May-December Relationships


Age is a many-splendored thing—especially if it’s a May-December romance!

When peo­ple talk about a “May-December romance,” they’re refer­ring to a roman­tic rela­tion­ship where the woman is dat­ing a much older man. If their lives were a cal­en­dar, she would be in the “May” of her life, and he would be in the “Decem­ber” of his.

Regard­less of the age dif­fer­ence, all suc­cess­ful rela­tion­ships have their ups and downs, advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages. Sure, May-December rela­tion­ships have their unique chal­lenges, but for the most part, they’re the same as every non-May-December romance. You have sim­i­lar inter­ests and hob­bies, enjoy doing the same things, and fight about the same things: money, sex, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, social activ­i­ties, friends, jobs, jeal­ousy, etc.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be out­side forces that make you ques­tion the May-December romance, because you’ll undoubt­edly face ques­tions, stares, and judgment.

While a May-December rela­tion­ship may look strange to those look­ing in, it’s impor­tant to remem­ber that you’re not in the rela­tion­ship to please oth­ers. Rela­tion­ships are about find­ing that some­one you con­nect with—your puz­zle piece. Even if you hap­pen to like Green Day and he likes Doris Day, once you find each other, there’s no turn­ing back.

In fact, your fab­u­lously incred­i­ble May-December romance could be mak­ing oth­ers take a hard look at their own sit­u­a­tions, ques­tion­ing their under­stand­ing and atti­tudes about love, aging, fam­ily, and commitment.

In an effort to val­i­date their own rela­tion­ship, oth­ers may even begin ques­tion­ing what “nor­mal” looks like. Is being in a rela­tion­ship with a peer the lone judg­ment call for what con­sti­tutes “nor­mal?” Of course not! Rela­tion­ships are more com­pli­cated than any one issue, and the age gap is just one of the many ingre­di­ents play­ing a part in whether or not your rela­tion­ship works!

And for some younger women, older is always going to be better.

There are many ben­e­fits to being involved in a May-December romance: he is emo­tion­ally mature and pro­vides sta­bil­ity and safety; with age comes expe­ri­ence; and he is more self­less, patient, and for­giv­ing. These are all traits sorely lack­ing in men your own age. Thanks to the age gap, you two are also at dif­fer­ent stages in life, mean­ing you can inspire, moti­vate, and learn from each other.

Just like any other rela­tion­ship, a May-December romance either thrives or fails depend­ing on how much work the two of you are will­ing to put into it. An age gap does present chal­lenges not present in other relationships.

Being in a May-December rela­tion­ship may have its chal­lenges, but ulti­mately, it teaches us to pay atten­tion to what mat­ters the most: “Do you con­nect?” “Is he kind to you?” “Does he respect you?” “Do you love you?” If the answer to all of these is “yes,” then noth­ing else matters.