The internet was taken by storm when Keanu Reeves (55) posed for a photo in LACMA 2019 Art + Film Gala and introduced his girlfriend, Alexandra Grant (46). She was then dubbed by the public as an “age-appropriate” girlfriend for the actor.
Social media, especially people on Twitter, has been making a big fuss as Reeves has not introduced a partner for the longest time since he lost their stillborn baby with his last girlfriend, Jennifer Syme, who died in a car accident in 2001.
But why are they really getting too involved with Reeves’ and Grant’s relationship? Why is the public too invested in talking about their “age-appropriate” relationship? What is the standard of an “appropriate” relationship, anyway?
What is an Age-Appropriate Relationship?
Have you ever heard of the “Rule of Seven” in relationships? This is known worldwide, mostly in western countries, but the origin of this rule was never identified. It says that the female’s age should be greater than or equal to the male’s age divided into 2 and add 7.
This rule started as a description of the ideal age gap between partners but is now referred to as the “acceptable” or “age-appropriate” standard in relationships. Rule of Seven became even more famous when mentioned in several movies and TV series such as The Moon Is Blue, The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
While this rule has become common knowledge to the public, it was never supported by any other research or science itself, thus making this rule alone an unreliable standard for decision-making when it comes to relationships.
An assistant professor at Loyola University Maryland and a social psychologist, Dr. Theresa DiDonato wrote on Psychology Today a more in-depth article regarding this particular rule. Her replotted data shows that the Rule of Seven does not showcase perfectly what is actually socially acceptable according to scientific research.
DiDonato also noted that we live in a world where we have a lot of social norms, mostly unspoken, so the people looked into this rule as something that will concretely define the boundaries.
Does Age Gap Really Matter?
When talking about this idea, we always think of one of the most popular clichés there ever was – “age is just a number”. There has been a lot of study regarding this that shows its benefits and also the possible drawbacks.
While Rule of Seven suggests half-your-age-plus-seven gap, studies show that most couples would prefer only three to five years’ difference. In the book May-December Paradoxes: An Exploration of Age Gap Relationships in Western Society, it is said that men would most likely consider a relationship with women who are a lot younger than them. On the other hand, women would most likely consider a maximum of 10-year age gap from men older than them, which is also revealed on AsiaMe.com where there are lots of young ladies looking for love.
Factors Why Age Gap Is an Issue
- Family history – there are families who are more open to relationships with wide age gaps, especially if there are other relatives who share the same cases.
- Parenthood – when a person already wants to have children, they wouldn’t mind having a relationship with older women, or women in their 30’s. But when someone wants to have children years after marriage, they would probably prefer younger women who would still be able to give birth even after a long period of time.
- Cultural background – the traditions and practices of where an individual was raised greatly influences someone’s view on age gap in relationships. In Asian countries, they mostly prefer older men as a partner with 2-7years in difference.
- Irrelevant pressure – if a couple doesn’t want unnecessary attention from people, especially from people they don’t know, having a relationship with age gap may not be an option.
If the factors above don’t apply to you or your partner, age gap would not seem to be an issue at all in your relationship. Now let’s look at the advantages of May-December couples (a marriage in which one of the partners is significantly older or younger than the other) compared to traditional couples.
Rewards of Having Age Gap in Your Relationship
- Different perspectives– two people who have different outlooks in life help create vigor in the relationship and greatly improve one’s understanding toward each other.
- Maturity– wisdom and experience are something mostly older people possess. Though there are individuals who mature at a young age, there are several characteristics or personalities that you acquire only through living in this world for a long time.
- Makes you feel younger– when you are with someone younger than you, you tend to feel as youthful as they do. Because eventually, you will have to do some, if not all, of the things that the younger person does.
- Security– women who prefer older men as their partners feel secure. The theory that supports this is that men are more valued for their resources, and as they age, it obviously increases.
- Odds may be in your favor – a research in 2008showed that couples with age gap have greater levels of satisfaction in their relationship. They have developed trust greater than most of those who are in a traditional relationship making jealousy less of an issue.
Having a relationship involves more than just emotions. It takes commitment and a lot of hard work. Don’t be afraid to hit on your matches on AsiaMe.com because there’s an age gap; don’t feel dating age-appropriate people is a must. With that being said, whether you have age gap or not, having a romantic relationship won’t be a piece of cake. Invest as much time and as much love as you can and you can make any relationship work—of course, as long as there’s teamwork in place.
AsiaMe.com is an online communication platform which aims to help singles from all around the world find the potential love partner of their life. Established in 1998, the site has since then helped millions of individuals find and build long-lasting relationships. They have a huge database of active and verified member profiles from across the world. Apart from that, they also offer their members with tons of quality services that will help make communication for their members seamless and convenient as possible. It is their mission to provide their members with a convenient and safe platform for getting in touch with other members and build a potential romantic connection.