Wedding Tips & Advice

Older women, younger men

It will take you a couple of seconds to name at least two celebrity women who have married younger men…

Demi Moore, who married Ashton Kutcher (her third marriage, he was 15 years her junior), and Madonna, who married Guy Ritchie, 10 years her junior.

Those are particularly bad examples, as neither of them lasted. But there are others: Tina Turner married Erwin Bach, 16 years her junior – they’re still married and have been for 27 years. And Julianne Moore married Bart Freundl, 9 years her junior. They’re still married and have been together for 17 years.

Then there are a few you might not know about – Gwyneth Paltrow is 5 years older than Chris Martin, Courteney Cox was 8 years older than David Arquette, Hugh Jackman is married to Debora-Lee Furness, 12 years his senior, Gina Davis is married to Reza Jarrahy, 15 years younger than she is.

These relationships are no longer scandalous. Disapproval is still evident – they’re  labelled as ‘cougar flings’ (interesting that is the woman who receives the label – when a younger woman marries an older man, as in the most recent George Soros (82) and Tamiko Bolton (40) engagement, it is inferred that she is a ‘gold digger’).

Age gap relationships are on the increase. In the last 50 years the number has doubled. In Australia, since 1974, there has been a steady increase in first marriages between older women and younger men, and 23 percent more women are now in relationships with someone more than 10 years younger than them.

Another study, as early as 2003, suggests that 34 percent of women older than 40 were dating younger men.

A psychological study revealed that women who are 10 or more years older than their partners are more satisfied and committed to their relationships than women the same age or younger than their partners.

Whilst we’re rather nonchalant about it today, it wasn’t always so. Older women, who fell in-love with younger men during the 1970s, were virtually considered deviant. These relationships were something you hid – it was barely past the ‘Mrs Robinson’ era – the movie The Graduate was released in 1967.

Do these relationships work? Some say they definitely do. As with most issues, one cannot generalise. The individuals need to come to terms with the age difference in their own way.

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