When it comes to dating, there can be some stigma with the differences between two people in a relationship. This is especially true for age gaps. Although, there may not be many negative connotations around small age gaps, there can definitely be some with gaps of more than 10 years. Dating someone younger or older than you can usually turn some heads. But what if you found out that it may actually work out better than most typically assume? Research is now revealing that large age gaps may have a higher likelihood of working out than what many would think. Studies have shown that age gaps can increase trust levels and decrease the potential for jealousy, in comparison to couples who are closer in age. Read on to learn how science explains how some relationship age gaps work and others don’t.
The best age gap is between 1 and 3 years.
Some studies have shown that couples who have age gaps around 1 to 3 years have the best chance at a successful relationship, and have better levels of satisfaction. This is because they are more likely to have similar memories from their childhoods, which can help create a greater sense of closeness and understanding with each other.
They are also said to be more satisfied with each other because they can share age related milestones as they get older. Age gaps that are larger, such as between 6 and 10 years, are said to potentially fall apart faster, partly because these milestones and expectations from partners are not aligned. Studies revealed that relationships with gaps of 4 to 6 years only decreased slightly in satisfaction.
There are some downsides to dating with a large age gap.
Research also revealed some interesting statistics about divorce in couples with larger age gaps. Studies found that larger gaps in age can mean higher divorce rates for couples. The younger person in these relationships typically became dissatisfied first, and would eventually initiate the divorce. Some of the most common reasons for this dissatisfaction were lack of shared values and memories, and just needing different things out of life at contrasting points in age.
Another major issue in these large age gap relationships is power. Power struggles were a common theme, with the older person usually wanting to have more power and control over their younger significant other. The dynamic that can set in here is the older person feeling like their partner is a burden, and the younger person feeling like their mate just wants to control them.
The secret sauce when age gaps work is amazing.
With there being negative aspects to dating someone older or younger than you, there is still a positive side to age gaps in relationships. One of the many positives is that both parties will be able to enjoy a different and unique view on life. Dating someone with an age gap is bound to invite in contrasting viewpoints and life experiences. An older person will likely be more established and can potentially provide wisdom, fun experiences and financial support, while a younger person may have more vigor, physical energy and emotional support.
One of the key foundations of a successful relationship with a larger age gap is flexibility. You have to be open minded and willing to compromise in terms of accepting the differences and challenges you will likely face with your partner. Being able to look at their needs and find ways to understand and meet them will give you the peace and mental disposition to enjoy all of the wonderful contrasts and variations in your relationship. To make all of this work, this means communication must be paramount in your relationship. Being able to talk through any challenges or tension that arise will either make or break your future together.