I try to be empathetic. Honestly, I do. But sometimes my ego gets bruised and the cake just doesn’t seem to rise. And then I become defensive, hurt, and angry. When that happens my diplomacy gets sucked down the drain along with hope. Artem elicits a greater degree of empathy than I. He calls me negative. I call it Age.
Age differences in couples isn’t a new phenomenon. In ancient Greece, it was common for an erastes (adult male) to welcome an eromenos (younger male) into an erotic and homosocial relationship. It’s hard to debate the age differences between these two men in our 21st-century morals, but in ancient Greece, it wasn’t the age of the younger male that determined his fate, but his consent. Today there are couples that are attracted to each other that are the same age or decades apart. In America, we tend to turn a blind eye to age differences so long as the younger man or woman has achieved the age of consent (eighteen, nineteen, twenty or twenty-one years of age).
So what’s it like for an older man or woman to fall in love with a younger man or woman?
Oh yes, and challenging!
Being in love with someone that’s a generation apart requires the adult male to accept the challenges of a yearning, sexually active, inquisitive partner. The younger male’s Joi de Verve is intoxicating. The adult male’s temperament provides the younger male with aspirations.
Both Artem and I have fallen in love with each other. And not with our generations. You see, I spy a younger me in Artem, and he sees an older self of he in me. We’ve found that both he and I mirror ourselves in the other. But we’re clear of this one important thing: Age doesn’t matter, for the heart knows no bounds and doesn’t understand the man made construct called time.