They say love knows no boundaries. There’s also an opinion that your relationships can succeed and triumph no matter how old you are. But is it true in every single case? Is it important to mind the age difference in relationships? How big can your age gap be? Keep reading to learn.
Which age difference is suitable for people in relationships?
Well, spoiler alert: no one can tell you if the age gap in relationships is something crucial or trivial. Society has been divided into two main camps of different opinions: age matters and age never matters when it comes to love. Does age difference really matter in a relationship? Let’s work it all out and look at the question of age importance from the outside.
Is a similar age always good in a relationship?
It’s never a great idea to categorize everything as good or bad, black or white. However, some studies demonstrate that marital satisfaction of couples with more similar ages is bigger in comparison with couples with a larger age gap. Why?
- More shared experiences because of common trips, activities, celebrations.
- Similar plans for the future because of similar phases of careers and lives.
- More common interests because of belonging to the same generation.
Does big age difference matter in a relationship?
In Western countries, it’s estimated that about 8% of all espoused couples can be categorized as having a big age gap (10 years or more). Why not so many? The reasons are the following:
- People usually mingle in social circles that commonly include peers of similar ages
- People are drawn to others who are similar (and similar age is subconsciously attractive)
Still, some couples don’t perceive age difference as something to stop them from being happy with each other. By the way, there’s a vivid tendency—men choose younger girls, and women are prone to go for older men. Why? This is apparently because ladies look for financially stable partners, and guys want someone younger and more attractive.
Does a big age difference in couples make them somewhat unlike others? Can a 63-year old man marry and be happy with, say, a 37-year-old woman? Well, ask Hilaria and Alec Baldwin who have been together since 2012 and have six children! There are other famous couples with an age difference of up to 46 years. Do you think they’re worrying about how old the’re?
Such couples prove by personal example that love indeed knows no boundaries. However, partners with a big age gap may face some challenges:
- Society. People may criticize and never understand your choice.
- Compatibility. Partners may belong to different generations and have mismatched interests and values.
- Children. Often, an older partner may already have kids. Also, it’s common for a younger partner not to want a baby yet.
Anyway, a small age gap is never a guarantee of successful relationships. It all depends on lots of factors: emotional engagement, accessibility, commutation, realistic expectations, respect, and many more.
What is an acceptable age gap?
Maybe you’ve never heard of it, but there’s a rule that helps to define the socially acceptable minimum age for a partner. Of course, this isn’t something to necessarily follow, but rather a guide to bear in mind if you have any hesitations about age difference in couples. So, here’s some math to do. Divide your age by two and then add seven. For instance, if you’re 46, the minimum socially acceptable age of your potential partner is 30.
What is a good age difference in a relationship?
So, is there any ideal age gap for successful and lifelong relationships and marriage? According to the Journal of Population Economics,
couples with a zero to three-year age difference showed greater marital satisfaction than those with a bigger age gap. Moreover, the study suggests that the bigger the gap is, the less satisfied couples are.
So, does age matter in relationships? Yes, it does. It’s statistically proven. Is it the only thing influencing your satisfaction in a relationship? Of course, no. There are couples with a small age difference whose marriages don’t last even for a year. There are couples where one of spouses can be 15, 30, or even 40 years older, and they’re absolutely happy together for many years. So choose a partner you’re compatible with by many criteria: values, interests, the desire to have children, finances, and so on. Age is important but never comes first.