Love, it is said, knows no barriers at least as far as the two people directly involved are concerned. For others, outside of a relationship, there are often certain negative aspects and shortcomings which they are more than happy to outline, to explain and, occasionally, to place as barriers or obstacles in the way of a perfect partnership. A loving relationship between two people is no longer – if it ever was – simple something which involves those two, it draws countless others into the circle with the opinions, their suggestions and, more often than not, their comments behind a person’s back.
This applies not just to a relationship between two people of the same sex, but also to mixed race couples, to those who have found their soul mate in someone from a foreign country and to those whose chosen partner comes from a completely different social level. More especially, for younger people, arguments are raised against beginning a union with someone considerably older than they are.
The reasons can appeared varied but come down, in the end, to one or two simple aspects: where the age difference is more than fifteen years or so, whether the younger will be able to cope with an older partner when they are no longer capable of caring for themselves; whether the older of the two is merely seeking an adventure to prove their worth, to stem their feelings and fears of advancing age and a loss of sexual attractiveness; whether the younger has been blinded and led astray.
At the beginning of any relationship, both parties should be aware of what such an attachment involves and how to cope with the ups and downs of life with another person. There are, however, many more considerations to bear in mind in a lesbian relationship before settling down to a life of peace and quiet together and letting the world go its own way, especially when the relationship involves two people of different ages.
The first hurdle a new couple have to overcome is the level of social acceptance. For many the major drawback of an open same-sex relationship is the reaction of family, friends and work colleagues and the risk they run of being cut off, of being pushed to the outside of former social circles, of losing friendships or, worse still, being rejected by their own families. Sometimes it is necessary to start from the beginning again and accept the fact that a new phase in life means new friends, a new social circle and new challenges.
The next hurdle is the age difference. For many any relationship where there is a greater age range than, say, five years is suspect, can cause uncomfortable thoughts and even comments. Age should, however, make no difference for the couple themselves where love or a great personal attraction is involved.
The advantages of having a lesbian relationship with an older woman are manifold. There is a greater level of experience, not just with life in general, but also with the more intimate side of a relationship. An older woman who has experienced life, who understands the difficulties of living in a society where same-sex relationships are still frowned upon, can bring a certain level of calm when problems arise.
On the intimate side, as far as sex is involved, an older woman brings more than just love into a relationship, she also brings the experience of previous partners, a better understanding of her own body, needs and desires and a willingness to share in order to retain a good and stable relationship. And, in the end, a lesbian relationship with an older woman is much the same as any other relationship with an older person, even when it is judged, or condemned, by others. It depends on the two people who love one another, and not on the opinions of those who lack understanding for the true meaning of a relationship regardless of age, sex or origins.