I’ve wanted to change up Mondays for a while, and finally have the time to do so. I’ll feature Music Mondays at times too, but I really wanted to use this space to just talk about different issues, dramas, lakorns, themes, or what not that’s caught my eye. This week, we have a number of age gap romances airing, namely Chun Cheu Bussaba (2020) and Count Your Lucky Stars (2020) so I thought today would be a great time to talk about Age Gap Romances, whether you hate them, love them or whatever, they’ve been a part of real life romances and fictional romances forever!
Age Gap Romances
This is a romantic relationship where there is a big difference in age between two lovers.Tv Tropes
The age difference usually causes some raised eyebrows or disapproving comments from other characters in the story, like these: “He’s old enough to be your father!” — “You could be his mother or much… much older sister.”Tv Tropes
First of all, let’s look at age gap dramas. Using the ‘age gap; tag on mydramalist, I was somewhat surprised to see that Thailand topped the list with 113 lakorns, South Korean dramas were 76, Japan had 68 doramas, and China had a measly 35 dramas. These include Goblin, I Hear Your Voice, My Mister, Eternal Love, Story of Yanxi Palace, Find Yourself, Kimi wa Petto, Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko Made mo, Coffee & Vanilla, Leh Ratree, Cubic, Ngao Asoke.
Older woman/younger man
I’m not actually a fan of this trope because it seems like women mature faster then men in general, and thus unless the man isn’t a teenager anymore, it’s more unequal then the reverse, an older man, younger woman situation.
Another common element in fantasy dramas will be characters who are hundreds of years older then the other character. Often times, this age gap doesn’t really mean anything. I mean, in Eternal Love, the main character Bai Qian is much older then Ye Hua and brings up that age difference in the drama, but did the audience have a problem with it? Not that I’m aware of. These relationships can also be considered ‘May December’ relationships, where there is an extreme difference in age range.
Evaluating ‘age gap’ relationships
Looking at these dramas, I purposely selected dramas most of which I’ve seen or know enough about so I can really talk about them. You have a wide variance in age gap, like hundreds of years in Goblin and Eternal Love, since those are fantasies, to more realistic age gaps in other dramas of 10 or more years. But how many years difference is too much? And what part does being too young or too old play in it being acceptable or not? For example, in Cubic the romance is between a teenager (~17) and a mafia boss (~27 maybe). How old is too old (looking at Goblin’s 900 years old) and how young is too young?
Well, I would argue that we should look at age gap relationships within this context. What is an acceptable age will vary by culture, by decade, by country and therefore a 12 marrying a 51 yr guy in Kenya may strike you as wrong, but we should look at each situation carefully.
If a 12 year marrying a 51 year old guy in Kenya is awful, then what about a 14 year old girl marrying a 48 year in Ohio? The couple in Ohio is apparently still married 15 years later at the time of the article by the way. The couple? in Kenya was a result of the girl being forced into marriage. Which brings me to main premise.
In evaluating age gap relationships, I think we should ask questions, especially in regards to relationships where someone is underage or are still young adults. Is there an imbalance in power, is there any coercion involved in the relationship? Outside of that, are the participants mature and capable of making their own decisions? If they’re adults, what they deem acceptable is up to them as long as they’re the ones in charge of their own choices, not being coerced into a relationship. Regardless of the age difference, being forced into marriage like in the Kenya story is unacceptable. Full stop. So while age can be a concern, we also need to look at the issues and circumstances involved when evaluating such relationships, in dramas and in the real world.
What are your thoughts about age gap relationships? Do u like them or not?