My Husband is four and a half years younger than me. Feel free to call me Cougar. I own that title. After you read this you may have some other things you want to call me. Hypocrite. Ageist. I own those titles too.
A few weeks ago I was reading Modern Love (yes- two weeks in a row that the NY Times gave me fodder for my blog) This particular essay was written by a women who I think was 82. She was talking about the 50something man that was pursuing her.
I cry foul.
I cry foul loudly.
First off- this is actually a plot on “Grace and Frankie”. 80+ Grace begins a courtship with a 50something guy. Now I admit, Jane Fonda looks better at 80+ then I look at 50+. And Peter Gallagher is rather attractive. But realistically….I know. you’re going to tell me they have chemistry. You’re going to tell me they have commonality. And I’m going to say nothing makes up for an age gap of 25+ years.
I’m sorry. No matter what anyone says, I just can’t see a relationship where one person is significantly younger than the other. And this goes for either sex. Or same sex for that matter. There are just generational differences that you can’t get past. I even see some issues with my Husband and our slight age difference. When we met I really enjoyed going out all the time, bars, fancy restaurants, things that were “in”. Now, I still like to go out, but it is much more cerebral. I do not want to go out every night. I’m fine sitting home and reading five nights a week, and maybe a night out with friends or a cultural event the other days. My Husband could go out every night if given the opportunity. I’ve mellowed as I’ve gotten older. He hasn’t gotten there yet.
Then there are the physical differences. I remember waking up one day a little past my 50th birthday (hence the title) and it took a few minutes to get my body unkinked. I walk slower now (OK- I still walk faster than most non New Yorkers- but my pace has slowed) My Husband is still spry. Well mainly…He twisted his back a few months ago (right around age 50) and it took him awhile to feel better. And I was oddly happy that he did this, because he hurt it doing something routine, and all I could think was “Good. Now he sees how things have been for me. he sees how easy it is to hurt yourself and how long it takes to feel better.”
Now, I know we all know people of a certain age who have much more energy than kids in their twenties. I know that there are many, many vibrant seniors. But really, the age difference is something. It might not bother you at year one of a relationship, but it could bother you at year five. Because in most cases, the gap will matter. I don’t know how much you can love someone to conquer a 25 year age difference.
And…I know I’m a horrible, cliched person, but whenever I hear about a relationship with a big age difference I can’t help but think “Hmmm…how much money does the older person have?” Am I cynical, or am I just pragmatic? If a 25 year old guy professed his love for me I would TOTALLY question his motives, just as I question it when an 80 year old guy chats me up now. (because that’s the actual scenario- if I’m cruising the stacks at Barnes and Noble I am much more likely to be the conversational target of an 80 year old as opposed to a 25 year old) If a 50 year old man was interested in my 17 year old daughter, can you imagine what I would say to that…
I’m not saying that a relationship with a large age difference can’t exist. I’m just saying it’s a pretty tall order to think that either party is truly attracted to the other. I might be a hot 54 year old, but really….I don’t want to stand next to a 25 year old in good lighting…And in all seriousness- I might think young guys are cute, but cute in the puppy dog way. If I do notice a guy I think is attractive he’s more than likely to be in the AARP card receiving age…
And lets talk about interests. I hear twenty somethings talking in coffee shops and such. There is no way I could maintain a level of interest in the majority of things I have heard discussed. I can have friendships with younger people, but an intimate one on one relationship? There isn’t enough avocado toast in the world to get me through that. I would always feels like a Mom, dispensing advice and hard candy with fuzzies on it from sitting on the bottom of my purse.
So…lets open it up to the floor: What do we think about May/December romances and relationships?