I get it. Young people are young, stereotypically naive and immature. Their brains may not even be fully developed yet. How could they ever be attracted to someone older than them? And old people are old, stereotypically world-wise and nostalgic. How could they ever be attracted to someone younger than them?
There are cultural differences between the two generations to consider. There are experiences the elder has had that the younger has yet to even know exist in their future. There is an intensity of feeling, as if the fire burns brightest for them, the younger has that the elder may have nearly forgotten. How could the elder ever look at the younger and not see a child? How could the younger ever look at the elder and not see an authority figure? How could this ever work?
I get it.
My partner and I have a ten-year difference between us. Trust me, I understand the issue. Even as I near the age of my partner when we first met, I look back at people the age I was and cringe. I must have been especially awesome, because people that age are derps all.
But the more ages I’ve been in my life, the more I’ve realized that people of every age are derps. We’re all just trying to get through it, and many of us are glad to have company along the way. If you can find companionship, kinship, friendship, love, whatever with another person, it’s hard to let that go because of an age difference.
Is it ideal? Maybe not, but it’s what you’ve got. It’s working out okay for my partner and I. Maybe it’ll work out okay for your characters.
I’m sure other writers will weigh in on this hot-button topic! Be sure to check the notes for their comments as well!
Thanks for your question!
(This response refers to relationships between consenting adults only. Pedophilia is “considered a paraphilia, an ‘abnormal or unnatural attraction.’ Pedophilia is defined as the fantasy or act of sexual activity with prepubescent children.” [x] It is a psychiatric disorder and does not fall into the scope of this post. )