Men and women look forward to a long-lasting relationship where there is love, respect, and commitment from both parties (Rudman & Glick, 2012). It makes it easier to have a functional relationship when a man and a woman are willing and able to discuss what each wants in any union. Once both parties agree and are willing to commit, then it is possible to work on the relationship, which might lead to marriage (Van den Berg & van Winsum-Westra, 2010). A man looks for a woman who accords them some form of respect and recognizes them as the only individual they will have sexual relations in their lives. On the other hand, a woman is willing to commit to a man who can provide and supply their material and physical needs with ease. With such an agreement, a man and a woman are in a position to enjoy their relationship, which can last for a few years or eternity. Age is one of the factors that partners consider when choosing to enter into a relationship with another individual. This is because every partner must be above the legal age of eighteen years (Ferssizidis et al., 2010). With this age, every individual is willing and able to make independent decisions on the person they want to be with, in a relationship. A gap exists in the existing literature since little has been written on other factors apart from age that lead women and men into a romantic relationship. According to Zimmermann & Iwanski (2014), more than 30% of more than 350 respondents in a marriage argued that they were conscious of the age of their spouse before they settled with them. This is because an older man was more secure regarding finances and would be willing to indulge and invest in their younger wives. On the other hand, most women claimed that they accorded their husband respect because of the position they held in their lives as well as the age they had. About 20% of the respondents felt that they would be uncomfortable having a younger husband and would feel some form of disrespect towards them since their minds knew that they were older than they were.
Naturally and from a traditional view, men have always chosen to have younger women than them, which give them a sense of authority (Morgan, 2011). Women age and mature faster than men meaning younger women mature and men who are older than they with a few years are aligned with each other. Psychologically, the women are also older despite their young age allowing them to level up to the reasoning of older men. This has been the tradition in most cultures meaning that an older man can marry a young girl. For instance, in some communities, it was easier to find older men marrying underage girls. However, the society judges an older woman who chooses a younger man for a husband. Miller & Maner (2011) argue that as long as a man and a woman have the decision to enter in a romantic relationship together, then they should not worry about the thoughts and perceptions of the society. Any adult who is above eighteen years has the power and ability to make a decision as long as it is not through coercion or for a malicious reason.
Ferssizidis et al. (2010) suggest that in the modern day, most women prefer an older man for a romantic relationship. One of the factors that women consider is the financial strength and capabilities of a man who can take care of them as well as their offspring (Farrelly, 2013). Most women view financially stable men as a loophole to provide them with fine things in life. Hence, women are quick to fall into the hands of a man who has more finances than those with a limited amount. Miller & Maner (2011) suggest that most modern women have changed their perception and attitude towards having an older man who has more finances. This is because there has emerged a class of women who work towards their finances and earn their cash. They are considered as financially independent and are in a position to afford material things that men could only provide in the past. It means that such women look for companionship and partnership when seeking for marriage since they can already provide themselves with finances as opposed to people who want a man because of the amount of wealth they possess (Zimmermann & Iwanski, 2014). The independent woman looks for a man who can help improve the financial situation they have and seek for an individual who has more finances than they do.
Alterovitz & Mendelsohn (2011) note that most relationships in the modern day are convenience unions since people get into them with personal intentions. Hence, when a woman agrees to have a relationship with a man, they do so because they think they will not have financial constraints. Men also want a woman who can build and protect what they already possess as a way of increasing and expanding their wealth (McIntosh et al., 2011). Characters like intelligence and wisdom as well as education come into play since men need a woman who can develop them to become better individuals. Men and women believe that marriage allows both partners to cement their relationship and each will grow in all areas since they can commit.
Farrelly (2013), states that there are many cases where women have settled in marriage with men younger than they are. This means that maturity and level of commitment that a man has towards a woman make it a foundation for marriage. DeBruine et al. (2010) note that women desire stability in a marriage and are willing to be with an individual that proves they will be with them for a long time. Most men fear commitment or being with one woman. Therefore, when a woman finds a younger man than them who has the characters they seek in a marriage partner and is willing to commit, then they will be in a position to agree to have a romantic relationship with them. Elliot et al. (2010 add that it is common to find relationships where both the man and the woman are the same age. Such relationships can lead to marriage as long as both parties are willing and able to commit and work towards bettering their relationship (Schwarz & Hassebrauck, 2012). Zimmermann & Iwanski (2014) argue that marriages, irrespective of the age differences between a man and his wife, there are challenges they face. However, for such a relationship to last, both the man and woman must be willing to find a common ground of solving their issues and move forward.
Alterovitz, S. S. R., & Mendelsohn, G. A. (2011). Partner preferences across the life span: Online dating by older adults.
DeBruine, L. M., Jones, B. C., Crawford, J. R., Welling, L. L., & Little, A. C. (2010). The health of a nation predicts their mate preferences: cross-cultural variation in women's preferences for masculinized male faces. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 277(1692), 2405-2410.
Elliot, A. J., Niesta Kayser, D., Greitemeyer, T., Lichtenfeld, S., Gramzow, R. H., Maier, M. A., & Liu, H. (2010). Red, rank, and romance in women viewing men. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 139(3), 399.
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Ferssizidis, P., Adams, L. M., Kashdan, T. B., Plummer, C., Mishra, A., & Ciarrochi, J. (2010). Motivation for and commitment to social values: The roles of age and gender. Motivation and Emotion, 34(4), 354-362.
McIntosh, W. D., Locker Jr, L., Briley, K., Ryan, R., & Scott, A. J. (2011). What do older adults seek in their potential romantic partners? Evidence from online personal ads. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 72(1), 67-82.
Miller, S. L., & Maner, J. K. (2011). Ovulation as a male mating prime: Subtle signs of women's fertility influence men's mating cognition and behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(2), 295.
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Rudman, L. A., & Glick, P. (2012). The social psychology of gender: How power and intimacy shape gender relations. Guilford Press.
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Van den Berg, A. E., & van Winsum-Westra, M. (2010). Manicured, romantic, or wild? The relation between need for structure and preferences for garden styles. Urban forestry & urban greening, 9(3), 179-186.
Zimmermann, P., & Iwanski, A. (2014). Emotion regulation from early adolescence to emerging adulthood and middle adulthood: Age differences, gender differences, and emotion-specific developmental variations. International journal of behavioral development, 38(2), 182-194.
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