People Are Questioning The Nine Year Age Gap Between Tristan And Muffin On Made In Chelsea

It's reared the age-old debate about age-gap relationships...

Tristan Phipps

by Alice Hall |
Published on

There’s nothing like an age gap relationship to get people talking, and the latest one to grip Made in Chelsea viewers is one between Tristan Phipps and Julia ‘Muffin’ Pollard.

Muffin, 21, was introduced onto the show two weeks ago when she went on a blind date with Tristan, 29 – and was later met with a frosty reception from his ex-girlfriend, 27-year-old Lauren Sintes. Lauren ended things with Tristan after finding out he had gone to a secret dinner with his ex-girlfriend, Olivia Bentley, but the pair have been caught in a messy back-and-forth dynamic since.

Naturally, this meant Lauren had a lot to say about Tristan's new date. But alongside giving her a good-old-fashioned grilling and wishing her 'good luck' with the relationship, Lauren also made several references to Muffin's age. When Lauren came face to face with Tristan after his date, she said 'the last I know we had a pretty emotional conversation where you want to be in a relationship with me and a matter of days you’re hooking up with a 21 year old.' Then on Monday's episode, she reiterated her point, saying 'Within minutes of saying he wants a relationship with me, he’s hooking up with a 21-year-old.’

Of course, we have to take Lauren's comments with a pinch of salt (hell hath no fury like an ex scorned, especially on MIC.) But viewers have also taken to social media to share their thoughts on the new partnership. On X, one user wrote 'Why is Tristan going out with a 21 year old #madeinchelsea.’

One user wrote on Facebook ‘She seems lovely, but is same age as my daughter so I’m a bit concerned she may be a bit young for him?” Another said ‘he needs someomne older than him, he's what 28 or something?’

Of course, it’s worth noting that there is only nine years between Tristian and Muffin, and the show has seen its fair share of age-gap couples. Veteran cast member Jamie Laing enjoyed an almost year-long romance with Heloise Agostinelli – known as ‘Ell’ on the show – despite their 10-year age gap. Meanwhile, Ruby Adler was introduced on the show back in 2020 as the girlfriend of Reza Amiri-Garroussi. She’s 28, which means their age gap was nearly ten years when they dated.

Part of the discourse around Muffin’s age could be because she looks so young and fresh-faced, rather than people actually being up in arms about the nine year age difference. But all this has reared the age-old debate around age-gap relationships - and when it becomes too much. Everyone will have a different response to this question. In the celebrity world, age-gap relationships are actually pretty common - there's 17 years between George and Amal Clooney, 11 years between Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, and, as for Leonardo DiCaprio, a (rough) average of two decades between him and his girlfriends.

But research suggests that smaller age gaps can actually lead to happier relationships. A study published in 2016 by Emory University in Atlanta found that the ideal age gap for couples was one year (such as David Beckham, 49, and his wife Victoria, 50, who have been married for 25 years. The study of 3000 people found that the larger the age gap, the larger the risk of separation; couples with a five year age gap were 18% more likely to divorce whereas this rose to 39% for a ten year age gap and a whopping 95% for a 20 year age gap.

As for whether Tristan and Muffin will prove these figures wrong, only time will tell.

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