Originally created 09/30/05

May-December pairs make good dates



NEW YORK - May and December married in autumn.

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, who reportedly wed Saturday, are the latest May-December romance - a classic, gossip-loving match of young and old.

Us Weekly and People magazines reported that Mr. Kutcher, 27, and Ms. Moore, 42, tied the knot in Beverly Hills, Calif., after dating for two years.

At first, many wondered how Mr. Kutcher and Ms. Moore fit as a couple and why Bruce Willis, Ms. Moore's ex-husband and the father of her three daughters, hadn't punk'd that kid from That '70s Show.

Although extremely private, the couple offered glimpses of their connection. Ms. Moore said in an interview in the September issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine that Mr. Kutcher was her "soul mate."

It eventually was clear this wasn't an episode of Mr. Kutcher's MTV prank show. Instead, it was another story of love conquering age.

"The younger man is attracted to an older woman most likely because of her poise, her social graces, her contacts. She has a polish he hasn't yet acquired," Joyce Brothers says of the younger man-older woman dynamic.

"She, on the other hand, could be attracted to his promise in their mutual endeavor - in this case Hollywood. Or his exuberance, his fresh way of looking at the world," Dr. Brothers told The Associated Press on Monday.

Dr. Brothers said a woman's sexual peak is at a later age. The May-December match is happening more, she said, because "we're remaining vigorous, active and healthy longer - men and women. The younger person doesn't have to worry about spending long years nursing the older one."

Always a pairing ripe for movies - Harold and Maude, The Graduate, Something's Gotta Give and How Stella Got Her Groove Back are examples - the allure of the older woman also is a Hollywood reality.

Tim Robbins, 12 years younger than his companion, Susan Sarandon, has shown for almost two decades that the power of love is beyond numbers. Guy Ritchie is 10 years younger than Madonna. Sheryl Crow is nine years older than fiance Lance Armstrong. Justin Timberlake, 24, and Cameron Diaz, 33, have been an item for more than a year. Julianne Moore, 44, is married to Bart Freundlich, 35.

For non-Hollywood couples, there are online dating services designed for those seeking an "age-gap relationship." The slogan of www.maydecember.net is "years apart, coming together."

Similarly, www.agegap.homestead.com is a community for those in such a relationship. The Web site reads: "No one should suffer simply because they have chosen to fall in love."