It's really NBD!
Does he make intelligent conversation? Check. Is he cute? Check. Makes you laugh? Check. Does he get along with all your friends? Check. Is he emotionally intelligent? Check. Loves to cook? Hell yeah, check! Older than you? Um, no. You can picture your auntie’s lips pursing, disapproval all over her face. But, why is it frowned upon for a woman to be with a younger man, even if said man meets all the other requirements? Let’s shed a little light.
There’s an old South East Asia notion that all young women must and should date (and eventually marry) a boy that’s, at the very least, a year older than her. But, today, it’s clear that most women (and men) are throwing this idea out the window in favour of who they vibe with, regardless of age.
All any Lankan parent wants for their daughter is a nice boy who is financially independent, decent enough, gets along with the family and can help conceive when the time comes. Chances are, they believe that only older men are independent and have their life together.
Often, your S.O (or his parents) might feel a tad insecure if you’re older, more experienced, and ergo, potentially, earning a higher paycheck than him. At the end of the day, it’s a power play in a patriarchal society that has continuously pushed the menfolk forward to be the primary breadwinner and decision maker in the family and nudged the women back into the home.
With the changing times comes an increase of women not looking for their Mr Right to necessarily be older, wealthier, or more experienced than they are. Hitting it off with a potential partner and experiencing mutual love and respect is far more important than worrying about age disparities. Thankfully, some parents (mine included – thanks, ma and pa!), couldn’t care less about how old their daughter’s S.O is.
A mutual friend introduced me to my (now) husband, and although I’d dated younger before, I was unconvinced when she tried to hook us up, mostly because I’d been burned previously. With a bit of pushing, I reluctantly agreed to let her give him my number. I received an almost immediate text from him.
Still sceptical (yup, I totally rolled my eyes through most of the initial Whatsapp conversations), I agreed to meet, expecting to feign illness or a work deadline and bolt within the first half hour. As it turned out, he was funny and intelligent and we spoke for hours. Fast forward 2 ½ years later, we’re happily married!
Lessons learned: You can never make an assumption about someone based on their age (or lack of!) — you’re better off waiting until you meet IRL. After all, everyone deserves a chance (unless they’re super creepy straight off the bat, in which case, just don’t!).
Does it matter if he’s younger than you if he fits right in with the fam-bam? 28-year-old Anisha’s* fiancé bonded easily with her family. “Everyone immediately loved him!” she said. “When they first started getting to know him, the usual questions (where did you school? University? Parents’ occupations etc) were fired, including how old he is. When he’d reply, there was often a pause, eyebrows would raise and faces would just look shell-shocked.
“Sometimes the relative in question would move on, others would sit their awkwardly until my father swiftly changed the subject, and a few would look horrified at my mother, their expression clear: How could you allow this to happen to your only daughter? Their reactions were hilarious. But, thankfully, everyone eventually got over it! How could they not? He’s such a people person!”
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, former MLB star-athlete give us all the #feels!
Madonna has always had a thing for younger men, the most famous of which was obviously Guy Ritchie!
A decade apart, lovebirds Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra recently got hitched.
Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, and his wife, Brigitte celebrate their 24-year age difference – the biggest in France’s history of premiers.
This article was originally published as “Are You In A Relationship With A Younger Guy? It’s NBD, really!” in the March 2019 issue of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka. For more great feature stories, grab a copy of our latest magazine on newsstands or subscribe here.
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