When an Older Woman Meets a Younger Man
Are we as accepting of age-gap relationships when the woman is the older person in the relationship?
Nick Jones and Priyanka Chopra's recent engagement sparked much controversy. Not only are the couple from very different worlds, with Priyanka being a very famous Bollywood actor and Nick being mainly known for his singing (and previous acting career on Disney channel), they are literally from different worlds in terms of their cultural background as well but i'm not here to discuss that. In fact, what caught my attention the most was their age gap.
Priyanka Chopra (36) is 11 years older than Nick Jonas (25). Yes, you read that correctly. Don't be like me. When I first read this from a news outlet, I had to read that line more than once to make sure I wasn't seeing double. They have an 11-year age gap, where the woman is the older person in the relationship. Got it? Good. Let's continue.
Age-gap relationships, whether they be dating relationships or marriages, are nothing new. In fact, Hollywood is endowed with multiple relationships where a substantial age gap is present. Let's take a look, shall we.
Jason Statham and Rosie Huntington-Whitely
This a 12-year age gap.
Donald and Melania Trump
A 24-year age-gap: You could've had a whole, grown-up child in that time but no shade. "Love" is "love."
Jay-Z and Beyonce
This is a 12-year age gap.
When the woman is the older person in the relationship, are things different?
What stunned me about this union between Priyanka and Nick is that they chose one another. Yes, I'm just going to be honest. See, I've had multiple conversations about relationships with my female friends and female family members. I've even discussed age-gap relationships a couple of times and you get the odd "I don't mind if he's five years older than me" or "If he's a year younger than me, I'd be alright with that" from the women that I know. Very rarely have I spoken to women that are OK with being the significantly older partner in the relationship. The age gap always had to be due to an older male partner.
Now, there are a bunch of possible reasons why this might be the case. Whether it's due to the "psychology of attraction" or evolutionary purposes. You know the spiel about older men being supposedly attracted to younger women for enhanced child-bearing potential, all of which isn't entirely true, as things vary from woman to woman. So, what is the truth? Well, I don't know. What I do know is that my reaction to seeing Priyanka's and Nick's engagement photos stirred up a reaction in me that I wasn't quite expecting. Before I was stunned, to be completely honest, I was terrified. I asked myself a number of questions: "Why would a woman her age even consider a guy that young?"; "Would she be comfortable being with someone that is likely to have less life experience than her?"—all the standard questions that one might ask themselves when they're indulging in matters that have nothing to do with them.
What I also had to be honest about, though, was the fact that I'd never asked myself these questions when I initially heard about Beyonce and Jay-Z's relationship or even Rosie and Jason Chatham's relationship.
As Bishop Michael Curry said during the wedding ceremony of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, "Two people fell in love and we showed up!"
Although we'll never know the entire truth about why Priyanka and Nick chose one another, what I do know is that it's really none of our business. I'm sure two consenting and intelligent individuals such as themselves would've weighed up the pros and cons and decided to choose love anyway.
Now, would I get into a relationship with someone that much younger than me knowingly? Probably not and that's OK.
There are decisions in love that we don't want to make, but it doesn't mean those decisions are wrong; they might just be not right for us, and, once again, that's OK! Whether they'll ever read this, I don't know, but I wish Priyanka and Nick the best in life and love.