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 in the Journal of Population Economics, "Marital satisfaction decreases more significantly in couples with a larger age gap compared to couples with more similar ages. One theory supported by evidence the study gives for this is differently aged couples are less resilient to negative shocks in the relationship.
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.
Lee WS, Mckinnish T. The marital satisfaction of differently aged couples. J Popul Econ. 2018;31(2):337-362. doi:10.1007/s00148-017-0658-8