Get the latest from the blog:
Woman hands in winter gloves Heart symbol shaped Lifestyle and Feelings concept with sunset light nature on background

It’ll Never Last… Or Will It?

It Will Never Last!

This is one of the commonest responses to the reality of a man having any kind of relationship with a considerably older woman. In November 2014, I was watching the news and a piece with the wonderful Gillian Lynne DBE was featured. This lady (and she is a lady), who can only be described in superlatives, is a former ballet and jazz dancer, director and choreographer, particularly of theatre and musicals. She was the original designer of dance for the hit show ‘Cats’ and is currently working on a new version. This amazing woman is now 88 years of age, elegant, attractive, modest and incredibly, moving gracefully without any mobility aids. She has said she can never imagine giving up working, as she felt her body would stop functioning.

Why am I writing about her in this particular blog on age gap relationships? Well, what is less well known about her is that her husband, the actor Peter Land, is 27 years younger than she is. They married in 1980, when she was 54 and he was 27. How long have they been married? Almost 35 years and despite one separation after 18 years, they reunited and are still happy together. 1 As Gillian puts it herself, “The day you can’t be bothered with sex, you’ve had it…”2

For those who enjoy this kind of age gap relationship, here is another great role model. I’m sure this couple faced negative reaction at the time and I could place a bet on the supposition that she faced criticism from many for depriving her younger partner of all sorts of happiness.

My own parents married in the 1950s and are from very different ethnic groups and cultures, although it is my father who is the elder. They faced prejudice and expectations from what are now called ‘haters’ that their marriage would soon crumble. Replete with children and grandchildren, they are still proving all the doom-mongers wrong by heading contentedly towards their 60th wedding anniversary.

The sad reality is that most relationships these days will not last. That some face more obstacles than others, cannot be denied, but no relationship is perfect. How does anyone know in advance which will be successful and which will not? Such concrete predictions are not possible and the value and depth of any relationship can only be demonstrated with time. After all, the only certainty about human life is its demise. Let’s take the calculated risks we need to and celebrate every day we have, investing in quality! That way, we may surprise ourselves with the longevity of our loving. If it doesn’t last, well, we should be proud of at least trying and having time together which made a difference.

In the final analysis, relationships between consenting adults are the business of nobody but the people involved.

So, a toast to Gillian Lynne and Peter Land: long may you keep living and loving! And… I can’t wait to see the new version of ‘Cats’.




Get the latest from the blog: