A Piece of Advice

Can relationships with a wide age gap work out?

2 mins. read

Topics: Age Gap,Dating,Getting Serious

Is there any truth to the notion that age-gap relationships can’t flourish and be happy? Absolutely not, so let’s go beyond stereotypes and take a look at what science can tell us. Let’s start with what “age-gap relationship” means. When an adult couple is more than 10 years apart in age, researchers generally define this as an age-gap relationship. There’s evidence that in some communities, age-gap couples encounter more disapproval than certain other types of unconventional relationships, and this lack of acceptance can have a damaging effect. Criticism and objections from friends and family members are linked to a couple feeling less committed and more inclined to part ways.

However, the age-gap itself has nothing to do with this. The challenge such couples face is how other people react, especially the ones closest to them. But in spite of social opposition, age-gap relationships can succeed quite well. Plenty of age-gap couples are loving and remain together, and they’re just as content as couples who are closer in age. Also, the magnitude of the age-gap (i.e., 25 years versus 11 years) is not related to how fulfilled couples feel in their relationship. And when it comes to the notion that a younger partner is in an age-gap relationship because of unresolved parental issues from childhood, there’s no evidence for that either.

People of differing ages can feel attracted to each other, fall in love, and build a successful, beautiful relationship just like couples who are closer in age can. In other words, not only can age-gap relationships be successful, a lot of them are strong enough to withstand additional social stress. So if you’re interested in someone whose age is different from yours, you’re both consenting adults, and you’re wondering whether an age-gap relationship could ever work, my answer is: Definitely, yes.

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