May-December romances

What kind of May-December romances are morally acceptable?

Well, obviously they must both be of the age of consent, but I assume that’s not what you’re asking.

Usually when people object to a large age gap in a relationship / marriage it’s because of the nature of the relationship. For instance, if the older party where some in some sort of authoritarian position over the younger party (like their boss, or a therapist) then it would be an inappropriate relationship.

However, assuming they are both free to marry and truly love each other, I don’t see a problem with it.

As a follow up, here’s a list of impedements to marriage from Cannon Law:

This gives you a good idea of what WOULD prevent two people from getting married. The only age restriction is that the man must be 16 years or older and the woman must be 14 years or older AND they must both be of age of consent in accordance with local laws.

Why is the minimum age greater for men than women? This is an obvious double standard.

Because men mature later then women … no seriously - there is a difference because God loves good entertainment … and this is how He stirs the pot :eek: and gets the action flowing … then He sits back and :rotfl: watching the debate over the “double standard” and the “differences between men and women” … :popcorn:


Quite right, when I first learned about these it was in a young adults class taught by a priest. He correctly pointed out (and rather humorously) that the Church must simply thing that women are more mature than men.

There’s perhaps some biological reason for the discrepancy in age that I’m not aware of…

Have you ever met a 14 year old boy???

Age 14 to 16 makes a world of difference. A fourteen year is still in the early stages of puberty. He is still a physical and emotional wreck; self conscience of body hair, still learning he needs to bath daily, clumsy from random growth spurts, etc. For instance, my brother was still about 5 feet tall at age 14. By the time he graduated, he was 5’11"!

Meanwhile, most girls have reached their adult height right around age 14. I remember the girls were a “head” taller than me in middle school; a head shorter than me when I graduated, and they hadn’t changed in height at all. There is less physical maturing to complete, and a greater degree of emotional maturity completed as well.

As the Catholic definition of marriage requires the maturity to understand the life long commitment, it makes sense to set a minimum age that broadly reflects when this maturity begins. Basically, if we cannot trust a 14 year old boy with driving a car, how can we trust him with marriage?*

*No, I don’t advocate lowering the driving age for girls!:smiley:

Goodness…i know 14 year old girls who don’t even have their period yet.
Terrible guideline, so glad someone changed it!

As for May-Dec romances…from what I’ve read on this forum, some believe Mary and Joseph had* quite *the gigantic May-Dec age difference when they got married…she was a teen, and some say he was a senior…in his Seventies?
Though there is nothing in the biblical canon that says this.


I almost addressed this point, but then thought… nope. :nope:, lol. The 14/16 ages are simply the bare minimum for a valid marriage, set to help ensure the primary requirement that each party have reached an appropriate level of physical and emotional maturity. Many marriages found null, even among those marrying well beyond their teenage years, are null due to a lack of emotional maturity, preventing their full consent.

As for May-Dec romances…from what I’ve read on this forum, some believe Mary and Joseph had* quite *the gigantic May-Dec age difference when they got married…she was a teen, and some say he was a senior…in his Seventies?
Though there is nothing in the biblical canon that says this.

He was also believe to have married her in a strictly custodial role, as Mary is generally believed to have been a consecrated virgin. Otherwise, Mary would not have asked “how can this be…”, as she would have assumed Joseph would be the father.

Sorry but I have to ask. What have the months of May to December got to do with age differences?

May refers to a person in the spring time of their life - relatively young … and December refers to a person in the winter time of life - older … thing of some one in their early 30s and someone in their early 60s … that would be a May - December relationship

Very good :smiley:

That’s really interesting. I’m 65 and never heard that before. Is this an American expression?

There is nothing inherently sinful about May-December romances, provided they’re both adults and theres no ulterior motive (young marrying the old for money). However, one partner will most likely die before the other one, especially if the age gap is more than a decade, so they should be prepared to deal with that.

Yes - I suppose that it is …

I think it used to be a common expression - probably in the 1950s - 60s … I had not seen or heard it in some time …

Now days they talk about Cougars [older women - younger men] and Arm Candy [older men and younger women] … but perhaps that is out of date as well … :shrug:

It is hard to keep up with the fluidity of the language :wink:

Hee hee, I think that makes my marriage approximately an August - November romance… I’m 48, my husband is 65, but I don’t think he’s quite reached Advent yet :smiley:

AND they should think on that with responsibility if they are going to have children. I find that a little selfish…

If the children are young, the surviving spouse remarries. :shrug:

Yes, but the children suffer the lost of their father at a young age. That’s not good… I think **it’s better ** to avoid such age disparity.

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