age-difference-in-couplesAge difference between partners has long been a question of interest. Remember your high school days when dating someone a year senior was extremely cool. Research on age difference in couples suggests that while the desired gap for men and women is around 13-14 years on average (10-15 years), as specified in their partner preferences on online dating sites, in reality long-term pairs only have 3-4 years disparity.

Age difference in dating

The research data may be surprising, but it makes sense. When dating, we are more open to trying out new things, thus a wider gap we list as acceptable. But relationships are more than just movies and dinners, and moonlight walks on the beach. One of my most memorable experiences was dating a guy 20 years older when I was 21. He was amazing and so much more sophisticated than boys in my university group. Did it last? Of course not! I never even felt it was for real. It was what it was, an experience. We had very little to talk about or discuss, and never been very close. His friends and mine were too far apart. There was really nothing connecting us except our interest in each other.

Age difference in relationships

Other research suggests that the ideal gap in relationships is 4.4 years, and divorced people tend to have a larger disparity in subsequent marriages. In a way, this is to be expected. Young people usually pair up within their age group, as at that point in life their circle of communication is limited to people of about the same maturity. Divorced people, obviously, are older. By then our circles of acquaintances grow to be more spread through generations, and personal values and life style become more important than how old the two partners are. Still, real-life couples rarely have a generation-long discrepancy between them.

When the age difference is too large?

Most often in married couples a man is older than a woman. Many pairs continue a relationship that started back in high school, thus their difference will be smaller. It became more acceptable for both men and women to experiment with dating younger people. However, these alliances very seldom produce a committed partnership, and even more rarely survive past 10 years.

In couples where the age gap approaches generational, the older partner is under a constant and significant stress. While it may be very exciting at first, the long-term prospects of such relationships are directly affected by how self-worthy the mature spouse feels. Being afraid that your younger half may leave is likely to aid in deterioration of your marriage.

Not many people are capable of feeling like the proverbial 70-year-old billionaire, who, being asked about his marriage to an 18-year-old beauty queen, and pointed out that when he is 80, she is going to be 28, responded with, “Well, I can always marry another 18-year-old”.

Let’s be honest. Age difference in couples affects their long-term prospects. Anything over 15 years is too large a gap. If you want to play, fine, but don’t lie to yourself. There are beautiful, intelligent, caring individuals who will make great partners, and with whom you can be happy over the long haul. Give yourself a chance.

 

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Anastasia
Guest
Everything depends on the way you feel. Some people at 25 feel like they are old, and some people at 50 feel like they are 18. My husband and I have the difference of 12 years. He is older. We are together for 8 years, and have children together. I rarely notice the age difference but sometimes there are moments when I feel it. He is proud to have a younger wife, and while other men of his age have grandkids, he has a newborn son. I am OK with our age difference. My grandparents had 19 years difference between… Read more »
Haley Lawson
Guest

That brings up my confidence in me and my fiancé recently being engaged. He is 8 years older than I am and I am not a teenager yet so my friends in school are making a big deal over the fact that it’s long distance and the age gap. Thank you for making a personal connection. You boosted up my confidence in the relationship.

Selwyn Carter
Guest

Dear Haley. I am 16 years older than my wife and we have been married for 25 years! On numerous occasions we had to endure a long-distance relationship due to the nature of my work-but, it has endured! If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen! It’s all about trust and commitment!

Dhanya
Guest

thanks

Anastasia
Guest
I am another Anastasia, not the first one who commented on the article. Elena, I agree with you 100%. 15 years is a limit. If it’s more than 15, then at some point the age difference starts to affect sex life. A healthy woman with a normal libido is sexually active until she is 45 or so. And an average man in his 60s is unfortunately not up for the challenge quite often, if not always. Men, remember: for some women this side of a relationship is very important (although for some maybe not)! At some point, you will not… Read more »
Douglas Hopkins
Guest

As they say in science & banking, “Gmme the numbers!” Anecdotal evidence is not valid in synthesizing human behavior, so Anna, please come up with some statistical evidence. However, if you want to stick with your advice & personal experince conclusion, come see me and I’ll straighten you out on the subject of over-the-hill, male “frequent challenge”, if you please! Plan on a long series of lessons. Smile.

stephen
Guest

I am 51 years old and my girlfriend soon to be wife is 20 years old. We just had a baby together. Let me assure you my girl friend is very happy with our sex life.

jasona
Guest

She must be Eastern European and probably poor lol

Realist
Guest

Id like you to post how happy she is when she’s 40 and you are 71. Lol

Paul Rose
Guest

That’s why God gave Men a tongue 😛 and women a toy he can play with her. There’s also the “invite a younger guy in for the evening” thing. I was a cab diver and that’s more common than you may imagine. Lots of good common sense in young women hooking up with fossils. I’m a bag fan myself and more so as the years pass by.

Anastasia
Guest

Elena, of course not, life and sex do not end at 45. What I was trying to say is that partners should be on the same page when it comes to sex; they should have the same drive, or about the same. And a man should be realistic if he is, let’s say, 45-50 and is looking for a woman who is 20-25 younger (sometimes more!). I see a lot of such men on this website, and I wonder if they are sane. That’s just my opinion though, if somebody thinks otherwise, good luck to him!

liz
Guest

I’m wonderin doesn’t it depend how old you are at the start of the relationship. If you are 44 and she is 29.

Paul Rose
Guest

There’s no doubt, aging is an accelerating process. The age difference increases in span in real terms. But anyway, Anna Nicole didn’t marry the old guy because he has a diamond hard cock. If she hadn’t of died, she would be very rich today and why not? Who are we to judge? Maybe she liked to suck flaccid penis.

Deanna
Guest

I am 53 was dating a man 65. He broke things off with me to go back to his 35 year old ex girlfriend. I think it’s disgusting. He Has daughters her age.

DS1
Guest

You should be happy that you got rid off him earlier.

carolyn
Guest

Am 65 and he’s 51,I love him so much,and when we met on line,he told me that he likes older women..Now I think it’s a big problem, I know he loves me in his own way..I want to work it out,any suggestions??

robert
Guest
Ladies, Please understand that an age preference, if all the issues have been discussed should be a very strong one. i’m 47 and have been reviewing profiles that are as young as 29. What helps is that I’m looking for partners that will be in the medical field (as i will be) when i start my search in earnest. In my case, I am looking for a woman that wants to have a family. This is important to me as I lost my children at age 23 and have only regretted my position now. Another reason some men want that… Read more »
Realist
Guest

Ya ok. Lol

Bill
Guest
The supposition that the marriage will on.y last a few years at best is very discouraging. I am a 49 year old man who lost his partner while she was pregnant with our first child. We had an extraordinary relationship and love( by that I mean much more than chemical attraction, we had a connection and closeness that most couples do not seem to even imagine. I have always wanted a large family but I am not looking for a healthy breeder, I am looking first and foremost for love and intimacy but long for a family as well. My… Read more »
Anastasia
Guest

Bill, how come you are a doctor and don’t know that the quality of sperm in older men is not the best either and a lot of chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus are believed to be strongly associated with this factor?

Susan
Guest
Anastasia – Yes, I agree completely. Why are there so many men now around the age of 50, who want to have kids? Well, I think that question speaks for itself! The reality is that science is telling us more and more that a man’s sperm deteriorates drastically after age 45 and can produce mentally and physically defective children. Young women need to be more aware of this fact of life. I feel sorry for men like the above, but they do not seem to care how humiliating it is for a child to have a much older father when… Read more »
Ray
Guest
So judgemental. You cant speak for all kids that have older dads. Who cares what others think anyway. Raise condident mentally tough kids. My wife is 22 and I am 50 and we could care less what others think. We have a business that we run together and go out and dance till all hours of the night when we feel like it. Our tastes in music, politics, religion, business are extremely similiar. We are going to ride this till the wheels come off. Obviously I will pass to the other side before her and if so we at least… Read more »
Realist
Guest

If you are 50 and have the same taste in music and beliefs in politics as a 20 year old maybe you need to grow up and be a real man. You men can sugar coat this all you want. Everyone including yourselves know the real truth behind it all. The wheels will fall off sooner than later my friend.

Tom
Guest

I’m 54 and have no desire to have children! ZERO!!! but I see a lot of woman on this site 35 to 40’s saying they want children. Big mistake in my opinion. Tom

Douglas Hopkins
Guest

Anna, show scientific evidence, not “belief”. This is an apocryphal Slavic myth. Sorry!

John
Guest

Age is merely a number. Remember it’s not the years in your life that count, but the life in your years!

Irene
Guest

That’s really true ,age doesn’t matter .aslong u love each other

Natalia
Guest
Well, I personally 100% agree with the article. As for me, even 15 years gap is too big. I would prefer a man of my age or around it. I am 43 and I can’t imagine myself with a man of 50 + because we don’t have anything in common – we are from different eras, we listen to different music, we read different books, we have different experience. Besides we look differently, I mean I would not like to have a man who looks like my father. I think that 5 years difference is ideal for people. I know… Read more »
liz
Guest

Could it be ” parental issues”. Marry a woman 15 years older when your 29 seems thuscway. Dating much younger control issues. Born in differ eras. If they are the same “maturity ” level possibly work out.

Suz
Guest

If the guy looks young and is young at heart then 50 for the man and 43 for the woman is fine, especially if they already have children. It might be 7 years, but that is close enough to 5 years.

Todd
Guest
Hello , my name is Todd, I am 51. I find this discussion enlightening. I have been searching this path now for several months. I have “spoke with ” ladies that are my age to the youngest age of 26. To be honest, it is a struggle for me to talk with a lady that young. She tried to convince me it is not an issue, I feel it will be at some time. I am not sure I would want more kids, the young ladies will. Ladies that are closer to my age …we seem to not have the… Read more »
LuisTomas
Guest
Anastasia, I really think it depends on the people within the marriage. I have seen many couples here in America where the woman is twenty years or more younger than the man. Now, quite a few of them are of the Sugardaddy/Sugarbaby relationships where the older, more established man agrees to pay a monthly amount to the younger woman for a committed and ongoing relationship. But there are many where it is just a regular relationship. I have dated women twenty years younger and more young women in America are not finding quality men their own age so they are… Read more »
Jessica
Guest
I am 21 years younger than my husband. We just celebrated our 11 year anniversary. I look even younger than my age but love took over and I followed my heart. We are best friends and we have so much to say to each other that there’s not enough time in the day to say it all! He has more energy than me I’m 36, he’s 57. He’s the most fun person I’ve ever met, I’m completely attracted and satisfied with our happy relationship. The only difficulty that seems to be the only issue is social unacceptance. Passerby’s and judgemental… Read more »
Ralph
Guest

Its a known fact that women mature quicker than men, but also the toll on their bodies after bearing children, and the menopause. make them age quicker than men also. This is why the younger woman looks for a more mature man more on her level, than a younger man with no experience, who is unstable, and still into all night drinking, and extreme sports etc!

p.s. I am sure the feminists out there will be up in arms about this. lol

Ralph
Guest
Its better to spend 10 good years in a happy relationship no matter what the age difference, than 20 or 30 years in a bad one which a lot of women put up with.. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow, people die young or old from age related problems or by accident or disease. I don´t seek a much younger woman than me, but it does not stop me from having a young mentality, and staying fit and healthy, and if that attracts younger women to me then so be it. But I know my limits. It doesn´t mean to… Read more »
Ralph
Guest

I don´t agree with you, I think you are wrong, but you are entitled to your opinion same as everybody, and at the moment I am SINGLE by choice, I am not desperate. When I find “the one” I will know whatever age she may be. And I am not subservient to internet statistics.

Realist
Guest

Then why are you here? Lol

Tolik
Guest

An interesting point of view. I tend to agree that a large age difference creates unnecessary hurdles in long-term relationships. However, if you are just having fun, why not

simon
Guest

Best luck to all!

Michael
Guest

Hi Elena,
what you are describe under “Validation”, happened with all age differences. The question is if younger couple can manage the situation better, or if one Partner have already experienced the situation can handle it better or even manage not let it happen. Nobody can answer this. But I strongly agree with the 15 year’s difference.

jul
Guest
Tom, I can give you many examples how Russian girls whom I know, found the same age guys being living in the West. One went to a night club in Friebourg (South of Germany) and met a guy of her age. They are living together now. Another one was living in USA on a student visa and went to work out at the gym – found a guy, 8 years older but he looks great for his age. And if you google this name: Viktoria Bonya – she was a poor Russian girl who “made herself” basically, met an Irish… Read more »
Tom
Guest
I am 42 and have been contacting women 30-35 on the site. For me this is ideal and I still think there are many very beautiful women in this age range. I realize I am pushing the 15 year boundary but to be honest that is one of the reasons I joined the site. Is it really a good use of time and money to look for a woman +/-5 years of your age half way across the world? I don’t think so. I think many women on this site realize there are tradeoffs as well. They are probably are… Read more »
jul
Guest
These type of men usually the one who are crying later on “Oh, she left me, I did everything for her – documents, visa, shopping etc etc”. A Woman who is much younger than a man usually uses him to come into the country (and I have heard so many stories like that from the men), she ll get her documents, setlle down and leave the old man! It is the reality, sorry to dissapoint you, old guys. I dated men who was 12 y older and another was 15 y older… Well at first I had the feelings but… Read more »
Tom
Guest
Hello Jul, Feel free to get attention from the young 26 year old guy who just wants to sleep with you, but good luck finding a husband in a bar in Germany and USA :-). My comment to you is similar to the one Elena made to Ralph about being single. Russian and Ukrainian women are on the site because they have NOT found a good man 3-6 years in age difference to themselves or a good man of ANY age! They of course are welcome to marry the “old man” for the documents and then leave him. The next… Read more »
Tom
Guest
Hello Jul, I am not sure where to respond to you since you have posted comments to me in every post except mine! Your concern for older men who are crying is very nice and shows how good a person you are. 🙂 I don’t understand what the problem is for you though. Find a man 15+ older than you, move to his country, get your documents, and in 2 weeks time you will find a good, attractive man even younger than yourself. This sounds like a good strategy, so why waste time trying to convince men on Elena’s to… Read more »
jul
Guest

to Tom
Did I say anything about me? I think “Tom” can t read properly. I told you basic statistics from life!
I do not need “best of luck getting your documents” as I am already living in the west. But best luck to you with 20 y o who ll leave you very soon after getting what she needs)))!

Francis
Guest
Hello Elena, Thanks for your highly informative article. You made a very compelling case about age difference vis-à-vis the potential relationship’s longevity prospects. I agree with you 100% that age difference can be a significant factor in the longevity of a relationship/marriage. Your arguments are sound and have some very valuable pieces of advice that any sound man cannot ignore. However, to seem to claim that age difference is the factor, I totally disagree with you. (1) If that were the case, I would not be on your site and I would not be writing to you now. I am… Read more »
jul
Guest
Tom, And yes, if some of as you said – “Russian and Ukrainian women are on the site because they have NOT found a good man 3-6 years in age difference to themselves or a good man of ANY age”, then they find those who maybe like you are – 15 years older – then they’ll move into your country and find good man 3-6 years in age difference to themselves). It is the reality. And then later on your guys, will complain online about “I did everything for her but she left…” About how Russian women find good Western… Read more »
Tom
Guest

Elena,

Age is a factor. Everything is a factor. What makes you think that it is one of the most important factors? Francis has an excellent point, 50% of marriages end in divorce, was there a single factor that caused these marriages to fail?

An interesting observation is that I had more interest from women 30-35 than from women 36-42 on the site and I am 42. It seems that the older women were more choosy.

Tom
Guest

Elena,

Is it your experience that if i marry a woman less than five years younger than myself that she will love me forever?

I understand that having a dating website where every guy my age wants a 18-27 year old trophy wife is not in the site’s best interest (or perhaps in the best interest of the man and woman) but how do you dismiss the fact that so many “age appropriate” marriages end in disaster?

Tom
Guest

Elena,

Asking a woman to not express her opinion would be like asking the earth to not revolve around the sun :-). I don’t think my accusation was low. Forming an opinion which happens to benefit ones own interest is quite common actually. One example is the way people vote!

Thanks for letting us guys rant about why we should be looking for much younger women! I appreciate your website as well!

Jenelle
Guest

I am 43 years old woman and my man is 30 years old. We are both in love. I know he is real. I am just scared what if in the future he will find someone younger than me.

jul
Guest
Jenelle, Ofcourse he will! he will leave u very soon as soon as his job takes off or as soon as he has no use of you. Ask yourself- is he really in love with u as u think, or just using u? Put yourself on a man place. Age difference does not work, and that s it! Full stop! People do not be naive! Life is a market in some ways and if you want to get “best deal ” ( a young girl/ guy, a rich man/woman, or a model)- ASK YOURSELVES – who are you are how… Read more »
Gary
Guest

Did many of you know that the age difference between Celine Dijon and her husband was 27 years. She wrote the most beautiful songs about their relationship and love. She could clearly see past the older exterior to the heart of the man. Where are all the people out there that truly consider this part of the relationship as more important. My grandfather married a woman that was 31 years younger than he and they had a fabulous relationship until he died at age 92. She truly valued the inner man.

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