If you’ve ever dated someone significantly older or younger, you’re probably used to the questions. Are they in it for the right reasons? Can you keep up with each others’ physical needs? Can this relationship really work in the long term?

Those questions can only be answered with honest and open communication between each individual couple. While some of these relationships may face major issues, compatibility and proper self-care can lead to a healthy relationship (or even just a fling!) regardless of age gap.

Here are a few couples who prove that age is really just a number.

Celine Dion and René Angélil

Dion raised a few eyebrows when she married her manager, René Angélil, in 1994. The pair wed following a romance which began in 1987 when Dion was only 18. Angélil was 26 years her senior.

The couple proved the critics wrong: After their extravagant wedding was aired on Canadian television, the couple quickly became known for their strong, kind, and enduring relationship. They were married nearly 22 years before Angélil passed away in January 2016.

Dion shared that a sense of humour was central to their connection: “We laugh. We joke. We kid each other. We want our marriage to last forever. Talk over everything and you’ll find you are still on the honeymoon. Communication — it’s the most important. It’s the secret.”

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively

These new parents are always making headlines for their sweet, affectionate relationship. Despite a 12 year age gap, Lively gushes that “I knew he would always be my best friend for my whole life. That was the biggest thing to me. I’d never known anything like the friendship that I had with him. I could like him as much as I loved him.”

In a radio interview, Reynolds explains how the friendship evolved into a relationship, saying “We went on a double date. She was on a date with another guy, and I was on a date with another girl. That was the most awkward date [from their perspective] probably because we were just like fireworks coming across.” The couple has been together since 2011.

And so, so, so many others!

There are thousands of stories from happy couples with relationship gaps. The key for almost all of them? Communication, communication, communication.

Whether it’s a fun fling or a long term relationship, knowing what your goals are as individuals and as a couple can lead to a rewarding romance.

Knowing exactly who you are and why you are together can also help you to navigate potential judgments. As couples’ counsellor Rebecca Sears, LPC states, “This certainly is one of many kinds of pairings that may look odd to others, but when you start to know them it makes sense. There is something about every couple that makes sense once you get to know them.”

One of the most difficult things to communicate about in a May-December relationship

As a men’s health clinic, we see plenty of happy relationships with an age gap. For them, only one issue stands in their way: intimate men’s health issues.

Yes, this is often the elephant in the room. But is such an important issue faced by so many couples–an issue which is often treatable.

If you’re struggling with men’s health issues, we’re here to help. Simply call us at 1-844-500-1177 or contact us online for an expert consultation at our Vancouver or Toronto clinics.

Written by Shauna Vert