by Natalie Finn | Wed., Jul. 20, 2016 3:14 PM
If there's one hard and fast rule when it comes to matters of the heart...
It's that there are no rules. And there's little rhyme or reason as to why some couples work out and some don't. There are many fish in the sea and few agree on what makes the perfect catch.
Some women seek out guys who have a few years on them in age, all the better to increase the possibility of matching maturity levels (it's science, people). Others prefer dating guys who are the same age, or very close to it, figuring you have more in common that way. And yet sometimes the younger guys have it, for whatever reason—less baggage, more fun, less set in his ways, fewer exes, less baggage, who knows?
Point being, you never know. It really doesn't matter, as long as two people connect. Earlier today, Miranda Kerr, 33, announced that she's engaged to her boyfriend of a little over a year, 26-year-old Evan Spiegel—who as the billionaire co-founder of Snapchat is no "average" 26-year-old (of either sex). But since money doesn't make the man, he must just be a heck of a guy. So while we're on the subject, here are nine other women who've also found happiness with younger guys:
1. Eva Mendes, 42, and Ryan Gosling, 35: It's not too much of a brain-teaser to fathom why the actress fell for her Place Beyond the Pines co-star. The seven-year age difference could have been an issue if they had wanted different things, but obviously the now longtime partners were on the same page and are now parents to two daughters together, 1 1/2-year-old Esmeralda and 2 1/2-month-old Amada Lee.
Courtesy Reid & Fiorentino Call of the Game Dinner
2. Gabrielle Union, 43, and Dwyane Wade, 34: The appeal wasn't her younger beau's lack of baggage. Union was married in her 20s ("In my 20s, I was all about getting the ring," the Being Mary Jane star told TV Guide) and after her divorce decided to focus on herself for a change. Wade had a rough custody battle with his ex-wife and then, while he and Union were broken up he fathered a child with another woman. But the couple reunited and got engaged in December 2013, marrying the following August. "It's been freakishly awesome, and it's almost kind of embarrassing to talk about," Union gushed to E! News last October about married life. "We really enjoy each other."
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
3. Sam Taylor-Johnson, 49, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, 26: These two turned a few heads after meeting and falling in love on the set of 2009's Nowhere Boy, in which Sam was directing Aaron, then 19, in the role of John Lennon. But they were engaged by the end of 2009, tied the knot in 2012 and, fast-forward to now, are the parents of two daughters together. Wylda Rae and Romy Hero joined Sam's two daughters from her previous marriage in the family fold. "I don't engage with [talk about the age difference]," Aaron told The Times Magazine in the U.K. last year. "At an early age when I saw articles, it just f--ked me up...What does it even f--king matter about our age? I never noticed it when we fell in love with each other. And I don't notice it now...We just instinctively gel...People who know me call me Benjamin Button—they think I'm an old soul and she's a young soul."
Courtesy Getty Images for iHeartMedia
4. Gwen Stefani, 46, and Blake Shelton, 40: Shelton just turned 40 and that's not too much of a difference. Still, other than the fact that they both dealt with tough divorces at almost exactly the same time, they were coming from different ends of the relationship spectrum, Stefani having been married for 13 years and the mother of three sons. But the fellow Voice coaches are still getting along famously after almost nine months of dating, their romance going from rebound to real-deal in no time.
Noel Vasquez/GC Images
5. Cameron Diaz, 43, and Benji Madden, 37: Looks can be deceiving, because it may just have been the tattoos that made the Good Charlotte rocker look like any less of the grown-ass man the actress wanted in her life. "He makes me proud everyday," Diaz just captioned a pic of her husband the other day on Instagram. "One day it might be how generous and giving, another how gentle and thoughtful. Or when he is fiercely protective of the people he loves and cares about... And everyday single day I am so incredibly proud of his integrity as a human being..." Most of that is either there in a person or it isn't, so age be damned.
6. Julianne Moore, 55, and Bart Freundlich, 46: The Oscar winner and her filmmaker husband have been together for 20 years, married for 13 and have two teenage kids together, son Caleb and daughter Liv. "I read an article that said that winning an Oscar could lead to living five years longer. If that's true, I'd really like to thank the Academy because my husband is younger than me," Moore cracked when accepting her Academy Award for Best Actress in 2015. Since she also has two Golden Globes, two SAG Awards, two BAFTAs and two Emmys (one Daytime), these two might be partners in life forever after.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
7. Julianna Margulies, 50, and Keith Lieberthal, 44: The Emmy winner and her lawyer husband tied the knot in 2007 and she later applauded herself for waiting till she was 41 to get married. "I feel very grateful that I had the courage to say no when I did and say yes when I could, that I waited to find the right mate and to have this little family," the mom of son Kieran told Good Housekeeping in 2013. "There's something about this time in my life where I feel like it's never going to get better."
Margulies recalled meeting her husband at a dinner party that, of course, she wasn't at first planning to attend, telling Ellen DeGeneres in 2011: "I said, 'Are you an actor? Because as much as I love you all, I can't. I'm done.' And he's like, 'No, I'm a lawyer.' I'm like, 'Really? Where do you practice?' And he's like, 'I was a Wall Street litigator for six years.' I was like 'Really? You're 12.' He's like, 'No, I'm not.'"
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival
8. Allison Janney, 56, and Philip Joncas, 36: The seven-time Emmy winner got the little gold man and this guy at last year's ceremony. Janney had been dating Joncas, an artist and TV production manager, for at least a year when they made the scene together at the Sundance Film Festival in January. "He's pretty handsome," Janney acknowledged to E! News at the time.
9. Courteney Cox, 52, and Johnny McDaid, 39: Not long after her divorce from David Arquette, 44, was finalized, the Friends and Cougar Town star hit it off with the Snow Patrol frontman and they got engaged in June 2014. They took a brief break, but once again are going strong. "Just look at us," McDaid told E! News at the BMI Pop Awards in May. "I love her. I've always loved her."
And that's what matters at the end of the day.