Most individuals have a yearning for affection and acceptance. Therefore they seek compassion, acceptance, and approval from others. Relationships are normally socially and culturally structured, so factors such as age, education, race, ethnicity, social class, gender, and religion can influence an individual’s attitude and expectations towards a relationship. The media also often portrays unrealistic expectations of relationships which forces the community to conform to its expectations (Development, 2000).
Two main facts are known on the relationship between education and marriage. Individuals who invest more in education tend to marry more educated partners than those who invest less; they also tend to marry later in life. The belief is that gaining an education can somehow influence the identity of your spouse and the higher educational status tends to attract a high income earning spouse. All people need is a financial assurance from their spouse. Later it was proved that women go to college so as to influence their partner in future. Education has a causal effect on an individual’s marriage outcome (Anderberg & Zhu, 2010).
Racial and ethnic differentials are large and play a role in relationships. There was a time interracial marriage and dating was strictly prohibited, and the people, who dared defy the rule, were shunned from their society and considered outcasts. People were afraid that it meant changing their religion or their style of living. Recently, people have started normalizing interracial marriage and have learnt to embrace and each other’s cultures and traditions.
Challenges faced by age gap relationships are mainly external to how society views them. It’s easy to say forget what people are saying, but the fact still remains that the hate will find its way into their private lives. The good thing is that couples are learning to cope with their age gap issues. Most people who disagree with the age gap between couples argue against it from a moral standpoint. The good thing is that a study has shown that people are starting to normalize age gap relationships. They are generally open to age gap relationships in their future relationships.
The truth is that social factors will always affect our relationships on a day to day basis. At the end of the day, it all depends on a person’s preference and choice of a partner. Loyalty and trust form the base of relationships. The rest all depends on you and what the person makes you feel. Society is generally judgmental because we are all from different backgrounds with different childhoods. Therefore, what a person thinks about something is solely dependent on what that person feels is right. We are all judgmental in our own way, but it is not in our place to shun people for their life choices. I believe that if you feel you have a connection with someone and they bring out the best of you and you feel the person is for you, go for it and take the chance. If you find happiness with someone, you should not restrict yourself to what society thinks.
Anderberg, D., & Zhu, Y. (2010). The Effect of Education on Marital Status and Partner Characteristics: Evidence from the UK. CESifo Working Paper Series, 3104.
Development, E. P. (2000). HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION S ociocultural factors and relationships.