Surviving Amour Fou #5: The May/December Thing

I just finished reading Priscilla Presley’s book about her time with Elvis. Last year, I bought Mayte Garcia’s audiobook about her time with Prince. Sure, Kevin was just an excellent tech, not a worldwide musical sensation. . . but I saw some similarities that had nothing to do with profession. So it got me thinking.

I want to address the May/December Thing as a relationship between two human beings. While the stereotypical dynamic is that May is a young woman and December is an older man, this is not always the case. What I’m speaking about is May being under 25 and at least 10 years younger than December. Sure, our society applauds Ms. Decembers who find themselves a Mr. May, but feminism does not mean that it’s okay for women to be predators as well. (Not all Decembers are predators, but it’s a potential red flag May needs to know about.)

Full disclosure: I was a May, as I was barely 21 when I met Kevin, who was 33. My current loves are over 10 years younger than I am, but we’re all over 30. I did not fully comprehend this dynamic’s downsides until after Kevin was dead. (Gotta love that 20/20 hindsight!)

I fully understand that it’s hard to convince May not to be with December. Those who tried to warn me were thanked for their concern and my opinion did not change. I knew I had to be with Kevin, full stop. It’s a powerful feeling, to be May and find yourself being admired by December.

Perhaps you’ve always felt like an old soul, and here’s your proof at last? While it may seem that age doesn’t matter, in important ways, it kinda does. The thing to remember is that December’s brain has finished growing and May’s still has a little ways to go. December also doesn’t have the trappings of youth, and can offer needed perspective to May. It’s not unique to December, though–anyone slightly older is going to have that kind of insight.

The attention can become addicting for both May and December. May’s still learning to process these types of emotions, and December is intoxicated by a chance to revisit youth. May’s initial surge of clinginess is both flattering and annoying to December. This is where watching out for that red flag comes in handy. December, don’t make May jump through hoops in order to contact you. If you need to put up healthy boundaries, go for it.

May’s also facing a lifetime of adulthood, which is frightening. December offers a way out of the typical young adulthood struggle. The more uncertain May is about what direction in life to head, the more attractive a life with December appears. You just get absorbed into that life, and start to make it your own. There’s not much wrong with that, as long as you’re also encouraged to have whatever interests and friends you had before December walked into your life. It’s not good to make one person your whole life like that while you’re still trying to figure out who you are.

So be in love and enjoy it, May. Just keep your eyes open and know not to give up your individuality in order to make December happy. Also know that if you have to leave, it’s ok to do so. December existed before you and they will exist afterwards.

Oh, and December? May must have things in their life that have nothing to do with you. Don’t share one of May’s interests? Find something to do while they’re away. Keep this in mind: If you create a dynamic where May ends up resenting you, the sex will suffer. (That motivation enough?)

Love, but don’t control. Love, but don’t lose yourself.

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