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Age-gap romances are very Hollywood, maybe because they’re allowed to break the rules more than the rest of us.
Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller had 11 years between them (didn’t last); Brad Pitt is 11 years older than wife, Angelina Jolie (has lasted so far); actor Stephen Moyer is 10 years older than Anna Paquin; Humphrey Bogart was 25 years older than Lauren Bacall (it lasted); magician Paul Daniels and Debbie Mc Gee have been hanging in there for 20 years; Jeff Goldblum is 31 years older than Emilie Livingston (31); Hugh Hefner and Kendra Wilkinson have a 60-year age difference.
While it can be an ego boost to have a younger partner, once the novelty passes the younger partner can become more demanding in terms of interests, values and life goals than the older partner had expected. The divorce rate among people close in age (usually with the male partner two years older) is 3 per cent, while it is double that for couples 20 years apart.
The bigger the age gap, the greater the fragility of the relationship, especially if the issue of having a family comes into play.
Actor Tilda Swinton has had two partners, one 20 years younger and the other 20 years older, and she says they are all great friends who visit each other’s homes regularly.
Life in the Boomer Lane has written numerous brilliant, profound, and downright side-splitting posts.
For those of us fascinated by April- November relationships we see in the media, rather than peer and judge through the social-media curtains, it might be better to be open about the advantages: greater financial security and the fact that older men, as Madden says, “may be more committed to parenting and less overwhelmed by the responsibility”.“Many people report satisfying and fulfilling relationships in which there are large age gaps, but many also indicate that these relationship had a limited shelf life, and, when major life decisions arrived, such as starting a family, these relationships faltered,” says Madden.