Age, what difference does it make? If a man is more than twice the age of his lady, it is seen by some as a win. That same lady is seen as needing a father figure for looking for a man twice her age or might be labelled a gold digger if the man is wealthy. If she has looks, the man is sometimes said to be trying to turn back time, relive his youth. If a lady seeks out that same, a man twice younger than her, she is seen as a cougar and the man as looking for a mother figure. Some might even say she is at the height of her sexuality and wants a man who can keep up. Does it matter the time? Does culture matter? Upbringing? Life experiences? Or education? And does any of that make a difference in the grand scheme of love?
I was watching “Something’s Gotta Give” the other day and thought about the scenario. You have an older woman, younger man, younger woman, older man and those who approve and disapprove. Then I was watching “First Knight” set in a time when those with wealth and land were expected to marry younger women who could produce them heirs.For my own writing in Not Her Father’s Son the main character chooses men old enough to be her father. By the end of the book we know the psychology behind that. Before this book, age wasn’t a factor, mostly because sex/love had nothing to do with the story line.
In our infancy, humans looked to those with the most potential to survive the physical experience. As we evolved those same instincts drew individuals to those most likely to succeed, prosper, and provide a comfortable life. But even in those instances, there were people who sought out a feeling. In the culture I grew up in, it is more acceptable for an older man and younger woman, but that seems to be changing as well. What about cultures where the marriage or union is made before the child is born or at least comes of age? Times and cultures where the, generally the female, is bartered for, or two families marry their children as a way to combine empires and thus have a stronger political face.
For my writing, I have yet to explore a story line with a cougar, but there could be potential there. Older woman, younger man, maybe she has power, money and prestige? Maybe she’s attracted to him because he has money?
In life as in art, people choose whom they love based on feelings, not on age limits. Or in a perfect world that’s how it’d be, but as we all know frequently life comes into play. Families have expectations of their children, societal relations come into play, as well fortunes and governments raised and destroyed at the whims of love.
Where am I going with this, more thoughts that I wonder about. In my family, we’ve had them all. Older men, older women, sometimes they work, or at least for a while. I guess I’m exploring this idea because I’m always looking for plots or more for me, sub plots where life and it’s little difficulties brings conflict for the character. I answered a contest online where they asked for story ideas that you might write with electronic communication, online presence played a major role, and then a friend told me about being approached by someone they didn’t know. Its happened before, the young woman starts chatting online with a man she believes is her age, but turns out to be much older or a woman.
Anyone else have ideas about age and plots?