How big of an age gap do you think there can be for romance in stories?

I dunno, I’m not 40 years old yet but I still care what people think of me… To some extent, I just very much enjoy the respect and affection people may have for me.
If someone don’t like me, I try to understand why but I’ve got a pretty big self-esteem so I eventually just snob them.

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Families used to be larger, and most girls were given the responsibility of helping to raise their younger brothers and sisters, or their younger cousins if there were no younger brothers and sisters. That developed a maturity that most tween and teen girls today no longer have the opportunity to obtain. Girls today seem much more like their male peers in terms of maturity and emotional development. On the plus side they also have the same freedoms. Those additional responsibilities that were often pushed onto the girls of the past could often turn into chains.

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Obviously age-gaps, when they get too wide, or when the younger person is a minor, get extremely problematic. But I think that often age-gaps aren’t inherently the problem.

Here’s a (very cisnormative, heteronormative) example:

When a twenty year old woman marries a fifty year old man, this seems odd. My first assumption would be that she’s just looking for financial security or something, and this is super scary because it puts her in an extremely vulnerable position in that relationship, and gives him all of the power. Obviously from this point things can go badly very easily.

But if you imagine the same age gap in a relationship with a woman and a man who earn roughly the same amount of money annually, have the same level of education, and hold about the same amount of societal power and access to outside resources, everything is basically ok once you get past the initial “ew weird” factor.

With age brings power, influence, knowledge, and access to resources. The difference in age itself isn’t the problem, but the imbalance in these other things are. Some of it is inherent and you can’t do anything about it —no matter how mature or powerful or precocious a 16 year old is, they lack development and life experience, so don’t shove them in a relationship with a 30 year old and expect people to think of it as healthy. But with careful writing, if you’re very deliberate about balancing power dynamics, I think that you can probably get away with wider age gaps than some people might initially accept, if your story calls for it.

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My biological father was 48 and my mother 20 when she had me. I know someone who is 37 ish dating a 56 ish year old woman.

Had a friend who dated a woman 5 to 6 years older and he was like 14 and they only broke up cuz she had to move for uni
Me i always like older women
So i dont see any problem, if both want …
There are issues yes
Parents from both sides are going to look at you funny, even your friends might look at you funny.
And others i dont really know how to elaborate well

But in a book
Being well writen i dont give a shit
I mean, the ro in Double/cross (the only one i remeber right now because read recently) was pretty great despite the age gap.

:fox_face: