Friday, February 21, 2014

Now back to our regularly scheduled post...

Yep, for once there isn't anything topical taking place, so I can talk about one of those issues we come across when writing Paranormal Romance (or, occasionally, Sci Fi Romance).


In Real Life, we generally start looking really oddly at any couple where one of them is twenty five percent or so older than the other. Sixteen dating a twenty year old? On the edge of weird, and potentially illegal in some areas. At twenty and twenty five, the gap is still something to comment over. Move it up to twenty eight and thirty five, and people are wondering what the older one sees in the younger one. Keep going. It works all the way on up, although at eighty and one hundred, maybe the first thing in our minds isn't the age gap, but if we think about it, the older one graduated high school before the younger one was born.

There are a lot of reasons for that, but two of the big ones are maturity and common ground; why are both of them at the same stage in life, and how much can two people with that kind of age gap really have in common?

Increase the age gap to fifty percent, and people are sure one is taking advantage of the other. There's usually some argument as to who is the predator and who is the prey, but we're sure something is wrong.

Then we have our namesake genre; Paranormal Romance.

In ParaRom, the age gaps get crazy. A woman barely out of college might be romanced by a vampire born in the middle ages. A guy in his twenties might woo a woman born in ancient Egypt. Both of those are nothing compared to some of the really oddball ones, like anyone getting together with an angel or fae or some other whatnot from the dawn of time.

Now, I'm not gonna say exactly when, but I've been in at least two of those 'how much older was he / she?' relationships. In the two cases I'll admit to, both of them started based on some mistaken identity, where each of us thought the other was far closer to our own age. That works for the younger of most of our ParaRom couples, since our ingénues often start out not even believing in the paranormal, but I gotta wonder, what drives the older of the pair, who presumably has items of clothing older than the ingénue, to get with someone who doesn't even remember the moon landing?

Boredom? Wanting to feel young again? Predating the cultural stigma of wide age gaps in relationships? Like I said, it weirds me out.

Then again, remember how I mentioned Sci Fi earlier? We're right on the cusp of being able to reverse the aging process. We've done it already in mammals, which means it's no longer a question of 'can it be done', its just a question of 'how do we do it safely for humans'. So some of you out there reading may live to see quadruple digit ages, all without a need for the blood of the innocent, or strange rituals, or anything but a shot every few decades. The process they're working on doesn't just make someone live longer; it brings that someone back to prime-of-life vitality.

So we'll have real world centuries old folks out playing Ultimate Frisbee with college kids, or doing whatever active folks do in the future. We're going to see those 'one of them is ten times older than the other, and they're both legal' couples. When that happens, are we going to look at them and wonder what they see in each other, or by that time will we be looking back on us now and wondering why it was a big deal if a thirty year old dated a ninety year old?

So, if you're in a mood, tell me in the comments; what's your opinion? Are the Edwards and Eric Northmans the creepers of the paranormal world, or does age stop mattering when... well, it stops mattering.

If you're REALLY brave, tell me the biggest age gaps you've personally had in a relationship; I'll

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