I can't imagine what it must be like to be a good way outside the circle, like the young "Gay Cowboy", NSW rodeo rider Joshua Goyne, for example. We're supposed to be an enlightened, open contemporary society but sometimes it's like we're a bunch of sniffy Victorian aunts, smelling of mothballs, armed with iPhones. They haven't made any comment on the "relationship" so who knows if it's real or not, but that hasn't stopped the negative commentary.
Apart from the obvious thought that if no-one wants to say it, then don't say it, the disapproval is thicker than a tub of French anti-ageing night cream. But something about it feels expected. She is thinner and happier. She is carefree and fun.
She can play and laugh. There's no public confirmation of a relationship at all, yet Yarbrough is already publicly vilified for reminding Australian women, presumably just those older than her, of "what they are not".
And I didn't know playing and laughing was only for women under I still manage it. I realised he saw younger women as a bunch of sex-mad libertines in lipstick and heels, looking for a sugar daddy to entertain.
I had one, so could I get him one too? I told him she didn't know any hookers he didn't have to pay and he was quite offended. My partner has also lost contact with a friend, who told her at a school reunion that to be with a man of my age was "disgusting" and wouldn't be convinced otherwise. She'd never met me. At a year reunion of a mag where I used to work, talk with former colleagues, now mainly middle-aged women, turned to relationships.
There'd been divorces, new partners, lots of the usual drama over the years. When I chimed in with my story, I might as well have announced my new life as a serial killer.
I was asked for a picture. My phone was passed around in a long awkward silence, then literally thrown back at me. I asked what the issue was. Apparently it was that young women are possible "husband stealers". They saw my relationship through the lens of their own fears. When I use the expression "what a hoot" it's a total hoot, apparently. Films that came out what seems like a year or two ago are "classics".
I like The Clash. She likes … stuff I've never heard of. I'll tell some story and she'll say, "that was when I was four," which continues to amaze us both. It's like being in love with someone from another country, the differences subtle, interesting and intriguing. Her parents are only five and eight years older than me, which I was a bit worried about when first meeting them. Unfortunately for me, rather than disapproving, they think it's hilarious.
And "it's almost 9. But to experience the firm resistance to nudging up against one of society's lighter taboos, I can't imagine what it must be like to break a biggie. I'm very glad I'm just an old dude, not a gay cowboy.
Are age gaps in relationships a 'living cliche'? Let us know in the Comments section. He is owner of a creative events and activations agency and is a regular commentator on the life and style of Australian men.