Third Eye

Is ageism fading off in the dating space?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022 04:58 | By
Ciro G and her lover, artiste Ohms Law Montana. PD/JASMINE ATIENO

Popular TV actor Malik Lemuel recently admitted his dating preference as ‘older women’. The 22-year-old former Machachari TV series actor lamented how a lot of Kenyans still see him as the little boy they used to see on TV.

During a recent interview, the actor who launched his acting career at the age of five demystifies what dating an older woman means.“Old mean someone who’s been around for long, I am open to dating any type of woman, but my preference is or has been for a long time, older women. For me, older can be a day older , two months older, or even 50 years older,” he said.

This, he said, has been greatly influenced by the exposure to a lot of adults all around him since he started his career in 2005. He revealed that the oldest person he has dated was four years older and that it is his preferred limit.

Despite receiving a lot of criticism from both fans and critics who do not support the age difference between him and his wife, gospel musician Guardian Angel, who is in his early 30s and his wife, Esther Musila  a 52 year old and mother of three, their relationship keeps growing stronger, and influencing many such love journeys. 

The thorns to their rosy life include judgmental people, some of whom claim the singer is after money. To defend his name, the singer cleared the air recently during a YouTube interview citing that his intentions were entirely for love.

“I feel like I am genuinely lucky because of love. I don’t care about what this person (Esther) has. It is only that I attracted someone who has money. You can only attract something that you can sustain. God has given me someone I can sustain,” he said.

Mombasa based hip-hop artist Ohms Law Montana’s heated love affair with Ciro G, a mother of six has left many wondering whether ageism really counts in the dating space. For him, it’s even more empowering.

Not too old for love

“Dating older women comes with the experience. They teach you a lot that you wouldn’t have learnt from a younger person. Also, the respect comes automatically. No childish games because she has no time for that either. So, it’s been a good experience for me,” he shares.

He adds, “The attention of an older woman has boosted my own level of confidence and self-esteem. It has also given me more life experience and emotional stability. I’m now grounded and honest.” 

While it might have been shunned over some years back, today many people accept that love presents in many ways. The thing is, there is no “right way”, especially for minorities of all kinds who seek to live outside of what is considered as norms.

However, as psychologist Jane Ngugi shares, one’s age does not promise a level of maturity or determine an ability to be a good partner.  

“When dating, compatibility is what matters most, not age. Individuals can date people of different age as long as there is compatibility and care. There are far too many other factors that determine one’s psychological and relational health, and age is far from the strongest determinant. You are not “too old” for anything. Not too old to wear something, to date a certain person, to make a career change or to be in lovel. Live your life based on ethics and authenticity,” shares the expert. 

As she adds, one well-known guideline may not work for everyone. A wide age gap can cause problems, but it doesn’t have to. In some instances, if you and your partner are at different stages in lives, it can be tough to make things work. You may have less in common with someone much younger or older than you.

“A study published in the journal of Population Economics found that the bigger the age differences, the less satisfied the couples were. However, if you are happy in your relationship and determined to make it work, you can have a successful and long-lasting relationship with someone who isn’t close to your own age. There are so many issues likely to arise and it will take a lot of work, but you can still have a healthy union,” says Jane.

Some tips, which could make your relationship work includes; treating each other with kindness and respect. 

“Both parties should be willing to put the work. Respect each other’s opinion and boundaries. Valuing each other and being honest. Be willing to compromise. It is essential to make your partner feel heard and understood. Listen to what they have to say and cheer them on when they’re struggling,” she advises.

Making things work

Another important point is to resolve issues constructively. “Many couples will experience problems. What matters is how you handle them. When things get heated, take some time to cool off. When ready to discuss the issue use “I” statements to explain how you feel instead of blaming your partner. Focus on the issue at hand,” she shares.  

However, the expert say the couple needs to agree on various issues that may become a challenge in the relationship such as children if the woman is past child-bearing age. 

“Today, there is an increased acceptance that all relationships look different. Whether this relates to sexuality, gender or even the number of people in the same relationship. We are living in an era of more freedom and flexibility, it is only a matter of time and people will become significantly less judgmental about other people’s relationship choices, whether that’s age-gap or anything else,” he says.

More on Features & Analysis