PSYCHOLOGY TODAY: Is Age Really Just a Number?

You don’t always fall in love with someone your own age; sometimes the gap in years can be surprising. Whatever way it shakes out for you, whether you are the older or younger partner in the equation, it often doesn’t matter because you don’t necessarily see it as an issue that affects the two of you – at least not at the beginning.

But so often other people, including family and friends, do immediately acknowledge it as a break from the norm and may not only have a hard time accepting your connection but might even offer disapproval and criticism. One of the questions becomes, how important is it to heed the concerns of others around you?

Celebrity couples including Zach Braff and Florence Pugh, who have been dating

 since last April despite their 21-year age difference, as well as Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles, who are 10 years apart and were recently spotted holding hands

, are both dealing with the issue. Since they are used to being in the public eye, they are likely better able to handle the constant commentary with the loudly voiced thumbs up or thumbs down.

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