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?

Discuss!!

 

 

71 thoughts on “May/December

  1. I’m in agreement with you. When I was a teenager I gave myself a seven year age gap “limit” so to speak. I thought that was appropriate back then. But just a few months ago I talked to a guy seven years older than me and realized at this stage in my life… it was too large for me. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for someone else! Closer to one’s own age is probably for the best. For me my new cap is five… well for now at least 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m actually thinking 2 years! I’ve gotten cynical, but I think closer in age is better. I also look at friends with healthiest long term relationships and they’re all fairly close in age

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to confess, I love a man 33 years younger than I am….he calls me mom. I agree with you. I could never relate to the younger generation romantically other than on a maternal level. Let’s be honest, there is also that lack of sexual experience in the younger generation which our Baby Boomer men have acquired. I am not willing to give that up for a newer model.

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  3. ‘Jane Fonda looks better at 80+ than I look at 50+’. Don’t worry! That’s Jane Fonda! I bet she has her own problems! I agree, actually – an age-difference like that (25+ years) sounds as though it wouldn’t work. One of them has to be pretending – and that isn’t a good place to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oldest daughter married someone much older. I have lots of speculation as to why but that’s not for here. I don’t deny that there is love present between them, but…when their children are graduating high school he will be mistaken for their grandfather. So many years that these girls and my daughter may be without him as he already deals with health issues. It is a subject I believe we have come to mutually avoid.

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    1. Here’s my thing. I’m not saying there can’t be love with a wide disparity of ages. But my first husband was 10 years older than me, and in hindsight I understand there were issues behind that, me wanting an older guy. So, while I believe that love can bloom amongst anyone, I think if there’s a large age gap you really have to look long and hard at it

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Gosh…I feel uncomfortable just thinking about someone who is a few years younger than me, never mind someone who is decades younger! I am with you on that.

    There is a point in age however where we’re all peers. If someone who is a parent with teens feels attracted to another person with kids of similar age and they later find out that the woman is 4, 5 years older than the guy, does it matter? It still makes them generational peers. And, they share commonalities like both are parents, kids are similar age, life and its challenges are the same for both, sandwich generation re their own parents a factor for both, etc.

    I’m not sure if a 20 year age gap would do the same for the reasons you mentioned.

    But I would feel strange being attracted to someone who hasn’t crossed the same age threshold as me, so to speak. I feel both superficial (it’s not that important why am I hung up on this?) and kind of embarrassed (in terms of, omg now I have to spend MORE time on self care). 4, 5 years are doable, but 20+? Probably not my cup of tea.

    Interesting post! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks! I think that any two people can fall in love. I think any two people can have a wonderful relationship. But I question large age gaps. Personally my first husband was ten years older…in hindsight I know I had issues that led me to an older man. I think people have to really think about it

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  6. Those huge age differences always leave me scratching my head. Granted, I have always been pursued by men older than me. For some reason, guys my own age generally weren’t interested. I could attempt to explain in, but who really knows… I doubt I will ever be in another serious relationship, but no more older men for me! That said, we live in a community with very active (as in outdoor sports like cycling and skiing) seniors, so I know that older is not necessarily to be less than vibrant.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know lots of vibrant older people, but there’s a difference in maturity level (mainly….anyway) my first husband was ten years older and I know I had a variety of issues that led me to marry an older man. I think you have to explore your reasons if there’s an age gap

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My husband is two years older than me. When I lived in Manhattan, I dated a man a decade older than me. That was then and now is now. It is challenging enough to relate to people significantly younger than you. You must always go out of your comfort zone. I find that often now with the work place.

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  8. I agree with you. I think when you’re in a relationship with someone that much older than you you are missing something from your childhood or you are looking at $. It might fun when you are young but what happens when he or she needs a depends changed. I dont think they think long term and what could happen. I’m a cougar too and I do see those little differences. Needing bifocals. My husband laughed at me. Now he’s wearing them!

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    1. I tend to agree with you. I think any two people can fall in love, but my first husband was ten years older and looking back I see the issues that I had and why I chose someone older

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  9. I’m here to write a rebuttal. Sorry, but I’m writing from my own experience. I don’t think wanting to go out several evenings each week is age related. When I lived in the city, that was me for sure and most of my coworkers who were 20-30 years younger couldn’t keep up.
    For those of you who are in longtime marriages with a partner within 5 years of your age, that’s great. I’m happy for your happiness.
    I’ve been single for some of my 40s and 50s – age is NOT the most important factor in compatibility.
    I have good friends who are 25 years apart and the younger one, an elite athlete, recently suffered serious health issues. Fortunately, she’s doing well now but I’m sure no one would have anticipated this.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think stamina is one thing, of which I have a lot. But, I don’t go out because as I e gotten older it’s just not something I’m interested in doing..it is an age thing for me. Of course also, there’s the lament when one partner says to the other, when did you get so old…. stamina and partying are two different things.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Having dated both younger and older women, I can’t say I have a definitive preference. As with ‘types’, I think my type is someone I connect with on many levels and relate to and with. That said, older women have always appealed to me more so. I never had an experience with an older woman where I felt disconnected as the result of the age gap. With a younger woman, yes I did feel disconnected.
    I think it just makes sense that, by and large, we connect most strongly with people within our age range.
    Great post!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or…a lifetime.

    A young man entered my life who was 30 years younger than me. He didn’t stay, which I was glad, but he taught me a lot in a short amount of time. (My daughter called me a cougar) xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  12. The idea of finding love where/when it’s least expected is very appealing, which would include being drawn to someone much older or younger. I’m sure that these romances can work, depending on the people and a host of factors. One always needs to explore the motives (of both), of course, but I think that’s true in ANY relationship! I’m guessing that the May/December type of attractions might fall into the more short-lived type, on average. There are always exceptions, which is what keeps life interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think any two people can fall in love. My first husband was ten years older and in hindsight I see all the issues that I had that resulted in the marriage. Agreed, there’s motivation to anything, but I think a large gap in age deserves a little bit of scrutiny

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Basically I agree but as with anything there are exceptions. My parents were 10 years apart, dad born in 1913 and mom in 1923. They were together 45 years until my dad passed away. (Mom is still alive at almost 95). She says she got married (at 18) to get out of the house and have some fun. Dad was ready to settle down. Mom got pregnant right away and my sister was born 10 months later. So much for going out and having fun. But, I never saw them argue and I really felt the love they had for each other. I am sure they must have had their ups and downs but they managed to make it work. It is a different time now though and the way technology has changed so much, 25 years is such a big gap that I don’t know if that could work in the long term. I mean, one of them wouldn’t even know what a rotary phone was!

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    1. I think any two people can be in love. But I think that large age gaps need to be considered. I know I got married to my first husband for the wrong reasons, he was 10 years older, and I wish I knew then what I know now

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  14. My husband just turned 40 last week. I am 20 years older and we have been happily together for 15 years. If you read my blog you will see, he’s a nightmare of physical ailments with the heart of a 90 year old. Me on the other hand, have no health problems and still run 5 miles a day. We lived vastly different lives growing up. He has street smarts and college smarts where I have the latter and not so much of the former. We share a love for books, politics, religion and each other. We have the best debates and conversations and are never bored. At first the age thing made me wary, but he just persisted and wore me down. When we go out most people think he is the older one. Maybe not for everyone but your match is your match.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think any two people can fall in love. But I think many relationships with large age gaps have issues. My first husband was 10 years older and in hindsight I know there were issues I didn’t realize. But I still can’t see a 50 year old guy wanting to date an 80 year old woman. Just can’t see it

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  15. Reading your comments I’m definitely the minority sex here, I cannot for life of me seeing a younger woman relationship ever working out! I’ll go further and say I couldn’t imagine a worse life, different outlooks, interests, circles of friends, and I cannot believe younger women find older men’s body attractive, there just has to be ulterior motives not necessarily money, perhaps she desires the security of a father figure looking after her every need? Whatever it’s an unequal relationship, perhaps unhealthy? However I do see an older woman younger man relationship being successful, even ten years. There is a difference! (Great post)

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    1. Thanks. Honestly I think some age gap relationships can work, but yeah…I think many of these relationships have issues hidden inside. My first husband was ten years older and I now know that it was dysfunctional at best (father issues…could I be more of a cliche?)

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  16. Great post ! I think the age difference becomes more prominent if you’re at ends of the spectrum. Thus the 80/50 couple you mention, or perhaps the 50/20, but if you’re at 60/40 that seems like it could work just fine, at least for a while. And motivations can always be suspect, even when they’re not to begin with. Both my marriages started out egalitarian enough. My first wife was 5 years younger, my second, the exact same age. But when they ended, it seems their motivations were different than when we started 🙂

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  17. I am curious to know what you think is a large age difference. Some people might say 5 is bordering on too much while others think 10 is just about right. .There is a 5 year age difference between my husband and me and my son is dating a woman 9 years older( hard typing woman I almost said girl because of course my son is a boy!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My first husband was 10 years older than me, and in hindsight I realize there were issues behind that choice that if I’d discovered I would not have made that mistake. I think any two people are capable of love, but I think for long term stability the closer in age the better

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  18. My mom was eight years younger than my dad. Eight years doesn’t seem like that much but it showed in their relationship at times. Perhaps because my dad was expected to grow up faster than kids do today, I felt like he was an old soul.
    I just was never attracted to people old enough to be my parents. Plus you could end up taking care of your aging spouse and aging parent at the same time. Taking care of my aging mom is enough for right now.
    I probably don’t sound very nice but oh well.
    In the real world Peter Gallagher would have his choice of women much closer to his own age, doesn’t seem realistic at all that he would go for someone that much older.

    Liked by 1 person

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