Intergenerational Relationships in Philippines

Jessie and Rusty into the eyes.
Jessie and Rusty

Intergenerational (age gaprelationships are common in Philippines.  When a visitor to Philippines first sees a 72 year old man with a 22 year old Filipina they may be shocked.  While this is an extreme example, it would surprise those visitors to discover that this intergenerational couple has been married for 4 years.  If we check back with this same couple 6 years from now they will likely be celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary.  That is getting very close to the average length of a marriage between people of the same age and yet age hypocrisy still exists in many societies.

How large is the average age gap?

It is hard to put a number on the average age gap, but this author attended a recent party in Philippines where the guests were primarily intergenerational couples.  The average age of each male spouse was about 60 years.  The average age of the female spouses was about 25 years.  An estimate of the average length of marriage (or live in partnership) was about 5 years.  From this we can estimate that a 35 year age gap is not uncommon within Philippine intergenerational relationships.

One of the visitors to the party was an American man who was only 30 years old.  He commented that the elderly husbands would have been playing cribbage at the senior’s center had they been in the US.  He said he was amazed to see these men, residing in Philippines with much younger wives, living large and in charge.

Happy Intergenerational Couple at home
Happy Intergenerational Couple

Do these intergenerational couples have children?

Yes, children are common in Philippine intergenerational relationships.  Many foreign men who are in the autumn of their years have fathered children with Filipina beauties who are still in the springtime of life.  The children of these relationships are highly valued in Philippine society.  It has been said there is a high probability that the father will pass away before the child reaches adulthood.  While that may be true, there is a growing probability that a same-age marriage will not last until the child matures.  Some young ‘fathers’ do not even stay until the child is born and child support is not high on their priorities.  Children are one of the reasons why young ladies prefer very mature men.

Not all mature men can have children.  The most common reason is a vasectomy early in life.  Problems such as this have been solved by vasectomy reversal, artificial insemination, adoption, or finding a lady who already has children.  Some intergenerational couples remain childless for decades.  It is just a matter of choice.

Age-gap dating is a legitimate way to find a serious relationship. Do younger women hold an appeal for you?  Are you prepared to deal with the prejudice?  If you answered yes to both questions then you should try intergenerational dating.

Who is prejudiced against intergenerational dating?

Western culture often shows age prejudice.  There is a prevailing attitude that old people should retire early to let the young have their jobs.  Old people should be at the senior center playing cribbage.  They definitely should not drive.

The grown children from the over-50 person’s previous relationships often think that daddy’s job now is to hang around and be their safety net, whilst looking after the grandkids when asked.  All these are worthwhile pursuits but when an over-50 person still has health and a youthful attitude there is no valid reason why he cannot start again with a young partner.

How do you deal with prejudice?

When you are involved in a serious intergenerational relationship you will have to deal with prejudice.  Some people think they are the first to suggest:  “Is that your Dad?”?  Some people are genuinely asking for information about what makes a successful intergenerational relationship.  Take the time to educate those people.  For others, the best response is often to ignore the fool or smile and suggest he or she have a nice day.

It is not always possible to ignore them.  Some fools will get right in your face and demand to know how old your girlfriend is and how old you are.  If you cannot bite your lip and let it slide you will have a lot of stress to deal with over the years.  Try to find social groups of like-minded individuals to vent with and have a laugh about it.

Happy Intergenerational Family
Intergenerational Family

What other problems do you deal with?

There are many times in life when an older person has “been there done that” and has the experience to know when something will not work.  A youthful partner will often see this as being negative and unwilling to try something new.  It is important to find a healthy balance of when to let the youthful partner make her own mistakes and when to accept that the older and wiser partner is probably right.

Sexual appetites will differ with age.  Over time you will notice that the younger person has a stronger sex drive than the older one.  There is truth in the expression “use it or lose it”.  Aging men have discovered that sex is like any other exercise, when you keep active you maintain the ability to keep doing it.  Pharmaceutical companies have provided us with modern medicines like Viagra and there are sex toys that can be used by those who need more help.  It is important for an older person to commit himself to his lady’s physical pleasures.  If he won’t, she might find someone who will.

There will be family pressure to deal with.  In most cases, the family of a Filipina will be supportive of an intergenerational relationship.  It is the foreign man’s family who will create problems.  Many families have disowned foreign men who chose to move to Philippines to be with a younger wife.  Grown children suspect the new wife is trying to take their inheritance. Aging parents suspect their son is in his second childhood. Brothers are upset because their wives are always talking about this ‘perverted’ relationship. It is something you must prepare yourself to deal with before entering an intergenerational relationship.

Should you try intergenerational dating?

Age-gap dating is a legitimate way to find a serious relationship. Do younger women hold an appeal for you?  Are you prepared to deal with the prejudice?  If you answered yes to both questions then you should try intergenerational dating.

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