24 years old v 24 years older

Last night my wife pointed to a Youtube video about the new president of France, Emmanuel Macron, and asked ‘Did you know he married a woman 24 years old?’. I’d read headlines about ‘an older woman’, so ’24 years old’ didn’t sound right, but ’24 years older‘ didn’t sound much righter. Except she is. My wife really did know that Brigette Macron is ‘older’ and really did mean to say ‘older’, but either her pronunciation failed at the last syllable or I wasn’t paying attention.

It is perhaps more likely that a 39-year-old man would marry a woman 24 years old than a woman 24 years older. Thinking about it, I was grateful that she isn’t, for example, 15 years older than him. ‘Did you know he married a woman 15 years old?’ really doesn’t sound right.

Some time ago, she was reading about a host/judge on a cooking competition program here in Australia. She said ‘His wife is 19 years old!’ (he was then in his 40s). This is possible, but I wanted to check. The article said ‘his wife of 19 years’. (I remember, many, many years ago, being confused about this phrasing as well. It that case, it was something like ‘his wife of 13 years’.)

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2 thoughts on “24 years old v 24 years older

  1. At one point, some years before I met my husband, I was dating a man 12 years younger. I broke it off when he became too serious. The sticking point, for me, was his little girl. My own children were grown, at University, and I didn’t want to start over with child raising. My husband is 10 years older than I am. I don’t find either situation terribly odd.

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  2. Wikipedia has an article on ‘Age disparity in sexual relationships’, but not many examples, and I can’t find a consolidated list of examples elsewhere. There are magazine articles like ‘5 celebs where the women is older than the man’ and ‘5 best things about an older woman/younger man’ etc.

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