Science Explains Why Some Age Gaps Don’t Work In Relationships, and Why Others Do

11 months ago

There is a lot of stigma around dating someone 10+ years older or younger than you are, and we may negatively assume that the relationship won’t work. However, science says the opposite: According to some studies, couples with a significant age gap have a stronger trust and commitment in each other and are less likely to feel jealousy when compared to couples who are similar in age.

Continue to learn which age gaps are most likely to end in a happily ever after and which may be more rocky.

The ideal age gap is 1 to 3 years

ANGELA WEISS/AFP/East News, Chris Pizzello/Invision/East News

According to some studies, couples who only have a maximum 3-year age difference have more chance of a successful relationship and the biggest levels of satisfaction in their relationship. This is because of several reasons, like having shared memories from childhood. This can be important to create a sense of closeness as maybe you both grew up with the same TV shows and music, for instance.

These relationships are also more successful because we have certain milestones and expectations as we grow older. Meanwhile, dating someone with a large age gap may mean that the relationship will fall apart faster in the first 6 to 10 years. And couples with an age gap of 4 to 6 years saw only a slight decrease in relationship satisfaction.

The downside of dating someone with a large age gap

Research about couples with a large age gap shows after some years divorce is more likely than if you’re with someone close to your age. The study suggests that the younger one of the relationship becomes unhappier first and initiates the divorce. Reasons for the relationship to fail are obstacles such as not having shared values or memories and simply wanting different things in life.

Another big obstacle can be the power gap, where an older person with a significantly younger partner tends to want to be in control. This eventually leads to the younger person feeling controlled and the older person burdened with responsibility.

When large age gaps work

There are many positives to dating someone of a different age, including getting a new and unique view on life. If you’re dating someone older then you are more likely to be settled, while a younger partner can provide better emotional, physical, and financial support.

To make this match work, it is important to be flexible and compromise to meet each other’s needs. This is especially important because you may both want different things in life. You may want financial stability and they may want children. Therefore, clear communication is crucial to make sure you share the same values and to resolve any age-related issues early on.

Age isn’t the only factor for a happy relationship.

© milliebobbybrown / Instagram, Evan Agostini/Invision/East News

Of course, there are many exceptions and other things that are important for a healthy and successful relationship. Actually, factors like financial security, having children, and having high emotional intelligence are connected to strong flourishing relationships. The age gap is just one ingredient in the recipe for a happy relationship, so don’t let it hold you back in love.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas prove that sometimes there is no perfect age gap when it comes to love. She is 53 years old and he is 78 years old and their romance is still burning stronger than ever.

Preview photo credit ANGELA WEISS/AFP/East News, Chris Pizzello/Invision/East News


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