May-December Love: Does Age Really Matter?

The term "May-December," which describes a relationship where one person is significantly older than the other, may be outdated, but it's still a topic people are buzzing about. The phrase suggests that one partner is in the spring of his or her life. And the other? Well, "December" is a more palatable word than "winter" (or "end"). Besides, "May-December" isn't as relevant today because so many people are living longer, healthier lives.

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have changed the way we look at these pairings, although, admittedly, our immediate image of a May-December relationship is an older man with a hot young trophy wife. (Think Donald Trump or Michael Douglas.) But is the "average" May-December relationship as socially acceptable as the red carpet version? I think yes.

What's the Attraction?

Although these relationships inevitably encounter judgments or criticism, let's explore what makes them appealing. Younger women may be attracted to older men because the men are more stable, more likely to commit and more experienced sexually than a younger woman's male peers. (And, yes, it would be remiss not to mention the financial benefits of an older partner.) Emotionally, women develop earlier than men, so a relationship with an older man may be more fulfilling in that way, as well.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that older women are attracted to younger men. As women age, they learn more about their bodies, feel more comfortable and confident with their sexuality and don't need to rely on a man for all their emotional and financial needs. A younger man may come with less emotional baggage and may appreciate a woman for who she really is and not just what she looks like. And as far as sex drives go, an older man may not be able to compare to a young man who is always "ready to play."

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