Saturday, April 09, 2005

A Question of Age

It’s happening all around me. I think about it in great detail and then try and forget about the whole shebang. But it comes back. What is ‘It’? ‘It’ is this sudden urge in guys I know to fall in love with women who are older than them. My position on this issue till a few weeks back was that of indifferent neutrality; not any more.

Let me quickly put down the few arguments which people give against this age disparity in love. Women mature faster both physically and mentally than men. Women start looking older much earlier than men as time progresses. These are the two most common arguments given by wiser, older and more experienced people in favour of the woman being a few years younger than the man in a relationship. Though the arguments are highly generalized they do make a lot of sense at a certain level and probably apply to the lowest common denominator in our species. But what if we are dealing with above average, well rounded and mature men and women? Age suddenly becomes irrelevant.

The rule-followers will now argue that a few months here and there may be alright but not more than that. So what age gap is acceptable? Few months, one year, less than three years, five years, ten years? Frankly, I don’t know. It depends on the guy and the girl in question. The only chink in the armour I can see is this – Companionship is about experiencing life together as a journey. A much older woman, (man single, 25; woman divorced, mother of one, 32) would have already completed a part of this ‘Journey’ and learnt valuable lessons from it. Agreed that every relationship is unique in itself, but still the joy of experiencing new things together is lost if one partner has already gone down that road before (sex is just a trivial issue here you perverts, ok it’s important but not that important).

I was recently responsible for convincing the parents of the 25 year old to marry him to the 32 year old. Guess what argument I used – They both really love each other, your son is a useless chap whereas she is a highly paid executive in a MNC, and your son is most probably impotent and will never be able to have children – this way you get a readymade grandson who will love you oldies a lot and if the couple is lucky you might be blessed with another grandchild. My powers of persuasion were probably at their best because they bought the whole thing.

It’s easier to argue for or against when one is an uninvolved observer. But what if one is involved? What if I, an intelligent, creative, mature and level-headed 22 year old writer, have a crush on a beautiful (read hot), talented and spirited 24 year old journalist? Now that, would be interesting!

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