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.

 

Read also:

>> See all BLOG articles (in English)

Leave a Reply

Leave Comment
Notify of
avatar
Richard
Guest

The most important factor to understand is that although our bodies will show our age to a certain degree, age is most significant when it relates to maturity. Whether you find yourself to be the younger or the older person in a relationship, take into account whether your maturity levels match. You may find in life that a fifty year old and a thirty year old can be very similar in regard to their maturity level. This all depends on their life experiences, personal outlooks and goals.

Richard

Mark
Guest
Some men like younger girls. Some women like older men. Reading the former again you’ll notice their was a distinction between girls and women. As someone who has dated numerous ladies in the younger range (I’m 47), it is just a fact they are less mature, as expected, and the ability to relate to them beyond the bedroom is challenging. Of course, they will be impressed by your ability to (maybe) splash cash, but you won’t be rich enough eventually. You probably aren’t handsome enough and she thinks she is more “clever” because she can do a Google search on… Read more »
jul
Guest

Mark,
You are 47 and want children???!!! It will look like you are their grandfather:-)))
Another question – why do not you want to meet a woman who is 44-50? I think it what it should be the age for a man who is over 47 y o.
and women over 30-35 can date guys who are 32-40 (as max).

Cassie
Guest

What world are you living in? Do you even read statistics? Plenty of men in their late 40’s or early 50’s are just getting their family started. They are business professionals who put career 1st & a family on the back burner. No need to crush the mans dreams.

Cassie
Guest
Mark, you can find a single women in their 30’s with no children. Not too many, but they spend their 20’s focused on their career or wasted relationships. No, that doesn’t mean only the “ugly” ones are left. Most people are too causual about marriage. Age is not as important as MORALS & VALUES. You said you want children, so when you go out on a date discuss what you don’t agree with on lazy parenting these days & what’s important to YOU in raising children. If she doesn’t agree, NO 2nd date. Don’t waste your time. Date to marry,… Read more »
Melih
Guest
Elena, thank you for all that advices. Your articles and advices are really very realistic. I also must admit that such kind of comments from any dating websites are really must be rare, I haven’t seen before. Most of the dating websites are making older guys mouth water with young dolls, thats all. Men always wants to believe that they can live a Hugh Hefner life, come on it’s just a TV show. I had a marriage which took 15 years, age gap was 8 with my wife. I totally agree, gap must be below 15 maybe 10. Let’s think… Read more »
Michael
Guest
I agree with Elena for the most part, although I think the numbers are off, and I think it is important to stress that the numbers are about “typical” circumstances and “average” numbers rather than individual cases, of course there will be exceptions. I would love to see some references on the data Elena writes about though because I know her numbers are a bit off (divorce rates are almost assuredly not 50% anymore, according to my friends who are Professors of Psychology and perform research in this field). So here is one reference I found: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/why-to-marry-someone-your-own-age/382520/ through which a… Read more »
Sean
Guest
Hi Elena Not to sound jaded. But If it’s just a dream for a man to marry a russian girl who is this much younger, then the source of his dream comes from the female profiles on this site that claim they are open to meeting a much older man. I will be 49 next month. I have been thinking to find someone to start a family and maybe have a child. But realistically she will have to be 35 or under to have a child. So using the guidelines listed about age, then a man my age should not… Read more »
jul
Guest

After 49 is the time to have grandchildren, not the children)))
maybe you are running too late)))
If you planned to have children, should have thought about it earlier)
Probably partied all life wasting time at the bars and empty dates or casual dates?

DS1
Guest
I post on this old comment. Hunting for younger age (just for age and not personality, relationship, and mindset) whether it’s female and male is plain stupid. But jul, you have no clue for middle aged people over 35+ and if I were you would not comment insensitive and now mechanical opinions, pause. One Russian dating coach said”Three main virtues of a woman, which drive men crazy are: Patience, sweet talk, and the ability to keep secrets. ” Were is your sweet talk and patience? Look at you first. You are totally unattractive. I would say these opinions in more… Read more »
Cassie
Guest

Jul, you sound like a bitter hag. Something is wrong with YOU & your life. That’s why you put down older individuals wanting to find MATURE love & start a family.
Since you think people need to have a family early in life, you obviously don’t believe in self responsibility. It’s better to be financially stable before having children. For the sake of your family & to be better set for retirement in old age.

Asya_Ananasova
Guest

As for me, it depends really. My boyfriend is just one year older than me and for me it feels to be right. I can’t imagine myself near anybody 10 years older/yonger than me. But some friends of mine are dating and are married to rather mature men and they feel happy as well. Of course there is statistics and sociology and stuff but in the end of the day just look for what makes you happy, that’s it!

Nikita
Guest

I’m pretty sure that the girl should be younger, but I know the couple where the woman is six years older than a man, and they are happy! They’ve been living together for 25 years already, and the difference in their age never bothered them! They have a son who has also married an older woman, so, the tradition is alive:) Do such exceptions only prove the rule?

Ksusha
Guest

I think if people love each other age difference isn’t important. The main thing is to understand your lovely half and be a very caring person. For example, the wife can be younger than her husband, and it’s not five years. The age difference can be twenty years and a couple can be very happy.

Joel
Guest
Im a 37yo man, I have an age range on Elenas of 18-50. Im an openminded person and believe anything is possible. In reality I agree with you Elena. What you want from 20-30-40 evolves and changes. Beauty and sexiness to me doesn’t have to mean young, there are women 40 and 50 + that I think are absolutely gorgeous. Yes both sexes can like age differences but personally I think this is an experience, probably more of a sexual position. My concern about a younger woman is that when Im 50 and she is 35 her wants and needs… Read more »
Natalilys
Guest

With statistics, of course, hard to argue. They tested many pairs during the research. Yet, there are exceptions. I lived for seven years with my husband, who was 10 years older than me. But more life lessons I received from a man who was younger than me for 6 years (since I was divorced). I think that all depends on education, common interests and life goals of both people.

Gaidar22
Guest

First I thought that age differences were not very important. I believed that people could be together despite of any age gap. But now I am not sure. Empirically I know that age can seriously influence a relationship between a woman and a man, because the mental stature depends on the age, it may be a real problem in building a relationship. Still, my view is if you love a person and you are good together do not pay attention to any barriers. Just love each other.

Mary
Guest

The age difference is not a problem in the initial stages, but in 5-10 years the young girl will start to regret that she chose the companionship of an older man. It happened to me. I want to live a full life, and my companion prefers a relaxing evening. We are different and nothing can change that.

Valerie
Guest

Each love story is unique!
The spouses having an age difference more than 10-15 years belong to different generations. Nevertheless, more skilled spouse is capable to support younger, imparting the knowledge and experience. These couples face the same problems as traditional families.
There are not ideal couples, there weren’t and won’t be! It isn’t necessary to be upset! All of us, irrespective of age, sex, a nationality, weight, culture, religion, etc. aren’t ideal! I consider that it is possible to be happy at any age, with any partner and it is depends on ourselves!

Natalia
Guest

The difference in age is not a determining criterion in couples. The main thing is on what based the relationship. If the foundation of relationship is love and respect, then the marriage will be happy in spite of the age difference. But it’s better when the age difference is not more than 10 years. So the couple has more in common to communicate, they have a similar life position.

Stasy
Guest

As for me, age is just numbers. Actually, it is a trifle. I share your opinion.
It does not matter whether there is an age difference or not. The most important thing is mutual understanding, respect, support and, of course, the wonderful feeling of love. Isn’t it?

Olga
Guest
I totally agree with a statement that the older partner is under a constant and significant stress in a couple with too large age difference. I am 30 and I was dating with a man who is 53. We trying not to pay attention to social opinion. But it was not the core of our problems. He really feels not very comfortable near to me. And he instinctively was trying to make me older than I was. He bought me appropriate clothes, recommended me to behave in special manner, to have special hair-dress, in general, he did everything to feel… Read more »
aylar
Guest
hi I’m 3 years, one time married with one at the same age after two years we’ve divorced, the biggest problems were we looked to the life completely in different ways, and he was not able to control his anger and he insulted me badly. anyway….. in these two years I’m dating a man 19 years older than me, he never married, he is soooooo polite, kind and caring , care about my feeling, my wishes , my fears. he is a great listener, always able to discus and look always positive to the future. he loves to have a… Read more »
aylar
Guest

sorry there is a typing error ,my age is 33 years

Vtake
Guest
Thank you for this article Elena. I agree with you that the age gap of over 15 years poses serious issue especially in marriage, mostly with regards to having children and raising them. While it is true that less than 5 years age gap works well, some people (like me!) do fall for people who are 10+ years age gap difference by chance. I didn’t intend to date a person who is far younger to me. We just enjoyed our company and found out about our age much later when we decided to date exclusively. I mistook her to be… Read more »
Abishek
Guest
I thing 3-5 yrs gap’s are perfect difference for commitments. Bcoz 10-15 yrs are very long gap when he have 45 yrs old at that time she have only 30 yrs old it’s really awkward .These men look like a grandpa and she is look like that man daughter .If it is maybe better for past days & years but it not suit for these days ,now a days 3-5 or 6 yrs age gaps are better.I am not a married man ,i’m just 21 yrs old now ,I like to married my future at 26-30 yrs old and must… Read more »
Vtake
Guest

Abhishek, your thoughts resonates like a typical 21 year old Indian male (“kyon is ladki ne is buddhe se shaadi ki hai?”) . When you near 30 or 40 tell come back and tell us how your thoughts have changed. With age difference of 25+ start resembling aunty types. For now, you go back to your “traditional” Indian way of getting an arranged marriage. (Kyonki tumhari biwi sirf tumarhe parents hi chune wale hai, agar tumahri soch aesi rahegi toh)

wpDiscuz