When you begin dating someone new, there's a wide range of things you consider to determine compatibility, such as values, attraction, personality, but there's one you may not have considered worth giving some thought to: your age gap. We've discussed how a relationship age gap of 10 years or more can increase your chance of having marital problems down the road, but what about the best age gap for setting yourself up for success in the relationship department? As it turns out, there is an ideal age difference in relationships that can increase your chances for everlasting love, and it's a lot smaller than you'd think.
The Ideal Age Gap in Relationships
According to a study from Emory University, couples with only a one-year age difference in relationships have just a 3% chance of divorcing. Compare that to an 18% chance of divorce for a 5-year age gap, 39% for a 10-year age gap, and a whopping 95% for a 20-year age gap. After analyzing 3,000 couples, the researchers ultimately found that the larger the age gap between a couple, the more likely they are to get a divorce. The one caveat to this rule? Statistics also show that couples who do manage to make it past the two-year mark, no matter what the age gap, are approximately 43% less likely to split up.
It's worth bearing in mind that these statistics simply try to identify and analyze relationship patterns, not create them, and there were also only 3,000 couples studied, which is a relatively small sample. There's always going to be an exception to the rule (just look at George and Amal Clooney, who have a 17-year age gap between them). Rather, studies like these simply lend legitimacy to the idea that the age difference in relationships can also equate to significant differences in interests, lifestyle, and long-term goals between partners.
None of this is to say that you should swipe left on someone who you think you might connect with because they might be three, five, or ten years older than you, but if you're having problems connecting on shared interests in your relationship and you have a considerable age gap between you, you might want to consider if that will impact your long-term potential.
Francis-Tan A, Mialon HM. A diamond is forever’ and other fairy tales: The relationship between wedding expenses and marriage duration. SSRN. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2501480