Right here’s a narrative I not often inform. After I was 22, I used to be briefly pursued by a well-known singer. We met at an awards ceremony, exchanged numbers, and, for a few months, he left me a number of voicemails every week, asking me out. Don’t fear, I most likely wouldn’t imagine me both, which is why I made a good friend take heed to the messages in our workplace lavatory.

So far as I can keep in mind, they had been fairly charming and would stand as much as scrutiny post-#MeToo. However he was older—nearly 40—and persuasive, so there was a sure stress to simply waft, regardless that the entire thing made me really feel unsteady on my ft. When he invited me to accompany him out of city, I hesitated. I believed it could most likely be tremendous (and I nonetheless wish to assume that), however my intestine advised me there was no manner I might settle for such a proposal from a random bloke of his age. I’d assume that was sleazy and predatory. I mentioned no.

I inform you this now to not burnish my very own ego, however as a result of I’ve simply seen The Concept of You, a brand new rom-com by which Anne Hathaway performs a 40-year-old artwork gallery proprietor, referred to as Solène Marchand, who begins courting Hayes Campbell, the 24-year-old lead singer of internationally well-known boyband August Moon (assume One Route 2.0). In reality, the 2017 Robinne Lee novel on which it’s based mostly is believed by many to be Harry Types fan fiction.

The pair meet at Coachella, the place Solène is chaperoning her 16-year-old daughter. Campbell pursues her and she or he agrees to accompany him on a visit out of city. You don’t should try to think about what occurs when the tabloids catch wind of their relationship, as a result of we’ve seen it play out in actual life. “Hayes Caught With a Cougar” and “Sleaziest Mother of the 12 months?” are two of the movie’s fictional headlines (“A ardour for cougars!” was an actual one when Types started courting director Olivia Wilde, a decade his senior, in 2021).

Age-gap romances—significantly these by which the lady is older—are one thing we nonetheless wrestle to grasp. Regardless of an upward pattern in well-known girls courting youthful males and searches for age-gap relationships booming on courting apps, they’re nonetheless fetishized as one thing manner outdoors the norm. As an alternative of seeing two folks in love, or lust, we assume there should be one thing not fairly proper about one or each of them. It’s truly fairly miserable.

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