Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Is age really nothing but a number?

BY Ruth Kedikilwe

Social media exploded with flak and abuse earlier this week as debate raged over a Facebook post on the impending nuptials between local socialite former Botswana Television news anchor Gloria Kgosi and a man who appears to be 12 years her junior.

Mud was flying fast and thick with posts censuring their age difference to appoint where it was suggested that Kgosi was going to pay for her own dowry.

Socialisation has dictated for years that men, the head of the family should always be the older ones for a proper functioning relationship to prosper. The ever changing times have however challenged the status quo as men are getting younger whilst the women are getting older in relationships.

During an interview with a 36 year old banker regarding her relationship with her 25 year old partner she explained that initially when they started dating four years ago it was harder than it is now since he had just turned 21 yet she was already in her 30s so it was rubbing a lot of people the wrong way. “Going on dates, shopping and just going out in public was a nightmare because they always thought I was his elder sister and people just freaked out when we intimately held hands or kissed,” said the lady. They have since ignored the snide remarks and people now have resorted to speaking behind their back and accepted that they are going to be together for a while now.

Women dating younger men are referred to as ‘Cougars’. Once they have gone past negative public opinions they ussually have a lot to celebrate with their younger beaus. According to American Sex expert, Lindsay Slosberg, “A younger man has more energy and is more willing to try things,” she further states that “In turn, doing new things increases dopamine in the brain, triggering a desire to spend more time together and assisting in lighting your sexual fire.” Also being younger might also bring fun and adventure to all aspects, the outings will be out of the ordinary dinner dates and weddings and funerals and the biggest bonus would be the fact that he has not been alive long enough to have a lot of baggage.

Like any decision dating younger comes with its disadvantages, in their 30s people generally are looking to settle down and start families while a young virile 20 year old man is still looking to party hard and travel the world. This lifestyle difference might cause problems. “Many younger men are more connected with their peers than they are with the idea of being a couple,” explains Naples, FL-based author and relationship columnist April Masini. “They don’t want to miss out on being part of their group, with whom they glean their identity.”

And of course there is the elephant in the room that is money in any relationship, now when the woman is older and the man is younger, the situation may be deemed as emasculating for some men.  In some cases, the guy is just drawn to a woman who takes care of him, but women must be wary of some men who may be true gold diggers looking for a free ride or to be taken care of financially.

It was comforting to see that on the other side of the fence Facebookers threw daggers at Kgosi’s criticisers and stood by her decision to wed her loved one despite their age difference. The patriarchy card was thrown in indicating that if it were a man marrying a woman 12 years his junior people would be ululating all the way to the District Commissioners office.


Read this week's paper