Relationship gaps, or “age disparity” have been documented back to practically the beginning of time. During history, depending on demographic, these gaps while at times quite large, were deemed social “norms”. Think arranged marriages, life expectancy/reproductive ages, etc.
In our society today a large gap in age typically will raise a few eyebrows. That being said, without even realizing it, we’ll often label individuals involved in relationships, as having motives. From “gold digger” to “trophy wife”, and “cougar” to “robbing the cradle” everyone is labeled. We view the individuals in these relationships as either being a “playmate” or a “hugh hefner” type.
With that being said, Gone Girl touches on the topic of age disparity (simultaneously with affairs) in a way that parallels to society’s views. While I’m not defending Nick’s affair, or condoning his relationship with Andie, I will say that Flynn did an excellent job painting a picture of their relationship being “wrong” through her presentation of character traits. Yes, Nick (34) is Andie’s (23) married teacher, she is an adult. Flynn painted the audience the picture of Andie being a bubble gum chewing, non-stop texting, “tween” type, with Nick being an “old married” type, which of course would make any reader sick.
We discussed in class the “creepiness” with their relationship in many different contexts, and while I do agree to an extent, based on many factors; it hits close to home. Following that discussion, I couldn’t help but evaluate my own relationship in relation to age disparity. I met my partner of five years, when I had first turned 21, he was just 29. In our situation compared to Nick and Andie’s, we were both single adults, and he wasn’t my teacher. In addition, I think despite some personality traits similar to most individuals in their early 20’s, I was a bit more mature. We jokingly will make comments about how he “Robbed the cradle” however, neither of us believe that to be the case.
With that said, this all points out the idea that society is quick to judge and stereotypes, regardless of situations or further details.