What’s in the age?

Debarati Palit Singh
Sunday, 10 June 2018

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, PeeCee and Nick Jonas, Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Kemmu — if they can make an ‘older woman-younger guy’ relationship work, why can’t you?

Recently there were strong rumours of actress-producer Priyanka Chopra dating singer Nick Jonas who is 10 years younger to her. After first being spotted together at Met Gala 2017, an image of Priyanka chilling with Nick and his friends did the rounds on social media and got people talking about their relationship. “He loves older women and she’s so international and sophisticated. She really turns him on. He says he’s never met another woman like her. He’s very caught up. No one is expecting him to settle down with her. Nick’s very sweet and charming and he knows how to treat a woman but he’s still in player mode. It’s a dangerous combination because he really is a great guy. It’s hard not to fall in love with him,” said a source close to PeeCee to the media, who might just be in for a summer adventure with Nick.

Soha Ali Khan started dating Kunal Kemmu, who is five years younger to her, while working together in Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge (2009), and have since then given all of us couple goals. The two tied the knot in 2015 and have daughter, Inaaya.  

After a drunken confession at a party, choreographer Farah Khan started dating film editor Shirish Kunder, who agreed to edit her debut film only because he had a crush on her for a long time. Seven months or so later, the couple got married. They now have their hands full with 10-year-old triplets. 

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her husband Abhishek have a gap of two years, and Karan Singh Grover and his wife Bipasha Basu have four, and the newly married Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have three.

The point is, it’s 2018 and it really doesn’t matter if you’re dating an older woman. It might start out for fun, or curiosity, and then lead to a relationship, marriage and a lifetime of partnership, or it might just end as an experience that you learn from. 

Forming a serious bond
But dating an older person has both pros and cons. While most men believe that an older woman will bring stability to their life, they have to be careful about their emotions while going out with them. 

Talking about dating a woman seven years elder to him, entrepreneur Raja Das says, “Older women have more maturity and understanding. My relationship was meaningful in terms of expectations and clarity. The unnecessary angst of teenage behaviour is not present in our relationship,” he says, adding, “Men dating elder women look for more serious and intense relationships. They are not the type who are turned on by kink but more with intellect and persona.” 

After a failed relationship, corporate commmunication professional Ajay Patil found solace in a relationship with a woman who was seven years elder to him. “She was lonely in life with a broken marriage and so was I. She was more interested in driving it and I was a mere follower. Having said that, the intimacy we shared was great. We loved each other’s company, we enjoyed spending time together, hanging out and going for trips,” he says.

Age just a number
Men and women clearly look at relationships from different perspectives. While some women think that a younger man comes with less baggage, there are many for whom the number does not matter. 

Cooking enthusiast Sneha Goenka married Dr Gaurav Agarwal, who is few years younger to her, after dating him for nine years. She says, “In my relationship, the issue of age never came up. We started off as great friends and the friendship grew to a point where we just knew that we had to be together forever.” 

But there were challenges which they overcame. “Culture-wise it was a little difficult. As a Marwadi, I was expected to get married by a certain age. But because he was younger, his family was not ready for him to get married, while my family was insistent. But then my family came around and we waited till his family was comfortable. That was the only time the issue of our age difference came up,” she says.

Little adjustments
Dating a younger man or elder woman is not different from dating someone your age or someone elder to you. But there are certain rules that one needs to follow to make the relationship work. 

Das says, “There are no rules as such however an older partner would always have dominance owing to her experience and you have to constantly match to that. You have to be sensitive and as a rule never remind her of her age because at times, elder women have more insecurities.” 

Patil adds to this, “I had to adjust to her moods and likes. For example, I am not much into Hindi films, especially SRK movies, but with her, I did go for such films and enjoyed them. Also she was a bit particular about certain things, so I tried fitting into her shoes. I have realised that women who are beyond 40 will never be like the women in their 30s, be it the way they talk, dress, express, and move around.” 

But Agarwal says that it just took a little extra effort to make him understand her. “But that again I think is not an age issue. It’s just how we both are as people. He is more simple and I am more complicated,” Sneha says with a smile.

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