Relationships: What is the ideal age gap for a married couple?

meWhen it comes to dating, some unwritten myths and laws persist. For example, the rule “Your partner should not be more than half your age plus seven.” So it would be totally fine for a 32-year-old to be able to date a 23-year-old. Seems reasonable up to this point. However, things might look different in the following calculation example.

As a general rule, a 38-year-old cannot date a 23-year-old. But with a 26-year-old. Is there really a big difference in terms of maturity or life planning? In general, the age difference rule seems somewhat arbitrary. What it actually looks like: does age ever play a role in a successful relationship or are other factors no more important? There are already dozens of studies on this topic and their operators have always come up with the same answer: yes.

Before we tell you the details, we have another question for you:

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Thesis #1: Men and women have different points of view

The issue of the ideal age gap also appears to be an issue of gender. At least that’s what a survey of 3,000 singles commissioned by a dating app says ok cupid From closing 2017. While female users tended to search for men who were about the same age, men preferred women in their early twenties, regardless of their age. The older the men, the stronger the trend. On the other hand, women are constantly looking for partners who are two years old or younger.

However, the survey does not provide any information about the duration of relationships created via the app, or how successful dates with younger or roughly the same age couples have been.

In most cases, men take the first step when it comes to online dating

Source: Getty Images / Luis Alvarez

Thesis #2: Small age difference is more promising

There are – in theory – many reasons why the smallest possible age difference is beneficial to a relationship. You have similar childhood memories, often share a circle of friends of the same age, and have similar hobbies and interests. In short: potential conflict areas within the relationship are minimized. At least that’s the theory.

American study on Emory University Atlanta It seems to confirm this thesis. For this purpose, 3,000 people were asked about their relationship status. Couples with a five-year age difference were 18 percent more likely to break up overall than couples of the same age. According to the study, the larger the age gap, the more problems it brings with it: relationships with a ten-year age difference are 39% more likely to break up. Even a 20-year age difference means there’s a 95 percent chance of separating.

Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz at an event in Los Angeles, California (USA)

The statistics speak against them: the age difference between Heidi Klum and her husband Tom Kaulitz is 16 years

Source: Getty Images for unKommon Events / Tibrina Hobson

According to the study, a one-year age difference is ideal. Here the risk of separation is only three percent. However, the study does not explain why the age difference ultimately leads to separation. Societal reservations about couples with a large age gap can create stress. However, the researchers involved in the study also suspect that people who choose a partner with a large difference in age often do not realize what needs and desires they have in a relationship – and thus can fail.

Thesis #3: Small age differences lead to fewer discussions on the topic of finance

According to a report by The Economist, some economists hypothesize that small age differences in a relationship can have larger benefits for society as a whole. Specifically, they can help reduce the gender pay gap within a relationship.

Finally, income increases with age for both sexes. If women tend to be in committed relationships with older men, the relative income of trying to have children may put hidden pressure on women to leave their jobs. However, the results of a 2019 study comparing two Danish twin sisters dispute this association. The earnings of women who marry older men were, on average, not different from those of women who marry men of the same age.

A pregnant woman is happy with her husband.

If you want to have children, relationships with a small age difference can be an advantage – especially when it comes to a woman’s career

Source: Getty Images / Westend61

Data from the UK’s Office for National Statistics for 2018 also shows no significant relationship between the age difference between married partners and the probability of divorce. However, there was some evidence that women older than 30 at the time of their marriage who married a man 10 years older were more likely to divorce. This leads us to…

Thesis #4: It’s smart to have a younger partner

in a study Stockholm University, When observing people over 50 in Denmark, the researchers came to an interesting finding: men with younger spouses were, on average, older than men with partners of the same age. Other factors such as education and wealth did not play any role here.

However, the relationship does not necessarily have to be causal. A healthy man can also be attractive to younger partners and live a long life. What is mysterious, however, is the fact that this effect almost never occurs in women. The study authors suggest that women with younger husbands may generally be less dependent on their partner’s support — and thus benefit less from the energy of a younger husband.

The couple tends.

Men benefit from younger relationship partners in old age

Source: Fangs

Final thesis: in the end, is there a benefit in terms of the size of the age difference?

So the case study is divided. In the end, it seems to come down to the fact that women are generally more intelligent at choosing a partner who is their age, while men, after a certain age, tend to get along better with younger partners. Admittedly, this sounds pretty grim for all women over the age of 35.

But the same applies in this case: No matter what the statistics say, in the end it is up to the heart to decide. Studying Canada for 2020 should be a little consolation. Information from about 12,000 couples was analyzed for them. The study authors found that objective factors such as age, status, and interests are not important to a happy relationship. What matters is how the partners view their relationship. Personality, the way we communicate with each other, and how we solve problems all play a more crucial role. If it fits, it fits!

And if you want your relationship to last, regardless of age, here are some things that are best avoided:

red flags

Portrait of a woman with light brown hair smiling against the red background

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