The question of whether age is just a number in relationships sparked a heated debate on Twitter this week after radio personality Mantsoe Pout took to social media to lambaste teens who date older people, drawing sharp reaction from Dineo Ranaka.
She went on to warn young girls to stay away from older men.”And you teens, tlohelang banna!! (leave older man alone)” she wrote.
However, Dineo felt that Mantsoe’s anger was “unfair and quite heavily judgmental” and took her to task on Twitter.
“There are a number of people happily married for years on end and they have a 20-year age gap. So to generalize to this extent is unfair. My dad was in his 30’s when he met mom and she was late teens. Love is unpredictable,” the Metro FM DJ claimed.
Mantsoe took to Twitter to share her disgust at older men that apparently see no problem with dating teenagers. She questioned their motives and suggested that they were “perverts” taking advantage of young girls.”Can 38-year-old men stop dating teenagers! What are you doing at 38 dating a 17-year-old? What life experiences do you remotely share? This just smells like a pervert taking advantage of a little girl for data and pumps. Sies! I’m so disgusted!” she wrote.
Pretoria-based relationship counsellor Anri Van Den Berg told TshisaLIVE that the effects of a large age gap between people in a relationship was dependent on their past experiences, relationships and emotional maturity.
“You cannot make a generalised statement of whether a large age gap is helpful or harmful to a relationship. You would need to evaluate a number of factors to understand the relationship dynamic properly. These factors would include: the reasons why each person is in the relationship, their emotional maturity, their past relationships and their personality types,” she said.