“Dating someone significantly older than you just labels you as a gold digger,” declares Abhinay Surve. “The truth is younger women dating older men is all very well in our country. But date an older woman and suddenly you feel everyone’s eyes on you. Society judges you,” he states grimly from personal experience.
We talk to a cross section of Puneites to test out this iniquitous theory.
Purab Sharma a 34-year-old model shares his experience.
It was early on in my modeling days when I fell for a fashion photographer. She conducted most of the shoots for a men’s magazine and I was posing for one of their campaigns. It was a long courtship for she was 42 at the time when I was in my early 20’s.
“Though she agreed to be in a relationship with me, we kept it quiet for the longest time. My friends often assumed she was my meal-ticket. Though it was not so!” he cries. “It was when my parents figured one Diwali that she broke off with me abruptly. After a four-year relationship, I was aghast. Last year, I met Anna (my ex) at a party where she finally revealed that my mother had called her and warned her to steer clear of me,” he explains bitterly.
Gurpreet Sangha a student of a prominent city-based women’s College shares a similar opinion.
Family pressure ruins relationships at times, especially when there is an age-gap. I met a guy last year who happened to be 29, and he was a successful banker, so my friends were all excited.
“My parents however, strongly disapproved, purely because he belonged to a different caste. I rebelled and dated Asad for 3 months before my father threatened to discontinue my education. I was 18 at the time and did not speak to my father for a whole week. I stopped all contact with the guy. It was much later I found out he was already in a loveless marriage to a woman in his hometown. That was when I truly thanked my parents and apologized,” she sighs.
Garbit Shaikh has a different story.
Being in a relationship with a younger girl worked for me. She’s fun, spontaneous and quirky, which are qualities I value in a partner. I’m 30 and she’s just in college.
“We’re in it for the long haul and plan to tie the knot in two years. I have a stable job in an MNC, and our folks are satisfied” he smiles.
Ayesha Mehta is a graphic designer in the city who speaks of dating a man 12 years her junior.
The boy adored me. It was like a puppy-dog crush. However, though we worked in the same firm, my co-workers started judging me. They branded me a cradle snatcher just because I dated Amit.
“It didn’t last, although it was a beautiful summer romance. He left the firm post his internship and we parted ways. So perhaps such unions are doomed right from the start,” she muses before confessing she wouldn’t mind doing it all over again!
#Respondent names changed to protect their individual privacy. All views expressed are those of the individual respondents.