For people who are saying "love is love," they are not taking into consideration those who cannot rationally consent (children, mentally handicapped, etc.), nor are they taking into consideration immediate blood relatives (can you honestly say with a straight face that it would be "okay" if a father and a daughter wanted to be in a relationship with each other as long as they "loved" each other?).
And sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but in most cases, age DOES matter in relationships, even if the youngest partner is at an appropriate age to give consent.
If you think about it, the divorce rate in the US is already 50%. Half of the US isn't able to make a marriage work; what makes you think a 13-year-old would be able to? The fact of the matter is, is that a child is just not mature or developed enough (mentally) to even grasp the gravity of a marriage.
I was 18 when I got together with my 31-year-old boyfriend. We are now married, me being 27 and him being 40. It was NOT all rainbows and sunshine. Throw in an ex-wife, two kids, an unexperienced girl straight out of high school with no real life experience and a freshly divorced man who already had most of his life together, and things get a little tough.
People who jump into age-gap relationships totally miss the bigger picture in the early stages of the relationship like personal values, beliefs, hobbies, friends, in-laws, past exes, children/step children, and other issues.
You know how weird it is at 18 to sit at the adult table during holidays at your boyfriend's mother's house when everyone in it is at least 13 years older than you, drinking wine (woops! you can't drink! you're not 21!) and talking politics and religion? Things you have no clue about?
Or how weird it is to still suffer from all those residual hormones and emotions from your teen years that you can't necessarily regulate because you're still trying to reach your full maturity because you've never even had a career, a house, or a bill that wasn't in your parents' names?
Or how difficult it is when your partner wants to stay in and go to sleep at 9:00 PM while you are up and ready to go party?
That's just the tip of the iceberg. Age gap relationships are harder than regular relationships. Yes, they can last, but they take a lot of work. The younger person has to be mature enough to handle the responsibility of a long-term relationship and the older person has to be patient. BOTH have to be willing to compromise a lot.
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