A Jewish Matchmaker’s Guide to the May-December Romance

May-December romances have always been a controversial topic and given today’s over-exposure to the lives of the rich and famous, the subject is almost unavoidable: 44-yr old Jennifer Lopez divorces 45-yr old Marc Anthony and starts dating 26-yr old Casper Smart; Demi Moore was 41 when she met 25-yr old Ashton Kutcher and they stayed together for 7 years; Harrison Ford is 22-yrs older than his wife, Calista Flockhart and they have been together for more than a decade. Does age difference matter when it comes to affairs of the heart?

We seem to want to justify these pairings as based on anything other than love. If an older man is with a younger woman, we are quick to say she is a gold-digger and he is having a middle-age crisis. If an older woman is with a younger man, then he is a gigolo and she is a ‘cougar’. Why do we find it so hard to believe that age doesn’t really have anything to do with whether or not you can love someone?

Genuine love has little to do with age, hairline, physique, bank account, whether or not someone wants children, or what generation you grew up in. Love is based on a connection between two people that is simply unexplainable. And because it is unexplainable, we feel the need to justify it. So if a couple is from the same generation, we find it easy to “understand” their relationship because they have shared interests of their generation and they are at similar positions on the path of life. If a couple shares a generation “gap” we find it very hard to understand what they “see” in each other.

How little we know of love.

I don’t believe that every couple who falls in love with someone considerably older or younger than they are will survive the challenges, but I also don’t think that everyone who falls in love with someone in their own age group will survive the challenges. Staying together through good and bad is tough – period. Issues of fertility, aging, sickness, social lifestyle, family and friend support, and other challenges all have to be faced at some point in our relationship. If you’re in a May-December romance, some of those may come up sooner rather than later- but eventually, most of us are going to be dealing with these issues in our relationship.

Whether your relationship has a 20-yr age difference or a 2-yr age difference, there is never a guarantee that it will work. Both relationships will require that you rise above a lot of your own shtick and a lot of other people’s shtick. But if the basis of the relationship is genuine love, then you’ve got a hell of a head start, no matter what your age.