We often hear about 'the age gap' when we look at the relationship of partners but that experience often depends on who is talking about the difference in ages. Doesn't it? For instance:
If you find that your 16-year-old daughter's latest boyfriend is 18-19 or even an 18-year-old daughter with a 25-30-year-old partner, do the alarm bells ring?
If you are an 18-year-old youth and your girlfriend is 26-28, are you envied by your friends but do your parent's worry?
If you are a 60-year-old man and your partner is 35, do people treat you differently from the way they treat a 60-year-old woman with a 35-year-old man?
You can probably answer these questions based on your own experiences, bias and parental reactions and that is personal. But what about the age gaps within siblings.
I have a brother four years younger than I am. We were fine together when we played football in the back yard with him in goal and me peppering shots at him. We even survived my throwing a dart at the dartboard seconds before he walked under it and the dart falling out of the board and sticking in his head.
It was when I reached the age of ten, or so that the four years made a real difference. I was moving to senior school and had connected with friends whom I spent much of the day. In fact, we began to have arguments as it became clear we were totally different characters. My brother and I went our own ways through the teenage years and never really connected much.
By our early twenties, we actually were in different countries. My brother went on a short works contract to Sweden and stayed there. I was still finding my feet here in England.
Over the years we rarely talked as our lives went on and, without doubt, he was far more settled than I was. It was decades until we saw each other again when my partner asked if we could visit the family out there. As we met for the first time we found that the years apart had made a difference and, once more, we seemed like brothers.
A few years ago I was told that he was facing a life-threatening operation on his spine which, if unsuccessful could cripple him or worse. Fortunately, the operation was a success and since then we have become closer, especially when we met up for our parent's funerals.
So, what are your experiences with the age differences with siblings?
Recently, I've been working with a new university graduate (let's call him, Sam) on a collaboration with students for my venture StoryTelling Corner. He had entertained us with a fascinating story and sees a mutual benefit in what we are doing.
We met for a 1-2-1 and began to discuss social media. I have a brilliant publicist, of about the same age as Sam, and she has banned me from writing anything on our Facebook page...I can, however, add my thoughts to my own page and to Linkedin.
Now, Sam had looked over my Facebook page and noted that it wasn't formatted for young people. There are, apparently etiquettes of which I am totally unaware.
Have you ever been educated by someone fifty years younger than you are?
Let me know!