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Age Difference Questions...

Discussion in 'Love & Marriage' started by Harkiran Kaur, Feb 17, 2013.

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  1. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    I just have a very general question... I know that the vast majority of Sikh marriages in India are girl younger, marrying an older guy. I am just curious as to if it ever happens the other direction? Does a younger Sikh guy ever marry a girl who is older than he is? If so, is this relation ever accepted by the in laws?? How about if the age difference is 10 years (girl 10 years older)?? I know that if two people are compatible and love each other, then it should be fine and society and parental views should not come into it... however I know that in Indian and Sikh marriages, parental input does seem to dominate.

    Now my views on this: women live longer than men by average about 10 years... meaning women SHOULD marry a man younger than them, in order to avoid such long periods of time as a widow. (Just look at the percentage of elderly women alive compared to men as proof) Also, it has been proven that the risk for things like down syndrome etc, lie mostly with the genetic material donated by the father, not the Mother. Meaning, a woman who is 40 would have MUCH better chance conceiving a healthy baby with a 30 year old man, than a 50 year old man... or even 40 year old man!!! It is so normal to see marriages where the girl is 10 years younger, so I can't understand why it would be so bad for the opposite. Just wondering what the input of Sikhs would be - and if you have ever seen this happen and be successful AND accepted by the guys parents??
     
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  3. Ishna

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    My only concern would be the woman's ability to have children. A man can go on to father children for decades. A woman is a bit time-limited. In this way the younger man/older woman might be a tricky type of relationship.
     
  4. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    True men can have children for decades, but after 35 sperm motility drastically drops and after 40 its proven that men are the major contributors to genetic issues like down syndrome babies.... not the women. And with fertility options now days, and better health care, women are having babies into their 40's easily. If say the woman is 36-40 and the man 10 years younger, they could easily have at least 2 children, two years apart...

    My concern is more acceptance by the parents.
     
  5. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    I have seen families objecting even if the bride is one or two years older. Yes the family stereotypes will always be there.
     
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  6. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
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    Akasha ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    It is a lot more complicated than meets the eye. It is a cultural thing and the Indian culture is the amalgam of many cultures due to the invasions which brought power in the hands of the few. India was never one country. The name India is a pretty recent one in fact. Its area was full of small Princedoms and each owner called himself Maharaja long before the invasions started. They were all polygamists, had several concubines, many of them teenagers much younger than themselves. After the invasions, things got even worse in two ways. First, the young girls used to be abducted by the invaders. Secondly, in order to save them, many parents started marrying their daughters to the much older men so they could be looked after rather than getting abducted.

    One more reason among many is, India being a patriarchal society, its rules demanded for the women to be subservient to men. For that, they had to be younger than men.

    In my family the age difference between men and women is about 2 to 5 years on either side. It is no big deal if either is younger or older. But the status quo because of the ingrained cultural values still stands in many cultures and religions including the 3 Abrahamic ones.

    Tejwant Singh
     
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  7. spnadmin

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    The injunction even applies in western societies. Here we have many titles to describe the psychological dynamics of May and December matches. "Trophy Wife" suggests that there are several dependencies going on between man and women, most of which play into stereotypes of men and women that are very much alive in the west and have an economic foundation as much as an emotional one. Then are the "Cougars" which is suggestive of an older women on the prowl, driven by you know what. She is considered racy, and exotic, but not admired. Patriarchy isn't going anywhere soon. :welcomekaur:

    p/s I am giving the 2 extremes. In between cultures still favor the male being older. But I want to thank Tejwant ji for always reminding us to steer clear of stereotyping. There more variation than we realize and that is the reality not the myth.
     
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    #6 spnadmin, Feb 17, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  8. singhbj

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  9. Harkiran Kaur

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    The issue is... after all my looking abroad (I've put myself on Sikh matrimony sites because there is only a small Sikh community here), after all my searching, a local Sikh guy has asked me out... and made it very known that he is NOT looking for simply dating but someone to marry. He is 10 years younger than me. He is he here, pursuing his Masters degree, and plans to settle in this country. His parents are in India still, but he plans on having them move with him when they are older (as is the norm). I am still young enough to have children... and very much want at least one!!! As for how odl I look, I always get people saying I look 10 years younger than I am. Funny thing is, he looks older than me when we are side by side (probably the beard helping that...) He is full turban wearing and does not cut his kesh. He is exactly the type of man I want to marry. I don't even think of age when we are together.... at all!

    What makes me frustrated, is that its perfectly ok for the woman to be 10 years younger... but such a taboo if the man is!? Doesn't make sense... subservience does not depend on age btw. However, I am always of the belief that man / woman are equal partners in marriage... it's not about a dominance / submission relationship.... and Sikhi agrees with that even saying that a married couple are one soul in two bodies... THAT equal!!!

    I bet if we never even mention age at all... I would get along with his Mother. I have pretty much assimilated the culture. I fit in perfectly well in all Punjabi / Indian groups now :) Being in the military and travelling the world has given me the ability to blend in with the locals wherever I go, but this is even much more so with regards to Indian culture. I just love it!


    Anyway, what if we just never actually mention age at all??? (unless directly asked) There is definite deep feelings developing here between he and I... and he assures me to not worry about his parents... that it will be ok and they are very open. But I still worry...
     
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  10. singhbj

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    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki fateh

    Akasha ji my school mate married a European girl in England.

    Can't say whether for love or citizenship or both.

    The problem is even after years of living together he hasn't taken a house on mortgage or have kids.

    They both have good pay but it seems there's a lack of trust & no long term planning.

    Which are bad indicators for any marriage.

    Now a quick analysis of your case

    1. He is on a student visa - so no full time or decent job.
    Requires money and financial guarantor if you decide to marry him and file papers.

    2. You don't know his family or background, what if he's already married or separated in India ?

    3. Indian families is not only about parents but siblings too. If he has brothers & sisters then the burden of settling (immigration + marriage) them also lies on his shoulder. So don't think parents have invested money solely for his benefit.

    My advice, think before taking such a big leap.
    Look at other options and consult your parents.

    In reality

    "When poverty knocks at the door, love jumps out of the window"

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki fateh
     
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    #9 singhbj, Feb 20, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  11. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Let me add my 2 cents

    1) Down syndrome is very much related to mother age

    http://downsyndrome.about.com/od/diagnosingdownsyndrome/a/Matagechart.htm

    But most of Indians are not such scientific people so this point is not something what Indians have in mind at the time of marriage

    2) Majority of medical doctors clearly advise women to have their first child before they are 30.So from medical point of view these marriages are not .OK. If the guy is atleast 25 then her partner is going to be 35 and at that age it totally depend on an indivisual whether a woman can conceive or not.Some women are extremely fit and can give birth in early 40 s some may not be able to conceive when they are in early 30s.My aunt has really very much difficulty in conceiving when she was in early 30s and has to take fertility treatments. Doctors were asking our family whether she is really in her early 30s.

    3) Akasha ji in your case if you decide to get married then both of you should immediately go for child .May be a man who is 27 and still studying is not at all ready to have fathers responsibility and he may want 5-6 years to settle down which is not possible if his
    partner is 37

    So a marriage where a woman is 10 year older is going to be an odd case in Indian society and because of factors like financial security of guy , fertility of woman , it cannot become norm
     
  12. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    My other options are: Stay single and never get married (don't want that option), keep looking on matrimony sites (and always wonder the same things about PR status, etc.), or see where this goes. As I said, this is a very small Sikh community here... I think the matrimony site thing would be difficult as to get to know someone means travelling great distances and lots of expense. I definitely want to marry a Sikh man... and NOT a 3HO Sikh man... that means pretty much a Punjabi Sikh man, to which I am more attracted to anyway. Further to that, there aren't mahy single Sikh men in their mid 30's anyway on Matrimony sites... there seems to be a gap... then in 40's there are the divorcees who already have kids and 'baggage'. Plus a man in his mid 40's is going the other direction... 10 years OLDER than me. Which means a VERY much less chance of kids!!! Because in that age group, yes the DNA of the Father plays a huge role in getting pregnant and producing genetic defects.

    As for this guy locally, I am on his Facebook... he is an only child... so no siblings. He has lots of pics of his parents on there, and they post on his page... so I know it's not a fake profile. He had it long before we started talking, and most of the sangat here are on his FB friends list. So I don't think he is hiding anything... especially a marriage! In fact, he is actually ON the same matrimony site I put myself on! His parents made him a profile on there and I saw that profile for myself (though admitedly, his parents put the ideal age group much less than my age lol - they put anywhere from 6 years younger than him to his age...)

    He is pursuing a Masters Degree here and will have no problem getting PR status on his own, as Canada loves engineers... his qualifications will get him full time career with high pay here, and no problem acquiring Permanent Resident status with no help from me. He does want to move to a different city though, as mine is a little small. He wants a larger city like Toronto or Ottawa, or Calgary, Vancouver etc.

    He keeps telling me he is serious and wants marriage... not a permanent girlfriend. He even asked me my opinion on if his Mother pushed for him to be married in the next year... would I be ok with it, and would I be ok going to India for the ceremony (which I am as long as I get a reception back here too so my friends and family can go who couldn't afford to go to India) and he made sure I was ok with marriage by anand karaj... which obviously I am.

    So we have talked about things quite a bit. I don't get the feeling that he is being deceptive at all... and the "L" word has been broached... however we have not told anyone in the Sangat (in case things didn't work out)... he has met my Mother and he gets along great with her. I don't think he told his parents yet though... and thats probably because of the two big things he will have to convince them of: the age difference, and the fact that I am a Gori. But his parents are coming here in the Fall to visit him, and he wants to introduce us in person. He even said I should wear a salwar kameez when I meet them (don't worry it was not meant to be negative... I always wear them to the Gurdwara and he knows I LOVE any chance I get to wear my beautiful suits!!! He was complimenting me, because he had just said right before that I looked beautiful - I was wearing my favourite one at the time - a pretty fancy silk one with embroidery and beadwork, complete with matching jewelry!)

    So, do I give up this chance, to go back to looking at profiles on sikh matrimony sites, only to be even more worried about someone just looking for PR status here, or chance meeting someone only a few times in person before marriage, and never know if we really are compatible (only to find out later that we are not)?? Or do I take the chance and see where this goes?







     
    #11 Harkiran Kaur, Feb 20, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  13. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    How about marry someone of your age and adopt? There are many orphans who could use a family.

    This is risky. In any case you go for this, make him sign up a pre-nup.

    Well if they are based in US/Can shouldn't be a problem.

    Hmm this looks promising. Make sure you register your marriage in an Indian court, if it happens. That way the record will be there in Indian books.

    I hope in the light of Guru Sahib, his parents can appreciate your alliance.

    I would say take this chance and see where it goes. But also keep on looking on other sites.

    PS: I hope you have not told him about 'us' i.e. SPN. He could have joined here :D

    PS:
     
  14. Harkiran Kaur

    Harkiran Kaur Canada
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    I would actually like my own biological child... and there is plenty of time to have one!!! That's why! Also, there are almost no elibible mid 30's Punjabi Sikh guys available!!

    But yeah, I will see where this goes for now... hopefully won't end up hurt!
     
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  15. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    People should stop thinking that adoption of small babies is some kind of good social work.Due to market for small babies the business of buying and selling small babies is now mushrooming in India.babies are now sold for lakhs of rupees.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/india/repor...ujarat-doctor-sold-two-babies-not-one_1794934

    There are plenty of orphans in world but problem is they are quite old and people who want kid go for small babies.
     
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  16. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Yes, ask him to join and start posting immediately. We will check him out for you and like good aunties and uncles figure whether it is "green light go." :mundabhangra::grinningkaur:
     
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  17. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Bhenji

    Some thoughts,

    like you, I spent a large amount of my time looking for love, it was important to me, and I looked everywhere I could. In those days, the internet was a small community, and net dating was little known, you either had Compuserve, or AOL.I met many women looking for my ideal love, wasted many years, and the more I pushed, the lower my expectations were met, as I am sure were my partners. After my last split up, I realised how incredibly lonely I was, and quickly met someone, but quickly realised we were opposites. In the end, of the blue, my optician set me up with a nurse, and that developed into a relationship.

    I guess I am sorry to put a dampner on things, but the pressure I feel is immense, I think, and I am not even sure I could follow this advice, you should be yourself, and allow Creation to assist you. How, I have no idea, like you say, Turban wearing Punjabis are thin on the ground, So I guess the next best thing is to go to every Sikh congregational activity you can find, meet people, allow a spark to develop, who knows who you may encounter, and follow your heart in that way.

    You strike me as someone who jumps in very quickly, but equally jumps out just as quick, love is something that should happen slowly, to give it time to grow and mature, to allow for changes in people, to allow the full spectrum of personality to be laid bare, to trust, I think you would shine in a natural environment.

    For the record, even though I could not believe it at the time, but that nurse was 8 years older than me :)
     
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  18. Kanwaljit Singh

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    I am not saying go to a black market and buy. You could pay an unannounced visit to an orphanage. And yes, even good intentions lead to bad results. Which is the folly of being human.
     
  19. Inderjeet Kaur

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    I am a 60 year old widow and I do not relish the thought of spending the rest of my life without a mate/companion.

    Physically, I have little to offer. I am fat, chronically ill (not related to being fat) and some of my symptoms are quite disgusting.

    So, have much do I lower my expectations in a mate? Not a bit. Either I will marry the man I want and need or I won't marry. I was in "an inappropriate" marriage for 22 years to a man who claimed to be younger than me. (He turned out to be older, but that's another story.) He died and I was relieved. However difficult my life is now, it's better than being with a man unsuited to me. He wasn't a monster. He never beat me. (I would have killed him if he tried and he knew it.) :kaurfacepalm:

    Now, if it is Hukam of Waheguru, I will spend my remaining years with a man I can enjoy and who can enjoy me.

    Age is a factor in that a young man would lack the experience that I would need in a true companion. Ten years or so younger than I am could be fine. Older if he's reasonably healthy. Both of us being sick wouldn't be much fun.

    Hardest thing in the world, but leave it in Guru ji's hands. Be receptive, keep your eyes and heart and mind open, and let things happen naturally.

    Some will disagree with me, but I firmly believe that things work out in life the way they are supposed to. Worry and pushing the river don't work. Just remain receptive to opportunities that come your way.

    This particular guy? I haven't a clue. If you do go ahead with it, do it because he's the one you really want. Don't expect perfection, but also don't settle for less than the husband you want. Remember, he'll be the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning - for the rest of your life.
     
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  20. Luckysingh

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    I agree with Harry and Inderjeetji.

    It seems you may be rushing yourself that you have to get married to a particular type.
    You should just let it happen and see what comes your way.

    The 'age' thing only becomes an issue if you make it.
    Once past 25, it becomes a little difficult to guess anyone's age!
    I may look like a young 41, but the funny thing is my wife's been 21 for so many years now and she will be 21 again quite soon !!!:cheerleaders:

    You shouldn't just restrict yourself to these matrimonal sites and you should attempt to liase with as many punjabis as you can at sikh events and gatherings, functions..etc...
    You just never know from where your prince charming will appear !!
     
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  21. Tejwant Singh

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    Akasha ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    First and foremost, good luck in your journey. I hope you find your Sikh knight and be happy ever after which requires blood, sweat and many tears from both sides. Commitment is a two way cul-de-sac. The difference in age is irrelevant. You seem to be committed to Sikhi despite the baggage both of you carry.He has the Indian cultural baggage along with different expectations from his parents who live in India and have an ingrained cultural value system, and you have yours for the same reason although it is more accepting in my view.

    Now, the thing to ponder is that either your baggageS may become a hindrance or they can be turned into something positive despite the pressure from the outer forces. For the latter to happen, commitment from both is a must because you will be running the "cross cultural mud race", together in one sack.

    So, take your sweet time.

    What good is the fear of the fast moving biological clock if the responsible parenting becomes absent? It takes two to tango without stomping on each other's toes with the respective baggageS.

    I wish you all the best.

    Regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
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    #20 Tejwant Singh, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
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