Still, there's a big difference between being swept off your feet and staying for the long haul.
A generation gap makes both people ask hard questions about love, aging, permanence, sacrifice, and family.
Over and over again, I've interviewed people who kept lists of qualities they were looking for in a spouse—a Wall Street banker, a vegetarian, a skier, a poet, someone who recycles, someone who drives a Porsche, someone under 30—and then fell in love with a completely different type of person, someone much younger or older, say, than they pictured. When I was 25, I spent ten days in Rome doing things I had never done: staying in hotels that cost more than a night, eating pasta that wasn't Stouffer's. He wasn't a father figure—he was a grandfather figure.I also met a man who quoted poetry and knew all about wine and astrology and Roman history and which fork to use when presented with several in a fancy restaurant. At the end of our weeklong romance, we exchanged addresses and phone numbers.