Women is...: Challenges to Overcome

Challenges to Overcome

But not every May-September romance can stand the test of time. Sometimes it's simply not a good match and the additional challenges that an age difference brings can become overwhelming. Brenda Kofford, a therapist from Jacksonville, Florida who counsels couples always asks: "Do they have the same beliefs and expectations?" Hugely different interests and ideas about the world can challenge any relationship, and age difference can sometimes mean more gaps and more rigidity.

A common source of conflict for people of different ages can be children. Younger women may find they're not yet ready to have a family when their older partner wants one or, conversely, she may want a baby while her divorced husband already has his hands full with kids from his previous marriage. When a woman is older, she may not want a child to disrupt her career or she may have passed her fertile years. If she does want a baby, she might find herself impatiently waiting for a younger partner to be ready.

Career differences also divide couples. Younger women may find themselves in entry-level positions while their husbands bring in executive pay. Older women may become a threat to their younger partners if they make more money or are much more successful.

Kofford's advice�� and what has worked for Stephanie and Cheri�� is to focus on the positives in the relationship and why you got together in the first place. "No relationship is a perfect-fit puzzle," Kofford says. Those who accept age difference as a unique aspect of their romance find the benefits flourish. If you let it, love knows no boundaries and, most of the time, it's never heard of age discrimination.