The beauty of most friendships is that they’re universal. Friends come together regardless of race, gender, religion or age. While age might be more of an issue in a romantic relationship, when it comes to friendships, for the most part, it’s irrelevant.
There are only a few things that you might have to keep in mind if there’s a big age gap in your friendship, including the following:
There’s no getting around the fact that as you age, you’re likely to experience so much more than your younger peers have. This might mean that an older friend has less relatable conversation to share with a younger friend – although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The two of you may actually find that conversation is more interesting because of your difference in experiences.
Different Maturity Levels
Once you get older, you start to look back on periods of your life with something that isn’t quite embarrassment, but comes close. This is largely down to the fact that you never stop maturing with age, which means that your behavior and decisions from the past now seem increasingly immature. If you’re making friend with a younger person, you’ll have to bear in mind your different maturity levels.
Different Stages of Life
If you’re in a friendship with a big age difference, chances are, you’re in very different stages of life. While one of you might be single and still studying, the other might be married with children and a stable job. You may find that being at different stages of life actually works to your advantage, offering you a refreshing change from the conversation with your similarly-aged peers, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Now that the potential negatives of a big age gap in friendship are out of the way, here are the definite positives to take away:
Passing on The Wisdom
This is an advantage for the younger friend: you’ll get to listen first-hand to the wisdom that your older friend can share from their additional years of life experience. Get out your best notebook and pen, because you’re going to want to write this down.
Expanding Your Horizons
The way that younger people and older people live their lives nowadays tends to be very different. As the older friend, you get to learn about all sorts of things that might be the norm for a younger friend, like social media slang and new food crazes. As the younger friend, you’ll probably be inspired by your older friend’s hobbies and interests even if you can’t relate.
Observing Different View Points
It’s quite common for people of the same age group to share similar opinions, which can limit your perspective more than you might realize. As well as making interesting conversation in general, it’s good to hear a different point of view from time to time, to remind you that opinions are only ever opinions, and should never be taken too seriously.