I really love and trust her. We share a lot of stuff together and communicate and encourage each other. She is ok with the age difference. I hope it’s not a problem??

  16. Manik from India says:

    Hello, I am a 25 years old man and I truly love a girl who is 14 years old. Should I propose her? I make it clear that if she agrees with me, I will marry her after she turns 18.

  17. Riya from India says:

    Hi, We have been good friends for 12 years now and he is a family friend too. Just a few months back he proposed to me and he is madly in love with me. I like him too. Recently in fact I have started to love him too. We understand each other so well, compatible and it’s an absolute delight to be with him. But still, I am not able to say yes to him as he is 14 yrs older than me. I am 23 & he is 37. I am just too scared what my family & friends will think. Please help. I am so confused… not able to take a decision.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Dear Riya, If you are not able to “make a decision” you are definitely not ready for marriage. And if you are “scared” about what others think and are “confused,” I’m also thinking that you are not ready for marriage. 14 years is a HUGE age gap. And while we can have a great connection with some people –have fun with them and find them to be a “delight” to be with, that doesn’t mean that we should marry them.

      Some people can marry with a 14 year age gap and make it work. But they have to be so very committed to doing so. I have 3 different family members that would have said the same thing you did before marrying with the type of age gap you are looking at. And while they had great beginnings, eventually the age differences did come into play and those marriages became disasters BECAUSE OF the age gaps. I know of another marriage that lasted a lifetime (she is now widowed though). They were totally committed to the Lord and each other –to overcoming any obstacles, but that took A LOT of effort and perseverance on their parts.

      If you are sincere about pursuing this relationship further, you HAVE to make this public. And then you should work through some tough issues before committing to marriage. You can’t be afraid of other’s opinions, because some will not be supportive. That’s the way it will be. If you choose to continue on, you have to be steadfast on your commitment and so does he, if this will work. Marriage is for grown-ups –not those who are just on biological highs –age has little to do with it, being committed and persevering in maturity does.

      If you are the least confused, figure out why you’re confused. There are reasons for confusion… don’t ignore them. Consider whether or not they may be red flags waving, warning you of something important that you shouldn’t neglect, maybe issues you need to face, maybe skills you need to build first and later. Figure out if they may be issues that you haven’t explored yet or don’t want to face that you should. Figure out if they are waving because you shouldn’t go forward. You have a lot to consider here. Please proceed slowly and publicly. 23 is still young. Don’t rush into something that will forever change the course of your life when you have the time to explore that which you should.

  18. Jen from Philippines says:

    Hello …I’m 19 yrs old and my fiance is 52 years old… and we’re planning to get married this year. Can you please give me advice if I’m on the right way? Your response is greatly appreciated…

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Jen, You are asking for “advice” in marrying a man who is almost old enough to be your grandfather? He may not act like your grandfather right now, but give him a few years. You don’t need advice as much as you need prayer. If you’re asking for advice, I’m not thinking you are ready to marry this man who is charming you. I’m thinking that there is a feeling of uncertainty as to whether or not you should marry him. If there is doubt, don’t. Pray Jen… pray and ask for wisdom and Truth in what you will be committing yourself to –not a fairy tale fantasy, but day in and day out with a man who is almost 2 generations older than you. He may not act his age yet, but wait a few years. I’m not telling you not to marry him because perhaps God will show you different. But please be very prayerful and careful in making this decision, ESPECIALLY if you want to have children some day. 33 years is a HUGE age gap. It will sure grow you up fast to be with someone that much older than you. I hope you’re prepared for that.

  19. Sara from Canada says:

    Hi there, I am a 23 year old and I really like a guy who is 37. I should say our maturity levels are the same. I consider myself very mature for my age and has been independent since young age. 14 years of age difference is of course not 25 or 30, but I guess I am concerned about sexual compatibility later on. I know it’s not written on stone that guys after 50 can’t perform sexually and it depends on the mental and physical health of the male. I dated guys my age, but I have nothing to talk to with them, and most of the time I feel like a mother to them. Am I doing a mistake? Thanks.

  20. Kitkat from United States says:

    So, I’m only 15 and I like a 22 yr. old. I’ve prayed about it and I still feel weird. As you know, being 15, I’m at a delicate part of life where I am still learning things. I don’t know if it’s okay, or wrong to like him. I can guarantee he’s a good man, (it feels weird just saying that I like a ‘man’ instead of a boy). He’s a pastors kid, goes to a good college, all that. He doesn’t want ANYTHING other than a good relationship, if you know what I mean.

    Ironically, the first Bible story he ever told me was about Jacob waiting 7 years (then 7yrs. over, but besides the point) for his wife. WE’RE 7 YEARS APART. WHEN WE MET I WAS 7 YEARS FROM EIGHTEEN. So is it okay for me to like a man this age? Is it okay to date him at all in a few years, even though we wouldn’t have… ahmm… you know…. relations… before I was eighteen. Or really before marriage (I know it’s against the law to have… relations… before eighteen, not like I would have them at all before marriage anyways).

    And lastly, if we ever ended up getting married (it could happen) is it a good age difference? Should I even attempt it if I still have the same feelings for him in a year or two (possibly 3 if you guys think I should wait till I’m eighteen). The feeling could last that long since I’ve liked him the past 4 years, even though he goes to college in a different state and only visits 3 or 4 times a year.

    Ranting all the things I’ve wanted to say about him but couldn’t the past years because I don’t want people to know I like a man so much older than me: HE LIVES IN THE STATE I WAS BORN AND WANT TO MOVE TO WHEN I GET OLDER. I LOVE HIS EYES.

    I DESCRIBED THE MAN I WANTED TO MARRY WHEN I WAS LITTLE. HE’S THE SAME DESCRIPTION. I WANT TO HUG HIM, JUST ONCE. WE BOTH HAVE SIMILAR INTERESTS. HE’S SUCH A CUTIE FOR BEING 22. HE HAS AN AWESOME PERSONALITY THAT’S QUIETER THAN MINE AND IT MAKES HIM MORE ADORABLE. WE BOTH LOVE THE SAME BANDS. EVERY TIME HE VISITS HE ASKS ME HOW OLD I AM. I PRAY IT’S BECAUSE HE’S WAITING TO MARRY ME. I ALSO PRAY HE DOESN’T READ THIS. UNLESS WE GET MARRIED. THEN I’D SHOW HIM THIS POST.

    Also, has anyone else had a crush as long as me? I’ve liked him since 7th or eighth grade and I’m a sophomore now. If it’s as long or longer, how long was the crush? Did you marry him? Thanks guys, I’ve been worried about these feeling for a long time now. I really need some help. (I have prayed about it, but every time I find reassurance, like praying & then reading the Bible says “women and men are supposed to like each other.” Praying then God showing me a verse is usually how I get answers. I always get discouraged later on, and confused. Sorry this was so long, thanks again. :)

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Kitkat, How I love your heart. And the fact that you’re trying to seek wisdom on this issue, says a lot about your character. I hope you always seek wisdom and wise counsel. What a precious soul you are –someone who will make a wonderful wife someday if you keep on the path you are walking on –particularly praying, seeking counsel, and reaching out to be the woman of God that He created you to be.

      As far as whether this age gap is too big of one, my answer is that for right now it is. Seven years isn’t that much of an age gap later in life (20′s and beyond), but there’s a HUGE difference in life experiences between a 15 and 22 year old (in today’s world). I’m thinking that this is the reason you feel “weird” and “confused” after praying, because right now this age gap is too big of one (in this modern society) and God is letting you know not to push forward on this –at least not now. It’s not that you can’t care for this guy or not let go of your friendship with him, hoping that someday it can develop into more. Perhaps it can and will… I’m not sure.

      But for now, try as best you can, not to invest too much energy into pining away for this guy. I know that’s hard because I’d imagine he’s a really great guy. The reason I say this is because sometimes, as we allow our imaginations about someone we’re attracted to (someone we can’t have right now), they can grow bigger than life in our dreams and it can consume much of the time we should be investing in other relationships and experiences we CAN have –healthy ones. Also, there can be a tendency to put them on a pedestal and that’s a dangerous thing. If you continue down this road, there will come a day when your expectations and the reality of who they REALLY are will hit you all the harder. Our ideals aren’t usually reality, especially if we keep growing them.

      Kitkat, the best thing you can do right now (in my humble opinion), is to develop yourself. Reach for the Lord, grow in Christ and the wisdom that God can give you as you seek Him. Reach for healthy experiences and grow your interests and good experiences. When dating is something you feel is permissible with your parents and God (because that age is different for everyone), then do so in healthy ways so you can see if this guy truly is for you (if he someday agrees), in how he “stacks up” against others. If you see marriage in your future with this guy (or someone else some day), then work on your issues. If you have anger issues or honesty issues, or you see selfishness developing in you, work on combating those and any other negative character issues you may have going on right now. BECOME the person that will make a good wife for this guy or any other and become the person that God created you to be. Do you see college in your future, or a career that will require education? Then line your grades up accordingly. I’ll tell you, if you want this guy to eventually turn his head your way in a romantic way, keep working to become an interesting person –not just to turn his head, but also because you and others will benefit from your doing so. I’ve heard of relationships that you describe develop later into more, even marriage. But right now it’s premature for you to pursue it in the way you would like. I wish it were different, but I’m thinking that this is the way it is. I hope this helps in some way. I wish and pray the best for you!

      • Kitkat from United States says:

        Thank you so much Cindy, you’re unbelievably helpful, I’ll take your advice to heart. :) Thanks again <3

  21. GeminiGemini from India says:

    Hello, I am a boy from India aged 17. I am in high school, I’ll graduate this year. I am in love with a girl in my class, she is 2 months younger than me. We’ve come very close in only a short duration of time. I know that she loves me very much and we both want to marry each other, live with each other for the rest of our lives. What I feel for her is nor lust. I just know this. I will do anything just to see a smile on her face, and by anything I literally mean anything.

    We are both from the same religion so it should not be a problem. I am good at studies too. I really want to tell this to my parents but I can’t yet. They’ll think I’m not focused and I don’t want this to happen. I still have to complete higher education until I get a job. So basically, a marriagable age for me is 25 years, +/- 1 year. She said she can wait this long. That’s what she said to me. I trust her.

    So please tell me is this right? Does the age gap makes it a little difficult? How much is the possibility of this happening?
    Help me please, I cant live without her.

  22. Gayathri from India says:

    Hi… I’m loving a boy age is 27 now…I’m 21. My family is ready to say ok for my love. He too likes me, but he rejected my proposal because of the 6 yrs age gap. Will a 6 year gap be the problem in marriage life??? If it is not… please give me some points to convince him.

  23. Jasmin from Greece says:

    I am 26 and married to 43 years old man. At the beginning we were excellent match but gradually, I’m getting tired and most of the time angry with him and his acts. I would definitely not marry a big different age man if and only if I had such a knowledge and thinking of now. We have no babies yet and not planning to have it soon cos I don’t want to destroy someone else life with my wrong decision!! My life is like a story book, which won’t end if I start telling you all. Thanks for the helpful article.

  24. Suresh from India says:

    Hi. I’m from India, aged 22. I’m in love with a girl aged 26. This last year we were such nice friends, but love struck me and I proposed to her last month. She is so nice a girl, where I do not want to miss having her in my life. She likes me as a friend, but not as a lover. I have asked her to take time 2 yrs to get changes on me. Will this work out?? Please suggest me any good info’s…

  25. Haseen from India says:

    Sir, I am 42 years old divorced smart man in very good health and now I want to marry a girl, age 26. Her name is Samreen. She is very beautiful, smart and attractive. She also loves me a lot but she is hesitating to the social people. Please confirm immediately if I should go for marriage with this girl or not. I am also earning a good salary and bank balance. I am waiting your reply.

  26. Sandra from Mexico says:

    “I have seen a few good marriages where the large age gap worked out fine and they have very good marriages. But I’ve seen more where they end up disastrous.” Where have you seen this? I’ve seen the opposite!

    • Miki from United States says:

      I must agree with the author’s comment. Not only the marriage with huge age gap ends up disaster, it contains uneasy sour emotional breakup. Imagine, if you are a man or woman who is very old breaks up with a younger person. Breaking up is hard enough, but as we are getting older, breaking up as we age becomes tremendously difficult.

      That is why any divorce from long marriage is much nasty than shorter marriage. The bottom line, if you are much older than your potential mate, it is your responsibility to let the relationship go if you really love that person. There was a story in the TV show “Downton Abby,” that an older man was just about to get married to the middle daughter of the Crawly family. He said, “I am sorry, I can’t do it” in the last moment at the podium. Of course she had a huge broken heart, but at the end it all went fine.

      So, if you are an older person who cares very much about your younger friend, think of what a bright future he/she will have by being with someone at their age. That is, I say, “True love.”

  27. Sunaina from Australia says:

    I am 28 (female); he is 24. There is a 4 year 3 months age gap between me and him. I’ve gone through hell with my previous relationships and I’m not sure if he likes me. He is my manager but I simply adore and have the secret desire to be with him. But like what you have mentioned in the article, I am worried as we get older. I might sag and bag. I’m worried he would leave me then but I’ve never met anyone like him. He makes me happy, and he cares for my feelings.

    Every night I cry to God, why can’t I be with him? Why did you make me meet a guy like him but I know nothing will and can happen? I have a number of friends who are dating younger men or married ones by the age gap of four years but they are happy. What should I do? How do you erase his thoughts out of my mind? Please help me.

    • Jenny from United States says:

      Four years is ideal in my opinion. Close enough in age to have lots of things in common, similar energy levels, etc. A greater consideration might be that he is your manager. If this is a work relationship, you could face challenges. In the meantime, just be yourself, be friendly, do your job well and keep praying for guidance.

  28. Mel from United States says:

    I developed a close friendship with a man that is involved in the same ministry as I am. He’s divorced with adult children that are older than I am. I’m 30; he’s in late 60s. We eventually fell in love and made our relationship public. Some of our friends approve while some do not. His children have mixed emotions, but my parents are very disapproving. I feel very comfortable with the thought of marrying him, even though I have fully contemplated the reality of his health failing and his level of activeness declining more quickly than mine. We see each day as a blessing to express our love to each other and to be able to help others (yes, he is financially successful).

    I know I will one day soon be left alone, but hope to be able to refocus my life in another direction when that happens.The only reason I’m struggling is my concern with hurting my parents and how our ministry may be hindered by those who would not accept us. I would appreciate any thoughts you have about my situation. Thank you!

    • Jenny from United States says:

      Mel, just be careful. I personally believe a 30-year age difference will cause huge problems in your relationship. At 60, he may soon have health problems. Even if he does not, how much do you really have in common? Things that each of you remember from your teen years are vastly different. Historical things you each remember are also quite a bit different. And, if you would ever like to have children, think how old their father would be even before they graduate from high school!

      I think your parents are trying to encourage you to be careful because they love you. They don’t want to see you become a young widow. You may also face huge challenges with his children, who may resent you or feel that you are only interested in their dad due to his financial success. I encourage you to seek objective Christian counsel on this.

    • Shayeen from United States says:

      My advice, don’t live your life for someone else (ie. your parents). Your fears are getting the best of you.

  29. Shayeen from United States says:

    I happened across this because I was seeking positive stories from those in large age gaps. I, myself am entering into an age gap relationship. I’m a woman/single mother (29) and he’s an older gentleman (68). There was no rush of ‘chemistry’ feelings, just a feeling of coming home. All the books on his shelf were all the books I have on my shelf, his hobbies are my hobbies, and in high school I drew a picture of a young man, who looked exactly like him as a young man. We fit like a puzzle. I’m well aware of the possibility of him passing away before I do, however nobody knows for a fact. I know of a woman who married a man 19 years her senior and she passed away before he did. He was devastated.

    I feel as if some of this advice leans away from the teaching of Jesus, regarding ‘Thou shalt not judge’. Also, some of the replies to those in India and Africa totally disregard the fact that their culture is different from American culture as age gaps and young marriage is VERY common and legal over there. The children from these countries mature at a different rate than those Americans who live in their bubble of general comfort. (Yes, I am American.)

    Then, there’s the fact that many people are stating that the younger partner could become a ‘caregiver’ in the near future. This is possible in ANY type of relationship. A car accident could leave your same-age partner brain-dead, or unable to physically do for themselves. Nobody knows what Gods plan is! The biggest thing to do is to follow your heart, God speaks through you to your heart. There is a whole lot of contradiction going on here and most of the advice is negative. “Be careful, don’t do this, don’t do that” FEAR FEAR FEAR. That’s all this is, is fear! The more fear you have in your heart, the further you remove yourself from God and truth.

    I’d rather spend 5 years with the one I love than to listen to some of you people and walk away from a true partnership due to FEAR.

  30. Marie from United States says:

    I have been dating a man for almost 3 years that is 15 years older than me. While I admit we have had our challenges, we are both Christians, we both have the same interests, enjoy working together, and get along very well. We’ve talked about getting married and thought extensively about the future. We know there will be a lot of challenges, especially since he has 2 boys from a previous marriage that he gets for a few weeks in the summer.

    My mother loves him and fully supports us, but my father isn’t so supportive of us being together. I can understand why he’s concerned, seeing as he’s an older man who has been divorced and has kids. But he wasn’t following the Lord when he was married before and knows he made a lot of mistakes and admits to them.

    His kids love me (ages 9 & 6) and I love his kids. We’ve read so many Christian relationship and marriage books and would get a lot of counseling before getting married but my family is what causes the problems in our relationship, and we’ve just about given up on our relationship because of them. We’ve both prayed from the beginning that God would show us if we were meant to be together, and whenever I have time by myself with just God and I, I feel it’s meant to be and that it’s his will. But my sister hates him for some unknown reason and like I said before my dad isn’t very supportive. So I would just like some Christian input on what you might think the right thing is to do. Thank you.

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