Can There Be Too Big of an Age Gap in Relationships?

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who have a 12 year age difference
Steven Klein for W Magazine

They say "age ain't nothing but a number," but it may not be so simple when it comes to relationships and dating. We know plenty of successful marriages between people with quite a big age difference (did you know Brad is 12 years older than Angelina?), but relationship experts advise that an extensive gap could put your relationship at decreased odds for surviving and thriving. Glamour recently revealed more on the topic, and it turns out there is a certain number of years that should not be exceeded when it comes to love and dating.

Take it from a pro. Psychologist Seth Meyers explains that "while there are always exceptions to rules, a good rule to remember is that dating someone more than 10 years older will present challenges now or later that add to the preexisting challenges any relationship has." The wider the gap, the greater the risk for couples finding themselves at conflicting stages in their lives and the relationship. There's also the added scrutiny of peers, family, and friends, who may disapprove of or have trouble relating to the age difference in a multitude of ways, which puts a strain on the relationship as well.

While 10 years is a general guideline, experts provide that this should not deter anyone from keeping an open mind when it comes to finding the right partner. The bottom line? Be realistic about what you're looking for in a relationship.

If you're interested in learning more about the topic, download a copy of Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships to learn more about how you can set yourself up for success in the dating world.

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