Redux: May-December Romances



I think this one's going to be a little controversy hall. You think so. Well we're talking about age differences in relationships. Indeed and I think people get very worked up about well. What constitutes something that needs to even be discussed rooms of an age difference right and people of course read into those age differences all kinds of things psychological things like. Do you have daddy issues if you are attracted to older men or in a relationship with an older man or the reverse if you if you find yourself dating or married to somebody who's much younger. I think it pushes a lot of buttons because people feel defensive about their relationships or their own life choices and I think the May December relationship. That's the Little Dumb Cultural Tag. We put on these. It's an older man. Powerful successful data whose magnetic and a younger woman who sort of taken under his wing. We have a whole narrative. That's already sort of in the cultures neural pathways. And then we have the backlash to that. That sense of wait a second here. There's already a disparity of power and this sort of just codifies as you said this idea of well. Did you really WANNA partner? Are you looking for a dad or a trophy wife of sex as a young sex kitten? We my husband Brian. I'm pretty sure that's what he was looking for. Me He is. He's such a sex kitten. I totally see that. He's seven and a half years older than me but you know I met him when I was twenty seven and he was thirty four and I remember at that time I had just reached the age where dating a man who was seven years older than me was not that big of a deal. You know I think one thing to remember when we're talking about age differences. It's there's a difference between being twenty and dating twenty-seven-year-old and being twenty-seven dating a thirty four year old you know that I had reached a point of emotional maturity. There was really frankly on par with Brian. And this isn't any criticism Brian. But I think that a lot of men maybe take a little longer to emotionally maturity to reach that point where they're ready to be in a committed relationship again not. This is not true categorically but I felt like we both met at the right moment in our lives and those seven years between us. It's never come up the only way it's ever come up every once in a while. He'll remember a song that was popular when he was. You know the you know his youngest memory of like the hit songs and and I'll say oh no. I don't know that song. He remembers certain big events in the news. And so but those are things that don't really impact our relationship right. What's the age difference between you an errand she will constantly say? We're eight years apart and I'll say no we're seven and a half argue about months and weeks my feeling when we first met I was thirty four and she was twenty six or seven but I did have a kind of reverse anxiety which is I. Don't WanNa be with somebody where I have too much of the power in the relationship. I do WANNA partner. I and I worried actively in continue to worry that I deprived her of a certain kind of in her case because she's a writer literary apprenticeship that she needed to go through and that I had the opportunity to go through and instead you know we started a family justice. She was finishing up her graduate program and moving into those years that she would have been able to the fully devoted to her work. It wasn't huge different life phases. But she by marrying me at the age that she did. She did miss out. Yeah that's interesting. I'm Brian and I got married when I was thirty. I don't feel like I missed out on anything. In that regard you know I feel like we both had the opportunity to do a whole bunch of things before we came together. You know I think that sometimes you know what we're GonNa talk about today. Are these age gaps. The are more significant. And we're going to consider it to not just in heterosexual relationships. I think you're wise and pointing out this dynamic. That is about the older man who desires the younger woman for sometimes reasons. That certainly is a feminist kind of question but one of the letters. We're going to talk about. Today is a lesbian couple. So this isn't going to just be conversation and old fashioned conversation about what we think about when we think about may December Romances that. So should we get to the first lobster dear sugar? I'm a twenty five year. Old Single woman nearly done with graduate school the search for a single man within my age range but I often find myself attracted to men in their late thirties to early forties. I don't intend for this to happen. I met a man at a bookstore recently and we went on a lovely date when we realize the age gap was more than twelve years we mutually decided not to pursue a relationship and remained friends. This pattern has repeated itself with different men and yet I find when I tried to date men my own age. They're unavailable either. They have partners or they can't keep up with me in terms of emotional maturity. Would it be a waste of my youth to experiment with older men? I'm an independent woman with financial stability. Who still discovering her voice in many ways. I'm scared. The dating an older man would interfere with this process of self discovery because they've already found their voice or at least or more settled in a version of who they are. I'm concerned about what effects. Power dynamic will have on me another fear I have about dating. Older man is if it worked out. I'd have to face the possibility of living the last twenty years of my life alone. I'm not looking for someone to parent or financially support me. I'm looking for a partner. Am I making a mistake? By not exploring. The May December relationship signed may December curious sort of hits on some of those things you were concerned about when you first met Aaron This idea that you know getting a relationship with an old around somebody who's further down the path in terms of emotional maturity and life experiences. You know that she'd be missing out on something that you become a kind of adjunct an adjunct partner in the relationship. I mean you know we talk about age but it's really in relationships it's power is what she's talking about the power to create your own identity and to be recognized fully for that versus sort of you know cooking your your your wagon to somebody else's route and I thought about a couple of pieces of literature as I was reading. Weirdly enough our oldest daughter Josias now finished reading little women and it's such a fascinating story. Joe Is the writer in the family and she has an appropriate partner. The neighbor Laurie her age and is in love with her and she still decides Joe Decides that she doesn't Love Lori and who she winds up with is professor beer and professor. Bayer is if you remember from the film with known rider is beautiful. Gabriel Byrne but actually in the book Cheryl. He's not attractive. He's twice her age. He's forty years old and he doesn't have money and he's a German immigrant. There are a lot of things in the traditional narrative that say. Don't head for this guy. But what does he have in little women? He knows that she's a writer and he knows that he wants to help her find her voice so in a certain way he's exactly what she needs and the ages be damned now on the other side of that and I think really may December curious. What you said is that I I. I need to find my voice. Whatever man is is is on board with that program and recognizes that. That's part of his job and the relationship is to help you find your voice looking at. The demographic chart doesn't matter whether they're fifty were twenty-five those are the words that you need to hear that. I get that you are figuring out who you are and I want to help. Foster that yeah. Yeah and that's the advice. I have to give made us ever curious as rooted in that exactly that you can't make decisions about people when you're thinking them about them as categories rather than individuals and so the first thing I would say to you may December curious is. I think that you should date people you like. I think you should date people who you find interesting and attractive and compelling no matter what their ages. I mean obviously within legal limits. But you know if you're meeting guy who's twelve years older than you or ten years older than you Sounds like that's sort of age to you're finding. I think that's perfectly fine now. There are all kinds of people who are twelve years older than you right. And some of them are really settled in their lives. And they've had all of these experiences and They're not very generous. And they're gonNA resent you for going and having all of your experiences and some of those people are going to be actually still finding themselves finding their own voices. Okay and so you don't know this yet until you actually are asking questions about that specific

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