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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My husband was older than me for 10 years. It would seem that I can be relied on him, and he is ready to be responsible for his family. But it turned out that at his age of 30 years, he had laid all problems on my shoulders. After our divorce, I met a guy. He was younger than me for 7 years. I was 27, he is 20. He took full responsibility for me and my child for himself. With him, I feel confident, I feel yourself loved and happy. No matter the age. Everything depends on the upbringing… Read more »
First of all Elena, I love your style. You say exactly the way I think. People should just be realistic and stop thinking they live in a fairy tale. I am 30 and I had never dates anyone older then me. Actually got several relationship with guys of 18-20, was fun. I am very sexually active and need a man who is able to keep up with my temperment. I am not sure how it works in differnet age but even guys of my age not always are active enough. Anyway, I would maybe go on a date with a… Read more »

Maybe we should hook up 🙂

I am 33 BTW;)


Of course the age gap matters! I prefer young guys. For example, my friend is 19 years younger than me. I should say that I feel younger and getting on with him is really useful and interesting for me and also for him, I like our experiece changing, I like the way we spend time, I like being his scientific supervisor (he was my student), so we have much in common and many things to do together.


He was married and separated 3 years back started talking to him recently I liked him alot days back he asked if I can spend the rest of my life with him till then I never thought of it but now I have started thinking about it he is 15 (1977-1992 = -15) years elder to me and I am kind of lost in making a decision, I’m worried whether there will be understanding problems if we get togather

I find these discussions very interesting and funny in that it shows the diversity of the way we see things.. So what really matters in this age difference?? It just comes down to how compatible two people are with each other.. OK girls, let me hear your opinions on this. Sex seems to be one of the criteria.. so what is more important..quantity or quality?? On fitness… again it is that you are both compatible.. Interests.. This is paramount as it is what you will spend a lot of those special moment doing, so have shared interests and having your… Read more »

haha, David you think you can give “quality” in bedroom? How do you know? “girls say?’ they lied to you:-)))
and as you say “So what really matters in this age difference??”, then why do not you find a lady who is older than you for 5-10 years as the age does not really matter?

The way I see this, I would like to have a woman relatively close to my age. Reason, I have experienced a lot more in life than a woman 10, 15, 20 years younger than me. I love life and to experience this is so much better than to coach, teach and instruct. While I love being a father, in a romantic relationship, it just is not what I am searching for. I know other people may disagree, that is okay. The old joke about senior citizens following birth control by being naked is probably accurate, but there is a… Read more »
@elena I think the age difference you say its way too much. You can see the statistics from Wikipedia. only about 7% of married couples have age gap bigger than 10 years. Dating a girl 10years younger its OK but marrying one is a different story. Big age difference even if you don’t divorce means that the younger will have to take care the older one. My father is 15 years older than my mother and my mother has to take care of him. That’s something I wouldn’t like to happen to a woman I love. I personally think that… Read more »

Once I Found a great quote: ” There is no difference in age, there is difference in minds”. I surely agree with this. In my life I knew many people who were much older that me but with whom I felt more comfortable than with people of my age. Miracles happen, so if you both really feel the same, go on and don’t pay any attention to gossips!

Jul, I am sorry for my lack of reading comprehension. It is interesting that you are on writing on this blog and have joined this site while living in the western Europe. From what you have said it should be very easy for you to meet a sexy man who is your age to marry and start your life together. I have to wonder why you waste time on this site/blog communicating/arguing with dirty old/ugly men like myself…perhaps you are just trying to save the poor women on the site, or perhaps you are secretly looking for a dirty old/ugly… Read more »

Hello Elena,
I read your article and through this thread. I’m a 31 year old male and just got to know a wonderful 25 year old woman. We seem to be a great match but there is this 6 years age gap in the back of my mind. Is that something to worry about in the longterm?

Hei, what is this thing with age? When did I become an old woman that no one even wants to consider? At 45 I weigh, feel and look like the 20 year old girl I once was! I still get chased by 20-25 year olds which proves to me that I am a good-looking woman looking much younger than my age. Why, then, do I get these rejections from the men I write to here? This to me is downright prejudice and a refusal to see the person – I believe I am a much more valuable woman than the… Read more »
I have been married over a year now to my husband who is 18 years my senior. I am twenty two and he is fourty. We knew each other about a year before he asked me out. We dated another year before getting married. So we have had three years of being in each others lives. He is my soul mate, best friend, and lover. No it’s not normal. No it’s not easy. We for the most part never notice it. Neither do friends or family members. The biggest thing that we have had problems in is our sexual life.… Read more »

I believe that the ideal age difference is 4-5 years with the man being older than the woman. In our society, the woman usually feels very uncomfortable if her partner is more than 3 year younger than she is. The woman wants to be a woman, not the Mummy for a big boy. When the age difference is small, both partners belong to the same generation, so they both understand each other well enough and they are have approximately the same quality of their health. So, they are able to have a rest together: to play sports and sex 🙂

Interesting reading. I like statistics and can’t argue with Elena’s arguments but of course in the end it is only probabilities. I guess if we followed probabilities all our life we wouldn’t even get in our car. : ) If you add up all the probabilities for risk of death or dismemberment I wouldn’t even have left the womb haha. Surely there are some insurance writers on here that personally flaunt the statistics they know so well every day. I’m going to go with the flow, I might die tomorrow anyway. Good luck to all!
Elena, honest question here. I am 53. I am a successful, confident man from the USA. I am active, take good care of myself, I look good for my age. I want a younger woman but in her very late 30s or very early 40s. So… 10-15 years difference. Given these ages, neither of us are kids. A woman in her late 30s/early 40s should be secure in who she is – not like most women in their 20s, early 30s who are still discovering who they are. Both of us would be older, wiser, experienced adults… more defined in… Read more »

I am from indea. .my gf and me age difference 7 year. ..this is better elena?


please reply anyone

I think the age difference is a very real issue. I dated a stunning woman 17 years younger than me recently. She had a great job, very intelligent lady and very articulate. Sex life was great to start off with, but that was all it was, there was no personal emotional connection there. For a more mature man, he functions far better when there is genuine deep feelings there. I believe for that to be in exsistance in a relationship, there has to be many shared compatible factors between the couple. I believe that that is more likely based on… Read more »

My husband is 50 am 30 but everything is going on well between us age doesn’t matter if there is love



Does an 5 year age difference matters? If a man is younger?

Or it is ok? We both look young and our level is same.