Mind the gap | Naomi Campbell and Liam Payne

younger men

Naomi Campbell and Liam Payne are having a good time (and mind-blowing sex according to Perez Hilton) these days. 25 year old Payne had a relationship with 35 year old Cheryl Cole from 2016 till 2018. They have a child together. Naomi, a.k.a the Black Panther, is 48 years old. I think it’s safe to say Liam Payne likes older women. And seriously, is that really that bad?

Remember when French president Emmanuel Macron became president in 2017? His wife Brigitte (Trogneux) Macron made the headlines because of their age difference at the time. She is 24 years older than her husband.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone

Honestly, I must say I found the Macron relationship a bit complicated but it was not because of the age difference as much as because of the way they met. She was his teacher when he was 15 years old. I think the student-teacher relationship does put things in another perspective. But still, I mean if you see them now, they seem so happy and good together so who am I to criticize. Live and let live!

Happy couple

The Graduate

In the movie classic The Graduate, Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) is seduced by the gorgeous but much older Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). He ends up falling in love with her daughter though.

A very very different and kind of weird but really great movie that plays with the age gap theme is Arizona Dream. Axel (Johnny Depp) is attracted to both Elaine (Faye Dunaway) and to her stepdaughter (Lili Taylor).

Reese Witherspoon has an affair with a young guy in Home Again. The relationships don’t last in these three movies. Any other movies with an older woman and a younger man? I couldn’t think of any other but there must be!

The Graduate

Mutual respect and no power games

My ex-husband is 4 years younger than I which did not bother me at first at all. But even with ‘only’a 4 year gap, there were actual differences really. We watched other movies when we were younger, listened to other bands. We did not have the same values and life goals and we were in different stages of our lifes (and so were our friends). But seriously who cares, that contrast does not need to be negative at all. You don’t need to be identical twins to have a good romantic relationship. Some studies even show that relationships with a large age gap score better. However, other studies show the contrary 😉

I think a difference in age is the same as a difference in taste, in origins or in lifestyle. You can learn from each other and complement one another. As long as a relationship is based on mutual respect, love and understanding – we’re fine I’d gather 🙂 (which is the reason I’m not ok with the student-teacher relationship as there are problematic power dynamics involved in there).

The American teacher Mary Kay Leypourneau went to prison in 1998 because she had an affair with one of her students, Vili Fualaau. She was 34 and he was 12! When she left prison seven years later, they got married and had two kids. They split for a while but are back together.

Double standards

So women dating younger men raise eyebrows but guys have been dating younger women for ages and that never seems to be a problem. So why is the other way round so controversial? I really do not understand the difference at all.

Trump is 24 years older than Melania and that did not make the headlines like it did for the Macron couple. I don’t remember the relationship between Michael Douglas en Catherine Zeta-Jones being an issue either (24 years difference). The age difference between Mick Jagger and his girlfriend and mother of one of his children, Melanie Hamrick, is 43 years. Wow!


Celeb men with older women

Let’s look at some happy couples with a large age gap – relationships where the woman is older than the man:

Hugh Jackman has been married for more than 20 years with Deborra-Lee Furness who is 13 years older than him.

age gap
Hugh Jackman en Deborra-Lee Furness

Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich have an age gap of 9 years. They have been happily married for about 15 years and have two kids together.

28 year old Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been married with 51 year old Sam Taylor-Johnson since 2012.

oudere vrouwen
Sam en Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes (6 year gap) have two children and have been together since 2011. Gosling dated Sandra Bullock at some point. They have an age gap of 16 years.

Sandra Bullock

Dali’s wife and muse Gala was ten year older than him.

Priyanka Chopra married Nick Jonas, 11 years her junior, a few months ago.

So what do you all think? Age is just a number? Would you date a guy who is 23 years your junior? And what about Naomi and Liam Payne? How long is it going to last?

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Frédérique is moeder van drie tieners en werkzaam als tekstschrijver en communicatiestrateeg in de culturele sector. Ze houdt van Frankrijk, van mimosa, van de geur van gebakken knoflook, van de Middellandse Zee (‘haar’ zee want aan die zee is ze geboren), fotografie, musea, haute couture, films en hotels (daar heeft ze een speciale liefde voor, ze zou het liefst in een hotel wonen.)

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