According to an INSEE study, 6 out of 10 men are older than their spouses, but only 8% of couples are more than 10 years apart in age. There has been a change in recent years: the average age gap seems to be widening. How do these couples that almost a generation oppose live? Is it possible to live a balanced relationship when the two partners are not at the same time in their lives?
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Renaud is 47 years old and Caroline, his partner for 2 years, is 26. They love each other dearly but have seen their age difference have serious consequences on their daily lives: “I’m madly in love with her and it’s not going change. For the first few months, we quite naturally thought that we were going to live together. And then it was crisis after crisis. She wanted to go out at night, I didn’t. We never wanted the same things at the same time or very exceptionally. The conflict was permanent. At one point, the question arose as to whether we should leave each other or not. And we decided to give each other a chance by living in separate apartments but not too far away. one another.”
Many clichés that weigh
Renaud notices that this choice questions those close to him: “Already, there are many who have not understood that between us it was a real love story and not a story of buttocks. For many people, a quadra -fifties with a young girl, it leaves no doubt about the intentions of one and the other. But this is not the reality of our story and now we no longer pay attention to saucy winks or heavy reflections. Our loved ones got used to it but it’s true that from the moment they accepted our love story, we decided not to live together anymore and that no one understands that either. It took everything explain from scratch. For a lot of people, if things aren’t going well when we live together, we have to leave. We’ve been proving for a year and a half that it’s largely doable as a way of life and that it even works really well. “
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Renaud and his companion meet several times a week and every weekend: “We sleep at one or the other. We meet, we go to restaurants and then everyone goes to sleep at home. On the weekends, we hang out in bed at her house or mine. What it added was that everyone felt like they had their freedom. When we’re together, we’re really together. We do very few concessions. As a result, our age difference is less felt.”
The importance of adapting to the vagaries of life
The couple think this arrangement can last for a long time: “Neither of us wants children and we are in good health. We can review our copy if one of us falls ill for example and no longer needs the other. It won’t be a sacrifice. A few months ago, Caroline had a little slump because of a complicated situation at work. She came to live with me and I took care of her from better than I could. We may have two different addresses, but we are still a couple who love each other. But as things stand, I think we will continue to keep our two apartments. I like the freedom it gives us and our permanent reunion. If we no longer had the financial means, it would be another matter but it is not a problem for us for the moment. We will enjoy it as much as we can and adapt to changes in our lives when necessary.”
Renaud thinks that this solution is too little considered by couples: “We all have the impression that the norm is to live together. But, before, we also thought that marriage and children were inevitable in the couple. The most important thing is to adapt to each other’s needs. We have never been so happy and in love as since we have our own homes. Now I no longer hesitate to recommend it to my friends who can’t find a solution in their faltering couple. Getting some fresh air can help relieve the pressure. Leaving is not always the only solution.”
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