Why do people hate age gaps?

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Meredith, why do people hate age gap relationships so much?

I'm on my third marriage, first age gap relationship (24 years). It's outlasted the first two combined (over 20 years married) and still going strong. Yet some people still viciously attack it as unhealthy. To those people I say … what are you suggesting I do? Break up a happy marriage and kick her to the curb after 20 years, because you don't approve? You would think that people would celebrate a couple that has stood the test of time?

We work together and have for the past 15 years. When a new customer saw us packing up to leave (our company sold out) he said "I can't believe you are leaving; you both seem so happy.” If the new company won't let us work together, what's the point? If a couple, no matter how strange they appear, are happy together, shouldn't we allow them to love who they love? Sorry, lots of questions.

– Gap

First I want to clarify that we're going to be talking about relationships that begin in a healthy, legal way, where everyone is old enough to make their own decisions.

With that in mind, I think a lot of people are perfectly fine when they see a couple with an age gap. I do think some worry – especially when the younger partner is very young – that the older party knows so much that the younger person doesn't have much agency. There's also the trope that a younger person has nefarious plans – that it's about money or some other thing to get.

The thing is, it doesn't matter what others think. It only matters that the two of you care about each other and have a community of supportive people. It only matters that you treat each other well.

Do try to give people the benefit of the doubt; it might take someone a beat to realize you and your spouse are married and happily so. Also be empathetic to older women who have long seen people their age seek younger partners. I see that changing a lot (and I do have a bunch of women in my life who have coupled up with younger significant others), but that trope is still out there for a reason.

I'm a little confused about the sentence about who will let you work together. But … whatever. As for everyone else ... all you can control is your own situation.

– Meredith

Readers? How do you respond to age gaps when you see them?