Opinion: “Age ain’t nothing but a number”

by Aderonke Adebanjo

Or is it more than a number?
The subject of age has been coming A LOT lately! Times have changed. Tradition has evolved. People are following their heart more these days it seems and so when it comes to age and love, you find that for a handful of people age is absolutely nothing but a number. From what I have observed over time and what I know, there is NO formula to this love thing. Even our latest poll (see the results at the bottom of the page) reveals that. Y’all said when it comes to the length of a courtship before marriage, there is no formula. And when it comes to age, it looks like there is no formula either – at least for some people.
Now, there are a lot of women over a certain age who have realized or come to accept that the chances of meeting a single guy their age or older is getting slimmer by the day (or so it seems) so many women are embracing the idea of a younger man with each passing day. Even women who swore they could and would never marry a younger guy are beginning to entertain the idea more and more. As with anything love, there are so many ways to look at the subject and I want to highlight some of the reasons why some women would not marry a younger guy. I’d also love to hear what you guys think:
  • “I wouldn’t be able to respect him”: A lot of women who say they can’t marry a younger guy say they would struggle majorly with respecting him. They say that if he said or did anything (typically something stupid silly), something that an older guy could also do, because he is younger, they would attribute it to his age and lose respect for him. They would also struggle with submitting to him and basically allowing him to take the lead.
  • “My parents would never allow me to marry him”: Even though I said earlier that times have changed and tradition has evolved, there are some parents who are still VERY traditional and would never allow their daughter to marry a younger guy. Perhaps because they feel it is wrong, weird, and untraditional. Basically, how can the head of the home be younger than his wife?  So based on family pressure, many women don’t even give a younger guy a chance.
  • “He is inexperienced”: This kinda ties in with not being able to respect him. Some women feel like while he might be a great guy in some regard, his inexperience with life compared with hers would make them incompatible. She believes he wouldn’t be able to relate with her or even her friends in some respect because he lacks experience in the school of life.
  • “What would my friends think?”: The weird looks, the disbelief (even though it’s not so unbelievable these days), the lack of respect for him, the “cougar” talk, and all the other reactions from her friends can keep a girl from an otherwise great guy. Simply put peer pressure and concern of the opinion of others could make a girl give up on a great guy.
Here’s the thing though, despite the reasons for not marrying a younger guy, there are MANY examples out there of happily married couples where the guy is younger and if it was never spoken about, no one would know because for those couples, age is the least of their concerns. They are probably more concerned about character, values, goals, and the like.
This is a subject that I believe comes down to personal choice. Despite peer pressure, family pressure, self-imposed doubts, a woman has to really evaluate what she thinks is MOST important and be true to herself and choose what she is comfortable with. If his age will be an issue, she’d either have to deal with it or be true to herself and do the needful because while it might not be an issue in the initial stages of the relationship, if she struggles deep down inside about it, it will take its toll on the relationship eventually.
I believe with age comes maturity and experience however, I also believe that some guys mature well beyond their years due to unique life experiences. So we can’t always generalize when it comes to how age relates to maturity.  Ah well, ultimately I refer back to the quote “to thyself be true”. Do what you are comfortable with and focus on what’s MOST important to YOU and with that, age or no age, you’ll make the right choice.
What do y’all think? Is age more than a number?
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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Comments (7)

  1. Yea, well said. It's just a number. Nice piece

  2. Ahem! As you grow older, the "wish" list gets thinner.

  3. Just want to say I love this girl. Great face too.

  4. I wouldn't mind…but some day, a man will have to remind his wife that he is the head of the home with these words: "Am I your mate?"…hehehehe!! Kidding but not kidding. *serious face*

  5. On the surface it really doesn't matter but at the core of it kind of breeds chaos, ask usher, ask Ashton kutcher, ask halle berry's baby daddy, a couple of years isn't bad but when it is way too obvious then its substituting love for desperation and at the end giving Love a bad name.

  6. For me age is more than just a number, I take it seriously, y? I asked myself, I couldn't answer, I just don't like the idea

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail