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Is There An Ideal Age Gap in Relationships?

Is There An Ideal Age Gap in Relationships?

I’ve always tended to gravitate towards a May-December situation in my own past romantic relationships—what early 20-something woman wouldn’t be into a dude with a job, no roommates, and the perfect salt-and-pepper hair? Alright, so some of my friends found it kind of weird…and I’ll admit, sometimes a 15-20 year age difference posed some unique challenges (oh, you have a mortgage? And an ex-wife? And a daughter a little younger than me…?)

Looks like I was doing it all wrong, anyway! A recent survey of over 2,000 adults claimed to have come up with the perfect age gap in a relationship: 4 years and 4 months—and the man had to be the older one.

And I guess I was getting some dirty looks when I was in my May-December phase. A third of women surveyed admitted to judging other women who were dating much older men, believing that the man must be “very rich”—and 18 percent believe the relationship won’t last. A quarter of women also said that they assume the younger woman with an older man is a gold-digger. Ouch. (And wait a sec…why was I dating old broke guys all this time?! Darn it.)

What do you think—do you think there’s an ideal age gap in relationships? How have age differences affected your own past and present relationships?

Related:
Why is there Discrimination Against Relationship Status?
5 Tips to Keep Passion Alive in Long-Term Relationships

Read more: Dating, Love, Relationships

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136 comments

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11:16PM PDT on Jul 31, 2013

I think it all depends on the persons involved. But thank you for the information, something to keep in mind hahah

6:41AM PDT on Apr 19, 2013

I guess it all depends on your soulmate. As the saying goes "Age is but a number!"

10:18AM PDT on Apr 14, 2013

I dated this woman 12 years younger; initially age was not an issue, then her co-workers and friends (whom had never met me) made an issue out of it, and she subsequently became sensitive to the difference and made a big issue out of it. I met another woman, also 12 years younger--it has never been an issue with us. It all depends upon the individual.

11:14AM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

Considering that my parents are only 20 years older than me, even at 45 years of age, I would feel very weird and uncomfortable with dating someone even 15 years older than me. There was one person I hung out with for a couple months, but it was a strictly platonic thing, much to his disappointment. No daddy issues here. :)

I know other people who have dated or married people old enough to be their parents, and the common denominator was the older person being in the position of power, mostly with younger women and older men. Also, when doing more digging into the older person's past, it almost always turned out that they have a habit of sticking with the same age group; the only difference is that they are older, and the gap gets bigger. Even if my 40's peers can be sometimes immature, even in middle age, I prefer to be in a partnership than something resembling a perverted parent-child relationship. Strictly my opinion.

5:12AM PDT on Apr 11, 2013

we see it often that age does not really matter as much as we think, if it is real love and not a passing infatuation. When it comes to love, "the heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of".

7:54AM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

4 years, 4 months. Hmmmm... Any nice single girls on here just coming up on your 40th birthday? :)

6:49AM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

Age is a number, the heart doesn't see..I long for a time when as adults we are all like my one year old son, he flirts with women regardless of looks, age, race or wealth...what a wonderful world this would be if we all seen through the eyes of a child:)....

6:12AM PDT on Apr 5, 2013

Thanks ..

9:42AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

Interesting comments. Thanks.

11:43AM PDT on Mar 26, 2013

The Love of my Life, for 34 years, was 14 years my senior; young-at -heart,passionate in life and in love. The big downfall, of course, is that now, I'm a widow in my 60's, not done with all that good stuff, but the "field" is really narrow at this point! Mainly; I miss him, every single day. (It's been 6 years) And yes; I do realize how very blessed I have been.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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