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Ruby Suze: Mind The Gap

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This year, I’m turning the big 3.0. It’s the year when I kiss goodbye to the lovely 20s and embrace ‘adult’ life. With no offence to all those who have cross this threshold, but for me it has made me feel ‘officially old’. It’s caused me a downpour of questions; what have you achieved in the last 30 years (if anything), what mistakes have you made, what successes have you celebrated and why haven’t had reached that millionaire status? I’m grateful that dreams don’t have deadlines, I’m quite happy to be a work in progress.

All this talk about age coincided with a documentary I randomly fell upon during a rare break from Baby J’s DVDs. It was called ‘She’s 78, He’s 39: Age Gap Love’. It was described as a life affirming documentary – trailing six of Britain’s biggest age gap lovers, couples who’d fallen in love despite being born in different eras. These weren’t the typical ‘sugar daddy/mummy’ relationships; they genuinely seemed to love each other. I did struggle to get my head around how they looked together; there was one very tanned wrinkly woman 70 year old woman who got breast implants to help her please (I’m assuming) her 30 something husband!

My own age gap is miniscule – a mere 8 years but it’s significant nevertheless. When we married I was a sprightly 24 year old young woman and he was an extremely focused 31 year old man. My beloved’s age has never really bothered me, in fact I actually really liked the age gap and I still do. I liked the idea of having someone who potentially was more mature than me, had a bit more life experience and someone who’d be able to teach me things. Wrongly, I also felt I’d be able to respect him more because of his age. I now understand more clearly that your husband or wife deserves respect, no matter his age or your age gap.

Our age gap mattered very little when we were courting but, it has gained more significance as we travelled along our 6 years of marriage. When we were fresh newlyweds, I slowly started becoming more aware of the age difference through little things like music. My beloved and I both love music; our home is always alive with beats of songs from all sorts of genres. But, there are some tracks that my beloved favours that I’m completely clueless about. I look up at him with a blank expression when he gets excited about some song that he knows every note, lyric and adlib to. This is magnified when he’s with a group of his friends and I’m there looking very awkward. The thing is about these social gatherings is that, what starts off as a good old sing along turns into a full blown nostalgic conversation and I’m left unable to contribute because I was crawling around in nappies at that time.

The gap was not only felt socially but also in our maturity levels. I’d noticed that my maturity wasn’t quite up to his. And yes, it can be argued that maturity has got nothing to do with age but, I certainly believe it helps. The way we handled issues and prioritised matters was different. Even the language we used and the way the communicated with people was polar opposite. Beloved is more old fashioned in the sense he prefers a face to face conversation with someone, and I don’t mind sending a quick text, Whatsapp message, Blackberry message or tweet. There have also been actions I’ve taken that I’m sure women who are my husband’s age wouldn’t have taken, had they’d been in the same position as me. I had to step up my game as a wife and I had to grow up quickly.

Having an age gap brought a series of lovely benefits; my beloved is terribly supportive of my dreams and has been very understanding of my ‘crazy – who am I at 30?’ moments (because he’s been there himself). My older man has a remarkable level of foresight. His life experience has taught him things that would take me years to acquire and he does not feel threatened by my ambition. I felt my beloved was more established because he was older. I’m not referring to finances; I’m referring to his career, goals, friendships, likes and dislikes. I feel that a ‘younger’ man may just go along with all the trends his friends are following; so because Oliver went into Project Management, he’d force his Bio-Chemistry Degree holding self into passing Prince 2.

Marrying someone older means you will have to change your thinking. I know of women who have husbands that are ten years their senior but they are struggling on big matters like having children. Their husbands’ friends have a football team of mini mes’ and in their own marriages they are arguing over when to stop using contraception. The wife isn’t ready to put their career on hold to change nappies and the husband doesn’t want to be a father with grey hairs and a Zimmer frame. They’ve caught each other at different seasons and someone has got to give, after all who begged the man to go and marry a young bride? And vice versa – who begged the bride to go and marry an older man?

I’m fully aware that there are some people (women in particular) who marry old because they want to marry ‘rich’. I don’t think this is right. Everyone wants financial security but, there’s financial security and there’s gold digging. If money is your only motivating factor then, money will be your only comfort when times get hard. We’ve all heard of instances when a woman marries someone 22 years her senior, only to end up being her ill husband’s carer and financier when his business went bust. To top it off, sexual intimacy dries up! Can you imagine being broke, exhausted and sexually starved…is that life?! I’m all for the age gap loving but, even I’d struggle with a 20 year difference. If you’re both middle age (40 – 50 years old) then a lack of va va voom in the bedroom, won’t be too disheartening because you’re both at the same stage. But imagine being in your prime at 30 and one of you has to pop a pill to get things going uphill?!

When I was a young singleton, I was a firm believer that women matured faster than men. This wasn’t just a belief I plucked out of the sky, this was something I’d witnessed. Women in their 20s were thinking about marriage, babies and owning a house with a white picket fence. Men in their 20s were generally thinking about girls, girls, sex, girls and driving the latest BMW. I also had this immature thinking that a man didn’t finish doing all his ‘discovering’ (discovering meaning defining who he is and what he wants) until he hit 30. Don’t know where I got this belief from but, I held onto this belief and really struggled to see the benefit of marrying someone the same age as me.

I’m not sure I’ve changed my opinion on whether girls mature faster than boys. It’s still very rare to find a 24 year old man, braving it down the aisle. My brother in law was twenty something when he walked down the aisle and I found that super impressive. But, what I have come to understand is that the process of discovering who you are and what you want is really a lifetime journey. There are talents, gifts and abilities that come out of you at different stages of your life, for different reasons and seasons. So whether, you have an age gap of 8 years or 38 years, what matters the most is that you are both on the same page.

Photo Credit: thejourneysuite.com

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Ruby Suze is a yummy mummy who has been married for 5 years. She is passionate about using her life experiences to help others especially, youth. Follow her blog: Forever Newlywed and on [email protected]

Ruby Suze is a upcoming Vlogger/YouTuber, fashion Mumpreneur, teacher and budding writer (amongst a whole of other things). She only has time for these interests because she cares more about her vision than having a completely spotless house. Catch her on YouTube: RubySuzeCreates.

29 Comments

  1. myra

    February 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    my thoughts exactly dear

  2. iyke

    February 26, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Reflections Reflected!
    Happy Birthday Ruby in advance.
    Age is grace…a weathered journey of the human condition inspired. A spiritual engagement…a dance in the arms of chance…daring to challenge…provoke…interrupt the terms of awaiting fate. Life is not to be missed…or taken lightly… Life is not perfect…not always kind…but it is the best place to find yourself…if you haven’t run out of time…
    Be thankful, whatever the situation is …embrace the thoughtful recognition and powerful embrace of your surrounding for they are a part of your personal harvest …
    Birthdays are like photo albums…a diary of emotional images of life spent and measured in time… Be grateful for each year added to your wallet of memories made and spent… What a story to tell and keep for all times.
    Keep celebrating life with each other and stop giving yourselves unnecessary burden and expectations on who is old or not too old! Nobody is leaving this earth alive!

  3. SweetLikeShuga

    February 26, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    whats with the beloved in every paragraph – a bit off putting. Nice issues to be raised about age gaps – especially as its common in Nigeria, I am in one myself and I wonder what it would have been like maybe to marry someone where the gap wasnt too much. But oh well

    • Bea

      February 26, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      lol wait, it’s off putting that she refers to her husband as her “beloved”?! Hian, omo na wa for you ooo

    • SweetLikeShuga

      February 26, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      Write Husband then- Beloved ?? Who under 30 says that? – its antiquated and just dont like reading it in every sentence. This is not a personal memoir/note. Its like reading my darling, my dear in every paragraphy

  4. beautifulonyinye

    February 26, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Nice article.I can relate with most of it.My fiance is 12 years older than I. It has its perks though but sometimes I get lost when we’re. With his friends he grew up with.I love him more than I ever believed possible so I guess I have to grow up fast.

  5. Nominee

    February 26, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Well I still believe women in their 20s know it better than guys in their 20s. Methinks you’ll eventually catch up with your husband, frankly speaking I think I want someone who is older than I am and whether the belief is erroneous or not, I till believe I will respect him more.
    myvividthoughts.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/roasted-parts-of-our-future/

  6. X- Factor

    February 26, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Insightful piece!

  7. @edDREAMZ

    February 26, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Am loving this piece….
    .
    .
    ***COMMENTING FRM 1770***

    • aminawon

      February 27, 2014 at 6:13 am

      Ah Ah? You are no more in the sun?

    • john de Beloved

      February 27, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Hahahaha me self wanted to ask oh…

  8. TheresaO

    February 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    I have to agree with you Ruby that life is indeed a journey and “There are talents, gifts and abilities that come out of you at different stages of your life, for different reasons and seasons.”
    As you turn 30, don’t worry too much about what you don’t have yet or haven’t accomplished. Be grateful for what you do have and continue to make efforts to reach other goals.

    About the age gap in your marriage, every relationship has its challenges, due to the fact that each person and their perception of things is unique. Even siblings disagree, same with parents and their children, and even friends. Regardless of the age gap between a couple, there will be differences. If these differences are seen as opportunities to learn, then disagreements or feelings of inferiority will be reduced.
    Happy birthday in advance!

  9. Mel

    February 26, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Oh my, I have been waiting for something like this. I am 21 and currently dating a guy 13 yrs older than me. I have always been attracted to older guys all my life and I can’t seem to explain why this is. My friends say I act a bit older than my age though. I really love this guy but i can’t help but feel that if I continue with the relationship( which is clearly leading to marriage hopefully in less than 3 years) there are things that I will be missing on in future like some of the things discussed on this piece. I have learnt so much from him and we play a lot, in fact the only time I remember our age difference is when we are around his friends or he is around mine. He is everything I want in a man….I just wish he was at least 5 yrs younger..is age really that important, I’m a bit confused.

    • yana

      February 27, 2014 at 1:26 am

      Mel are you a dence? Im sure this guy is older than your brother!!! babe na your grandfather you wan marry? i feel you should come a bit lower. I mean you dont want ur last child with him to be calling him granpa. But if your heart is with him why Not? but i will say pray and fast! cause the last thing you want to do is take another woman’s husband.

  10. memoi

    February 26, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    “Can you imagine being broke, exhausted and sexually starved…is that life?!”- Lol!! No that most definitely isn’t life. Lovely write up.

  11. housey

    February 26, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    In *my own opinion* I believe marrying someone close in age is ideal.I cant imagine being with someone who is going to be the crypt/corpse keeper.Not even to talk about caring for an ailing man till his grave.Abegi life is brief.No be like say u get part 2. Enjoy youthful things.Its not like guys these days that are 13yrs older are any much mature as the younger ones,Wherever you find happiness even if it lies younger than you.Many ladies fail to even take a guy seriously because they are close in age.One of the reasons why older women that are not married cannot even find men their age because the younger ladies are busy looking for matured men.

  12. scared anonymous

    February 27, 2014 at 12:35 am

    This is d first time I would be commenting on a post coz it applies to me. Am 23 and dating a man who’s 20yrs my senior. Yea I said it, he worships d ground I walk on and he looks so young he could pass for 30. I know it’s not abt d money coz I have been dere even when he’s broke. He wants to marry me but I keep pushing it coz am scared. He has treated me better than all of my ex bfs combined who were all in my age bracket. Do I go ahead or leave d relationship hoping dt I will get a guy in my age bracket that will treat me fine. #mature advice pls#

    • Fashionista

      February 27, 2014 at 9:08 am

      Did you say TWENTY years older?! You just wait till you are inside his house first, then you eye will open. And don’t even bother trying to become friends with any of his friends wives because you will be their errand girl as you are an omo kekere (small girl) to them.

    • D'Mamma

      February 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      OMG Fashionista ur sooo funny! Lol at omo kekere

    • Grown Woman

      February 27, 2014 at 9:50 am

      oh Lord, that age gap is def huge, but at the end of the day, you want to be with someone who at leasts makes you happy and understands you better.So if he ticks all the boxes then go ahead and marry him plus age is nothing but a number lol my two kobo

    • john de Beloved

      February 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Wow, hats a preety big gap though, and you pushing the marriage thingy with him only makes it worse. My advice is, if he makes you happy, marry him. I as a guy won’t want to date a chick I can give birth to, but if he adores you as much as you claim, then go ahead. Just be sure its genuine respect and not desperation… Do send me an invited to the wedding though…

    • gollygoshy

      February 28, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Do not be scared but realise you are living a fantasy…My last committed relationship was with a guy 20 years older than me too…strange we got on very well and dated for three years but we were in very different stages in life and when i realized this, I moved on…
      The differences were jarring….he had gone past the I want children, I want to build a career, i need to make investments, all that which makes couples bond….he was also very rooted in his ways, his friends need a slight reverence to greet and told jokes which made me cringe…Our music taste that was like night and day, yes we connected on so many levels but looking back at it now…I must have had daddy issues…I say this because when i was 21, i had also been with someone 14 years older….
      The worst part of being with someone much older is adjusting to younger men…I had very high intellectual expectations of the,…unreasonable ones if i might add….but after taking a break off dating for over a year and adjusting my mind…i am now talking to someone 3 years older…in my age group….and it rocks…theres nothing like singing along to the same music and remembering the stuff our generation did to bond us closer….he is my friend and we fight fair…
      Enjoy the relationship but do not beat about the bush too much…agbalagba will always be an agbalagba…

  13. Aibee

    February 27, 2014 at 9:33 am

    From someone in her late 20s who is involved with someone in his late 20s, dating someone in the same age bracket isnt always ideal. I’ve been ready for marriage since like 2 years ago, he’s still busy discovering himself and all what not. He loves me and wants to be with me but his schedule isn’t working for me. I’m at that stage where the nesting instincts are in full buzz and he’s still busy building muscles and all. It takes a great deal of patience not to give him an ultimatum. I so want to settle down and have my own man for keeps sometimes I wish I’d gone for someone like 5-7years older. At least he’d have passed to muscle building stage, mentally and financially.

    As for having different tastes in music and art etc, unlike most of my contemporaries, I love ballads and music from the 70s and 80s. I can’t stand the Davidos, Wizkids and Rihannas of this age. Most of the Beyonce songs I know are from the Destiny’s child era. Bobo on the other hand like Wizkid and co, so I’ve learnt to mumble and wriggle along to “fine boy no pimples, I love your swag and I love your dimples simples, eyyeye” Lol! We learn to love each other’s tastes and to find common ground

  14. Queen Esther

    February 27, 2014 at 10:30 am

    He he he . Aibee got me rolling with laughter. Il suggest you move on with your life. You two are obviously on different paths for now. Being with an older partner is always the best. Unless you’re still in your early 20s and not thinking of settling down anytime soon. For me , the best age difference would be 5-7 years.

  15. aseye

    February 27, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Life come to all differently, some with age gaps of different years some without any. In all things, know thyself, look up to God and you will be fine. Alot of the times the rules are the exceptions but God’s will is always then norm….. and that is not dictated by age gaps. A good try though.

  16. aseye

    February 27, 2014 at 10:46 am

    And PS, tanx for letting us know that your husband treats you like a baby. nice one.

  17. Ady

    February 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    my question is can u both be on the same page with a gap of 20-21 years?

  18. Blessmyheart

    February 27, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Nice article. I believe people have their own preferences. I know the author is speaking from her own perspective but it did seem a bit like she’s basically recommending her own choice. Not every older man is matured and focused, not every younger man is immature. I personally couldn’t imagine myself with someone much older but it works for some. I actually agree with most of the points made but I don’t think the presentation was well balanced.

  19. Mrs. Elliot

    January 27, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Interesting writeup and funny comments too. I can especially relate to your piece. Am 24 married to a 35yr old guy. Got married at 23. Sometimes, I wished he were younger and at other times I like the age difference. I was dating a guy just a year older than me but who was so into me and unknown to me had started making plans to marry me . I loved him very much but I always told him the possibility of us marrying was very slim. That’s because I can be very naughty at times and even when I get naughty, he is scarred of scolding me hard for fear of loosing me. It was that bad. Tho I knew he loved me to the moon and back, I wanted someone that could tame some part of me . Then this other guy came along and I decided to give a try. Even when he realised I was seeing another, he was still begging me to come back. Then I decided to walk away finally, he told his Dad about it and that was when I realised he was serious about the marriage plans ….his dad got married at 27 and wanted him to marry even younger. (Only son with just a sibling) …but I still had to walk away. Marriage is no child’s play. After some deep seated fights with hubby, I usually wonder if we would have been able to survive such fights if I married someone that young. Sincerely….. At other times, hubby feels I must share my resources with the family upkeep and shop less…for me that’s like-this old man don come again.! I love guys in shirts and ties and he prefers senator and all those..easily reminds me of d age difference.
    All in all, people always have their preferences. If 5-8years is yours, fine by me. Whatever your choice, learn to live with the consequences of your choices!

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