I will get off the relationship thing soon, I promise. But today’s inspiration came from a Top 10 list of 2011 things that Bob & Sheri offered up earlier this week.
One of the Top 10 things was Doug Hutchison’s marriage to Courtney Stodden. What’s that you say? You missed it too? We must have been too overwhelmed with Charlie and Arnold to catch this one. Apparently it’s List worthy because he’s 51 and she’s 16!
One friend would comment that this isn’t right and that they really need to find an age-appropriate relationship.
This phrase, “age-appropriate relationship”, has always struck me as odd, almost bothersome. It’s no secret that I have historically dated older, not necessarily by choice. But having dated upwards of the 13-year gap, and most recently the 11-year gap, I’m not uncomfortable there. In fact, I am mildly bemused, if not slightly weirded out, by the thought of dating younger.
But I am slowly beginning to realize that there may be something to this “age-appropriate relationship” concept.
Most often (Demi, aside) you will still see a May to December romance wherein the elder partner is the man. If you have a 45 year-old man with a 34-year old woman, they are inherently in different life places. She may still want a family of her own, whereas he may be beyond that (or, more often, been there/done that).
Or, take a scenario I’ve seen twice lately: 70-something man and late-50s woman. She’s still a social butterfly in her pre-golden years. He, on the other hand, is often ready to call it a night when the sun goes down.
Doug suggests that love knows no age. I don’t disagree with him. I very much believe you are capable of being in love with someone a generation removed from your own. However, I am beginning to wonder about the practicality of such a romance. I believe that for this to work, each partner may be giving up significant life events in order to accommodate the other.
So where does the answer lie? Is there such a thing as an age-inappropriate relationship? And does appropriateness have a range … say a 6-year spread? Or, a 4-year gap?
I’m not one to judge relationships. Goodness, at this time of the year, if you can find someone to stand beneath the mistletoe with you, I consider it a job well done!