Is Your May-December Relationship Struggling? Why You Might Be the One to Blame

One to BlameHave you ever stuck around and clung on to a May-December rela­tion­ship even if you weren’t the hap­pi­est in it? It might have some­thing to do with your self-esteem.

Researchers from the Uni­ver­sity of Water­loo recently con­ducted a study and found that when peo­ple have low self-esteem and are in an unhappy roman­tic rela­tion­ship, they’re much less likely to open up about their com­plaints, because they’re afraid of hav­ing to face rejec­tion. As a result, they ignore their unhappy feel­ings and remain in the rela­tion­ship. In other words, if you have a low self-esteem, you’re more likely to keep quiet and stay in an unhappy May-December rela­tion­ship just to avoid the con­fronta­tion that might come with hav­ing to address the problem.

Accord­ing to the researchers, peo­ple with a neg­a­tive self-concept often have seri­ous doubts about how much their part­ner cares about them, which encour­ages them to use self-protective and avoid­ance behav­ior, like stay­ing mum about a prob­lem. But while you might think that keep­ing it to your­self is con­struc­tive for your May-December rela­tion­ship, it can actu­ally do a lot more harm than good.

Stud­ies like this only empha­size the need for open com­mu­ni­ca­tion, espe­cially in a May-December rela­tion­ship. Ignor­ing issues will only lead to more prob­lems, and in a sit­u­a­tion like that, it’s only a mat­ter of time before one of you has had enough. We’re not say­ing that every time you’re mad you should storm up to your older man and fight it out, but it’s impor­tant to voice your feel­ings in a calm and mature way, and with­out being accusatory or plac­ing blame. Just be hon­est about your feel­ings and that way, the two of you can talk it through together.


Nauert, R., “Low Self-Esteem Hin­ders Inti­mate Part­ner Com­mu­ni­ca­tion,” Psy­ch­Cen­tral web site, March 2, 2015;

This entry was posted in From The Editors and tagged , on by .

About Isabella

I was never patriotic, so when Independence Day came, the last thing on my mind was to go out and celebrate. I was bored and I was lonely, and though they weren’t my normal crowd, thesse girls were friends and family members who I grew up with. But Diana had her man, Marsha had hers, and my cousin Lisa had her own. I was the only one who was single and my taste was just too high; the kind of men they dated did not appeal to me. I wanted the executive, the entrepreneur. I was 22 and unhappy about my life. I yearned to be in a relationship; I felt I had so much to give a man, and yet I was single. My friends and I waited for cab and I was still second-guessing whether or not I really wanted to go out. While we were waiting, an older looking gentleman driving a blue pick-up truck drove up to us. As he slowed, he said, “Don’t move. I’m coming right back!” He drove off, leaving a trail of his cologne, as he sped away to drop off the construction workers sitting in the back of the truck. Literally moments later, he came back, stopped in front of us, asked us where we were going, and told us to get in. It turns out his name was Keith. After Keith dropped us off, I realized I didn’t want to stay and asked him to take me back to where he picked us up from. He turned, looked at me, and said, “You were the reason why I picked you all up. I wanted to get to know you. So, I’m happy you decided to leave with me.”