maybe it’s me, but…

… I have mixed feelings about the May/December relationship in romance. Sometimes it works for me and other times it just plain squicks me out.

When I read the above book last weekend, I was reminded of a great post Jen did on this very topic because this story represented one of those times when this theme didn’t work for me.

Thinking about it, I realised my issues came down to the age gap between the protags; one was 24 and the other 49. After all, said the grey cells, how can there be a HEA if one of the guys will probably die first of old age??

It then occurred to me that it could ‘just’ be a HFN, but for some reason this just wouldn’t compute with me for this story. Then I started wondering about what makes a HFN work and that caused my brain to meltdown.

It also led me to believe that this might actually be an instance where it could just be me.

But what about you? How do you feel about the May/December relationship? When are the times it does/n’t work for you?

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in Jenre, maybe it's me but, serious randomness, tropes. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to maybe it’s me, but…

  1. Tam says:

    I really find the big age difference translates into HFN for me. In the story in question I couldn't really see them together for the long haul, the one had too much wanderlust, the other a recluse, the age difference, just too much. For a few years sure, then go your separate ways. I'm okay with that in a romance.

    I did the translation on that age gap. If the young'un gets to be my advanced decrepit age of 45, his partner would be 69. Umm, my Dad's not even 69. Sleeping with someone older than my Dad? Ewwww. I just can't see it. Mind you, he'd only be 50 when the guy died so he could still have a second chance. LOL Which is morbid.

    My cousin (second cousin?) married a guy who was about that much older. Everyone said it would never work, well they were together a good 20 years before he died, but she wasn't even 45 when she was a widow. I mean they were happy together I think (not that close so don't know for sure but they weren't divorced) so I think it CAN, but I think they were unusual.

    So I've read a few where it kind of ends with the couple starting to “date” and not with declarations of undying love but of attraction. That works for me. And an age difference of maybe 15 years seems feasible. I may find 21 year olds attractive (I swear he looked older) but I can't imagine being with one forever and ever. So I think for me it works better when I don't really have an expectation of HEA from the couple.

  2. Tracy says:

    I think the M/D thing works for me if it's not such a huge gap…but then is it still M/D? IDK. I think the 24/49 gap would squick me out (even though I don't think 49 is old – just too old for the 24 year old) and I definitely wouldn't believe a HEA. But then – who am I to judge their love? Ok – getting into a weird area. Need margarita. 🙂

  3. Merwan says:

    Some of them can work for me, but the age gap has to be around 10 years, and the older one has to be younger than 45 (that's as old as I can get).

    But in general I'm not too fond of it, and I wouldn't pick up a book if I know it's there (unless it got really good reviews). Come to think of it, I'm not too fond of older people as main characters in romances, period. I don't find them particularly attractive (exception made, of course, for Jeremy Irons. ♥).

  4. I think what it comes down to for me is how much the age gap is emphasized. I'm not a huge fan of reading about dessicated dangly bits, but it works for me in some books.

    Copsucker II, for example, has a 54 yr old man hooking up with a 26 yr old. Even though Dave kept calling Miki ye-ye (grandfather), Miki was definitely the dude in charge. The age gap didn't bother me in the slightest there.

  5. Lisa G says:

    I just finished this one last night. I liked it okay but the age diff did freak me out so that I couldn't enjoy it more. IDK – I just think the story could have worked better if he wasn't twice Rowan's age – so I guess what I'm saying is that if he isn't old enough to be his father – I'm okay with it. 🙂

  6. Lily says:

    I don't normally mind M/D although that does sound like a big gap. I prefer no more than a 15 year age difference. More than that and I start doing the math. Because really, I can't imagine being 50, which is still a good “young” age and being with a 70 year old. And that's only a 20 year difference.

    My Aunt married a man 22 years older than her and by the time she was in her mid 40's she was taking care of a senior citizen and a widow before 50. They had good years together but without that big age gap she wouldn't be alone now.

  7. Kris says:

    Tam: I think I need to try and start looking at romance involving m/d partners as HFN. Difficult to do tho when it's made out to be twu wuv.

    Tracy: It sounds as tho you've already started with the margaritas. 😉 I guess it really boils down to that old stand by – 'believability'. If it's convincing to the reader… well, there you have it.

    Merwan: I think I'm the same as you in terms of the age gap being up to about 10 years – maybe up to 15. Anything over that and I start to get squicked.

    How about Sean Connery?? He's a cutie. That accent. *sigh*

  8. Kris says:

    Emmy: When I read your review and saw that the main character was 54 and his guy 26, I immediately thought I'm not sure I can handle that big of an age gap.

    Having said that, I think you're right about how much the age gap is empahsised. Although I think that a majority of readers would expect that it be dealt with in some way. A Catch 22, I guess.

    “I'm not a huge fan of reading about dessicated dangly bits”

    Yuck. Just yuck.

    Lisa: I was the same. I liked it, but the age difference was just a little too much for me.

    When I'm reading m/d, I ALWAYS think about whether the ancient dude could have been baby dude's father. I do this in m/f and m/m both.

    Lily: Maybe that's why it's so hard for me to think of it as even a HFN when the age gap is big. Maybe I'm always thinking, but when you get old and decrepit that younger person is going to have to look after you and how can they possibly be happy doing that. Perhaps I'm just a horrible person.

  9. K. Z. Snow says:

    Hard call.

    Generally, a good writer can sell me on just about any plot or character element. However, we do read our favorite types of fiction largely for the fantasy fix.

    So…don't know how I'd react. I'd just have to read the book.

  10. Ingrid says:

    25 years is a very long time. I can't see that working well in the long haul.

    The he could be his dad thing I notice too.

  11. Tracy says:

    Nope – I resisted the margarita mix AND the tequila. It's just me and the bottle of water tonight.

    Yep, you're right – believability is what it is. If the author can pull it off I'm all in.

    Emerald Jaquar – never, ever say dessicated dangly bit. *shudders* lol

  12. Kris says:

    K Z: You hit the nail. The authorly skill of convincing the reader that no matter how fantastical the tale – in this case the romance – it is all 'true'. 🙂

    Ingrid: *nods* Not an HEA.

    “The he could be his dad thing I notice too.”

    So, you're another one. *g* It can be quite creepy in some stories, can't it.

    Tracy: Sure, sure.

    “If the author can pull it off I'm all in.” Me, three.

  13. Jenre says:

    I'm with KZ, a good author can sell me anything – even a large gae gap. In the end, I just turn a blind eye to the future and stick with a HFN.

  14. Kris says:

    Jen: I'm willing to be convinced by a good story too, but… and that's a big butt. 😉

  15. Tam says:

    Okay, I do the “could he be his Dad thing” too. LOL When he's 34 and the other guy is 20, I'm thinking “Hmmm, He would have been 14 and while there ARE 14 year olds who are fathering children its not very common so I can live with it.” When its 20 years different, not so easy.

    Oh and despite his senior citizen status, I'd do Sean Connery as long as he talked during the whole thing. He could recite the phone book, I'm not fussy. 😀

  16. Anonymous says:

    For me it does depend on whether the author sells the story to me. If the younger one acts mature and would be able to handle a relationship with the older guy.
    It's more believable for a guy in his 30's hooking up with a guy in his 50's, whereas a guy in his 20's would have to act and show me he can handle being with an older guy. Most 21 year olds wanna go clubbing and most 50 year olds don't go clubbing as often. I am more skeptical of that relationship working and it pulls me out of the story.

  17. Tam says:

    Suzi: That's a good point and that's why I didn't see this one working long-term. The younger guy barely spent more than 6 months in any one town, he travelled the country looking for new people and adventures and the old guy hadn't left his property for 10 years, barely left his house. So you were supposed to believe that the young guy was going to be content to settle down and be a home-sticker for love. Not mention of the old guy getting out of his comfort zone. I could see it working for a few years but I think the young guy would have gotten itchy feet before too long.

  18. Kris says:

    Tam: SC is hawt, phone book and all.

    Suzi: I'm with Tam. That's an excellent point. I also would be more inclined to believe a m/d when the younger love interest is in his 30s than I would if he was in his 20s. A hero in his 20s with a guy in his late 40s/50s would only be plausible to me if he was conveyed as being confident and comfortable with who he was.

  19. Anything with a 15 year age gap is okay with me. But 20 or 25 years? Eww…
    Seriously, can you imagine a 25 year old with with a over 50 year old?
    Well unless it is George Clooney maybe.

  20. Kris says:

    Katebabs chook: You're right; most men and women from the age of about 18 up would fall on their knees or bend over the back of a couch etc for George Clooney and, not only that, would do everything in their power to make the m/d work. Eww to most other 20-25 years age gaps though.

  21. Imagine Larry King type in a May/Dec M/M. *shudder*

  22. Kris says:

    Blech. The stuff of nightmares.

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