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Age differences have long been a dating taboo that frequently split people's perceptions. While many of us have a difficult time dealing with our age, this problem frequently applies to dating situations as well. What is a suitable age difference? How young is too young, or how old is too old? Is it just for the extremely wealthy, well-known, and modern?
According to a recent study by Bumble, Indian singles are embracing love as it manifests itself in many ways and are approaching dating with a more emancipated and equal mindset as societal conventions change.
A new dating trend: 'Gen-Blend Romances'
How people approach the age 'criterion' in relationships is changing. Bumble's new study indicates that 81 per cent of Indians surveyed say that age is just a number and does not determine the success of a relationship.
We're also seeing outdated, antiquated beliefs about gender and power dynamics in relationships evolving as 84 per cent of Indians surveyed believe that age gap relationships are more accepted now than in the past. In fact:
It's not just in the movies: 76 per cent of Indians surveyed say that age gap relationships is no longer an idealised concept (in movies, celebrity relationships)
Matters less with time: 74 per cent Indians surveyed say that age gap relationships become less significant as partners get older
In India, dating pressures as one grows older still persist and can be restrictive as almost 2 in 5 (39 per cent) of single women surveyed admit it gets more difficult to date when you get older as a woman. This is true for more millennial women (44 per cent) than Gen Z (35 per cent). Moreover, 33 per cent of Indians surveyed say fear of judgement from family and friends makes it difficult for them to be open-minded about age gap relationships.
Samarpita Samaddar, India Communications Director, Bumble shares, "Our views and opinions about age gap relationships are rooted in patriarchal, antiquated, traditional societal norms. Unfortunately, couples with large age gaps, especially when it comes to younger men dating older women are met with judgements. Rather than assuming that people are happily together, there's a tendency to think about possible power imbalances, and view the relationship as transactional often. It's so important that we understand that a healthy relationship is built around much more than just age. It's time we choose what feels right for us rather than worrying about 'log kya kahenge'; choose our own happiness and what works best for us in a relationship."
To take the pressure off, Shahzeen Shivdasani, Bumble's Relationship Expert, answers some of the concerns when it comes to age-gap relationships:
The power balance is way out of whack
An age-gap relationship could possibly be accompanied by a wealth gap. It's important to set boundaries on finances at the start and assert what you both need to feel empowered. Communicate openly about shared finances, money management, budgeting and even your lifestyles to understand what works best for you both!
Our future goals and priorities might change with time
You both may have pressing questions regarding the future and perhaps different priorities in life. Discuss this early on in the relationship to find a balanced approach in the relationship that works for the both of you.
Intimacy could be a big issue?
If your emotional and physical intimacy needs vary, communicate openly, listen without judgement and find a middle ground. Find interests that you both enjoy, make plans and, most importantly, stick to them.