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Still Waters

Does age difference in relationships matter?

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Still Waters

Romantic couples with a large age gap often raise eyebrows. Studies have found partners with more than a ten-year gap in age experience social disapproval. But when it comes to our own relationships, both men and women prefer someone their own age, but are open to someone 10-15 years their junior or senior.

While there is variation across cultures in the size of the difference in age-gap couples, all cultures demonstrate the age-gap couple phenomenon.

So does age matter? And do couples with large age gaps experience poorer (or better) relationship outcomes compared to couples of similar ages?

https://phys.org/news/2018-04-mind-gap-age-difference-relationships.html

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Lilly

I highly disagree, men prefer younger women, and this becomes more and more pronounced as men age. Men rarely are open to any woman 10 to 15 years their senior unless the woman offers them something tangible (social status, money, career assistance). 

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Dark_Grey

The rule is half your age + 7. If he/she doesn't meet that minimum number you should probably find someone a little older... 

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Podo

Between the ages of 22 and 26, I dated a woman who was 11 years older than me. I've never liked women my age or younger. Oddly, though, I have exclusively dated younger men than myself. I'm not really sure why this preference exists, but it's definitely a thing.

The age difference between me and the older woman rarely mattered, however, other than pop culture references and stuff that was, to me, historical, but that she remembers, such as the fall of the Soviet Union, the Gulf War, etc.

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Not A Rockstar

I think it really depends on the maturity of both parties and what they need from the relationship most.

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Redefining Success

I was 22 and my partner was 47.

We were together for around 4/5 years. 

Didn't get any social disapproval, the other women in her office were quite jealous.

She didn't boost my status, money or career.

It was a fun relationship, the sex was fantastic. 

The thing with older partners is that they are less likely to want flashy things, a girl i dated wanted a BMW X5, out every night drinking, restaurant, pictures, big house. I'm quite happy with a quiet life and reaping my rewards.

My current partner is 42 and I'm 36, so closed the gap a bit, we had our own house, decent car, good jobs - perfect.

 

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.ZZ.

My wife is 15 years my junior, seems to be working out fine. :lol:

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susieice
38 minutes ago, Not A Rockstar said:

I think it really depends on the maturity of both parties and what they need from the relationship most.

I agree it depends on the maturity of both parties and also the mental development of both. Some people are mature beyond their years and others are still quite young, even if they are older. What matters most is the couple's ability to love each other and how much they enjoy the relationship. Starting a relationship with anything other than that is no good no matter what the age.

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LV-426
2 hours ago, Lilly said:

I highly disagree, men prefer younger women, and this becomes more and more pronounced as men age. Men rarely are open to any woman 10 to 15 years their senior unless the woman offers them something tangible (social status, money, career assistance). 

I think that's a little unfair to be honest.

Physically preferring younger women? Probably fair. Who doesn't appreciate the beauty of youth, though? I'd say that is true for both men and women, although perhaps it is fair to say that men put more emphasis on it.

Relationship wise, it's about a meeting of minds, life experience, common interests, etc. In fact, I'd say maturity is often preferable. Suggesting it's limited to social status, money, career assistance, etc. is doing a lot of men - including myself - a disservice :P

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GlitterRose

I've had a long lasting relationship with someone much older and now someone considerably younger. 

I think it just depends on the people involved. 

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Still Waters

My husband is 3 years and 9 months older than me. That's not a big age gap but even if it were it wouldn't make any difference to us, we've been through a lot together and have been married for nearly 39 years.

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tcgram

I believe that big age gaps can work; it just depends on the maturity of each person and similar relationship goals.   I'm pretty close in age to my hubby, I'm 6 months older.   LOL   

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susieice

I was 2 years younger than mine. We lasted 15 years. Our "within range" marriage eventually didn't work out.

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internetperson

Meh, to each their own. It depends on the couple. I prefer older women because they often can hold an intelligent conversation. Younger gals want to rant about facebook issues and other dumb-dumb nonsense. 

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StarMountainKid

The old Abbott and Costello joke, you're 40 and your girlfriend is 10 years old, so you're 4 X older than her. In 5 years you're 45 and she's 15, now you're only 3 X older than her. In 15 years you're 60 and she's 30, now you're only 2 X older than her. How long will it be until you and her are the same age? 

When I was about 45 I was going with a girl 20 years old for about 3 months. Finally I told her the age difference was too much, she needed to find some guy close to her age, so I cut the relationship off. After that, she got married and has had a happy life with a guy about her own age. 

In my life it's been a lot better to have a relationship with someone about my own age. Though whatever works.

 

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Skulduggery
Posted (edited)

It depends on the people and their dynamic. Forget the half plus seven rule. I've known people with huge gaps in age. And, they work fine together and are happy. Although, I think it would be interesting to get some statistics and find a common number. I've mainly stayed around my age bracket, but I did date someone 10 years younger than me once, briefly. It only lasted a week. Too many differences. I've also dated older, by nearly 10 years. It didn't work, but not due to reasons having to do with age so much as logostics and circumstances and things like that.  Every couple is a totally different type of thing.

Edited by Skulduggery

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I'mConvinced

It's whatever works for people.  Where the age gap tends to unravel in my experience is when it straddles major life changes.  An example is my friend who, at 31, is dating a 49 year old women.  This was fine for the first 8 months but then things began to change, perhaps menopause or perhaps something else but her priorities shifted.  Being relatively young he still wants things she no longer feels able to provide, not just sex but lifestyle and future dreams.  She realised that in 20 years she would be in her 70's and he would be in his 50's and felt the relationship wouldn't survive long term. 

So in the end I guess it comes down to what you want from the relationship and for how long.  A big age gap is going to mean that your 'life cycles' are out of whack and that may lead to problems in wants and desires further down the line. Conversely, having a relationship with an older person can help you mature quicker and so, like most things, you have to weight up the pro's and con's.

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