Age really can be just a number, if you retain the qualities that make youth worthwhile — be open to learning, accepting of people and upbeat in spirit.
Why is age so important? Women are allegedly more concerned about it, although I know many men who are equally susceptible and let on a false age because they feel that it might affect a prospective relationship. How can we cling on to the ephemeral state of youth this way? How can a smaller number make for a younger me? Do relationships really get affected by the age factor? You might appear 25 at 45, but that is pointless if you cannot match it with your outlook.
It is the temperament that can keep a relationship happy or make it fall apart. Cliches like age being ‘just a number’ are often bandied about, but the point I’m making is that with the changing age parameters in the modern world, what with women having kids even at 50, you just have to keep your spirit happy and youthful to make a relationship with big age gaps work.
Well known psychotherapist and agony aunt Trish Murphy says, “While any parent would be justified in expressing concern about a 20-year age gap in a relationship, having a good relationship at any stage of your life (with a partner any age) is worthwhile and it would be good to cherish and value that relationship for as long as it makes sense.” Women swoon over the suave 40-year-old man-about-town and everyone has heard of what is unfortunately often termed the ‘cougar’ syndrome — young men falling for self-assured, independent older women.
A recent article in a newspaper about a well-known veteran actress in the south reaffirms my argument. Sowcar Janaki just turned 85, is “ebullient as ever” and is still doing what the paper describes as “meaty roles”. She is cooking, cleaning, tending to her plants and so much more! Here’s a lady to whom age is literally just a number. A sign of youth is also an endearing tendency to take things and people for what and who they are. This is an important key to a successful relationship too. It’s more likely as one grows older to have a more fixed image, expectations and judgements about one’s surroundings. What remains attractive is a mindset that is youthful — open to new ideas, not rigidly opinionated about how life should be... And the fact is, youth is really defined by attractiveness. For who would not want to remain attractive?
Some modern men and women have, however, outgrown the young-is-attractive mode and have taken to appreciating a personality wherein the mind is stimulating, interesting, open to laughter and learning, and home to easy conversation. If you’re not too old to learn and to change, you’re not old!
The writer is a columnist, designer and brand consultant. Mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tweet to her at @nishjamvwal