It’s yet another write up on love, but this time I would like to talk about age and the role it plays in our relationships as Africans especially as Nigerians.
Meanwhile, kudos to Jake Solo on this wonderful painting. He is a great painter with passion. Jake am sorry we had a different topic for this but like I told you I would let the painting speak to me in regards to the topic. Hope you forgive me..
Back to our topic. I know most times, we easily believe that “AGE IS BUT A NUMBER”. Well I do or should I say i do now but if you had asked me years ago, I wouldn’t see it the way I see it now. Back then I had a different view as regards to age and relationship.
Well so many years ago, when people hear a lady in a relationship or marriage is older than the man, it would be a big issue. The woman would be termed old and desperate for a man and would be called a cougar in most cases (Cougar meaning- an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man) or his mother if people want to mock her. The man would be seen as a fool, desperate for money, charmed and would never be in charge of the family.
Nowadays, it’s gradually been accepted although majorly by the “Western” people. I would have said some educatated Africans taking Nigeria as my reference point, are beginning to accept this but just a very few. Some are OK with it if they are not Nigerians (the couple in question).
I was in a car with an accountant and this topic came up. “Why would he want to marry a lady older than him even if it’s just with a year” he said. If they where white, it could’ve made sense. He continued.
I was disappointed at him… I wondered how it could’ve made a difference. Was it just about the colour of our skin or was I missing something? “I don’t understand I said to him”.
“Well, our way of reasoning as blacks are different. You know women (African women), they would want to be in charge and before you know, they won’t respect the man again.” He said
To me though, I think it just depends on the individual. It shouldn’t be something you have to generalise. Gabriella Union is older than her husband with 10 years and she still respects him and they are living happy. Our wonderful dancer Kaffy, is also a good example. To mention but a few.
Am not disputing the fact that there might be issues, yes there will just like every other marriage where the man is older.. I just feel we need to stop looking at age as a criteria for a failed marriage.
When I was growing up, I always wanted my husband to be older than me for reasons I couldn’t understand. Maybe because I felt that was the right thing or maybe the socially accepted thing. But with time, I have grown to see that it doesn’t really matter. What exactly is the right thing now adays? If you keep on doing everything because it’s the right thing, you might keep loosing important things or important people. Don’t get me wrong, right is good but you need to know when right becomes wrong.
I asked my colleague Mr. T, can you marry a lady older than you?
“Well I can if she has money and enough property” (laughs as he answers). I was joking he added. “I can only marry a lady who is older than me with just one year or younger than me with just one. Am a plus or minus one kind of man. I really don’t like much age difference between me and my woman. I don’t want to marry my grandmother.” This was his opinion…
I asked another colleague of mine Mr. M, if he can marry a lady older than him. He didn’t see it as an issue. “Yes” he said.
I went further to say what’s the age bracket? “5-8” is fine. 10 is too much. He said. According to him, “women age quickly so I wouldn’t want that much gap”.
I asked two of my male friends the same question. Robert said “he doesn’t mind dating and marrying an older woman even if she is 10 years older as long as he loves her and she is good looking”.
Miles on the other hand, can’t marry a lady 5 years older than him. When asked if he would tell his parents how old she was, he insisted it doesn’t matter and that they don’t need to know. “But you know love doesn’t exist if she is old and poor” He Said
A Facebook friend I met said he can’t date or Marry a lady older than him because it’s just not right. Mr James a friend said it’s ok but it’s not our tradition. It’s just not part of us. We as Nigerians don’t really do things that way. My old friend Mr K, said he can never try it. According to him marrying his ex wife who was older was the beginning of his trouble. But if you ask me, I don’t think age was the problem. He was just not in love with her.
I wasn’t able to ask for the opinion of most parents on this topic. I was only able to hear my mother’s opinion. According to my mum, she doesn’t mind if my brother marries an older lady as long as she is a good person and respectful. “If she doesn’t give my son problem, then she’s good for me”.
Some people actually think age is a sign of maturity but it really isn’t. Maturity is from within. The way you act, the way you talk reason and respond to things, all amounts to your level of maturity.
It’s actually OK to say age doesn’t matter but there are situation were dating a younger guy might seem like a problem. Situations like :
Due to the ladies age, settling down would be a priority to her. Age might become a problem despite the love when the man in question is not ready to settle down. Maybe because he feels his not financially ready(wants to be financially independent) , or his just too young to be married and you should wait a while for him. Another scenero might be when the lady wants to start having children and his not ready. Could be because he sees children as more responsibility or he feels he wants to travel the world with just you. Without having you divide your love and attention. Actually this last point might sound funny coming from a Nigerian like me, but trust me not every man wants Childern immediately he gets married. A friend once said, I would like to have my wife alone for awhile before babies start coming….. “I want just us” is that took much to ask?
For a Nigerian girl like me, it’s not too easy dating a younger man. You have a nice day lot to consider. Your age (am I getting old), when will he ever be ready, am I doing the right thing, can I wait for him. When his finally ready, would he still want me, can I face his family knowing am older?
When I look at this painting, I see two people in love a man and a woman. But this time, this woman is intending to take walk out of the relationship. Not because he cheated, not because she doesn’t love him. But because she wants to get married now… She feels maybe it’s time I let go and stop waiting. Maybe it’s time I allow myself get interested in others who wants to marry me. In the other hand, I see a heart broken young man. A man truly in love wishing if only she can wait a little. If only she knows am doing my best just to be with her.. When it comes to love, although it sounds so easy, it’s actually complicated the same way it’s a beautiful thing….
When it comes to the issue of age and relationship, it can never be analyzed fully. Except if the parties involved are stronger matured, to an extent financially independent to get to the next stage in life.. It’s never going to be easy but you just have to be strong and determined knowing what exactly you want.
To our ladies and men out there, can you marry or date a man/woman younger(for the women) and older for the (men) than you. If yes how young? (1,2,3,4 or more age difference).. For all the men who can help would you mind telling your family how old she is? If you can’t date/Marry someone older than you as a man and younger than you as a woman, please can you tell us your reasons?
No matter what your answer to my question is,
It’s all about you…..never forget that.