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Mayfly–December Romance

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"And great loves found, and lost. And found, and lost. And found, and found, and found..."

"I know that to love another, I must watch the world move past him. But such short years make an eternity worth living."

Large disparities in lifespans between characters can be problematic, especially if their relationship goes into the romantic field. This plays on the very mundane fact a character will probably be long dead before another is, and the emotional issues it raises. How much this is alluded to is usually related to how concise the story which addresses it is. The most obvious way to address the issue is to even out the age-bracket on either end. In older fiction, characters may be granted immortality, but recently the reverse, making the immortal mortal, is more common.

For the Half-Human Hybrid progeny of these pairings, it's even harder to find a compatible mate lifespan-wise, because generally their lifespan is some sort of average of their parents'. They'll live longer than the mayfly, and shorter than the immortal. Such individuals tend to be rare, so there's no option with "just the right amount of lifespan."


If the immortal is a vampire, they have an obvious way around this, but this has a tendency to piss off the would-be mortal or turn them evil, as opposed to the Friendly Neighborhood Vampire the original was.

Can raise Fridge Logic issues in an Anyone Can Die franchise with a high body count, given how few characters in such series even get the chance to live out a full lifespan.

Anime is known for its treatment of the subject due to the Japanese concept of Mono no Aware; roughly, the beauty of transient things.

Subtrope of Age-Gap Romance. May–December Romance is the more mundane version without the mayflies. Compare Reincarnation Romance. Contrast Eternal Love, where both partners are immortal or at least long-lived. See Mayfly–December Friendship for the platonic equivalent. May be a reason for Who Wants to Live Forever?.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Frequently suspected to be a touchy subject in Ah! My Goddess, the matter is only obliquely referred to in original manga and an episode of the show featuring a ghost. This is tricky to pin down though, as we've seen the ladies at different ages for different reasons (flashbacks to Heaven, magical effects, and so on) but it's a matter of canon that the goddesses' Earthly bodies are technically projections of the universal computer Yggdrasil. Keiichi is very aware that he is destined to be with Belldandy for the rest of his life, not hers. Interestingly, he asked Peorth about this (in one of the later Manga arcs); he couldn't bear to ask Bell. She fondly answered that they never forget the people that they have met over the ages and cherish them all. In the original Japanese, it was implied that it was Keiichi's innate acceptance and understanding of their relative differences that was part of the attraction he presented to Belldandy and the other goddesses.
    • Ultimately, it was revealed that their relationship had stalled in its early stages due to Yggdrasil purposefully interfering, as any form of intimate relationship is forbidden without first proving their willingness to accept the consequences.
    • In the past a bard who wished to see the ocean encountered a Lake Goddess and fell in love with her. He spent the rest of his mortal life at her lake before finally dying. Devastated, the Goddess severed the bond linking her to the lake so she could fulfill the bard's desire but was punished for abandoning her duty with eternal imprisonment. Keiichi and Belldandy witness the tragedy as part of the trial.
    • Invoked by the Almighty(the Daitenkaicho) Tyr when Keiichi and Belldandy make it through the trial and through his own miraculous motorcycle run; Tyr argues that even when he accepts that Keiichi and Belldandy's union is secured, he leaves no doubt that not only Keiichi, but also Belldandy might come in the future to ask him to give Keiichi a status where they'd be together forevermore. Given that the terms of Keiichi's wish was "forever", not "for the rest of my life", it could be argued this is less a possibility than an inevitability.
  • In the manga Beautiful People, a vampire encounters an abandoned little girl while he's out "feeding". The little girl had apparently been abandoned for being of mixed heritage (she's a redhead with blue eyes in Japan). For reasons he doesn't understand, the vampire decides to care for her. The girl isn't perturbed by his vampiric nature; she merely feels sorry for him because he can't look at a blue sunny sky like she can, and she tells him that he just needs to look at her blue eyes to see the sky. As the decades go by, the two grow closer even as she grows older with the vampire growing weaker as well since he's abstaining from feeding on blood for her sake though she continues to offer hers for his sake. Then one day she closed her beautiful blue eyes forever. The vampire doesn't grieve because he knows how to see her again. He opens the windows to the sunny blue sky...
  • In Bleach, the relationship between Ichigo's parents, Isshin and Masaki, becomes this, once it's revealed that Isshin is a Soul Reaper. An ex-captain Soul Reaper. Keep in mind that Hitsugaya is physically in his early teens, but has lived long enough to be a human's grandfather. The adult-looking Isshin's got to be older than that.
  • Played straight in Brigadoon: Marin and Melan, where the young Barrier Maiden was sent to earth for her safety. She's taken in by a kind Japanese family, but her sense of time is much different from theirs, and she barely ages at all before the couple die. She also marries their grandson, and she explains that she would die before him and that she, technically, wasn't human. He doesn't care and they get married anyway. Again, she seems as if she's in her twenties by the time he's lying on her death bed in at least his seventies. In the manga, at least. In the anime, the situation was somewhat different (and in ways, a lot more confusing).
  • In Code Geass, Mao is in love with C.C., an immortal woman with the looks of an older teenager, who he's been with since he was six. His out-of-control Telepathy (which she is immune to) gives him no other options outside of her.
  • One of the main plot elements of Crest of the Stars, as the Abh have double the lifespans of unmodified humans. There is greater focus on this in the manga.
  • In Dance in the Vampire Bund, Akira Regendorf is a teenaged werewolf whose powers of regeneration means he may hope to see his third century before the ravages of time catches up with himnote . However Vampire Monarch Mina Tepes is already in her fifth century and is still working on getting past puberty without modelocking herself in her Super Mode.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, it's indicated in an omake that one of the elf Canaries, Otta, was jailed for having a preference for halfings. Elves are the longest lived race, living three centuries on average, while halfings are the shortest lived race, with a lifespan about a sixth of that, so the other other elves see her dating halfings as akin to pedophilia, since an elf of comparable age would be a young child (made worse by adult halfings having naturally youthful faces and short heights). The fact she also tends to leave her partners after they hit thirty doesn't help her case, which she swears is because of extenuating circumstances.
  • A variation of this trope appears in Dragon Ball Z; according to the ''Daizenshuu'', Saiyans have roughly the same lifespan as humans, the only difference being that they retain their youth. Vegeta and Bulma, for example, would probably die of old age around the same time, but Bulma will have aged much more visibly.
    • Flipped in Dragon Ball Super: Broly where Bulma is likely to live longer given she's regularly using the Dragon Balls to revert her age back down to 40.
  • Any romance with the Edels in Elemental Gelade falls into this. Aside from a single-episode plot, this is mostly ignored.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Van Hohenheim and Trisha Elric have this problem, and he is desperately searching for a way to become mortal so he can die with her. He succeeds. In the first anime, the problem is slightly different, because he's not so immortal after all.
  • Hana, the 14-year-old girl (for most of the story) of Hana to Akuma is in love with Vivi, a demon who will live centuries longer than her. Naturally, he is constantly tormented; he hates celebrating her birthday because it means she's closer to death, and frequently counts down her remaining years in panic. When he comes to return her romantic affection, he tries to leave to let her live a normal life. It's futile, though, as he can't keep away and she's more than happy to continue their relationship. They marry, and she dies at an old age, having spent their life together. It's a Bittersweet Ending though, as she left him two children who have lifespans as long as his.
  • In Hotarubi no Mori e Hotaru's Odd Friendship with Youkai Gin ends up in romance as she grows up. And goes straight to Star-Crossed Lovers.
  • Zel the elf from Interspecies Reviewers prefers his sex partners less than 100 years old, as past that point their mana starts feeling rotten to him. By human standards, he still Likes Older Women though.
  • In Inuyasha, the title character is half-demon and thus is implied to live for centuries, while his love interest is a mortal human. The canon never brings up this fairly obvious problem, not even once, leaving Fanfiction to play with it in various ways. The manga author seems to like to avoid this problem, because it actually always occurs when a demon and a human come together. The demonic parents of Inuyasha and Shiori were killed by evil demons when their children were born straight. What became of the demonic parents of Jinenji and Gyu-oh is unknown. At the time of the plot, they are simply gone.
  • Kagerou Project: Being a gorgon, Azami is immortal. When she realized that her husband, as a human, will die much sooner than her, she creates the Kagerou Daze in order to live with her loved ones forever. It kind of fails, though… The same goes for her daughter and granddaughter with their lovers.
  • Kamisama Kiss: This is one of the reasons Tomoe refuses to admit he has feelings for Nanami is because he is a Kitsune and well over five hundred years old by the time Nanami first meets him while Nanami is an Ordinary High-School Student.
  • Karin has the relationship between Karin Marker and Kenta Usui. She does realize that she will outlive him, as she is a vampire and he is a human. However, after her memories of her family are erased and her First Kiss with Kenta stops her ability to produce blood, Karin now has the lifespan of a human and no longer remembers being a vampire, thus she is now capable of living her life with him normally.
  • A huge concern for the fans of Kyo Kara Maoh!, a show whose main plot is ending racism between humans and a race of demons that age at a bit less than a fifth the rate. Fifteen-year-old main character Yuuri is engaged to the eighty-two-year-old Wolfram, and an interracial marriage has taken place without mention of the aging discrepancy. Addressed later in the tragic romance between Cheri and Don Hiri, but Yuuri's aging still seems to have occurred to no one (though he occasionally makes old man jokes to Wolfram in the manga). Given that Yuuri is the demon king, not only in name but in occasional Alter Ego bouts of spectacular magic, it's really not clear that he has a normal human life span.
  • Macross Delta: Hayate amd Freyja's relationship plays with this trope - they are not really that far apart (Hayate's 17, Freyja's 15 by the end of the show) in terms of age, but the fact Windermerians live only up to about 30 will inevitably make their romance this trope.
  • Maken-ki!: Yatsuno, bka Yamato no Orochi, was thousands of years older than Oosuo no Mikoto when they first met - in addition to having already reincarnated seven times. But she surrendered her godhood by marrying him and eventually giving birth to their two children. It was a decision that ultimately led to both their deaths.
  • Mermaid Saga. Even the one relationship that can avoid this has issues thanks to the disparity in emotional age between Yuta (who became immortal 500 years ago) and Mana (sheltered and groomed for immortality).
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid:
    • Fafnir brings this up in when Tohru says she has no plans to return to their world. She doesn't have any problem with it.
      Tohru: If I treasure the time I spend here. I would indeed feel an equal amount of sadness. But, I don't think I will ever call that feeling of sadness "regret".
    • Shouta's parents are also an example of this due to their Muggle–Mage Romance, since his father is established as being older than Tohru.
  • Averted and played with in Mnemosyne — the main character is an office lady in her early to mid 30s whose secretary and lover appears to be around half her age, if that. And then we find out the office lady is a Nigh-Invulnerable Badass Normal who won't ever die, which seems like bad news for their relationship, until the secretary admits that she, too, is immortal.
  • A common problem in Natsume's Book of Friends when a youkai and a human fall in love.
  • Evangeline McDowell's infatuation with Nagi Springfield in the backstory of Negima! Magister Negi Magi hit both this trope and May–December Romance from opposite directions. He was in his late teens at the youngest when they first met, while she had been ten for the past several centuries. He was not having any (partially because he wasn't into young girls/old ladies and partially because he was already married), and eventually sealed her on the campus of Mahora Academy to keep her away from him. Though according to UQ Holder!, they ended up married post-series anyways. Don't bother asking what happened to his first wife, they never explain.
  • Ojamajo Doremi: During the Mo~tto! season, it is revealed that this is the reason the Witch Queen from two reigns ago goes crazy and creates all kinds of troubles, such as cursing Hana-Chan and creating the Smiling Moon rulenote , the Magic Frog Cursenote , and the Cursed Forest.
  • Pita-Ten being an angel Misha is extremely long lived or immortal. This is only an issue in the manga but not the anime where she fell in love with Kotaro's great uncle Kotarou who commits suicide so he can spend his life with her only for that not to be the case. Kotaro is the reincarnation of Misha's love which is why she greets him at their first meeting with 'Let's go on a date!' she's waited some 80 years to see him. Since that isn't the case in the anime, it makes her seem more of a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • In Purple Eyes in the Dark, Odagiri says that humans with the ability to shapeshift into beasts — like him and Rinko — end up having a much shorter lifespan than regular humans, often not managing to make it into their fourties. Rinko remembers that her mother, from whom she's inherited this ability, also died a young age, and becomes hesitant to get together with Shinya because of this knowledge. The two do end up getting together and knowing that Rinko is likely already close to dying.
  • Queen's Blade: Echidna was well over 500 years old at the time she and her student, Irma, were sleeping together; with the latter being a teenager. Their relationship ended when Echidna walked out on her, though she has tried to rekindle it. But, as far as Irma's concerned, Echidna can go f*ck herself.
  • The trope was touched on in a side-story manga in the Record of Lodoss War series centering around the human Parn and elf Deedlit (Deedlit's Tale)`, but received practically no attention in the anime version of the story. However, it did get an English lyric song on the the third TV series OST dedicated to it: "Evermore."
  • In Sailor Moon, senshi live for hundreds of years depending on version. Unless Usagi somehow gave the power to mortals, any relationship the senshi could have would end with their mate dying way earlier than they. In the manga it's stated that everyone in Crystal Tokyo becomes extremely long-lived.
  • In Sands of Destruction, Kyrie, the Destruct Code, has been alive since the creation of the world and still looks barely past puberty. The human girl he develops feelings for is apparently very normal in regards to her expected lifespan. However, this isn't commented on, perhaps because he has no clue about his identity and their feelings are only made explicit at the end of the final episode.
  • Played with: Sara and Lottie in Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry both become Reasoners to see their brothers again, because relativistic effects (interplanetary travel means spending time near lightspeed and dealing with the attendant time dilation, since they don't have FTL travel) declares that once they return, the girls will be long dead. It doesn't work out well.
  • Tayutama the main character expects this trope to happen to himself with his wife Mashiro, only for the opposite to happen when her body is weakened too much and she's forced to sleep a century or two to regenerate, effectively having her 'die' while he's young. The odd ending probably recreates the trope straight but isn't explored.
  • Played for Laughs in a Tenchi Muyo! 4-koma. Washu gathers the gang around to test out a camera to show how the gang would look a few decades in the future. When the photo is taken, the only person besides Tenchi who has visibly aged is Mihoshi. Cue Ryoko throttling Mihoshi and Sasami lamenting that she wouldn't get to grow up with him. Of course, the events of the third OVA series proves this wouldn't be the case at all.
  • In Vampeerz My Peer Vampires, Ichika is a human girl, Aria is a vampire. However, Ichika accepts her mortality stating that it could not be helped. However, in chapter 15, it is shown that Aria's blood does have the potential to make Ichika immortal as evidenced by ants getting revived through her blood.
  • In Yaoi Manga Yami ni Tooboe Mune ni Toge, Norito and Koma are lovers with the latter being an immortal demon who lives for eternity. They're bound by the soul contract that ensure that even Norito dies and reborns, he will always remember Koma and will be together forever. In a similar vein, Koma's older brother Rakamu and his lover Maruu are also bound in a similar fashion.
  • Unusually, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou deals with this in a fairly straightforward way: despite her obvious affection for Takahiro, Alpha avoids becoming romantically involved with him because she knows she will outlive all of her human friends. She encourages Makki to pursue him, and eventually settles down with Kokone.
  • There's a particularly mean instance of this trope in Yona of the Dawn, between the immortal Zeno and his wife, Kaya. When they met, the mayfly was already fatally ill, and died young. Zeno is around 2,000 years old by the time of the series, but she didn't even live out her natural lifespan.
  • YuYu Hakusho
    • Yusuke is a demon by the end of the show, and Keiko is still a normal human. It's implied Yusuke's lifespan will be several centuries-long and since Keiko is still human, he'll live much longer than her.
    • Even Kuwabara and Yukina's relationship is that because ice maidens live for centuries and Kuwabara's just a human.
    • Raizen's relationship with the doctor he met in human world counts too, especially since it's the whole final season's plot. Her not dying of old age was the only surprise in ending their relationship.

    Comic Books 
  • Circles: Paulie, the December, and Douglas, the May, are in a May–December Romance. Tragically however, due to Paulie's HIV, Paulie becomes the Mayfly.
  • In Top 10, a satirical deconstruction of the superhero comic, a minor background action outside a courthouse turns this on its head. Two men feud over "The Immortal Woman", because they were extremely shallow, and wanted to have a trophy wife who would remain supermodel-perfect for their entire lives, and thus not need to be dumped and replaced after a few years.
  • In The DCU comic Infinity, Inc., a subplot of the "Stream of Ruthlessness" story arc involved Earth-2's Wonder Woman seeking a means to restore the youth of an aging Steve Trevor, whom she had married after World War II.
  • Similarly, in the late 1980s comic book mini-series Squadron Supreme, Power Princess (a pastiche of Wonder Woman) is shown caring for her septugenarian husband, whom she married in the 1940s when she first left Utopia Isle.
  • Joe Kelly repeated this in a JLA comic where Wonder Woman is shown taking care of an elderly and dying Bruce Wayne in a dream sequence.
  • Wonder Woman Volume 1: Discussed in issue 300 when the Earth-One Diana visits the happy home of the married Earth-Two Diana and Steve and notes that even though "Mrs. Trevor" gave up her immortality to have and raise a daughter with Steve she's still aging at less than half the speed as he. Both Steve and Diana are at peace with this, saying that everyone dies eventually and it's simply a part of life.
  • The Sandman (1989) included the character of Hob Gadling, who was made immortal. In one of his stories, he states, while weeping next to the grave of one of his latest companions to die, "I thought we'd have longer. It never gets easier, people you love not being there any more." Dream's frequent though illegal romances are all of this form, since Dream as one of the Endless is as old as the universe (10 billion years for Neil Gaiman's purposes) and so even goddesses and really old witches will be outlived. Though he probably usually manages to destroy the relationship before old age becomes an issue. His brother Destruction has a similar relationship, with a goddess who only lived for a few thousand years.
  • Doctor Strange's lover Clea is immortal (as is every native of the Dark Dimension) and she's currently about seven centuries old, despite her youthful looks. Still, they've been an Official Couple ever since they met in Strange Tales #126, dating back to 1964.
    • Actually, Strange is ageless himself, and is technically over 7,000 years old.
  • In the Heroes online comic book, one issue shows the many wives of Adam Monroe (and also spoils the end of Heroes volume 2, so watch out). One of these romances even sort of works out. Adam and his wife stay together though they must pretend to be mother and son, and later, grandmother and grandson. The twist is it's revealed that he is currently married, and expects his wife to be able to rescue him from his current predicament. Sadly this twist was ignored, as Hiro ended up rescuing him.
  • The DCU Elseworlds comic Kingdom Come shows a still-youthful Superman long after Lois Lane's death, and eventually builds up a romance between him and the explicitly immortal Wonder Woman. He's still more or less in his prime, and he's spent so many decades under the yellow sun that kryptonite doesn't bother him anymore, but his hair has begun to grey at the temples. And it's not like Lois died of old age, she was murdered by The Joker.
  • This is an issue in Watchmen, in which the immortal Dr. Manhattan is fully aware of the fact that his girlfriend will continue to grow old and he will not. His first girlfriend, Janey Slater, is also aware of this, and it eventually causes the end of their relationship when he leaves her for the much younger Laurie. Of course, Dr. Manhattan knowing beforehand that this would happen doesn't help things.
  • This issue has popped up in Marvel Comics from time to time.
    • Thor had a relationship with a human woman, Jane Foster. His father Odin did not approve. Jane was briefly elevated to godhood but it still didn't work out.
    • Lampshaded by Doctor Doom when he confronted Asgardian goddess Kelda who wanted to avenge the death of her beloved, Bill.
    Doom: He was mortal. You are not. Soon time would have struck him down as surely as what you accuse Loki of.
    • Ikaris of The Eternals has a penchant for falling in love with mortal women. After one of them is killed, it is revealed that he has a private cemetery where he buries his deceased mortal lovers. Another Eternal, Vampiro, has a human wife. She is at peace with the idea that he will outlive her. Sersi also enjoys dalliances with mortals, but these tend to be flings and not long-term relationships.
    • Mutants with a Healing Factor such as Wolverine, X-23 and Daken have to face this eventually. Although most of Logan's lovers we've seen have fallen victim to the Cartwright Curse, the fact that he is virtually immortal means that even if they avoid this fate, they will eventually grow old and die while he continues living on. The trope has yet to be explored with Laura, despite its painful implications for her future, while Daken is too much of a sociopath to care.
    • X-Men villains Mystique and Destiny deconstructed this trope. Mystique doesn't naturally age but Destiny did, and since the two ladies met and fell in love in the early 20th century, Mystique had to helplessly watch her partner grow old, and she would have eventually died of old age had she not been murdered.
  • ElfQuest just plain tears this up. The elves, magical immortal creatures, are the descendants of alien shapeshifters. After crash-landing on the planet with two moons, the aliens tried to survive: some by living as primitive humans, one by killing everything else, and one by turning into a wolf and becoming the ur-mother of a tribe of half-elf-half-wolf babies (a lot of which... didn't survive).
    • 10,000 years later, the comic's main character Cutter, a direct descendant of the mortal wolf-blood line, pairs up with Leetah, a pure immortal elf. Drama ensues.
    • Heavily deconstructed during the second half of the main quest: another 10.000 years pass, during with most of the mortal elves decide to go into magical hibernation. One family of elves (who happen to look most like the "classical" elf of Western mythology) decide not to, and try to live a peaceful and fullfilling mortal life. The thing is — they just can't stop counting the years. Their youngest son, who was brought up by mortals in a tribe of immortals, decides that hibernation is a better alternative, because counting the years would make him go insane.
    • And then Winnowill, the series' main villain, discovers that her healing powers allow her to make mortal elves immortal. Against their will. And teaches Leetah, the hero's lifemate, that her own healing powers would allow her to do the same. After being kidnapped 10,000 years into the future, and believing (with good reason) that all of their friends are dead, Skywise (the hero's best friend) asks Leetah to make him immortal... only to find out several hours later that everyone they know is still alive.
    • At one point in the comic, Leetah is briefly — very briefly — tempted to "cleanse" Cutter in his sleep. She utterly hates herself for even thinking about it.
    • Eventually, Timmain (who was one of the original aliens who landed 10,000 years ago, and was already old back then, and is the direct ancestor of the entire wolfrider tribe) ends up together with Skywise, who time-skipped the long hibernation, and is charitably a three or four decades old at that point.
    • Aside from the main characters, there are many, many mortal/immortal pairings in ElfQuest, and even three cases of humans being adopted by elves.
  • Discussed in Invincible, when Omni-Man reveals his true background to Mark. He's an alien whose people live for thousands of years, and he claims to see Mark's mother as little more than a pet he will long outlive. This is also the underlying theme of his We Can Rule Together speech ("What will you have after 500 years?!")

    Fan Works 
  • Deconstructed on both sides of the relationship in Breath of the Wild with Link x Mipha, especially since they have a daughter. For Link, he lives with agony knowing that he won't live nearly as long as his lover or his daughter, especially because Link will die before Lochlia even grows up. For Mipha, she suffers the pain of knowing that her daughter will largely grow up without her father. She remedies this by keeping diaries, one of which is exclusively about Link.
  • Subverted in the Harvest Moon oneshot clandestine hearts. Jamie is in love with the Harvest Goddess, but she's Secretly Dying due to the world's corruption. Jamie asks her to marry him and they have their first kiss, but she turns to statue midway through. It's implied that Jamie never got over her.
  • Code Geass: The Prepared Rebellion has Lelouch and C.C. enter a romantic relationship. C.C. is continuously haunted by the fact that Lelouch will eventually die while she never will. This turns out to be part of why she sets him up with other women: so that he can have romantic partners who can grow old with him.
  • In Courage of the Spirit, which is probably the longest of what little Spirited Away fanfiction there is, Chihiro and Haku have this issue for most of the series. Naturally, it doesn't really get resolved completely in the end, although Chihiro does get more time than they thought.
  • In Dæmorphing, Tom becomes a Hork-Bajir, who only live for about twenty years, and then falls in love with a human called Ruby.
  • In the Harvest Moon oneshot Devotion, their life expectancy difference is the reason why the Harvest Goddess declines Claire's proposal. This leads Claire to jump into the lake and accidentally drown trying to reach the Goddess.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: Discussed in chapter 8 of the sequel Diplomat at Large, when Luna notes her own long lifespan and Pharynx reminds her he won't live as long, even as a Royal Changeling, since he wasn't born one. Luna, however, tells him she has a solution to that, which he accepts once told. That solution is later revealed in chapter 5 of Diplomacy Through Schooling to be passing the mantle of the Nightmare on to him, making him a Power and thus as immortal as she is.
  • Some Fairy Tail fics love to hook up Lucy with Loke, who is an immortal Celestial Spirit. Although most fics ignore the longterm implications, some like Lion's Pride focus on the trouble of love between a human and spirit.
  • Though the original creators never alluded to it due to the crackishness of the pairing, shippers of Yuffie/Vincent from Final Fantasy VII have done this trope straight into the ground. Same with Vincent/Tifa...rare as it is.
  • Justice League fanfiction dealing with Batman and Wonder Woman is often about this and Diana dealing with Bruce's inevitable death. It is actually not uncommon for post - Batman Beyond fics to avert this to an extent by having Diana sacrifice her immortality to give Bruce a second youth, thus allowing them both a normal human lifetime together.
  • In The Confectionary Chronicles, Fenris is revealed to do a variation of this, as he occasionally leaves the essence of his godhood with his sister Hel so that he can live a life as a mortal man, Hel returning his godhood when she comes to claim him. When Gabriel first visits him in this fic, Fenris is now an old mortal whose wife died a few years ago but still enjoys his time with his adopted son and the son’s family (which includes Remus Lupin as his grandson), only returning to godhood when Odin abducts Hermione and Loki needs all of his children to help him rescue her.
  • Since Jareth and Sarah are the Fan-Preferred Couple of Labyrinth, this is always an issue which is usually solved in one of several ways: most of the time, Sarah somehow becomes a fae (since everyone assumes Jareth is one), or sometimes just an immortal human. Some stories write it off by saying that all humans in the Underground age extremely slow. Less often, Jareth will actually become mortal and join Sarah aboveground, and very rarely, Sarah remains mortal and the relationship ends when she eventually... well, dies.
  • The Warhammer 40,000 fic/meme Love Can Bloom concerns an Imperial Vindicare Assassin paired up with the Eldar Farseer Taldeer from Dawn of War. Baseline humans, even with age-retarding techniques like juvenat treatments, will only live two or three hundred years at most while Eldar typically live at least a thousand years, and Farseers can live even longer than that.
  • The "Tragedy of Long Life" pool on Danbooru is dedicated to this trope.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • This is a very common trope for shipping fanfics concerning the Princesses. Being the first two immortals (Alicorns) revealed so far, a common qualm about them getting into a relationship is usually along these lines, unless it is a yuri pairing of either of them with Twilight Sparkle, who has enough magic to presumably make herself immortal if she wanted to (or as of season 3, the fact she's an alicorn herself now), or with each other, a pairing known as Princest.
    • Due to it being unclear how long a dragon's lifespan is, there's speculation a Spike/Rarity (or any Spike romance) relationship might wind up becoming this.
    • Cadance is married to a unicorn. Fans are uncertain if their romance could be this. Cadance was born a pegasus and aged appropriately throughout her fillyhood, though Immortality Begins at Twenty could be the answer for that. There are a good sum of fanworks that have Cadance outliving Shining.
    • This fan comic illustrates this trope quite well.
    • While it's unknown if the Two Sisters engaged in this in the past, the Lunaverse mentions an off-screen moment where Luna tells Shining Armor that this is the true nature of his romance with Cadenza, and while she will mourn him when he is gone, and move on when she is done mourning, she will never forget him.
    • The Pony POV Series addresses this by having Present!Rarity admitting she knows of Spike's crush on her but is afraid of mentioning it for this reason, as its established Spike will outlive her under normal circumstances. Subverted in Dark World, where Rarity was made immortal by Discord, and thus a thousand years later, once Discord's control is broken, there's nothing stopping them from hooking up, which they eventually do. As an added bonus, Spike won't naturally outlive Rarity because of said immortality.
    • And some of it is beautiful.
    • This story has Celestia revealing to Cadence that alicorns are immortal, and what that means for Cadence's upcoming marriage to Shining Armor, a mortal unicorn. Cadence doesn't take it well.
    • In The Great Alicorn Hunt Luna states that she was married to a mortal stallion 500 years before her banishment, when he died she swore not to do that again, but after fifteen hundred years of not getting any she's feeling a little tense. On the plus side Shining Armor partially ascends in chapter 7 (he's immortal but his new wings are smaller than Snowflake's) so Cadence won't experience the same tragedy as her aunt.
    • Discussed by Celestia in Just Before the Dawn.
    • In the sequels to New Beginnings Blank page has recurring concerns about how his eventual death will hurt Luna. It's averted when he becomes an alicorn.
    • It's been shown in The Royal Sketchbook that Celestia and Luna have both been married multiple times throughout their centuries. They've even had mortal children, which they always outlived. Currently Cadance is married to a mortal unicorn, while Luna marries Twilight, who is an alicorn and is thus long-lived like her. Celestia is initially uninterested in dating but she later falls for Rarity, an unicorn.
    • Like in real life, ponies in Claro de Luna have an average lifespan of 25. Luna is an immortal alicorn that is well over 1000 years old. She ends up outliving Octavia, who dies at 26.
  • This Hobbit-Fanfic pairs an old woman who looks her age with an elf who looks young but is Really 700 Years Old.
  • The Harry Potter / Firefly crossover Browncoat Greeneyes has a 150 year old Harry paired with River Tam.
  • Downplayed in the Miraculous Ladybug fanfiction Spellbound (Lilafly). Being half-fae, Adrien has the capability to live for a very long time indeed, while Marinette is a regular mortal, but he's more concerned about the immediate danger to her life from drawing the attention of a Faerie Court. If they survive for so long that he loses her to old age, he would consider that a good problem to have. And she's still coming to terms with the knowledge that he's not fully human, after a very traumatic reveal.
  • This is pretty common in Supernatural fanfiction, as the immortal Castiel will almost certainly outlive his human True Companions (and, if it's a Dean/Castiel or Sam/Castiel fic, his human lover). Season 8 gave these fics an obvious solution to this issue by making Castiel human; while he regained his angelic powers in later seasons, it's common for Dean/Castiel and Sam/Castiel fics written after season 8 to simply have him lose his grace again. The series finale also set up the alternative solution of Castiel reuniting with Dean and/or Sam in Heaven where they no longer have to worry about human lifespans.
  • Discussed in Tron: Invasion (a very loose adaptation of Tron 2.0). Jet Bradley asks Mercury (a female Program) to promise never to worship him (Programs revering humans like we revere Gods), saying that humans age and die eventually. However, a Program's typical lifespan is about five or six human years to a human male's eighty, a fact that isn't lost on Mercury.
  • This is a common theme in fanworks (such as this fan-vid by TheNamelessDoll) that ship (or friend-ship) Ariel from The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan. Ariel may be a mermaid but she is still mortal. Peter on the other hand is perpetually a child. It's frequent that Ariel has a Precocious Crush on Peter only for him to gain one towards Ariel as she ages into a teenager and then eventually an adult.
  • In Offspring, Link is a Hylian while his wife Mipha is a Zora. They're both physically and socially teenagers, except that Mipha is over a century old. Link never put much thought into the lifespan differences between himself and Mipha until after their children were hatched. Link realized that when he died of old age, his children would only be at the end of their adolescence, but he doesn't mind because Mipha would still be around for them. In a twist of fate, this is subverted as Mipha is the one that dies when their kids are just a few months old. Link is put into a coma and wakes up a century later to find his triplets the same physical age as him.
  • There is a lot of Sailor Moon fanfiction that deals with this concept, since only the manga says normal humans become long-lived in the future and even if they do live a long time, they still don't live as long as the senshi. One large series by author Bill K. even features two marriages within the senshi to normal men who, obviously, die way sooner than their senshi wives. Jupiter and Mercury react accordingly... and then hook up, so there's that.
  • A lot of the more...mature fanfic written for Star Trek: The Original Series touches on Sarek and Amanda's relationship and how Sarek would handle Amanda's death.
    • There are a couple of not exactly canon Star Trek novels that touch on them as well. The Vulcan Academy Murders is basically all about their relationship, and human/Vulcan relationships in general. It uses Applied Phlebotinum to age Amanda back down and give them another thirty years or so.
    • Other EU materials tend to follow this trope to its harsher conclusion probably because Star Trek The Next Generation confirmed that Sarek outlived Amanda. One Star Trek comic has Spock and Sarek converse about Amanda's increasing age and her growing health issues. Sarek states that while he was always aware of the fact that he would outlive Amanda, she has had such an impact upon his life that he finds the idea of spending the better part of a century alone to be unnerving.
  • Steven Universe: "You'll have to let her go someday."
  • Storm Clouds And Grey Skies:
    • Leia is a mermaid in love with a human woman. Mermaids can live for 300 years. However, when Claire asks Leia her age, she clarifies that she's the same age as Claire.
    • The several thousand year old Harvest Goddess mentions being in love with a normal human, Jill.
  • More than a few Tangled works have tampered with the idea of the flower making Rapunzel functionally immortal. This makes her marriage to Eugene into this. Several have her Driven to Suicide, though not all succeed. One fanfic example is Prisoner Of Time.
  • Temporal Anomaly has Sougo Tokiwa/Oma Zi-O - who is an sixty-nine year old man that looks around eighteen - becoming lovers with the Intoner sisters - who are all two years old at most despite looking and acting like young women in their very late tens, with the exception of Zero, who is and nineteen year old that looks seventeen.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Touched on in the animated video for the Touhou Project remix "Alice -> Dere" between the Youkai Alice and the human Marisa.
    • Indeed, this trope seems to be the general source of angst in Alice x Marisa pairings (the famous "Marisa Stole the Precious Thing" remix by IOSYS, who did the one above as well, contains the line "You and I are of a different kind"). Which is all good and well, until Fridge Logic sets in and you realize that, under current canon, Alice USED to be human but became youkai via magical research, and Marisa has access to Alice's notes/materials/Alice herself, AND Marisa has been independently searching for an immortality potion.
    • The topic is likely to come up in any of the human/youkai pairings, as well as any immortal/youkai or immortal/human pairings, such as Keine x Mokou, since the immortals are completely immortal and can't even choose to follow their loves to the grave.
    • By far the most common is Sakuya, even without involving romance, as she is the only human in the relatively large Koumakan Cast Herd, meaning her expected lifespan is considerably less than their's. However, there is also speculation that Sakuya is a Lunarian, who are incredibly long-lived (Eirin and the Watatsuki sisters are at least several millenia old). Also occasionally inverted due to Sakuya's time-stopping powers.
    • Another Touhou Project remix that uses this heavily (in a very beautiful waltz) is "The song of a Broken Youkai who loved a human." I wonder what it could possibly be about...
    • An Alice x Reimu video set to "Thank You, My Twilight" by The Pillows.
    • Many doujin, such as GERANIUM by Can't_Fix_the_Helmet, which features an aged Marisa and Kourin.
  • In the Transformers Film Series fandom, it's been touched upon multiple times concerning the Sam/Bumblebee pairing. Rarer, but was still touched upon, in the SarixBumblebee pairing. Of course, after the revelation that she was a techno-organic, this pretty much vanished in fanfiction.
  • White Sheep (RWBY):
    • Salem has largely given up on her plans for world domination in favor of focusing on her family, but they are rather worried about her going insane with grief if she has to watch her husband and children die of old age. She is trying to find a way to give up her immortality and die with her husband. The gods release her from her curse at the end, allowing her to finally age.
    • A weird version with Ozma. Since he is thousands of years old, he absolutely refuses, under any circumstances, to have sexual thoughts for any woman under age twenty-five. The problem is that he's riding around in the head of fifteen year-old Oscar, who would kind of like to at least try to flirt with some of the cute girls his age. Ozma is not interested in letting him.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire fanfic The Widow, such is the nature of the relationship between Roose Bolton and Walda Frey, since Roose is revealed to be The Ageless half-human, half-Other who kills the son that resembles him the most and takes his skin every few decades to stay under the radar. Having found a Morality Pet in Walda, he is uncertain on how their relationship can progress after Roose Bolton's "legal" death and him taking the skin of Ramsay. In one of the work's two endings, he finds a good-hearted human husband for Walda and sends her away. In the other, though, he marries her again as Ramsay, but Walda deduces his true identity very quickly and is overjoyed he is alive; she stays by his side for three generations before dying of diabetes at seventy-five. The usually stoic Lord of the Dreadfort weeps at her funeral.
  • Yin and Yang Series:
    • Fujuju and Eliza.
    • Subverted with other inter-species relationships, as in their human form, Keronians age the same rate as regular humans.
  • In you can only use your own, when Asriel proposes to Chara, they protest that this would be inevitable. Asriel replies that he's already thought that through, and their love is worth it.

    Films — Animation 
  • Milo and Kida play with this in Atlantis: The Lost Empire. The former is twenty-something, while the latter is over 8,000 years old. However, it's pretty strongly implied that the crystal at the heart of Atlantis is responsible for Atlanteans' longevity, so anyone who stays in Atlantis will enjoy it as well, regardless of their origin.
  • This is the reason given in Bluth's The Secret of NIMH as to why Jonathan Brisby never told his wife anything about NIMH; the intelligence-boosters also slowed their aging. From a mouse's perspective, Jonathan was near-immortal, and he couldn't bear to tell her that he would watch her age and die while he stayed young. In the book it's specified that the anti-aging treatments were separate, and started after the intelligence treatments. Nicodemus specifically discusses Jonathan's worries, confided to him, with Mrs. Brisby.
  • In It's Such a Beautiful Day, this trope is explored as the narrator goes into denial over the fact that Bill has just died and instead tells the story of him achieving Complete Immortality. Exaggerated as Bill's romances blend into one another to the point where all relationships lose all meaning and a large portion of Earth's population becomes his offspring.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Blade Runner, Assuming Deckard himself isn't also a replicant, and thus also subject to a four-year lifespan.
  • Jack Bonner and Kitty who is an alien in Cocoon.
  • The Fifth Element, with Leelo being the December here. (Being at least a multiple of 4000 years old...)
  • In Fred Claus, Santa Claus's immortal immediate family suffers from what the article calls the "Highlander Complex": "They will have to watch their friends and relatives wither and die right before their callous, eternal eyes."
  • The main character and narrator of The Green Mile turns out to suffer from this.
  • Ray and Mary of Hancock also have to deal with the Mortal/Immortal issue. Although at first after the reveal it seems like it might be a dealbreaker for Ray and the issue is never explicitly resolved onscreen, they are seen at the end together and jokingly reviewing the truth about famous historical figures.
  • Reflected in the song "Who Wants To Live Forever" by Queen which was, appropriately, written for the soundtrack of Highlander. A Mayfly December Romance is almost inevitable for the immortals in the film series, as they will naturally outlive any human love interests, and immortal-to-immortal romance is problematic too, as they are all engaged in a deadly battle royale with one another that won't end until only one is left.
    • Connor Mac Leod's first love was with a mortal woman in medieval Scotland. They were married for 53 years until her death by old age in 1590, so she vastly outlived the average life expectancy of people from that timenote  and this was still only a tiny portion of his own immortal lifespan.
  • The Hunger: Ancient, immortal vampire Miriam turns her mortal lovers into vampires, who then live with her for a couple of hundred years. They then wither and age rapidly to a near paralytic state, and she files them away in coffins in her attic. She does show some regret over this.
  • Bicentennial Man: Andrew, or NDR114 model robot, serial number 583625, has an indefinite lifespan due to his positronic brain. After his first century, he meets and falls in love with Portia Charney, who is a normal human woman. Andrew takes steps to adjust his construction so that he can grow old with her.
  • To extremes in The Man from Earth. Main character John Oldman appears to be 35, but is actually a Cro-Magnon caveman who has lived through 14 000 years. This naturally causes difficulty in his romantic relationships, as he has to abandon each woman after a few years so that people don't catch on to his immortality. References are made to various women he has loved, including one of the films main characters, Sandra, a historian in her 30's. Another one turns out to have been the mother of one of the other main characters. It is implied that John knew this all along.
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,: Alex and the 2,000-year-old Lin fall in love. She later gives up her immortality to help stop the Big Bad, leaving them free to pursue a normal relationship.
  • In the second Night at the Museum movie Genki Girl, Manic Pixie Dream Girl Amelia Earhart, or rather a magical construct of the XX century aviatrix, tries actively to pursue a romance with Larry Dailey, the protagonist. Larry instead tries actively to spurn her (with little success...), knowing that the magic infusing her with life will wane at dawn, thus wanting to avert this scenario, sparing Amelia the knowledge of her overtly short "new lease" at life.
  • Thor: The Dark World: Odin disapproves of his son Thor being in love with Jane Foster for this reason, often encouraging him to forget the mortal and hook up with the goddess Sif instead. Loki also taunts Thor about this, commenting that Jane will be long dead after a "mere" 100 years.
  • In the movie adaptation of Tuck Everlasting, this is the reason for Miles Tuck's bitterness; his wife, daughter, and son all died while he stayed immortal.
    "I couldn't die. Like Little Anna. The influenza took her before she was fifteen. And Bo. He'd be almost eighty now if he were still alive. And my sweet... my sweet young bride. She died in an insane asylum. Old and alone. But I'm still here... I'm still here."
  • In We Are the Night, vampire Charlotte acts pretty dissociated from her Sire Louise. Turns out the reason for that is that Louise sired Charlotte despite the latter being happily married to a man she loved and having a child with him. Later in the movie we see Charlotte visiting her daughter in the hospital. While Charlotte is still youthful, her daughter dies of age right in front of her eyes. Also somewhat counts for Louise, since the vampire who sired her died and left her restless and heartbroken. Finally, there's vampire protagonist Lena and her human love interest Tom. Late in the movie, Louise points out that, even in the unlikely event that Tom stays with her, he'll die within 60 years and leave Lena alone.
  • What We Do in the Shadows: In the end, Viago the 379-year old vampire gets together with a girl he pined after a long time ago. By the current time they get together, she's 90 years old and he is an immortal vampire who looks like a middle-aged man, hilariously making her the mayfly in their romance.
  • In The Wolverine, the nigh-immortal Logan becomes involved with Mariko, who's around her twenties in the present day. Logan leaves at the end to continue his journey despite finally coming to terms with Jean's death.

    Light Novels 
  • In Baccano!, two Gandor brothers, Keith and Berga, are married men, but the issue is never explicitly brought up in the story. It is possible that they haven't even told their wives Kate and Kalia that they are immortal.
  • Played with in Durarara!!. The immortal dullahan Celty and the human Shinra have come to terms with their love for each other, however the age issue is never really brought up. Though Shinra has been in love with her since he was four years old. Squick.
  • Defied in I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level. Azusa died of karoshi in her previous life. An angel, sympathizing her plight, offers her a new life in another world, where she's free to live the simple, carefree, and easy life Azusa has always wanted... as a completely immortal witch. To prevent any heartbreaks that come with this trope, she continues to forego romance. So when two girls claimed to be her daughters, she was flabbergested: she's been a virgin for two whole lives.
  • In Maoyu, Hero says this is the reason he doesn't return the Demon Queen's romantic overtures. (That, and he's hilariously shy around women.)
  • In Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Rudeus as a young man marries two women of longer-lived races. When he dies of old age both are still in the prime of their lives. Cliff and Elinalise also count, though the impact of this trope is not explored.
  • Eventually between Margery Daw and Keisaku Satou in Shakugan no Shana. As a Flame Haze, Margery has been around for a couple centuries, while Keisaku starts off as an Ordinary High-School Student. It also comes off as a May–December Romance, since Margery looks like she's in her mid-twenties.
  • In Spice and Wolf, this trope provides most of the angst Holo, a wolf goddess, feels. She's well aware that she'll live much longer than Lawrence.
  • The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign has this for Kyousuke (human) and the White Queen (Eldritch Abomination with Complete Immortality). The former might not want this relationship, but the latter very much does, and it's uncertain how she plans on handling this issue. Early on, she makes a seemingly-flippant suggestion that she plans on making him into an immortal like her, but it hasn't been brought up since.
  • One vampire in Trinity Blood is urged to confess his attraction to a human, as humans grow old and die too quickly.


  • One of Clive Barker's Abarat books has an unusual twist on this idea: on the island of Nonce, where the heat and storms cause the rainforest there to grow and decay incredibly quickly, a man has fallen in love with a plant. Plant-woman. However, her life is very brief compared to his (a few hours, at most, with the island's weather), but she also always produces a seed that is a fresh new version of herself. So he spends his whole life clambering over the island all day, looking for her newest sprouting, even though she won't remember him, so that for however brief, they can be together.
  • The Adoration of Jenna Fox has Jenna, who is immortal because she is an Artificial Human, marrying Ethan and having his child before he dies. Jenna says she'll end her life when their daughter reaches a certain age, so she doesn't have to watch her die.
  • In the All Souls Trilogy between Diana, a witch, and Matthew, a vampire.
  • In Animorphs it's the case with Tobias and Rachel. Tobias is permanently trapped in the shape of a red-tailed hawk, and refuses to become human again, though he could. Rachel, on the other hand, is a human and therefore has a much longer life expectancy than he. However, it ends with Rachel being killed in combat.
  • In The Apocalypse Troll by David Weber, Ludmilla Leonovna is effectively immortal thanks to the Healing Factor her symbiote grants her. So when she falls in love with a normal man, she's very aware of the fact that she'll outlive him. Then when he's mortally injured in a fight with the Big Bad, the only option is a risky Emergency Transformation via blood transfusion, injecting some of her symbiote-laden blood into him. This kills 99.99% of the people it's done to, so she wouldn't try it except for the fact that he'll be dead in five minutes if she does nothing. Since he survives, it means that this trope gets averted for them.
  • Black Dagger Brotherhood: Both Mary and Jane were humans hooking up with vampires, so Mary became immortal to make up for being barren and Jane became a ghost.
  • Anne Bishop's Black Jewels Trilogy has the pairing of Daemon and Jaenelle. Daemon was about 1700 years old when Jaenelle was born. This is a source of much frustration when Daemon first meets her and she's only twelve. Balanced a bit by Jaenelle being The Chosen One and therefore closely tied into the world's magic and wisdom and Daemon's race being long lived so that he's the equivalent of about 30 years old. But they don't actually hook up till she's in her 20's since Daemon is most definitely not a paedophile. That and he's wandering around out of his mind because he thinks he killed her. Also Jaenelle is 100% human, so she'll live maybe sixty/seventy more years after The Queen of Darkness and Daemon could conceivably live to be twice or more his original stated age of 1700 years. There's also Daemon's mixed half-brother Lucivar who is about Daemon's age and marries a woman who appears to be only about 300 years old.
  • One of the eponymous AI tanks in the Bolo universe bitterly reflects upon this when she realises that her commander has been treating her as a human woman, not a multi-thousand-ton, fusion-powered, functionally immortal battle tank, and that she loves him back. She gives no hint of this angst to him and keeps it strictly platonic.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of... Magic II: Vernan's Dragon involves the immortal King Vernan, and his many, many mortal wives. He solves this problem by making them immortal... but can only do so by turning them into dragons.
  • In Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, in the story The Law of Conservation of Pain, Rachel is an example of this — an incredibly long-living woman through some trick of biology, she's had several long marriages over her centuries of life. Her biological clock is ticking, though, and by the time she finds her way to Callahan's, she's unable to have children anymore, a fact which drives her to despair.
  • The main pairing in The Crocodile God focuses on the Reincarnation Romance between Mirasol, a Filipino woman, and the Tagalog sea-god Haik of the title. Their relationship started out fine, but the Spanish conquest of the Philippines threw a wrench in it that's been going for centuries.
  • In Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, this is a significant part of why humans and the chieri do not have long-term relationships, even though they can and do interbreed.
  • Norman Spinrad's short story Deathwatch examines a future in which humanity develops a mutation that prevents aging, but not everyone has it.
  • Katherine Kerr's Deverry series:
    • Salamander/Ebañy is a half-elf whose wife died and is reincarnated in a new body. (Reincarnation is a big part of the Deverry books.) When he finds her again, she is a teenager, and he's about 100. He sees no particular reason not to marry her again — as he points out to his doubting friends, there aren't that many half-elfs around, and this way they might actually live to grow old together. They don't.
    • Dallandra and Aderyn, she is an elf, he is human. Made worse by her spending time in the Land of the Guardians, where time runs slower, then a partial subversion when Evandar gives Aderyn an elven life span. Unfortunately he forgets to give him elven youth to go with it.
    • Completely averted with the human Princess Carra and the elven Prince Dar. Evander remembers elven life and youth this time.
  • Discworld:
    • Death himself has a rather romantic relationship with Mrs Flitworth in Reaper Man (he gives her diamonds, flowers, and chocolates!). He takes her to a dance just after she dies.
    • Lady Margolotta (vampire) and Lord Vetinari (Actually Not a Vampire) might have had some sort of romance. He suggests the relationship broke up or never really went anywhere because she's "much older", although he still apparently had feelings for her years later. They first met when he was quite young, and she eternally looks like an attractive woman of a certain age. By the time they meet again in Unseen Academicals, he probably looks about as old as she does if not older.
  • This subject causes much angsting in the Dragonlance novels, in which Tanis Half-Elven loves both an elf who would long outlive him and a human who would die while he was still young. In case people want to know, he chose the elf, who outlives him due to a more mundane reason. Although it ironically would have actually worked out if he had chosen the human; as he seemed to have started aging at a human rate once he was more than 100.
  • Subverted and reversed in Glen Cook's Dread Empire series. Varthlokkur is an immortal wizard who is able to use his magic to find the woman he will love. He waits millennia for her to be born, getting married once or twice for fun along the way. His son from one of these marriages ends up winning her heart first. It's okay, though; Varthlokkur can ensure that she lives forever and his son doesn't.
  • Part of the tension between Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy in The Dresden Files stems from this, as she is a vanilla mortal and he is a wizard who will live for several centuries. Murphy even cites this in Proven Guilty as one of the issues in her relationship with him.
  • In Conn Iggulden's Emperor series, Caesar has a love affair with Servilia, his best friend's mother. Problematic since he needs a son and she is too old to get pregnant.
  • David Eddings:
    • Belgariad, sorcerers and others with similar magical abilities or heritage can live hundreds or even thousands of years. This is obviously an issue when they fall in love with normal humans. It’s lamp-shaded in the prequels that sorcerers either have to avoid becoming closely involved with normal humans or deliberately distance themselves when the normal humans become old in order to keep their sanity as even their minds are not capable of dealing with repeated bouts of grief as friends, lovers and loved ones pass away.
    • The prequel Polgara the Sorceress features one that ended rather badly when Polgara falls in love with a young Wacite Arend, her Champion, when she was nine-hundred-odd years old. Her father hustles her out of the city just before its prophesied demise, leaving Ontrose to die in the fighting. Despite two thousand years and a happy marriage (to fellow sorcerer Durnik averting the trope a second time) she still feels terribly guilty about it and holds the loss of her first love against Belgarath.
    • The prehistoric romance between the god Issa and his handmaiden Salmissra caused their country no end of trouble when he left the theocracy in her hands... and forgot to make her immortal. Dozens of generations of Legacy Immortality under the machinations of self-serving eunuchs have produced a Decadent Court like none other in the world, and Issa is crushed when he checks in to find that his "handmaiden" is a debauched loon who was crowned for being the best Salmissra impersonator.
    • Averted with sorcerer-king Belgarion, as his wife is an equally long lived dryad, and Belgarath whose wife Poledra is also some kind of servant of the gods and similarly long lived.
    • The fate of the sorcerer Beldin and normal human Vella is ambiguous, as he transforms them both into hawks and they fly away, never to be seen again.
  • Played with in The Fault in Our Stars, on the scale of an average human lifespan. Hazel, the sixteen-year-old protagonist, diagnosed with terminal cancer, has an uncertain number of years to left to live, but probably not many. Then she meets and falls in love with a seventeen-year-old Augustus, who is well into remission and will likely live a normal number of years. However, Augustus' cancer recurs, every reader's heart breaks, and Hazel is the one left behind by a lover's death.
  • The Heartstrikers: Marcie and Julian are in a relationship, despite Marcie being human and Julian a dragon. While they are about the same age (Marcie is initially slightly annoyed that the first dragon she meets isn't some ancient bastion of knowledge but is actually slightly younger than her), he can easily reach a thousand years and has no theoretical limit to his lifespan, while she shouldn't expect to live longer than a hundred. Both dragons and humans remind them of this several times over the course of the story, advising them to break it off, but they refuse. In the Distant Epilogue, Marcie mentions that one of her colleagues is working on Immortality, and she plans to shamelessly bum it off him the second he finishes it.
    Marcie: Nothing like dating an immortal to make you aware of your own age.
  • The Hero and the Crown has an interesting variant. Luthe is a super master mage and at least 100 generations old, probably older. Aerin is 20 years old but magically powerful, and capable of being "not quite mortal" herself. They have a May–December Romance. But she's also in love with the 30 year old man who helped raise her, and he's basically mortal. So Aerin goes off to marry Tor (and co-rule her country with him) until he dies, and then go back to Luthe who'll still be around and probably still in love with her. Interestingly, even though she became "not quite mortal" during her adventures before marrying Tor, in The Blue Sword her descendants, while magically powerful, do not have significantly longer lifespans than others in the kingdom.
  • In The Heroes of Olympus, the goddess Aphrodite mentions that the immortal gods never stay long together with a human for much of this reason. Shortly after they have had a baby together, the divine parent leaves the family. However, there are sometimes exceptions.
    • Demigods, on the other hand, can easily come together with humans because they have approximately the same life expectancy as theirs.
  • His Dark Materials features the witches, who live for roughly a thousand years, and so are continually having their lovers, husbands, and mortal sons dying on them (their daughters are always witches). One of them describes this as being very painful, and suggests that they eventually die when they can't take losing anyone else.
  • Comes up frequently in Tom Holt's works, what with all the gods, immortal spirits, shapeshifting dragons, and whatnots, who often end up romantically entwined with mortals, willingly or otherwise. Some specific examples:
    • In Expecting Someone Taller, most of Malcolm's romantic entanglements after receiving the Ring fall into this category, especially his eventual engagement to the Valkyrie Ortlinde.
    • Nothing But Blue Skies has an ancient Eastern Dragon take human shape because she's fallen in love with a human—although he's completely unaware, and she's too shy to tell him.
    • In Djinn Rummy, an immortal genie falls in love with his human female master, although it's because of a love potion.
  • Also comes into play, though not in a romantic sense, in the Honor Harrington series.
    • Honor herself, and everyone else in Manticore, has ready access to Prolong, a treatment that pushes human longevity up to several centuries...if it's administered at a young enough age. The people of Grayson, the planet which adopts Honor as its own, only get it in the present, and many of the people she gets close to are too old for the procedure and thus she'll outlive them by a considerable margin.
    • One particularly tragic case did involve romance: Bernadus van Dort and Suzanne Bannister. He was a prolong recipient, and she turned out to be too old for the treatment. What made it worse was that she didn't die at a ripe old age, with her husband still looking young. Her transport ship vanished, probably thanks to a pirate attack. Oh, and their daughters were aboard as well. The whole thing also created a rift between van Dort and Suzanne's brother Trevor, and Trevor's friend Steve Westman, which spills over into the plot of Shadow of Saganami.
    • Historically, this was also the fate of Treecats, as they have lifespans of 250+ years. Prior to prolong, a treecat who bonded with a human almost always committed suicide after their adopt human died. Only rebonding to another human makes it possible to avoid this suicide.
  • In The Host (2008), Wanderer is an alien soul who is thousands of years old. She proceeds to fall in love with a human man. However, since she is in a human body, she can age and die naturally alongside him.
  • In Dan Simmon's Hyperion, Merin and Siri from the sub-story, "The Consul's Tale", are engaged in a Mayfly December Romance where Merin, who is a crew member on an interstellar construction ship responsible for building a farcaster gate above Siri's homeworld of Maui-Covenant, must watch his love progressively wilt away as he travels back and forth to the planet at relativistic speeds, all the while remaining young himself.
  • Discussed in The Inheritance Cycle, in a conversation between Eragon and his cousin Roran. Roran is teasing Eragon about his attraction to Arya, before suggesting that he maybe stop chasing after such an impossible girl and settle down with a human girl instead, particularly since being a Dragon Rider makes him quite the catch. Eragon then specifically brings up how, as a Rider, he will live forever unless killed while his human partners wouldn't, and thus his only options for a lasting relationship that wouldn't pass in the blink of an eye for him are either another human Rider (which is impossible for the moment), or an elf, given elves' longevity as well.
  • Averted in the John Carter of Mars books — you'd think this would apply with the protagonist falling in love with a Martian with a life span of hundreds of years, perhaps potentially forever, but Carter also becomes immortal for the same mysterious non-reason that he gets transported to Mars.
  • In Susanna Clarke's "Tom Brightwind or How the Fairy Bridge Was Built at Thoresby" (set in the Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell universe), the eponymous character has one of these with his human wife, but it sours due to his fairy fickleness: "At fifteen... Tom had constantly compared her to a kitten. In her twenties she had been a swan; in her thirties a vixen; and then in rapid succession a bitch, a viper, a cockatrice, and finally, a pig. What animals he might have compared her to now no one knew. She was well past ninety now and for forty years or more she had been confined to a set of apartments... while her husband waited impatiently for someone to come and tell him she was dead."
  • Journey to Chaos: Annala refuses to consider a relationship with Eric because she is immortal and he is not. "I could blink you'll be a rotting corpse". This very thing happened to her aunt, Triste. Despite all kinds of magical aid to prolong his life, Mori just heeled over one day and it drove her insane. Eric solves this problem by asking Annala's deity, who happens to fancy himself Eric's "bestest friend", to make him immortal like her. He does and Relationship Upgrade ensues.
  • Kane Series: Basically, every woman Kane is with, particularly Sesi from "Lynortis Reprise", who is just a teen when they meet and she offers him her body as a payment. Once he tried to make one of his lovers immortal. It did not go very well.
  • In A Kiss Before The Apocalypse by Thomas E Sniegoski, author of The Fallen, private investigator, Remy Chandler (once the angel Remiel) faces the inevitable result of an immortal married to a mortal woman. His wife, Madeline, is old and dying in the hospital at the time of the novel. He is still feeling the effects in the short story, Noah’s Orphans (which appears in the urban stories anthology Mean Streets).
  • The Last Unicorn has two examples of this: one serious, one not. When the tree falls in love with Schmendrick, it's treated as a joke. Several chapters later, Amalthea and Lir fall in love. It's explicitly stated that Amalthea still has feelings for him after she's turned back into a unicorn.
  • The Legend of Drizzt: Drizzt Do'Urden, in his series of novels by R.A. Salvatore, spends much of the series trying to prevent himself from getting close to his human friend, Cattie-brie, knowing that he will outlive her by centuries, but eventually falls for her anyway.
  • In Legends of Dune Vorian Atreides is gifted with an extended lifespan by his Cymek father, Agamemnon. Later, when he swaps sides to free humanity, he has troubles settling down into a proper relationship due to have a several century long lifespan, so ends up taking lovers on many different planets. When eventually he settles down with a woman from Caladan, she ages normally and he ages slowly, leading to him still seeming in his 20s when she is dying of old age. He attempts to make himself look older with grey hair dye, unsuccessfully. Eventually she dies, and he does not speak to his sons again due to the awkwardness of them seeming older than him. Eventually he meets a granddaughter from one of his one night stands. She appears similar in age to him.
  • In Fredric Brown's Letter to a Phoenix, the narrator is a man who ages one day per 45 years, 30 of them he is constantly awake, and 15 are sleep. He states he was married several thousand times, each time marrying a younger woman, about 15 years below his biological age. At the end of the thirty years, he leaves her a well-to-do widow. Of course, once his sleep is over, he makes no further contact.
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen:
    • The long-lived Tiste Andii, Korlat, and the already fairly old human, Whiskeyjack, fall in love in Memories of Ice. In fact, it's stated that Tiste Andii tend to have relationships with shorter-lived races, finding 200 years of marriage to their own kind wearisome and a bit pointless.
    • In Toll the Hounds another Tiste Andii, Spinnock Durav, is apprehensive that he fell in love with not only a comparatively short-lived human, but one that is barely of age at that; Salind being in her early 20s and Spinnock being thousands of years old.
    • Sandalath Drukorlat, yet another millennia-old Tiste Andii, falls in love with and eventually marries Withal, a middle-aged human man. Their marriage is a bit of a Masochism Tango, but in the end they really do love each other and are just worried about each other, especially considering Sandalath's sanity is a bit on the slippery slope, and also a bit apprehensive about their differences, but somehow manage to overlook the problems eventually.
  • Mercy Thompson:
    • Werewolves are immune to old age and disease and can live for centuries or millennia: Bran and Samuel were alive when Christianity arrived in Wales around 1700 years ago barring injury and insanity, though some wolves simply burn out after a while. The werewolf Samuel Cornick has had three human wives, each of whom died of old age. Another, unnamed werewolf in Cry Wolf is shown kissing his elderly wife who was initially mistaken for his grandmother. In Hunting Grounds, Arthur chooses to have his wife assassinated by vampires rather than suffer seeing her die of old age.
    • The Fae have this problem as well. Unlike the werewolves, many of them are truly immortal unless killed, and they have long had dalliances with humans that resulted in offspring. Unless their human lover is taken to Underhill, they'll age and die in what to the Fae is not much more than an eye-blink. And if they are take to Underhill, they have to deal with the fact that their lover will tire of them after a few decades or centuries but they'll be forever unable to return home lest all their lost time instantly come back to them. The same options exist for any resulting half-Fae children: sometimes the kid will win the Superpower Lottery and be strong enough to be considered a true Fae, but often they get just a little bit of magic and a parent who might wonder off and forget to look in on them until they're a century or two dead.
  • The Mirrorworld Series: Jacob, who is twenty-four, and Miranda, an immortal fairy. Probably a similar situation between Kami'en and The Dark Fairy.
  • In Holly Black's Modern Faerie Tales there is unbelievable quantities of this, most notably in Valiant between Val and Ravus, who actually comes out and says that she will be dead in "one faerie sigh", but they are still hooked up.
  • The Mortal Instruments:
    • Alec Lightwood is eighteen and dating Magnus Bane, who is an immortal warlock and over 400 years old. This problem is highlighted in the second half of the series, when Alec's attempt to find a way to make Magnus mortal strains their relationship.
    • At first it seems to be the same with Simon and Isabelle, because he is a vampire, and she is a shadowhunter. However, at the end of City of Heavenly Fire, Simon is transformed back into a human, and a short time later he becomes a shadowhunter.
    • In the prequel The Infernal Devices, this is the fate that plagues Tessa. Like Magnus, she is an immortal warlock (well, warlock-nephilim hybrid) stuck in the body of a teenage girl. In the 1870s, she falls in love with Will and Jem, both whom are mortal shadowhunters. After Jem becomes an immortal Silent Brother, she marries Will and they start a family, but she does not grow old with him. After he dies of old age in the 1930s, she leaves the family for good, unwilling to see her children, grandchildren, and descendants die before her eyes. Seventy years later, Jem is freed from his duty and restarts his relationship with Tessa, but both know that, eventually, she will outlive him as well.
  • In Myst: The Book of Ti'ana, Atrus (not the one from the game, but his grandfather) starts to become romantically involved with Anna. His father Kahlis reminds him that the extended D'ni lifespan will mean that he will outlive her by centuries. However, Anna eventually outlives him due to a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • In The Book of D'ni, Atrus the younger notes that his wife Catharine is aging a bit faster than himself, thanks to his 1/4 D'ni ancestry. In Myst V: End of Ages, he appears at the end, aged at least 150, so there's no doubt he outlived her.
  • In the Night Huntress series, this occurs between Bones, the 240-year-old vampire, and Cat, the twenty-something half-vampire. Later, Bones reveals that between her half-vampire blood and the occasional drinking of vampire blood, Cat can live for as long as he can, making this a May–December Romance.
  • In the Paradox Trilogy, there is the relationship between Devi and Rupert. It isn't known how long a symbiont might potentially live, but they show no signs of ageing and none have ever died of old age.
  • Played straight and subverted in Cordwainer Smith's The Queen of the Afternoon. Laird, who is basically immortal due to rejuvenation treatments, marries a woman who is unable to be rejuvenated. Whe she grows old and dies, he married her sister, who has the same problem, but when she is dying, he realizes that he can't bear going through the loss again, so he refuses the treatment, ages hundreds of years in an hour, and the two die together..
  • Subverted in The Redemption of Althalus, where the goddess Dweia and human protagonist Althalus fall in love, but the problems are resolved early on when Dweia reveals her ability to control time, letting her and Althalus to stay together as long as time itself exists.
  • The Rifter: John (a nearly-immortal God in Human Form) and Ravishan. But the author found a way of making the latter long-lived after all, by the same enchantments that create issusha’im. To her credit, it's well-justified in the overall structure of the novel.
  • In the Rivers of London series, some river gods take human partners. Oxley's wife Isis gained immortality (they met in the 18th century, when he was already several hundred years old), Lady Ty's husband didn't. Nobody really knows why, because nobody really knows what the deal is with the Rivers in the first place.
  • Gladia and Elijah from Isaac Asimov's Robot Series. He is an ordinary human, but she is a Spacer - a human descended subspecies living up to four centuries. They first meet in The Naked Sun, with some Unresolved Sexual Tension between them toward the end. In The Robots of Dawn, they meet again. This time, the relationship and love between them is definite, but there is more than just this trope separating them (the relationship between the two races is rather strained, not to mentioned Elijah is married). Their last meeting is about five years later and only lasts a few hours - with Gladia married to another man by then as well, and the marriage turned out to last a century and a half. She wants to visit him one last time before he dies, but he sends a message begging her not to, not wanting her to remember him as an old man. By the end of Robots and Empire, Gladia is in a relationship with Elijah's great-great-great-great-great-grandson, and both are fully aware she might outlive him by 50-100 years as well.
  • In Secret City nigh-immortal Santyaga is loveable womanizer, and due to lack of females of his own race this trope is inevitable. It is also played as Tear Jerker in one of the book, when he visits his current love, Susanna, after her retreat to nature because of old age. While he's sad, she claims, that she's happy, and that this situation allowed her to live 3 lifes - before, with and after him, which is even he cannot achieve.
  • The premise of the fantasy novel Sirena, by Donna Jo Napoli, where the protagonist is one of the Greek Sirens who will become immortal after having sex with a human man. Falling in love with said man, however, makes the irrevocable gift a curse. In the end, Sirena and her love Philoctetes separate after ten years together, so they can each rejoin the society of their own kind. But they will never, ever forget each other.
  • The Baxters in The Sisters Grimm: the first time they're introduced, Cinderella (an Everafter) looks like a gorgeous twenty-year-old, and her husband Tom (a human) is well into his eighties. Tom is acutely conscious of the problem and attempts to construct a time machine that would make him young again. Said time machine disrupts the structure of the universe and has to be destroyed, so instead, Cinderella chooses to age so that they wouldn't be parted.
  • Stardust features this. Mortal human man, immortal ex-star in human woman form -> dead man and still immortal star regent of their kingdom. In the movie they got around this handily by playing on the "heart of a star" thing, i.e. one who has the heart of a star will live forever. In the films they claim that Yvaine had "given" her heart to Tristan/Tristran, and therefor they will both live happily forever after.
  • In Starlight and Shadows, drow Liriel enters a relationship with human Fyodor despite knowing that she will far outlive him.
  • In the Star Trek: New Frontier Expanded Universe series, Selar (a Vulcan with a lifespan of about 250 years) mates with a Hermat (with a 40-year lifespan...and both sets of genitals). Selar carries a child to term...and it turns out he has the lifespan of an Ocampa (10 years, if he's lucky.) In the most recent novel of the series, Treason, this gets fixed, though ironically (for multiple reasons) Selar dies before this happens. It's not a happy book.
  • A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel, Immortal Coil dealt with this in connection with Data. Taking place not long after First Contact, the plotline includes Data's emotional realization of what he's always known intellectually — he will almost certainly outlive all of his friends on the Enterprise. And then another set, and another. The actual plot of the book assuaged these fears by introducing a league of artificially-created organisms, which Data could retire to whenever he wants. And then Nemesis happened...
  • In the Star Trek: The Lost Era novel The Buried Age, Jean-Luc Picard enters into a relationship with an alien known as "Ariel" (real name Giriaenn). Ariel is effectively immortal, and has been alive longer than humans have existed as a species. Her relationship with Picard was genuine while she had amnesia; when her memory returned, though, she began stringing the "innocent child" along as part of her master plan. Being as old as she is, she's an complete expert at manipulation, plus her people are naturally designed for it anyway.
  • Several times in the Symphony of Ages. The Cymrians live shorter lives with each generation, starting with immortality at generation one. This presumably causes true mayfly romances, but the most visible case is Tristan Steward and his consort Prudence. While they grew up at about the same rate, she starts showing her age and he remains youthful. A much more complicated version arises among Rhapsody, Ashe, and Achmed. Rhapsody, a first-generation Cymrian and lirin, will live forever. So will Achmed. Ashe, however, is part dragon and a third generation Cymrian, granting him a lifetime that will probably last a few thousand years more before he either dies or reincarnates as a full dragon (somehow presumed to end their romance, although other dragons have loved humans before). Achmed loves Rhapsody, or at least believes she is the only possible suitable mate for him, but is content to wait millennia for Ashe's eventual removal. (Somewhat surprising, given that he is a cold-hearted assassin and probably quite capable of killing Ashe if he felt his need for Rhapsody required it.)
  • The Kantrishakrim of Tales of Kolmar live for two thousand years, optimally, and mate for life. When one falls in love with a human this trope is brought up; in fifty years the human will be in her dotage or dead, and plenty of Kantri spend that long meditating or in contemplation; fifty years is also about how long it takes for a Kantri to heal from a major wound, which they do while in a comatose state. Oddly, the fact that they have ready access to a kind of elixir of youth is never mentioned by either party. When the Kantri seems to be dying, the human thinks that he should have mourned over her grave for a thousand years. Instead, though, he becomes human, though he still has Kantri blood; later on her blood is changed to be like his, so if that conveys longevity neither is too likely to outlive the other.
  • In This Immortal, Conrad Nomikos and his newly-wed wife Cassandra. The former is functionally immortal with an unspecified number of past identities while the latter is a twenty-year-old normal woman.
  • Invoked in A Ticket to Tranai by Robert Sheckley. On Tranai, married women are kept locked in a stasis field, where they can’t age, for most of the time. This results in elderly husbands having wives in their mid-thirties at most. The protagonist (from Earth) believes this to be misogynistic and turns off the stasis field in his house. This gets his relationship with his Tranai wife destroyed, since, as she points out, the still young women have decades of their own life ahead of them after their husbands die, and she is deeply unhappy getting older (gasp!) every day, all day long. The concept of Grow Old with Me is (literally) alien to Tranai.
  • This trope is touched upon in the Robert A. Heinlein novel Time Enough for Love, which has as a main character an essentially immortal man, Lazarus Long (born Woodrow Wilson Smith, around the turn of the 20th century). Specifically, the story involving Dora. She's fully aware of the trope in play, and insists on playing it straight. Lazarus offers to move with her to a planet with rejuvenation facilities and extend her life as long as possible. She refuses, saying she wants to spend the life she was naturally given on her home world with the man she loves. Lazarus specifically states that it's a bad idea for long-lived Howards such as himself to marry people with normal lifespans (or "ephemerals"). Dora was possibly the only time he broke that rule.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium: These happen several times in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, in the form of rare but significant elf-human pairings. Elf-human mixed couples overall are very rare (known are five and a half, and only three got together permanently). The main angst isn't just because elves live forever and humans don't — the two races do not share the same afterlife. Elves, even if killed, travel to the Undying Lands in the west and are usually granted resurrection, eventually. Humans, upon death, disappear from the world and their fate is unknown (presumably they go to the Christian Heaven). And elves by nature mate for life, so they usually can't get over it and marry one of their own kind afterwards.
    • In some cases the angelic Powers give the immortal one of a pair the choice to become mortal, which means they can spend eternity separated forever from their entire family, rather than from their spouse. And the children of most elf-human pairings were historically given the same choice, which potentially separated them from their families, also. In other cases the mortal partner became immortal: as with Tuor and Eärendil (and Orodreth's words imply this would have been the case for Túrin if he had married Finduilas). Out of these, only Tuor's case is actually a Happy Ending (and this only because he had already lost his entire birth family in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad). Eärendil has to watch the history of the world play out but not intervene (though he and Galadriel do eventually work out a loophole in this restriction). Like all resolutions in Tolkien's works, either choice is bittersweet at best.
    • The "at best" is because if there are multiple children, they can choose differently from each other. Which did happen once. Elrond and his twin brother Elros chose different fates: the former chose to be an elf, the latter a human. Although it's not a romance, the emotional pain here is certainly on the same level: if not greater. It's hard to decide who had the worse end of this deal. Was it harder for Elrond to watch his twin age, or harder for Elros to watch his twin not age? In any case, it's a testament to both of them that they remained devoted to each other until the end: not letting jealousy, or pity get in the way. Yeah, Elrond pretty much bears the brunt of all the craziness surrounding the War of Wrath: not only does he lose Beleriand like everyone else, but also he gets orphaned. Then he has to see his brother age and die, watch all his descendents age and die and...well, you get the picture. One has to imagine Elrond is going to have some choice words for Manwë and the Valar when he finally gets to Valinor.
    • One of the better-known cases is the romance between the mortal Aragorn and the immortal maiden Arwen Undómiel, daughter of Elrond, in The Lord of the Rings. It was a relatively minor subplot in the novel (their full story is in the LotR's Appendices), but became a much larger part of the later films. During the book Aragorn is 88 (young for a human of Númenórean ancestry), while she is 2798 years old. And when they first fell in love, he was a teenager and she was still over 2700 years old.
      • To be specific, Arwen is descended from a line of mixed heritage involving humans, elves, and even a Maia (angel). Her paternal grandparents, themselves half-human, chose to be immortal, and the opportunity to choose was passed on to their descendants. Aragorn himself is distantly descended from the same ancestors. The first King of Númenor was Elros... Elrond's brother! There were dozens and dozens of generations in between, which is itself another example of this very trope. Apparently if the parents decide to be immortal, their children can still pick, but if they decide to be human, they can't... this has some connection to Tolkien's Christian concept of death as the "Gift of Men," since presumably it involves actually going to Heaven. Aragorn, having Númenórean ancestry, lives roughly 210 years. But Arwen may have outlived him by months or years — at the end he was aging and decided when to die of free will (an ability only Númenóreans get), while Arwen was still young and not ready to go. Arwen left her daughters and son behind to go to Lothlórien and spent her remaining time alone.
    • In The Silmarillion:
      • There are two main elf-human pairings: Beren (human) and Lúthien (half-elf, half-angel); and Tuor (human) and Idril (elf). Lúthien chose to become mortal; Tuor supposedly became immortal, and lives on as the sole human inhabitant of Valinor. These four were in turn the ancestors of Elrond and Elros, and thus of Arwen and Aragorn. Beren and Lúthien's son Dior may have had a Mayfly December Romance with his elven wife Nimloth — he was killed young, but he grew up at the rate mortals do and it isn't clear how long he was going to live, or if he would have been given a choice to be immortal. Their fates after death are unknown.
      • There is one male elf/female human Star Crossed couple — in fact the very first elf-human romance known to us: Aegnor (Galadriel's brother) and Andreth (a woman of the Edain). Aegnor pretended not to return her love, so he wouldn't have to watch her age, though it probably broke his heart to do so. He also feared that if the Siege of Angband broke then he would very likely die in battle (and he was right — she outlived him). Since elves reincarnate, Aegnor refused to be reembodied since a world without Andreth was not one he wanted to ever return to.
      • Another human-elf pairing that didn't work out was that between Imrazôr, a Númenórean who settled at Dol Amroth, and Mithrellas, a Wood Elf who got totally lost in the mountains when her people fled from the Necromancer in south Mirkwood. He and his folk sheltered her and they got married, but after having two half-elven kids she up and left him. Elves aren't inclined to marry people they don't love, and there's no suggestion that he married her against her will, so maybe she just didn't want to watch Imrazôr and the children die of old age.
    • Faramir and Éowyn probably experienced this trope, since he had some Númenórean blood (and some elven blood from Mithrellas), and despite being 12 years older than her, he could have outlived her by several decades. We aren't given a date of death for Éowyn, but Faramir lived well into his second century and it's extremely unlikely Éowyn lived nearly that long - or is it? Eowyn's grandmother was Dunedain and descended from the Princes of Dol Amroth. It is not impossible that Eowyn inherited her longevity. Note that all of the mixed couples in Middle-earth human/elf, despite the fact that both hobbits and dwarves are usually on good terms with their immediate human neighbors and with one another. Dwarves are an unrelated species and can't breed with non-dwarves, but hobbits are just small humans. And in the First and Second Ages when they were on good terms with other humans, the Drúedain apparently didn't marry outside their own people either.
    • Applied tragically with the Kings of Gondor. Valacar, the grandnephew of the King of Gondor at the time, visited Rhovanion and wed Vidumavi. Vidumavi was a princess of the Northmen of Rhovanion, and at the time of her marriage was much younger than Valacar. Vidumavi lived a very long time for one of her own people, but because she had no Númenórean blood, she grew old at a much faster rate than Valacar - she died before he ascended the throne. The Men of Gondor feared that their son Eldacar would not live as long, and this instigates a civil war in Gondor. (Eldacar inherits Valacar's longevity and lives to be 235 - only three years less than his father. He also inherits the fearless spirit of his mother's people.)
  • Trail of Lightning: Neizghání is an immortal. Maggie is a sixteen-year-old human. They hook up, but he dumps her in her mid-twenties. One interpretation is that he's just really into teenagers.
  • Tree of Aeons: Pure-blooded elves can live for 500 years, so when they marry humans, it's not uncommon for them to outlive their great-grandchildren. Laufen sits her daughter Lausanne down for a talk after Lausanne's husband passes away; he lived to 100, not a bad run, but Lausanne is still not even middle-aged.
    Laufen: It is a very sad thing to witness our children's children and their children leave before we do.
  • In Tuck Everlasting, not-actually-17-year-old Jesse Tuck tells Winny to drink magic water to gain Immortality when she reaches that age. She gives the water to a toad, ages normally, lives a happy life and dies. Jesse's older brother Miles was once married. When his wife realized that she aged while he stayed twenty-two, she accused him of selling his soul to the Devil.
  • Stephenie Meyer's Twilight:
    • Bella is very conscious of this trope and has spent most of the first three books trying to convince her immortal vampire boyfriend, Edward (who is more than a century old stuck in the body of a teenager), to bite her to avoid this. In Breaking Dawn, she does end up turned into a vampire after her pregnancy makes her very sick and the delivery destroys her body.
    • This is also the fate of werewolf-human couples, because werewolves do not age while they are regularly phasing. The only solution for them to live equally with their partner is for them to stop phasing altogether.
  • Whateley Universe: Discussed regarding the extremely slow-aging Headmistress Carson at Whateley Academy; she's had three marriages over her seventy years, and while none of the lasted long enough for her to outlive them from old age (the first and third ended in divorce, while the second ended when an old enemy murdered him), she soon realized how much it affected those relationships (at one point, she wistfully notes that she presently looks to be the same age as one of her grand-daughters). She was about ready to give up on relationships when she fell in love with another long-lived ex-hero, the former Tin Man (Langley Paulson, currently head of the Engineering Department).
    • The topic has mostly been avoided by the students who are in similar circumstances; while some of them are The Ageless (including some who are The Fair Folk, are avatars of gods or god-like beings, have powerful Healing Factors that stop them from aging, or are simply temporally frozen), well, being teenagers, most of them haven't really come to grips with this yet. The ones who seem to have given it the most thought are Tennyo (who is bonded with a humanoid WMD created by the Isokist before the Solar System formed) and Carmilla (an infant Eldritch Abomination), and neither of them are happy with the thought that anyone whom they might be involved with would likely be dead and dust in what to them would be a blink of an eye.
  • In The Unfinished Tales, this trope played beautifully in the marriage of Aldarion and Erendis on Númenor, lost home of the Dúnedain. Númenóreans had a a lifespan about three times that of ordinary humans, but those of the royal house lived about twice as long. Aldarion was the 6th king of Númenor; Erendis his wife was not from the royal house. She was also much younger than him, but still most likely to die first. Aldarion's long lifespan and his tendency to make multi-year voyages while Erendis continued to age (relatively) rapidly drove a massive, nasty wedge in their relationship. Their problems in turn embittered their daughter, the future queen Tar-Ancalimë. This proved to be the first small step in the eventual downfall of Númenor.
    • Erendis dies in Second Age 985, over a century before Aldarion dies. Aldarion lived to be 398; Erendis died at only 214. She did drown herself, but she was already old aged by then. Ancalimë inherits her father's longevity and actually lives even longer than him - she dies at the age of 412.
  • Nicholas Sparks's A Walk to Remember features a young man who marries his high school sweetheart when she's dying of cancer, leaving her dead at the age of nineteen mere months after their wedding while he lives a normal lifespan.
  • In The War Gods by David Weber, this can result frequently. In particular half-elves typically marry other half-elves or full elves because otherwise this trope will result, and also the children won't inherit the elven long lifespan. (A human and an elf, two half elves, or a elf and a half elf makes a half elf with a 400 year life span, while the oldest elves date to the cleft point 8,000 years ago from which all elves originate). This is also a serious issue with Wild Wizards, who have lifespans well over a thousand years, although its rare for multiple wild wizards to exist at the same time. All the other races of man (all of whom live longer than humans) can also breed with mainline humans, with the lifespan of their issue being all over the place.
  • Discussed in the Warrior Cats book Squirrelflight's Hope. Squirrelflight's mate has become a Clan leader, meaning that he was gifted with nine lives. She thinks about how this means that he'll likely long outlive her, and frets that he can always take another mate after she's gone, and wonders if the reason he's not ready to have more kits right now is because he has so much more time than her.
  • In The Wheel of Time, this trope is why Aes Sedai rarely marry: they know that they will far outlive their husbands, and probably their children.
    • And grandchildren. And great-grandchildren too. The will most likely die around the same time as their great-great-granchildren. The average age expectancy for a channeler who has sworn on the oath rod is somewhere between 2 and 3 centuries. For one who hasn't its somewhere around 6.
    • And strangely, those Aes Sedai who do end up in romances tend to be young for their profession and fall in love with men who are getting on in years. Examples include Nynaeve and Lan, Moiraine and Thom, and Siuan and Gareth Bryne. In all of these cases, the man is older than the woman anyway, but she can expect to live another two centuries at least.
  • In Octavia Butler's Wild Seed, protagonist Anywanyu had many husbands throughout her unnaturally long life, both she and her lovers seemed at terms with this.
  • The Xanth novels are full of this : X(A/N)th (male demon)/Chlorine, Demetria (female demon)/Veleno, Jewel (nymph) / Crombie, and others. Averted, as Xanth is also absolutely full of Fountains of Youth. And X(A/N)th, being literally omnipotent can do anything he damn well pleases, including extending a human's life indefinitely.
  • Per Long for This World, Aubrey de Grey and his wife Adelaide Carpenter: Aubrey is a gerontologist who plans to live forever, while Adelaide has "no interest in immortality."

    Live-Action TV 
  • On The Almighty Johnsons, the entire Johnson family are reincarnations of Norse gods but only have limited godly powers and thus live a normal human life span. The one exception is Olaf, who is the god of rebirth and thus will stay young forever and cannot die of natural causes. The current generation of Johnsons are actually his grandchildren and he pretends that he is their wayward cousin. By his count he fathered 20 children so far and had to abandon them and their mothers when it became too apparent that he did not age. These days he no longer tries to have a long-lasting romantic relationship.
  • In Andromeda, two out of the three women on the main cast were an avatar of a star (it only became apparent rather late in the series, but she was believed to be older and immortal much earlier), and a just about immortal android. This made the trope common enough.
  • Babylon 5: There is an interesting example of this with the relationship between John Sheridan and Delenn. Minbari already outlive Humans, though normally by only a few decades, and considering the ages of both characters she probably would have only outlived him by two or three decades. However, a Heroic Sacrifice to save half the galaxy shaved at least forty years off of his lifespan, leaving them a scant 20 years of married life. note 
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): Starbuck not only tries but actually succeeds in killing her unwanted Cylon suitor. He keeps coming back anyway.
  • In the last two episodes of the first series of Being Human, vampire Mitchell runs into an old flame of his, who is now a fairly old woman. He gives her the option of becoming a vampire, which she turns down, putting him on the path to get out of his Heroic BSoD and almost Face–Heel Turn.
  • An early first season episode of Bewitched focused specifically on the issue, with Samantha (apparently) admitting she will still appear to be in her twenties when Darrin is in his seventies. The dilemma is solved when Samantha uses her magic to age along with Darrin. It is unclear whether this would include her actually dying with Darrin instead of living centuries after his death, but for her to shorten her lifespan so radically to age as Darrin ages would provide yet one more reason for Endora's continual efforts to turn Samantha against Darrin. (Given the fact the series ran for eight seasons, it was actually possible to see Samantha make good on her promise as the actress aged into her late 30s as the series progressed.)
  • Lisa from Beyond the Walls is a woman of around 30 years, living in the 2000s. She falls in love with Julien, who served in World War one and has been trapped in the House ever since. At the end of the story, when the House returns him back to his time, they are separated, with him writing a book about his life to her. He is well in his 70s when she is born, which he laments.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Buffy's relationship with Angel was a mortal/immortal case. This didn't bother them much, until the Big Bad and then Buffy's mom brought it up just in time for the season finale. Angel ended up leaving Buffy for her own good... and the age issue in human/vampire relationships was apparently forgotten by all concerned at that point. (Although the problem certainly didn't figure in either Buffy/Spike or Angel/Cordelia.) Of course, the only reason they came up for that reason of Angel leaving Buffy was because they had to somehow get him out of Sunnydale for his spinoff show. Also, this was only part of the reason Angel left Buffy, the other, of course, being that she was his Curse Escape Clause.
    • It's fairly clear Buffy never intended anything other than a sexual relationship with Spike, and highly doubtful Spike would have thought of the issue at all. And Angel, by the time he started getting tentatively involved with Cordelia, was planning to become human again anyway.
      • Also it does come up for Buffy/Spike in the comics, when they are actually dating rather than just sleeping together. Spike tries to break it off partially because of this issue until Buffy tells him off for it and they decide to stay together.
    • The initial age problem was enhanced by Buffy being a high school teen; Buffy/Spike and Angel/Cordelia had slightly more adult girls. Buffy provides another variant: given probable Slayer life expectancy (a few years, cut short by violence) even an ordinary human romance could be Mayfly December, at least on average. Also, given the fact that Angel was fighting side-by-side with Buffy, his survival chances weren't much higher. It would have been entirely plausible for him to die in battle, leaving Buffy alive.
    • It should also be noted that by the time Angel starts getting involved with Cordelia she's part demon, and a damn powerful one at that. So, it's a high probability that she was as immortal as he was at that point. It should be noted that the life expectancy of each character, in terms of their relationship, was rarely brought up. Angel's stated reason for leaving Buffy was that his curse (making him unable to ever be truly happy with her, which obviously would put a strain on both of them) and his nature as a vampire (sterile and lethal reaction to sunlight basically rules out any kind of normal family situation) made him unable to give her the life she deserved.
    • Played with for Anya/Xander. They never had a Mayfly December Romance relationship, but only because Anya lost her immortality for the duration of their relationship, and got it back after they broke up. Notable in that she lost her immortality in an unrelated fight with Giles, and got it back only because she was so furious about the break up.
    • On the villainous side the Mayor seems to have genuinely loved his wife, staying with her as she grew old and died while he remained young.
  • Could have happened in Charmed between Piper and Leo, given that witches have normal human lifespans and whitelighters are immortal, if Leo didn't choose to become human.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor tends to avoid becoming too close to his companions because of this, due to what he calls "the curse of the Time Lords" — a companion could spend their whole life with him, but he couldn't spend his whole life with them (see quote), being "immortal, barring accidents".
    • The Third Doctor's relationship with Jo Grant had shades of this. Their relationship was never quite romantic, but he did seem awfully disappointed when she ran off and married a man she described as a younger version of him.
      • Worse still, according to Jo, she never stopped running, hoping she'd see the Doctor again someday.
    • An episode of the new series, "School Reunion", explored this issue in detail by focusing on aging ex-companion Sarah Jane Smith, while another, "The Girl in the Fireplace", gave the Doctor a poignant Mayfly-December Romance with Madame de Pompadour.
      The Doctor: I don't age. I regenerate. But humans decay. You wither and you die. Imagine watching that happen to someone that you...
      Rose: What, Doctor?
      The Doctor: You can spend the rest of your life with me... but I can't spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on. Alone. That's the curse of the Time Lords.
    • Played straight in the Doctor's relationship with Rose Tyler, which did become romantic and had a bittersweet ending.
    • Subverted in "Flesh and Stone", when the Doctor raises this trope as a defence to Amy's romantic overtures: "Aw, you are sweet, Doctor, but I really wasn't suggesting anything quite so long term."
    • Played with/zig-zagged and turned on its head in various ways the case of his much later relationship with Clara, another human.
      • The usual expectation is turned on its head when they get separated for what, due to the time travel involved, were several centuries for him but barely more than half an hour for her, leading to a scenario where she very nearly sees him kick the bucket from old age.
      • While she shames the rest of his people into granting him an additional regeneration cycle, effectively procuring him a second chance at life, the experience of seeing generations of humans live and die before his eyes in all those centuries leads him to break it off, leading to a prolonged Anchored Ship situation.
      • All of this comes with the interesting side effect that he, previously youthful-looking and likely to have stayed that way for most of her life if not for said separation, wound up with the appearance of a man in his fifties, while Clara is still 27, reversing the situation one would expect to set in eventually.
      • Further played with to poignant effect in a later, where they were both under the impression that they had just reunited after 62 years apart, in which she never accepted anyone else's marriage proposals (and explicitly states that he would have been a worthy husband). Ironically, when actually forced to confront his fear of seeing her as a wizened old lady, he barely even perceived her aged appearance and was much more upset about the fact that they didn't spend these years together. Once they figure out that they are still in a dream state and free themselves from it, they take that lesson to heart, and leave hand in hand, intending to make the most of their limited time together.
      • Their story has an interesting Bittersweet Ending. Clara eventually dies by performing a Heroic Sacrifice and Stupid Sacrifice (both terms apply) and the Doctor does everything he can to bring her back, including taking over his home planet by banishing the old president, (who, in fairness, was a President Evil,) shooting an innocent man (who could fortunately regenerate) in cold blood, and almost creating a time paradox. In the end, he succeeds, and her resurrection has the bonus of making her immortal, but still able to die whenever she choosing, meaning that they could spend the rest of their lives together without either of them having to end up alone (and with the aging problem no longer an issue for her; plus, it's implied she's now indestructible too). The previous Anchored Ship is officially un-anchored briefly as Clara invites the Doctor to just fly away with her. However, they realise that they make each other willing to commit too extreme actions and the Doctor is forced to erase his own memories of Clara. But they both have long lives ahead of them and are both able to continue travelling through time and space in their own time machines, which neither of them thought they would ever be able to do again.
  • On Forever, Henry Morgan is an immortal who engaged in relationships. The most prominent is Abigail, who he married in the 1940s. She knew his secret the entire time and was committed to him, but over time, she got older while he continued to look 35. By 1985, the strain of this difference and the way onlookers gaped at them became too much for her, and she left.
  • On Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, the various gods have sexual encounters with mortals, but they otherwise avoid relationships with them. "The Green-Eyed Monster" shows Cupid falling for Psyche, which Aphrodite disapproves of. Part of that is because she's jealous of Psyche's beauty, but it's also because of this trope. Aphrodite notes she's had experience in this area and that mortals are like plums: they taste great for a while but eventually become prunes. Cupid's situation is resolved by Hercules suggesting Aphrodite give Psyche ambrosia.
  • On Heroes, Sylar seems to believe that this inevitability is grounds enough upon which he can begin to build a relationship of some sorts with Claire. Despite the fact that, at present, she's not even eighteen where he's roughly thirty—and that he's a sociopathic murderer and she hates him with a fiery passion. He promises she'll get bored of trying to kill him one day...
  • As with the film series, all Immortal/mortal relationships in the Highlander TV series are this. It's spotlighted in the season one episode "Studies in Light", in which Duncan encounters a mortal woman who was his lover fifty years ago.
    • In another episode, Methos, the oldest immortal alive, strikes up a relationship with a woman who is not only a muggle, but is dying of an incurable disease. When this is brought up, he invokes the trope.
      Methos: I know she's dying, okay? You are all dying. Twenty years. Six months. What's the difference?
  • Ice Fantasy: Ka Suo, an immortal and a prince of the Ice Tribe, falls in love with Li Luo, a mortal commoner.
  • I Dream of Jeannie: The trope applies to Major Nelson and Jeannie, once they marry. Once the continuity of the series is retconned, to indicate that Jeannie was born a djinni into a family of djinnis, it also becomes clear there are genies of various ages. One episode suggests that djinnis age slowly over thousands of years - Jeannie blinks up the minister who married her parents, who had just celebrated their 3000th anniversary.
  • The hero and protagonist Naoto from Kidou Keiji Jiban have this with a woman who's actually one of Biolon's rejected experiments. Firstly because the girl was basically made of raw kindness, which Biolon, being an evil empire, can't tolerate; secondly because she have the power to purify monsters. Naoto, as Jiban, saved her, gave her the name "Pearl" and they quickly reaches the romance territory, before learn she's dying. Pearl sacrifies her last forces to save Jiban from Biolon's latest monster, leaving Naoto heartbroken.
    • Naoto himself is this to his partner and veteran at the police department, Yoko. Being a revived-turned-into-a-cyborg detective/Robocop expy, and some sort of secret agent to the secret police's top dogs, Naoto/Jiban could outlive or even live less than her. With Yoko in love with Jiban and totally unable to see through Naoto's Clark Kenting until the very last episode, after Biolon's defeat, Naoto chooses to travel around the world, to learn and live as much as his lifespan as a cyborg ables him.
  • Their potential difference in lifespan has been a source of angst to Superman and Lois Lane in various incarnations. In particular, an episode of Lois & Clark focused on it, with Clark admitting he had no idea how fast he would age — if he aged at all. It was possibly resolved when Superman gave up some of his youth to rescue Jimmy from Rapid Aging and also to de-age the villain of the day into a baby, and one of the characters suggested that Superman had given up enough of his youth for it to no longer be an issue. Of course, since the show didn't run that long, we have no idea if Lois still has to worry about this...
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has Arondir, who is an at least 300 years old elf, and Bronwyn, a peasant woman in her thirties.
  • My Roommate is a Gumiho: Woo-yeo is almost a thousand years old when he falls for college student Dam.
  • Downplayed in New Amsterdam (2008), where the premise is that the main character will be immortal until he finds and weds his true love. Only partly averted, because any relationship with someone other than his true love would fall into this trope, including platonic relationships such as his 67 children. He has mentioned being careful to avoid siring more children specifically because of not wanting to watch them grow old and die before him.
  • Northern Exposure: The sexogenarian Hollis is married to the young, beautiful and vivacious Shelly. Hollis specifically sought out a much younger woman because men in his family tend to live to extreme old age and outlive their spouses by decades, leaving them lonely. In spite of their immense age gap, he still fears that he'll outlive her.
  • The Beauty and the Beast type relationship between Rumpelstiltskin and Belle on Once Upon a Time. He's a cursed immortal wizard who will live forever unless someone kills him and she is plain old human. He's something in the neighbourhood of 400 and she's 25-30. Due to magical shenanigans, it's been over thirty years since they met without either of them actually ageing mentally or physically. Season 7 has the ship reach its logical ending when Belle dies of old age and Rumple looks the same he did when they first met, leaving him desperate to find a way to die and reunite with her in the afterlife.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Last Supper", an immortal 20-something woman who was born in The High Middle Ages has Rescue Sex with the man who saved her from being experimented on. She unexpectedly returns 20 years later when she's involved with the man's son, forcing her to explain her condition.
  • Shadow and Bone. Kirigan taunts his romantic rival Mal with this possibility: as the Sun Summoner, Alina will almost surely outlive Mal by a long time, and he has the patience to wait years until Mal is old or dead and Alina's anger towards Kirigan has faded.
  • On Shadowhunters, Magnus is immortal and is already hundreds of years old, while Alec is in his early twenties and will live for a normal human lifespan. The possible complications are brought up in "Morning Star", with both of them concerned about what their future will hold.
  • Star Trek
    • Due to the great difference between Vulcan and human lifespans, Spock's father was sure to outlive his mother by many years. (This wasn't addressed much in The Original Series.) Sarek has a different human wife, Perrin, in The Next Generation, so Amanda must have died between the generations, but we don't know when (Though the Expanded Universe novel Sarek includes her death from natural causes shortly after the events of the sixth movie).
    • The same issue might come up with Klingon/human relationships, as Klingons live 150 years or so. Or it might be a MFDR in the other direction, as they much prefer to die in combat while they're still young.
    • Worf's more prominent (and only marriage was to a joined Trill, which confuses, and, depending on one's interpretation of the joined Trill/Symbiont relationship, laughs in the face of the whole matter. (None of the major Daxes have had any problem with long-term couplings with persons who aren't joined Trill.)
    • Data of Star Trek: The Next Generation, being an android, doesn't age and could theoretically live forever, so any relationship he enters into (unless it's with another artifical life form) is this, although none of the relationships depicted onscreen last long enough for this to matter.
    • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the changeling Laas brings up this trope while trying to convince Odo (a changeling whose species has an incredibly long lifespan) to leave Kira (a Bajoran with a roughly human-like lifespan) in order to join Laas in locating the rest of The Hundred.
      Laas: It won't last.
      Odo: The fact that your relationship failed doesn't mean mine will.
      Laas: True. If you're very lucky, you'll get to watch her grow old and die.
    • In the Original Series episode, "Requiem for Methuselah", the immortal, 6,000-year-old human Flint cites the tyranny of this trope as his motivation for creating a Robot Girl mate as brilliant and immortal as himself.
      Flint: I have married a hundred times; inhaled a brief fragrance. Then... age... death... the taste of dust.
    • Star Trek: Voyager had a couple of these.
      • For most of the first three seasons, Kes, whose race has a nine-year lifespan, was in a relationship with Neelix, whose life expectancy was apparently like humans. Kes's replacement, Seven of Nine, had her own age issue — she was only six when the Borg assimilated her, making relationships with the adult crew somewhat dubious. The exception was the Doctor, who was technically only a few years old himself. Thus Doc/Seven (teased, but never followed through on) was a rare example of a Mayfly December Romance that looked ickier than it was.
      • Explored also in the episode where Kes is traveling backwards in time, so we see an alternate future where Kes is married to Tom Paris while his friend Harry Kim is married to Kes's daughter.
      • The Doctor gets another in the final episode that has scenes set in the future, he married a human woman, but then that future was changed when Janeway went into the past to get the ship home sooner.
    • The Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Exile" features an alien who has already loved his way through a few mayflies, and he wants Hoshi to be the next one.
  • Torchwood: immortal Captain Jack Harkness begins a relationship with the 20-something Ianto Jones. Although Jack's home era is far into the future (the 51st century), has been living through the eras after inexplicably finding himself in the 1940s. He's been alive ever since. Ianto is mortal, and, while Jack can (and often does) die, he will always regenerate. This becomes tragic when Ianto dies.
    • According to a photograph seen briefly at the end of "Something Borrowed" Jack has had at least one spouse he has outlived.
    • In "Small Worlds", we see Estelle, an old woman who tells Gwen about how she was in love with Jack's father decades before; turns out it was Jack, and the affection is still obviously there on his end despite his being, physically, several decades younger. His reaction to her death at the end of the episode was heartbreaking.
    • Children of Earth: "Day One" introduces us to Alice Jack's daughter who looks about the same age as him as she hasn't inherited his immortality.
    • It's been addressed now, in the radio play The Dead Line.
      Ianto: But let's be honest, Jack. I'm nothing more than a blip in time for you, Jack. Everyday, I grow a little older. But you're immortal. You've already lived a thousand lifetimes. How could you watch me grow old and die? How can I watch you live and never age a day?
    • Also addressed in a conversation in Children of Earth, Day Three. And then, of course, Ianto dies.
  • On an episode of The Twilight Zone (1959), a man who appears to be in his thirties or forties is revealed to be thousands of years old. He leaves his wife to prevent her from discovering his secret, but she tracks him down anyway when she is old and he is still young.
  • Stefan and Elena from The Vampire Diaries are another example of an immortal/mortal case. Stefan is a 164 year old vampire and Elena is a 17 year old human girl, who will grow old and eventually die. Stefan is immortal, will never age, cannot grow old and is immune to all human illnesses. Therefore, Stefan's survival rates are significantly much higher then Elena's, who is a vulnerable human. Elena is susceptible to human weaknesses such as illness, aging and possible death. However, despite the difference in species and age difference, Stefan and Elena don't seem to mind. Their love for each other seems to transcend all barriers. Although, due to the differences in age and species, there has been some tension between Stefan and Elena. Stefan and Elena have talked about their age difference and also, the possibility of Elena choosing immortality in order to spend an eternity with Stefan. However, Elena has told Stefan that even though she loves him, she doesn't and never wants to be a vampire and would rather stay human, grow old, have children and live a normal human life. However, the age difference and the concerns over Elena's safety and vulnerabilities as a human don't seem to be a problem any longer now that Elena has recently become a vampire.
    • Same goes for Damon and Elena, again with these particular problems disappearing once Elena is turned.
    • Jeremy and Anna were well on their way to this trope too.
  • On Wizards of Waverly Place, Justin and Juliet. She may have been joking when she talked about Caesar but she's been to well over five hundred proms.
    • When she talks about her relationship with Mason during the finale of that arc, she says she loved him a 'long time ago' - 'Like, before America was discovered'. Which would mean that this trope applies to Alex and Mason's romance too.
      • Actually several Wizards are shown in the series who are several hundred years old, and one confirmed case of making to several thousand. While its never confirmed that this applies to all Wizards, its certainly possible so this might not be an issue.
  • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger had immortal Deboss villainess Candelira fall for Nossan. The difference in their lifespans is probably the reason for her choice to leave him behind at the end of the show so she can start a new life Walking the Earth and helping humans. It's shown in the sequel movie that a hundred years later she is still alive and hasn't physically aged, while he is long dead and she is now the mentor to his great-great-nephew.

  • The film "May Flowers" made with The Movies features a romance between a normal human man and a woman (the title character) who is an ancient species, timeless but not ageless. Over the course of a year she ages an entire lifetime and dies at midnight every New Year's Eve only to be reborn as a baby seconds later. May finds husbands to take care of her during this time but does not stay married to them for more than 50 years.

  • This was the theme of the music video for Paula Cole's big hit "I Don't Want to Wait," an immortal woman who had lovers in several time periods who each died.
  • Sonata Arctica's song 'Under Your Tree' describes this kind of friendship. Originally it was written because Tony Kakko's (main vocalist) dog, which he raised since it was a pup, died, and the day he was born he planted a tree. Now, many years later, the only thing that was left is the tree and the memories.
  • Josh Ritter's song "The Curse" depicts a relationship between a mummy who is blessed/cursed with immortality and the archaeologist who enters his tomb and "awakens" him. She dies toward the end of the song. The music video is one hell of a Tear Jerker.
  • Free Parking's "My Girlfriend is a Robot" pretty much sums up this dilemma in four minutes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Zigzagged in Dungeons & Dragons. While half-elves tend to have somewhat downbeat childhoods, their parents can apparently have quite happy lives together. The human is attracted to the elf's grace, the elf to the human's energy. It's implied that the human gets a partner who doesn't age for the duration of their relationship, and the elf gets a satisfying if short-lived (for an elf) tryst without any worries about bad breakups (assuming their human partner dies of old age). Other half-races, though, either play it straight, tending to come about because of Mayfly December Romances (half-dragons—even an elf will be in their grave for millennia by the time a dragon lover dies), or in the few exceptions avert it entirely. In the case of half-orcs, it's reversed, since orcs have far shorter lifespans than humans, and are more likely to die by violence.
  • Much like with Vampire: The Masquerade, the titular characters of Exalted are prone to this, at least when they fall in love with mortals. Exalted are possessed of extremely long lifespans and have a Healing Factor that can handle pretty much anything sort of regenerating limbs. For the average mortal, dying well before middle age of cholera or dysentery is a very real possibility, and even those who do see the ends of their natural lifespans (say, due to having an Exalted friend who can literally banish mundane disease with a touch) is only going to live to about 80. By contrast, Solar Exalted (the "default" playable Exalted type from the core book) die of old age generally anywhere between 2500-3000 years old. Regularly outliving all your mortal friends and associates (who are also now much, much more fragile than you results in a similar sort of alienation from normal human experience as the kind Vampires experience. Even the shortest-lived Exalted, the Dragon-Blooded, can live anywhere from 300-500 years (although the fact that their Exaltations are inherited means they tend to marry other Dragon-Blooded, extramarital affairs with mortal paramours are very common as long as they're careful to ensure that it doesn't result in pregnancy). Sidereal Exalted are among the most likely to get involved with mortals (under various false identities), but they're also in the fairly unique position of being much more likely than any other type of Exalted to approach this from the other direction. They live and work in Yu-Shan among literally-immortal gods. The Sidereal Exalted have the longest natural lifespan of all the Exalted at 5000 years (around twice as much as that of Solar and Lunar Exalted), but one of their patrons is the Maiden of Endings, who ensures that there are absolutely no loopholes around that hard limit. Even if they were to achieve immortality by other means (which is fairly common among Solars and Lunars who think far enough ahead), Fate itself will conspire to see that their lives come to an end when they should. Gods, meanwhile live literally forever, and most of them consider the entire time between the end of the Primordial War/Divine Revolution and the Present Day (itself roughly an entire Sidereal lifespan) as a short but well-deserved vacation.
  • Actually actively averted in the Elves of Alfheim supplement for the Mystara campaign. Elven romantic relationships are not expected to be "for life" and it is rare that an elven couple doesn't drift apart anyway after at most a century. Elves with human spouses don't like when they die, of course, but don't see this trope as a big problem.
  • This is actually a very integral part of Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem. Part of what causes vampires to slowly turn more and more inhuman in attitude is the fact that any human relations a vampire has will eventually die. This either slowly drives them mad from despair or they simply stop bothering with considering humans anything more than toys or lunch. Vampires who try to fight this dissolution of humanity tend to be pretty unhappy.
    • Keeping ghouls (humans with vampire blood in their system) doesn't help either. They don't age, but they tend to go insane over decades or centuries for the same reason that vampires do (although slightly faster).
    • And if you try to go all the way and try to make your special someone a vampire like you...well, it's a crapshoot at best, but I Hate You, Vampire Dad is very prone to rearing its ugly head.
  • Warhammer has one. Specifically, the Vampire Count Vlad von Carstein and his beloved wife Isabella. Because this is Warhammer there is precious little angst over this as they are both bloodthirsty monsters of the old school, even before Isabella became a vampire.
  • This can also be a problem in Wraith: The Oblivion, particularly if the mortal in the relationship is a Fetter - because unless the wraith can resolve the relationship before the mortal dies, the wraith will be plunged into a Harrowing, a nightmarish psychodrama, with the wraith's other Fetters, and potentially their very capacity to see the living world again, at stake.

    Video Games 
  • Played straight in Avalon Code, where Mayor Georg married a human woman (who was, in fact, the granddaughter of his first love). If the male player character chooses Georg's daughter Sylphy as a love interest, it can be assumed this trope would apply to their relationship as well, albeit not in-game.
  • In Baldur's Gate II, two of the four romanceable characters (Aerie and Viconia) are full-blooded elves, the longest-lived race around, whereas the Player Character can be of any race. Viconia the dark elf won't even get involved with a (surface) elf character due to racial prejudice. Her epilogue when she's chosen as the love interest reveals that the player character actually outlives her, as she is assassinated by her former people. Conversely, the other two possible love interests (Jaheira and Anomen) are a human and a half-elf, so a long-lived player character will outlive them.
  • Any of the relationships in Baldur's Gate III can become this is the Player Character is an elf, since they would then long outlive their lover. A relationship with Astarion will always fall under this trope, with Astarion as the December and the PC as the Mayfly, since he's a vampire spawn, and therefore, immune to aging.
  • The Castlevania series has a couple of these. Dracula and Lisa. Alucard and Maria and Lyudmil from the radio drama, if you interpret it like that; Alucard even talks about it with him, saying, "Lyudmil… humans will return to dust eventually, but I will live on forever. Compared to eternity, my time with you is short…"
  • In Dark Parables: The Exiled Prince, this turns out to have been the fate of the Frog Prince. His first wife Ivy gave him her immortality (it's implied partially by accident). From that point on, he was doomed to outlive all his wives, and worse, turn into a frog again every time one died. By the time the Fairy Tale Detective comes along, this has happened four times, each wife dying of old age. The fifth wife is still alive, but she went home to father after an argument.
  • Implied to be the case in Dragon Age: Inquisition with Solas if the player pursues his romance with a female Lavellan, and possibly one of the reasons he breaks it off at the end of the game. On top of, well, being the elven god who was purportedly responsible for the fall of Arlathan.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Any relationship between a member of the Long-Lived races of Mer (Elves) and a member of the races of Men (who have lifespans like those of real life humans) is one.
    • A specific example from the series' backstory is Emperor Tiber Septim, founder of the Third Tamriellic Empire, and the young Dunmeri noble Barenziah. (Which was ironically a May–December Romance in the opposite direction, as Septim was many decades Barenziah's senior.) Barenziah was being groomed to be Septim's loyal Puppet Queen in her newly vassalized homeland of Morrowind. Barenziah actually became pregnant by Septim, and since a bastard child with a Dunmer mistress would be very inconvenient for Septim, he ordered that the child be magically aborted, much to Barenziah's dismay. Being a long-lived Dunmer, Barenziah would go on to outlive Septim by centuries.
  • In Embric of Wulfhammer's Castle , the Duchess can have this sort of relationship with the Good Dwarf and Carmina.
    Good Dwarf: I'll still love you when you're spoiling your grandchildren, and when they're spoiling theirs.
  • At one point in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, Kraden mentions that the reason Rief's teenage sister Nowell never returned to the plot is that she got a crush on Piers and left on a joyride with him. Piers, whose age was a touchy subject even thirty years ago, and whose aging has been slowed further by his exposure to the Golden Sun Event. It's unknown whether Kraden's word is good in this case (he's a known crack-Shipper on Deck), or if Piers reciprocates.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Though no romance is confirmed, if Balthier and Fran in Final Fantasy XII are meant to be an Official Couple, then it is quite probable that they will experience this. Viera live three times as long as humes. Fran is probably at least 100. She can expect to be alive for another century or so - long after Balthier is dead.
    • You'd think combining this with Reincarnation Romance would remove the pitfalls of the trope, but Final Fantasy XIII-2 shows that this combination has even worse problems. Namely, that the "December" gets so sick of watching his lover die over and over again in different lives that he tries to destroy time to make it stop.
    • The Shiva of Final Fantasy XIV was once a mortal Elezen who fell in love with the ageless Hraesvelgr who loved her in return. Because they knew how short their time together would be, Shiva asked that Hraesvelgr devour her, so that their souls could be eternally bound together. Though reluctant, Hraesvelgr eventually granted her wish.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Inverted with Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade's quasi-canon couple Eliwood and Ninian. You'd think being a 1000-year-old half-dragon would mean Ninian would outlive Eliwood, but in fact abandoning the dragon homeworld makes her die within the next twenty years, as the changes in Elibe itself make the survival of dragons and half-dragons much harder than it used to.
    • Which leads into the relationship between Eliwood's son, Roy and possible bride Sophia who, like Ninian, is half-human, half-dragon. However, there is no mention of any changes to her lifespan, possibly because she doesn't come from another dimension like Ninian does. If you also accept that Ninian is Roy's mom, then you have the interesting case of a quarter-dragon and a half-dragon. It should be noted that the support conversations between half-dragon Sophia and full dragon Fae also directly discuss this trope, albeit from the friendship angle: Fae will outlive Sophia and all the friends she has made in the game, and she's not pleased at all.
    • A point that's brought up by both Nowi and Tiki in Fire Emblem: Awakening if they form a relationship with Ricken and the player's character respectively, as both of them are Manaketes and capable of living for thousands of years. Nowi questions Ricken about whether he really wants to marry her when she'd be looking youthful as ever even when he's an old man, while Tiki states that she's aware that she'll have to part with the player long before her life ends, but promises she'll remember him forever.
    • The Nabateans in Fire Emblem: Three Houses are Manaketes in all but name, so it's assumed that Seteth or Flayn will outlive any of their possible love interests by centuries. The same may be true of Byleth, though due to their unique powers they may be able to control the rate at which they age and live a normal human lifespan. This was the case between Byleth's parents, one of whom was over 100 when he met his wife. Though, given that his wife had the Crest Stone for the Sword of the Creator in her chest, it could very well have resulted in Eternal Love had it not been for her untimely Death by Childbirth.
  • The Harvest Moon series offers several supernatural love interests, but plays with things.
    • The Harvest Goddess and the Witch Princess, the Kappa from More Friends of Mineral Town, and Keira the century-old princess sleeping in the mines in the DS games are perfectly okay with marrying the player character, once the requirements are fulfilled. However, the fact that they are long-lived and will be predeceased by their spouse never comes up in conversation.
    • Animal Parade added the Wizard and the Harvest King, male versions of the Witch Princess and Harvest Goddess. The difference is that courting the Harvest King has him show reluctance to open to the player character, and actually marrying him leads to several of his lines driving home the fact that he's well-aware of outliving his spouse, explaining his hesitation.
      After you are gone... I shall love what you loved... I shall sing the songs you sang.
      After you are gone, I will be alone again. When I think about that, it makes me sad.
    • Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns adds Inari, a fox-deity that the player can court. As fascinated by humans Inari proves to be, they become rather distraught upon realizing that they are falling for the player character, and that said player character is falling in love with them. Mostly because Inari, already a few centuries old, knows that they will outlive the player character, and is aware how their guardian duties would keep the two from being able to be able to live together like normal couples.
  • In Hometown Story, Harvey, one of the village children, has a crush on the village witch Sue, who looks teenage at best but is a couple of centuries old. Sue accepts to go on a date with him and bakes for him, hinting she might not mind getting something going once he gets a little older.
  • Kohan Immortal Sovereigns mentions that this form of relationship between the Kohan and regular mortals causes emotional problems due to the constant loss, and one possible source of the villains who want to destroy or dominate the world.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • According to Breath of the Wild, (Sea) Zora age slower than Hylians. Hylians seem to have similar life expectancies to human, however Zora can be over a century and still be young. This means that Link's and Ruto's relationship from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time retroactively counts. Ruto arranges herself to be married with Link when they're children. Nothing presumably ever actually came out of it though. As a teenage Ruto has to put aside her feelings due to both of their duties, and Link is sent back in time to before they met afterwards. Link doesn't save her again so it's unlikely she developed her crush in the Child Timeline.
    • In Breath of the Wild itself, Mipha was the Zora princess and she fell in love with Link, whom she notes at one point looked grown-up faster than she did. She even wished to marry him. There's also a side quest where you can enforce the trope by getting a young Zora girl and a Hylian man together; said Zora girl is the daughter of one of Link's Childhood Friends named Kodah who was in a Love Triangle for his affections with Mipha, but Link's century-long slumber in the Shrine of Resurrection and Kodah finding a Second Love put an end to this dynamic.
  • Played straight, averted, AND subverted in Lost Odyssey: Kaim has had dozens of wives and hundreds of children before marrying another immortal and is at the end of the game quite ready to spent the next 1000 years with her, Seth has also had numerous husbands/lovers and at least one of her children is still alive, Ming has no problem with the idea of marrying a man she can outlive by hundreds of centuries. The immortals' children have ordinary lifespans though, and it is shown that, even if they learn to live with the death of their loved one, the immortals still suffer from this, sometimes even going to the place of the death of their loved one centuries later.
  • In Lunar: Eternal Blue, you find that The goddess Althena averts this by giving up her immortality and living out the rest of her life as Luna. A straighter, and more platonic example is Nall, who did in fact outlive his friends, and Ruby, who has to come to grips with the fact that she will do the same. Presumably this will be an issue for Lucia and Hiro as well.
  • Mass Effect: The prolonged lifespan of the asari — they can reach about a thousand years of life — has colored their relationships with most of the other species, along with their ability to mate with anything. In contrast, humans, turians, quarians, or batarians can reach 150 at the setting's level of medical tech, and drell can get up into their eighties. Only with krogan, who have a similar lifespan to asari, is this not an issue. Salarians, meanwhile, are lucky if they reach forty. Liara explains that asari who enter into physical and emotional relationships with members of other species do so fully aware that they will outlive their partners, and take a "long view" of the relationship.
    • The children from such a relationship are always asari — in fact, most asari are the products of such relationships, as there is a stigma attached to being a "pureblood" — which in turn means that most Asari lose at least one parent very early, and salarian parents won't even see their children reach adulthood. This is illustrated by an elderly 35-year-old salarian and his 60-year-old teenage asari stepdaughter in the second game. Another asari asks what species her friend's father was, is told he was a salarian, and delicately says "Oh, so you didn't get much time with him."
    • One asari mentions this as a reason she's hesitant to get it on with a krogan. Krogan have at least as long of a lifespan — there's mention of one having "millenia" of experience — as asari, making it a big commitment. With humans "you just stick it out a century, and they die". Shepard is less than amused. The couple do get together and have a daughter between games... only for the korgan to die in combat. They got less than a year together.
    • In one particular mission you have to get a fish for a krogan at the Citadel. In the shop, you can hear a turian and asari talking about getting a fish, and the turian says that maybe they shouldn't get a fish because they only live for a few years. The asari tries to use this as an opportunity to broach the lifespan topic, but her parter isn't having it.
      Asari: Well, you have to appreciate the time that you DO have with the fish-
      Turian: Oh, this is the lifespan talk, isn't it! We're not having the lifespan talk!
      Asari: We have to talk about it some time!
    • Another possible example is the relationship between Commander Shepard and Thane Krios. One of the first things that Thane tells Shepard is that he is dying of a terminal disease and has only months to live. The fact that Shepard/the player can choose to pursue this relationship anyway, fully aware of this, puts it in this category. In the third game he dies from a combination of getting stabbed by Kai Leng and the final stages of his Kepral's Syndrome if he didn't die in the suicide mission. Liara can comment on this in Lair of the Shadow Broker, comparing Shepard's relationship with Thane with a typical asari/non-asari relationship, and encouraging her to treasure whatever time they have together.
    • Liara herself is an example of this. She is very young for an asari, but even so, Shepard will most likely only be around for around the same time as she has lived thus far. This is the asari equivalent of getting married at twenty and one partner dying at 40, while the other lives to be 150, or more like comparing the lifespan of a dog to a human. If Shepard chooses the Control ending, however, s/he becomes effectively immortal, inverting the relationship! In Lair of the Shadow Broker, she'll even mention she's only just about to turn a 109 (and typically, asari can live up to a 1000 years). Won't stop a faithful Shepard from proposing a Babies Ever After ending.
    • During the third game there is a fleeting mention of asari-vorcha offspring. Vorcha live twenty years if they're lucky and tend to be brutal and violent. If adopted and "socialized" they're much calmer and easier to get along with, and the premier institution devoted to "socializing" vorcha is asari-run, making it a distinct possibility that some of those pairings involved Partner Husbandry.
  • "Old Man" Andrew, a supporting character from Mega Man Zero had this as a part of his backstory. He was a Reploid, she was a human, when she started aging he at one point had himself converted to look old, guess the mind must've followed suit because all he does nowadays is be by himself reminiscing.
  • The H game Monster Girl Quest has the Sphinx use the classic Sphinx riddle as part of a ritual that a human and a dragon who wish to marry one another must take to emphasise the nature of this trope, and to allow the couple to consider its implications before they continue to pursue their relationship. The Sphinx herself has first-hand experience with how much it sucks to be the still-living half of the equation.
  • In the Mortal Kombat franchise, Earthrealm warrior Liu Kang and Edenia princess Kitana fell in love, but even if it had worked (both perished in the events of Mortal Kombat 9) it would have ended up this way; she was already ten-thousand years old, at least and would have outlived him several times over. Mortal Kombat X has them reunited and playing the trope more or less straight as the Ruling Couple of the Nether-Realm, the Evil Power Vacuum left behind by the death of Quan Chi and the permanent incapacitation of Shinnok.
  • In the Myst series, Katran has, it appears, a normal life span. However, her husband Atrus is one quarter D'ni, and so he was still alive at 250. They were close in age. This is kind of subverted in another background novel, The Book of Ti'Ana- the lifespan discrepancy between the human Anna and the D'ni Aitrus is one of the reasons their marriage is opposed, yet the couple themselves are less bothered by the issue. However, thanks to the efforts of the villains, she ends up outliving him.
  • In Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark, it's possible to start a romance with Lady Aribeth, who is actually dead and a petitioner spirit on the eighth level of Hell. Bringing her back to the Material Plane as a corporeal "sprit" means that she is left immortal in the sense of unaging, so in the prologue she outlives any player character, even an elf.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 3 The protagonist (official names Minato Arisato/Makoto Yuuki/Sakuya Shiomi) to any of the romanceable girls in all the releases of P3, due to becoming the Great Seal at the end. By extension, the female protagonist (official name Kotone Shiomi, but the fandom more often calls her Minako Arisato), to any romanceable guy except Shinjiro in the PSP release.
    • A bit of a technicality, but in Persona 4 Golden, you can romance Marie, who is later revealed to be a goddess. While not stated in-game, this essentially means she can't die (at least, not by natural means).
  • In The Sims 3: Supernatural, this can happen when normal Sims marry fairies or vampires, since they both have lives that are 5 times that of a normal sim.
  • Avoided in the backstory of Suikoden III, where it is revealed that the Flame Champion gave up the True Fire Rune, the source of his immortality, to be with his lover Sana. Played straight with Jimba, whose half of the True Water Rune grants him immortality, and is revealed to be the father of Chris Lightfellow. Also heavily implied with Nash and the thousand-year-old vampiress Sierra; Nash makes it clear that he's married and the descriptions he gives of his wife certainly seem to describe Sierra, especially given that another character reports witnessing Nash meeting with a pale-skinned woman late at night.note  They do have the option of turning him into a vampire and who knows, maybe they already did. At the very least, he has stated that he wouldn't mind spending an eternity as vampire with her. And he certainly doesn't seem to have aged much in the last 15 years.
  • Tales Series:
    • Tales of Symphonia:
      • You have the option to pair off Lloyd with the half-elf Raine, who will outlive him.
      • Kratos is a 4000-year-old angel who doesn't age, and his wife was a human woman being slowly eaten away by a mutating Cruxis Crystal. And, of course, she dies before the game even starts.
    • In the sequel Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, Emil is revealed to be the summon spirit Ratatosk. Still, both him and Marta decide to be together the rest of her days (if you get the best ending, that is)
    • Also prominent in Tales of Phantasia, with the half-elf Arche. Even though she's from one-hundred and two years in the past, she's going to live much longer than all of her friends, and even her love interest. It's shown in one of the sequels that in a few hundred years, she still misses Chester.
  • Undertale discusses the trope on a child to parent relationship instead of romance in the Playable Epilogue if you get the Golden Ending. Gerson tells Frisk that even if Toriel and Asgore adopted them, they would certainly outlive Frisk since Toriel and Asgore are boss monsters and cannot age if they don't have children of their own. The trope can be played straight if you choose to have Frisk live with Toriel as her adopted child or avert the trope by having Frisk go on their own adventures while keeping in touch with Toriel and the others.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles:
    • The High Entia live about five times longer than the Homs do, but they have a longstanding tradition of having a Homs consort in their royal family. The same goes for the half breeds that have resulted from such unions, and you help one get together with her Homs boyfriend on a particular quest. They never really seem concerned by the differences in their longevity in either case, though.
    • Machina are even longer-lived than the High Entia and would be in for heartache if they had a relationship with someone from another race; one of them, Neonik, is 9892 years old. At least a few of them were alive during the events shown in the opening scene of the game, which explains how the world of the game came to be in the form it's in.
    • There are relationships between Nopons and other races. The Nopon Sage has an age of 9999 years. However, this is an anomaly as the next oldest Nopon is Yusa at 83 years and is considered to be elderly by other Nopon. It may be that the Nopon Sage's lifespan was altered somehow or that he is lying or perhaps his age is due to him probably being a ghost.

    Visual Novels 
  • Hatoful Boyfriend, a Dating Sim where the female human protagonist dates uplifted pigeons, brings up the lifespan differences between humans and birds a couple of times, especially during Ryouta's route where he points out that he'll die much sooner than Hiyoko and that he doesn't want her to go through the pain of losing a loved one and being left alone like he did with his mother. It's stated in Holiday Star that pigeons live longer than fifteen years in this universe, but still not nearly as long as humans do—and Ryouta has a chronic medical condition.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Hisao expects to die young from his heart condition, while none of his potential girlfriends have conditions that limit their lifespan.
  • In Nekojishi human Liao will likely pass on well before his spiritual suitors.
  • In Shall We Date?: Wizardess Heart, this happens in Leon's happy ending. Being a unicorn, he has a much longer life span than Liz. In the last scene, he is talking to his descendants, and thinking of the day he'll meet his beloved again.
  • All of the love interests for Obey Me! – One Master to Rule Them All! are demons, who are at least a few centuries older than you, the human protagonist.
  • Tsukihime: Shiki actually has a greatly reduced lifespan compared to normal humans thanks to his Mystic Eyes and the strain it puts on him. On the other hand, his girlfriend, Arcueid, is a deathless Friendly Neighborhood Vampire. There is an epilogue that takes place years after Tsukihime and is presumably based on the Official Couple that shows Shiki as a Future Badass, so he has at least a few years left, but Arcueid will outlive him eventually.

  • In At Arm's Length the three main characters are Enchanters and well into their 200s, while their mortal husbands are in their 20s.
  • In Cheating Men Must Die, professional transmigrator Su Lüxia takes fifty years of leave to remain in her assigned world after her mission is complete. She eventually marries Gu Chen, a character from the world, but she never ages a day while he continues to age normally throughout their marriage. She's visibly saddened while looking at footage of his later years after her leave is up, and she comments that she won't date in modern-themed worlds anymore because she's unable to do something as basic as growing old with her mortal partners.
  • Eerie Cuties: This was briefly discussed between Layla and her mother, who noted that Layla's aging process would soon become progressively slower, preserving her youthful appearance, while her boyfriend, Kade, would continue to age normally. Maria surmised that he'd likely be in his 40's before Layla physically resembled a 19 year old.
  • In the semi-revisionist fantasy webcomic Errant Story, it was fashionable for some time in the past for the immortal elves to take on human lovers, so that they can experience the mourning, sad joy of seeing their lover grow old and die (especially since relationships between two immortal elves inevitably resulted in the two getting bored with each other over the decades or centuries); apparently this was their culture's take on mono no aware. Elves, in this story, have a lot in common linguistically and culturally with Japan. Jon and Sarine go down this path in the end. The story concludes with Sarine visiting Jon's grave with their half-elf daughter.
  • Girl Genius:
    • This ends up being the romance between Zeetha and Airman Higgs, as the former is young woman in her twenties while the latter is an immortal, thousand-plus year old Jaegermonster. Except Zeetha has now been dosed with the same Super-Soldier potion, so who knows what's going to happen.
    • Played straight with Oggie the Jaeger and his long-dead wife; he feels she's still alive as long there are descendents around, and he makes a constant effort to see that his great-grandchildren keep procreating.
  • Spoofed in Girls Next Door, when a certain wangsty sparklepire discovers that not only is his new mouthbreathing target (Sara Williams) already staked out by another glittery, immortal object of fangirl lust, but that their (comically disfunctional) relationship is entirely angst free. He does not take it well, and starts choking on his own Bishie Sparkle.
    Edward: What...How...This isn't right! Immortal/Mortal romance is supposed to be angsty and star-cross'd and drama-ACK cough cough * gargle* choke wheeeeze...
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Voluptua gives this as one of several reasons she cannot pursue a relationship with Bob, yet also the reason she is reluctant to leave Earth's solar system. "If I turn my head for a moment... he'll age to dust before I can look back." Shown here.
  • In Homestuck, the fact that she's dead and has existed that way for an uncountable amount of time, however much she may look like a normal teenage girl, is why Aranea tells Jake that a relationship between them couldn't work. He maintains optimism regardless (even thinking to himself that it might work if he dies, betraying perhaps worrying faith in Death Is Cheap holding true indefinitely), but even aside from the age disparity Aranea isn't really interested in him and probably only brought it up as a more polite way of rejecting him.
    • The higher up the hemospectrum a troll is, the longer their lifespan. While someone at the low end (red, orange) might live a few dozen sweeps, someone at the high end (blue, violet) has a lifespan bordering on millenia. Any highblood in a relationship with a lowblood will definitely see several deaths of those they cared about.
    • When Sburb players go God Tier, they achieve immortality. Not everybody reaches God Tier, however, and sometimes the immortal teens date the mortal ones. Examples of this include Dave and Terezi, Rose and Kanaya, Davesprite and Jade, and Dave and Karkat.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court:
    • Jones, a perfectly immortal Time Abyss precisely as old as the Earth, is in a relationship with the Empowered Badass Normal James Eglamore. She has had numerous similar relationships throughout history; although she claims to have no feelings or emotional impulses of any kind, Antimony disputes that based on her drive to seek companionship, and her human partners don't seem to have any complaints.
    • In an unconventional example, Antimony's maternal bloodline dies several years after having a child thanks to the mother's life force and spirit migrating into the daughter. Anthony, a human father, labors for years without success to prevent this.
  • In El Goonish Shive, elves are the offspring of humans and Immortals. Adrian Raven's father Blaike Raven had this kind of relationship with Pandora, but she had already come to terms with this and planned to "reset" herself after his passing. But then he was killed and she went off the deep end.
  • Kubera:
    • This trope is discussed, as Ran recalls his mother - a half-blood sura with an extremely long lifespan - warning him not to fall in love with a pure-blooded human because in the end, he is the one who will be hurt.
    • Another example is the relationship between Agni, the god of fire, and Brillith, his summoner. Since Agni is effectively immortal, he knows he's setting himself up for this, and worse, keeping him summoned is only shortening Brillith's lifespan.
  • In Life of Melody, Razzmatazz (a fairy) and Bon (a troll) end up raising a human child together. After a year or so together, Razz has started to consider settling down long-term... until one of his fairy colleagues chews him out for "getting attached", since a fairy's lifespan is more than twice that of a beast or a human. The revelation comes as an unpleasant wake-up call to everyone involved, particularly since it's implied that Razz never considered that he'd outlive his partner or adopted daughter (for instance, when he gives Bon an enchanted ring with enough magic stored up to last "a couple centuries, give or take"). The matter is settled when Razz turns himself into a human.
  • The Non-Adventures of Wonderella: Parodied when Thor tries to make his excuse not to see Wonderella again after sleeping with her once on the basis that it wouldn't work out because of this trope because he's immortal. Wonderella was expecting something else and gets so angry she disproves his claim of immortality.
  • In Sorcery 101, Pat became a vampire to keep his wife from being killed, and she's dead before the story begins. She actually died fairly young, but still old enough that they downplayed their romance around others to help hide Pat's vampirism. It didn't work, as Pat's Only Friend caught on to both facts.
  • In Tales of the Questor, due to a botched Deal with the Devil centuries ago, Elves grow to full maturity in approximately 20 years—- then die shortly afterwords. One of the main characters is Sam, a fourteen-year-old HALF-elf, destined (unless a Deus Ex Machina intervenes) to die in her mid thirties. The reader may draw their own conclusions as to what this meant for her parents, and what it will mean for her. In addition Raconnans are supposed to have a lifespan of 250 years, and the author once stated that May December Romances are fairly common among them due to their long lifespans.
  • In Terra Agrippa Varus, an Azatoth, is in a relationship with Eve Arlia, a Varelien. The website's encyclopedia states that Vareliens live for about 700 years and Azatoth about half that.
  • TwoKinds: The average lifespan of a keidran seems to be between 20 and 25. Trace (a human) briefly attempts to find a way to extend the life of his keidran lover Flora before giving up and deciding to make the most of the time they have.
  • Vampire Hunter: Charles could live up to 1000 years or longer if he drinks human blood but Cheryl is a normal human and is already 86 years old and elderly.

    Web Original 
  • Discussed in a couple Cracked articles:
  • A dubiously canon segment of If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device reveals that Kitten was in one with Commander Shadowsun of the Tau. For context, 40 is considered old for a Tau, and at eleven thousand years old, Kitten is almost twice as old as her entire civilization (the Tau were in their Stone Age around 6000 years ago).
  • The Kindness of Devils: This is one of Hardestadt Delac's main emotional conflicts—especially within Loves Lost And Found. He's thousands of years old and doesn't physically age, while all of the lovers that he's had in the past are all mortal and end up dying from natural causes.
  • Played for Laughs in Mudy Quest, where Darkmoon (a drow) and Totenkopf (a gobbo) are 923 and 11, respectively. They are of comparable appearance, however; she ages slow (or is immortal), while he ages fast.
  • Used as a punchline in Ultra Fast Pony. Celestia is immortal, and remarkably blasé about the number of relationships she's had over the years. On the other hand, she does try to encourage her current crush (Twilight Sparkle) to become immortal as well.
    Celestia: ...And that was where I met my 43rd True Love.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: In the episode "The Suitor" it is revealed that Princess Bubblegum is much older than she appears. In fact, her suitors have been waiting in the castle to court her for a very long time. When Peppermint Butler asks the decrepit suitors how long they've been waiting in line his answers were "87 years", "120 years", and "300 years". While all of them look incredibly old, Princess Bubblegum still looks like an 18 year old. In fact, the suitor chosen to court the princess inherited his father's place in line after he died.
  • A Monster of the Week in Archie's Weird Mysteries is an immortal mermaid who kidnaps men with red hair and imprisons them in her cave to serve as her lover. She doesn't seem to mind that they live radically shorter lives than her as she views them as more as pets than anything else, and it's even implied during her Motive Rant that living as her prisoner is such a miserable experience they tend to die in months or even weeks purely due to despair. Thankfully Archie puts an end to all of this.
  • Aang and Katara in Avatar: The Last Airbender. The former is 112 years old (although has been frozen in an iceberg for those 100 years) and Katara is 14. This is justified, however, since Aang hasn't had any experiences beyond the years he lived out, so mentally, he isn't really older than Katara (except for the wisdom he was taught as an airbender monk). This explains why his conscious lifespan was way shorter than Katara's in The Legend of Korra, where he is dead long before Korra's adventure even begins. Then again, it was pretty obvious that something like that would happen, considering the fact that the previous Avatar in the cycle must die for the next Avatar to be born. However, if Aang hadn't had his lifespan cut short by being frozen this trope would be in full swing as Avatars are exceedingly long-lived (the oldest Avatar mentioned in canon, Kyoshi, was 230 at her death).
  • A "villain" of an episode of Class of the Titans, an immortal nymph, kidnaps Odie in one episode as she once loved Odysseus and Cronus convinces her that Odie is his reincarnation (he's actually a very distant descendant). Odie actually does reciprocate her feelings as, clinginess aside, she's incredibly kind and beautiful, but he can't stay with her yet as he still has to defeat Cronus. Hearing this she lets him go, explaining that as an immortal she literally has all the time in the world to wait for his return.
  • In Futurama's "Proposition Infinity," Bender's Robosexual relationship with Amy is shaping up to be this, although they break up by the end of the episode.
    Bender: I finally found someone I wanna spend the rest of her life with!
  • Gargoyles:
    • When Goliath and Elisa finally hook up, it looks like it'll be this. Gargoyles age at half the rate humans do, so Goliath still has about 115-120 years left in him. A bit more mild than most examples, but still, he'll outlive her by decades. Word Of God reveals Goliath will sacrifice his life for a great cause... so maybe not, after all.
    • Every time one of the Children of Oberon takes human form to marry (or sleep with, whatever) a human, it's like this. Anastasia and Halcyon Renard are going through this: he's elderly and terminally ill; she's a perpetually young Physical God. It's hard to say how he'd feel if he knew.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Winged Unicorn Princess Mi Amore Cadenza marries an ordinary unicorn in the Season 2 finale. Whether or not she's a Physical Goddess like her aunt is left ambiguous, but Word Of God confirms she will outlive him either way. Luckily, another Word Of God later went back on this.
    • There is also baby dragon Spike's Precocious Crush on Rarity, which has shades of this given that dragons are supposed to have lifespans tremendously longer than ponies. Adult dragons take naps longer than the lifespans of ponies.
  • Mary Shelley's Frankenhole: When the immortal Victor Frankenstein was courting Elizabeth (during her wedding reception), he spiked her drink with an immortality potion, which leads her outliving her husband... then her next one. She agrees to marry Victor, realizing she doesn't want to become a widow over and over again.
  • Steven Universe:
  • Completely ignored in Transformers, where romantic relationships between Transformers and human females are an uncommon but not completely rare occurrence. However, since Status Quo Is God, the relationships are never shown again after the initial episode and one might assume they've broken up again.

Alternative Title(s): Lovers With Different Life Expectancies