Don't Mind the Age Gap: Filipinas on Dating a Younger Man
Don’t mind the age gap! These women in a relationship with younger men may inspire you to just go for it.
When it comes to romantic relationships, society has certain expectations of an “ideal” couple – most of them outdated. For example, men are usually much older than the women they are dating. We’ve become so used to this that the opposite can raise a few eyebrows. Women dating younger men are still frowned upon, even if the age gap is only a few years.
Thankfully, the dating landscape is slowly changing. Couples are now defying norms, proving that relationships go beyond the age gap – within what is legal, of course. Meet these women who believe that age is just a number when it comes to having a relationship with a younger man.
Age Doesn’t Equal Maturity
As these women reveal, age doesn’t always equal maturity. Julia, 28, who lives with Mark, 26, narrates, “When I was still living in the Philippines, I felt like I needed to be with someone my age or older, making me think that we would have ‘the same level’ of maturity. But what did I know? I was just a teenager back then. That idea changed years after moving to the US, realizing that what matters is our responsibility in life and perception of the world around us.”
Colleen, who has a seven-year age gap with a former boyfriend, says she realized younger guys also exude a certain confidence that she used to think was only reserved for older men. “I have no strong opinions about younger guys other than I used to think they wouldn’t have much life experience and wouldn’t be able to ‘carry’ a relationship.” She adds, “But when I met Pao, he was super charming, super confident, and swept me off my feet! So sometimes it’s not the age, but how you see yourself.”
Meanwhile, Kara met her partner, Jesse, at a later phase of her life, long after her last serious relationship did not work out. “Age doesn’t always equal maturity, as my exes have proven. For various reasons, these relationships didn’t work out; we weren’t on the same page. But Jesse has always known what he wanted. I was 40 and he was 30 at the time. I guess it helps that he has a mature outlook, while people say I act young for my age, so we meet halfway.”
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The Age Gap Is What You Make of It
While some people have reservations about a big age gap, these women believe it’s only troublesome when you’re conscious of it.
“The age gap never bothered me,” Julia, who moved from the Philippines to Utah, shares. “We were already adults when we got together, each living our own lives. The difference was I've experienced independence longer than he has, so that was quite an adjustment for him.” Julia adds that having been in the US for years when she got together with Mark made them experience adjustments that had to do more with their cultural upbringing.
“In my experience, it's more of the cultural nuances that made the difference – he grew up in the Philippines, and I spent the rest of my teenage years in the US. As an adult, I resonate more with the culture in the US.”
Meanwhile, Colleen sometimes feels the age gap in terms of their interests. “Sometimes I tell him some pop culture references and he wouldn’t get them! But we just laugh it off. He acts like a child about the things he enjoys, but it’s part of his charm.”
Jacqueline, who is married to Jojo (six years her junior), says that while her husband can command leadership in the home, certain parts of his behavior make her realize their age gap. “I guess he has his impulses. He’s also enthusiastic about his interests like basketball and cars.” She reflects, “These are minor observations that don’t take a lot to overcome.”
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It Doesn’t Matter What Other People Say
While other people may have things to say, what ultimately matters is how you get along. “Honestly, to each their own. Get to know the guy without thinking too much about his age. Just because someone is younger doesn't mean he won't be on the same level as you,” Julia shares.
She adds: “I look at how mature a person is and how we get along. Some older people are immature and don't have their life together by choice, while there are young people who have it all together and can provide for their loved ones.”
Meanwhile, Kara shares that she has never had any comments said to her face, but she knows what other people think of their age difference. “I would hear side comments like, ‘Ang bata naman.’ But at the end of the day, we know the kind of life we want to live together. What other people say doesn’t matter,” she says.
“I suppose when you look at us, our age difference isn’t obvious,” Colleen shares. “But my family members and a few friends were initially concerned that he might not be that serious about life. What mattered though is that he and I had a connection, and we get along well. Don’t hold back just because you’re afraid of what other people will say.”
Jacqueline, who also says her babyface often hides the fact she is older, just says to go for it. “Don’t listen to what other people will say. If you guys click, you guys click.”
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Don’t be afraid to talk to someone because of society’s outdated notions on age gap. Connection doesn't have an age limit, so go for it!