A Piece of Advice
What is an acceptable age gap between a couple?
This is an important question and the word “acceptable” reflects how we as individuals really care about how others see our romantic relationship. We long for the bond we have with our partner to be accepted and welcomed, and it feels awful when it’s not. People who fall in love with someone of a different age risk facing stigma, depending on how large of a gap there is. So where is that age gap? According to relationship science, a more conventional couple in most regions of the world tends to be about three years apart, but this doesn’t apply everywhere (that number is bigger in some places). For couples who fit this traditional model, their minor age difference is likely to be invisible to others and won’t be discussed.
So what does a less conventional couple look like? When an adult couple (meaning partners who are both at least 18) is more than 10 years apart in age, scholars typically consider that to be an age-gap relationship. Research also reveals that this is the point when couples are more likely to run into stigma and resistance because of their relationship. But does stigma or a shortage of social affirmation mean that an age-gap relationship is unacceptable? Not at all. As long as you and the person you like are both adults, instead of focusing on age, allow yourself to focus on who you’re drawn to, how they treat you, and the kind of relationship you can cultivate together. Because you never know, the love of your life just might be an age-gap partner waiting for you.
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