How do you feel about inter-generational relationships in the gay community, I mean where one partner is old enough to be the other one's father? Can these work? Big Daddy.
Relationships where there is a very big difference in age, be they gay or straight, can work, but -- as with mixed marriages -- it all depends on what you mean by "working."
Generally mixed age relationships are all about meeting specific needs. The older person wants a young, attractive lover, or at the very least a companion. The younger person is generally -- let's be honest here -- looking for some kind of financial stability, or at least free rent. Often the younger person is an artist (or at least an aspiring artist) who has a very low income, or zero income. The older "patron" is a godsend. There are older men who are so lonely and/or desperate for someone to share their lives with that they will even take in and take care of a younger person with whom they don't even have sex.
The older person generally loves the younger one a lot more than the younger one loves the older one, although the younger one can -- in his or her own way -- come to care deeply about the older person, and become quite attached to them (or at least to what they can do for them).
Relationships like this can last for years and in that sense be very successful. But in the long run it's all about using each other. And there are unhealthy aspects to these relationships. Often the older person will fail to encourage the younger one to get out there and deal with life, get a job, etc. because they're afraid that if the younger one becomes independent and/or has an income. they will no longer need the older person. And some younger people in these situations become awfully good at playing the emotions of, and manipulating, the older person.
And what happens when the younger person is middle-aged and the older person is elderly? The older person may have himself a caregiver (which is sometimes the motivation for old men to take younger lovers) -- or he may not. The younger person may make a very good caregiver, but it's tough having an elderly lover with all of those age issues when you have your own middle-aged problems to deal with. Sometimes the younger person can't handle it and just takes off -- while the older person, who spend years caring for and being devoted to the younger one -- is left all alone.
Frankly, I think the best and healthiest relationships are those where the age difference isn't too great, where one partner is not old enough to be their lover's father or mother. Middle-aged and elderly men should look around at guys in their own age range for partners -- after all, many of them are single or "widowed." Such relationships can not only be very successful, but they aren't dependent on financial need, and the two men can certainly relate to each other much better, as they are dealing with similar issues.
Then again, love is where you find it.