7 year age difference between couples

The Best Age Difference in Relationships for Success

When you begin dating someone new, there's a wide range of things you probably consider to determine compatibilities, such as values, attraction, personality, and interests. But there's one thing you may not have taken into consideration that's worth giving a little thought to: your age gap. While it's true that a relationship age gap of 10 years or more can increase your chances of having marital problems, is there an ideal age gap for setting yourself up for success in the relationship department? As it turns out, science tells us there is an ideal age difference in a relationship that can increase your chances for everlasting love, and it's a lot smaller than you might have thought.

Whether you're still on the market or you've already found "the one," you likely already know that there's no exact recipe for a successful relationship. A happy, healthy relationship is dictated by the people in it, and there are many factors that contribute to its long-term success. We all know that the best things in life don't come without putting in a little work, and love is no exception.

Here, we explain the ideal age gap for long-term happiness, but also share why you shouldn't let it scare you.

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.

Couples with a zero to three-year age difference showed greater satisfaction than those with a four- to six-year gap. Likewise, couples with a four- to six-year gap showed greater satisfaction than those with a seven-plus year gap. In general, marital satisfaction decreased as the age difference increased. One theory supported by evidence provided in the study is that differently aged couples are less resilient to negative shocks in the relationship, including both economic hardship and illness. Although not specifically tested for, other life cycle-related factors including children and retirement were mentioned.

It's also worth noting that, on average, both men and women showed greater levels of marital satisfaction when married to younger partners than those with partners older than them, regardless of the age gap. However, that initial higher satisfaction seemed to dissipate after six to 10 years of marriage.

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The Counterpoint to Consider

Bear in mind that these statistics simply try to identify and analyze relationship patterns, not create them. Also, the sample size was relatively small with only 3,374 couples studied. With all things in life, there are always going to be exceptions to the rule.

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. Happiness among couples with various age differences has been the subject of several studies over the years, and the findings vary vastly depending on outside factors that are difficult to account for.

Making it work is really about having enough in common to bond, enough difference to learn from each other, and similar views on partnerships.

None of this is to say that you should swipe left on someone who you think you might connect with because they might be four, seven, or 10 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 examine if that will impact your long-term potential.

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Meet the Expert

  • Jenna Birch is a health and lifestyle journalist. Her work appears frequently in print and online publications including Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Self, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, Psychology Today, Health, Women's Health, and Yahoo!, among many others. She is also the author of The Love Gap: A Radical Plan to Win in Life & Love (Grand Central Life & Style, January 2018), a dating guide for modern women trying to navigate today’s complicated romantic landscape.
  • Theresa E. DiDonato, Ph.D. is a social psychologist and associate professor at Loyola University Maryland. Her research interests focus on different aspects of romantic relationships, from factors that contribute to romantic attraction (e.g., humor) and relationship satisfaction (e.g., forgiveness) to how the self-concept changes in relationship participation or dissolution.

What to Ask Before Committing

If you've found someone you really click with, it's understandable that you'd be hesitant to break things off simply because of the difference in your age. After all, maturity is relative and can be measured in more than just years. "Making it work is really about having enough in common to bond, enough difference to learn from each other, and similar views on partnerships," says journalist and author Jenna Birch. But before you make any major decisions, try answering these questions to make sure you and your partner are on the same page in as many ways as possible.

  • What goals do you have for your life? Think about your future goals and what you envision for your life. Things like careers, children, finances and other major life events are worth having an honest conversation about.
  • What common interests do you share? These will become even more important as you grow older together. Develop your shared hobbies and interests, as they can strengthen your connection when an age gap may create distance.
  • Do your values and morals match up? This may seem like an obvious one, but dig deeper than just general good nature. Tackle touchy subjects that could lead to conflict in the future, like politics and religion.
  • Are you willing to compromise? An important aspect of any healthy relationship is the ability to compromise, but even more so when your partner is in a different stage of life than you are.
  • Are you resilient to outside opinions? As social psychologist Theresa DiDonato points out, "Research suggests that age-gap couples should be prepared to encounter negative bias. " So if you're someone who is more sensitive to unsolicited opinions, be ready to field questions and comments that you may find annoying or downright rude.

Ultimately, like with any healthy relationship, being open and honest with each other is the best way to prepare for future discord. Focus on ways to prevent the difference in your ages from creating a divide between you, and recognize that you may be at different stages of your life at any given time, and that's okay. Mutual respect and open communication will go a long way in bridging any gap.

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All About Age Differences in Relationships

Is age “just a number?” If you’re wondering whether an age difference could impact your relationship, this is for you.

In any relationship, you’ll have some qualities in common with your partner, while others — not so much.

Some couples might find that a big age difference impacts their relationship significantly over time. Others may feel that what makes them compatible is more important than a gap in years.

“Most of the couples I know say that they feel like they’re the same age,” says Dr. Loren Olson, a psychiatrist in Des Moines, Iowa. “We have a chronological age, a psychological age, a physical age, and a sexual age. Age gap couples frequently are compatible in the last three.”

Even if youre satisfied with your relationship, it’s possible to encounter some challenges with a large age difference. Confronting and problem-solving these challenges — which often have to do with outside judgment — could lead to even greater happiness in your partnership.

Age and consent

This article discusses age differences in romantic relationships where both partners are above the legal age of consent in their state.

If you’re below the age of consent and an adult’s behavior is making you feel uncomfortable, help is available. You can:

  • Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673 for confidential, 24/7 support.
  • Visit Stop It Now! for online resources or reach out to their helpline at 888-773-8368.
  • Visit Childhelp for resources to handle and report abuse or to chat live with someone who can help.

P.S. If both partners are above the legal age of consent, it doesn’t mean consent goes out the window. Asking for consent and being on the same page is key in any healthy romantic relationship.

If your relationship has an above-average age difference, it might impact your connection in specific ways. Still, many of these effects aren’t unique to relationships with a large age gap, and communication is key for navigating differences in any partnership.

Emotional maturity

“Even if the age gap is small, like 4 to 5 years, different levels of maturity can be observed,” says Brandy Porche, a licensed professional counselor with MindPath. “When there is a significant difference in age, like 10 to 15 years or more, life experiences can be vastly different.

In relationships with a large emotional maturity gap, the more mature partner could end up carrying a heavier emotional load in the relationship, leading to exhaustion and potentially a breakup.

Being the older partner doesn’t guarantee emotional maturity, just like being younger doesn’t always mean you’re less mature. People sometimes conflate age with emotional maturity because more years can mean more time to form complex perspectives through exposure to different experiences.


“The bigger the gap between partners, the more likely the relationship will struggle with phase-of-life related challenges,” says GinaMarie Guarino, a licensed mental health counselor and founder of PsychPoint.

She explains that these challenges might include differences in:

  • health
  • energy levels
  • life priorities
  • plans to start a family

Having different priorities isn’t exclusive to relationships with large age gaps. In any relationship, it’s key to discuss each person’s priorities and hopes for the future as a part of determining your compatibility if you’re looking for a long-term relationship.

End-of-life concerns

Guarino highlights that people in relationships with big age differences may face more concerns about the longevity of the older partner. The younger partner may fear being left alone when the older partner passes.

Communicating with each other about these feelings can be an important part of processing them.

Guarino points out that making arrangements ahead of time can also provide some reassurance to the younger partner. “If one partner passes, the other partner knows they are taken care of and what their next steps are,” she explains.

In many cultures, heterosexual relationships where the man is older than the woman are still the most common. In these relationships, it’s common for an age gap of 2 to 3 years to exist.

Meanwhile, an Australian study from 2017 found:

  • Heterosexual couples with large age gaps had a faster decline in relationship satisfaction in their first 6 to 10 years of marriage than similarly aged couples.
  • Couples with an age gap of 1 to 3 years (with the man older than the woman) were the most common and had the greatest levels of satisfaction.
  • Relationship satisfaction decreased slightly for couples with age gaps of 4 to 6 years and continued to decrease for couples with an age gap of 7 or more years.

A Korean study from 2015 found that age gaps in long-term relationships could impact each partner’s likelihood of experiencing depression. In particular, it found that same-aged couples had the lowest rates of depression, while couples with an age gap of 3 years or more had slightly higher rates.

In short, research seems to indicate that in many cultures, an age gap of 1 to 3 years is considered ideal — but some researchers suggest even a relationship with an age gap of less than 10 years will bring more satisfaction.

Still, numbers rarely tell the full story when it comes to love. It’s possible to be much older or younger than your partner and have exactly the right relationship for you.

“I am 15 years older than my husband. We have been together 35 years,” says Olson. “We are very compatible in most ways. The only time age has been an issue occurs with things like at what age we should retire,” he shares.

Research from 2014 connects marriages with larger age gaps with higher rates of divorce, although further research is necessary to confirm this link. But just because this link exists, it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed.

Regardless of age, some factors connected with relationship success include:

  • higher levels of education in both partners
  • financial security
  • having children
  • lower levels of neuroticism, or tendency to experience low moods, in both partners
  • secure attachment style in both partners
  • strong communication skills
  • supportive relationships with other family members
  • tendency to approach partner with forgiveness
  • high emotional intelligence
  • satisfaction with your sex life in the relationship

A relationship age gap is just one factor that can influence the success of your relationship. It won’t necessarily be the factor that makes or breaks your relationship since other factors can also play a role.

In relationships with large age differences, you might encounter a couple of additional roadblocks.

Social stigma

“With relationships, there will always be people on the outside looking in. Maybe even more so when outsiders visually see the age difference,” says Porche.

And in cultures where small relationship age gaps are more common, others may treat people in a relationship with a large age difference with judgment or criticism.

“The biggest challenge is facing criticism from those who feel there must be some ulterior motive for both of them,” says Olson.

For example, a younger partner might be accused of only choosing an older partner because of their wealth or status, and an older partner might be accused of choosing someone younger for the way they look.

Even if you and your partner are good at disregarding ignorant opinions of people you don’t know, it can hurt when friends or family are skeptical of a relationship you’re happy with.

Power imbalance

Large age differences can bring up the possibility of unbalanced power dynamics. Porche explains that even in a secure relationship, an older partner might assume an authoritative role.

If this happens, it can help to openly discuss this. “Younger partners can start the conversations by saying, ‘I’m not sure if you realize it, but you just totally made that decision for me, and I would prefer to be included in the decision process next time,’” says Porche.

A power imbalance can also happen if one partner uses their partner’s financial dependence as a way to exert control over them. Whether you and your partner are separated by a few or many years, this behavior is a sign the relationship may be a source of harm.

Whether you’re dealing with less-than-understanding loved ones or concerns about the future of the relationship as you both age, these tips could help you overcome the challenge together.

Set boundaries

“When people question or judge a relationship they are not a part of, they are overstepping the couple’s boundaries,” says Guarino. She emphasizes that setting boundaries with judgmental loved ones is a good way to remind them that even if they don’t understand your relationship, they need to respect it.


Guarino says that with any challenge a couple may face, the ability to have open and honest conversations about the challenge is key. She highlights that it’s a good idea to make time for each partner to share how they feel.

Consider your responses to others

According to Olson, it may be necessary for you and your partner to desensitize yourselves to some critical comments you might encounter. It might also be a good idea to think of a few comebacks to the most common comments you receive.

Find your support network

When it comes to dealing with outside judgment about your relationship, Olson says, “Knowing other age-discrepant couples helps.”

Finding similar couples and creating a sense of community with them could also allow you and your partner to build friendships with others who “get it.


If you and your partner are finding it difficult to navigate these challenges alone, you can also bring in some outside support. An understanding couples counselor could help you explore different avenues for handling these challenges and expressing your thoughts about them.

In any relationship, as well as those with large age differences, feeling secure with your partner is critical, reminds Porche. “You know who you are and what your relationship means to you,” she says.

If you find outside opinions are getting to you, Porche suggests this could be an opportunity to get curious and ask yourself why. It could help to consider if there’s anything you haven’t reconciled about the relationship or if there’s anything you would like to address with your partner.

While you might encounter judgment or stigma in response to your relationship, many factors can determine your relationship’s success — and age is just a small part of that picture.

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  • Ideal age difference between spouses: check your compatibility

According to scientists, the most durable marriages are among peers, and according to esotericists, the fate of a couple depends on how many years separate the spouses from each other. Details - on vesti-yamal.ru

According to scientists, the most durable marriages are those of the same age. The greater the age difference, the less likely it is to save the marriage.

So, the probability of parting with spouses with a 20-year difference is 95%, if they are separated by 10 years - 39%, and if they are 5 years apart - 18%. And all because people belong to different generations, everyone has their own interests, memories, life priorities.

And what do esotericists say about this? They are not so simple. The fate of the couple depends on how many years separate them from each other.

A small difference in age - up to 9 years

Astrologers agree that marriage between peers will be successful. It will be easy for spouses to understand each other, they have similar life experiences, memories, worldview. It will be easy for them to find a common language, the only danger is predictability in relationships and boredom.

Most likely, the spouses will live according to a predetermined scenario, doing measured work all their lives, not counting on a career take-off.

Such marriages are concluded at an early age, it is easiest for peers to meet at school or college. Sometimes they are strong, as they have common friends, interests, spouses are equal in everything, they have similar life values.

But there are also disadvantages. Problems may arise due to lack of money, and the couple does not have a more mature and wiser person who could cope with conflict situations, which can lead to rash acts or betrayals.

Read also: 6 signs of the zodiac that infuriate everyone: the horoscope of champions in laziness and nitpicking

  • 1 year. Such couples have a similar rhythm of life, but may have different outlook and aspirations in life. Spouses will always find common topics for conversation, will be able to discuss their views on the world. They help each other cope with everyday problems, raise children together. Such marriages sometimes last a lifetime. in addition to love, passion, spouses are united by friendships and common concerns.

  • 2 years. Relationships amaze with the power of passion, love and mutual attraction, one can only envy, but, unfortunately, feelings quickly pass. Most likely, the marriage will be short, and after parting, the spouses will be left with nothing, there will be no money in this family, even if both work hard.
  • 3 years (6 years, 9 years). People with such a difference in age will find it difficult to understand each other, they have a different worldview, which can lead to quarrels. The couple is too emotional, and, as a result, constant disagreements are possible. Spouses can annoy each other, do not see the merits of their partner, and over time this gap will only grow, in the end, everything will end in divorce. But if both or at least one of the spouses are phlegmatic, the union can be preserved. If the difference is 6 years, these contradictions are even more noticeable, and sometimes life can turn into a continuous torment. Such relationships are suitable for those who cannot live without vivid feelings and thrills. If we are talking about a difference of 9years, things get worse. However, such relationships rarely end in marriage, this is the worst option of all.

  • 4 years. If the spouses are separated by 4 years, then they have similar views on life, thoughts, and even if there are some differences, they are not able to harm the relationship. Marriage should turn out to be happy and harmonious, because the spouses are united by friendship and spiritual closeness. It doesn't always stand the test of time. But even if they part, they will be able to maintain a harmonious relationship.

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  • 5 years (and 10, 15 years difference). Such a couple has similar life principles, their mutual grinding should be easy, and the relationship promises to be stable, especially if both are doing the same thing. Such an alliance, especially when spouses work together, promises a rapid career take-off. Usually there is one lover in him - the leader, the other - the follower, he will have to constantly give in to something and show patience. And if the difference is 15 years, then the older one helps the younger one find his calling, change his life.

  • 7 years old (14 years old). People are completely different, but they are drawn to each other with incredible force. They do not want to leave, even if they are not ready to be completely sincere with each other. It's a bit of a weird, magical and romantic connection.
  • 8 years. A very harmonious union, many feel that they were able to meet their soul mate. In such a marriage, spouses can live many happy years, in love, mutual understanding. At the same time, there is mutual attraction between them, passion.

Significant difference - more than 10 years

Society tolerates marriages where the husband can be 10-15 years older than the wife, and they can be strong. It is not surprising that a mature man can be attracted to young girls, because they do not have children yet, they do not need to spend money on providing for them, and living with a young beauty is much more pleasant than with a woman in years. Such men have already achieved a lot in life, they do not depend from their relatives. In addition, they are well versed in female psychology, they have experience in communicating with the opposite sex, and they quickly cope with emerging conflicts.

But if the difference is more than 20 years, a lot of difficulties await the couple. They will have to face condemnation, gossip and gossip. In addition, after 10-15 years of marriage, a man can turn into an old man, and his wife will only be in her prime. Mature men are probably already married, they may have children from other wives, and fatherhood is unlikely to be included in their plans.

Marriages where women are older by 10 or more years are very rare, because men tend to marry young girls. But if the relationship has developed, they can be harmonious and happy, especially if the man is the follower.

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they agree with the conclusions of psychologists, they consider the difference of 10, 14, 15 years favorable for any relationship. 13 years is also a successful marriage, a creative union, where one strives for some important goal, and the second supports him in everything.

Also very successful will be a union in which the difference is 16 years (like 4, 8, all the best that could be in these marriages is multiplied). If the lovers got married, they will always be together, live in love and harmony.

A difference of 11 years predicts an unreliable relationship, and at 12 years it promises a complex but interesting union (the marriage can last if the spouses are ready for mutual concessions).

Age difference plays a certain role, a person's horoscope, his character traits, and further destiny depend on the time of birth. It is important to remember that each case is individual, and this is just one of the options for the development of events, that is, it is highly likely that the relationship will develop in this way, but there may be exceptions.

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what age difference between spouses guarantees happiness - Women's magazine "GOLD"

Using the example of star couples, we figure out with whom it is easier to build a strong relationship - with a peer, a man much older and more experienced, or with a counterpart 10 years younger than you.

How many years of difference is acceptable between husband and wife is a question for all time. Happy couples answer that they looked into the eyes, and not into the passport. Of course, we will believe them, but we will check.


Contrary to popular belief, marriages with large age differences were not welcomed in tsarist Russia. This stereotype appeared thanks to the biographies of famous people. So, Pushkin happily married a girl 13 years younger than him, Dostoevsky was 25 years older than his wife, and Leo Tolstoy - 16.

The official church obliged parish priests to explain to couples all the dangers of a union with a big age difference, but no one could refuse to marry. It was only recommended not to exceed the difference of 5-6 years. Today, age limits have become more flexible.

The difference is up to five years

Marriages between almost the same age for the soul and psychologists, and society, and even your mother will not mind. Without a doubt, common interests and goals, belonging to the same generation, the joint acquisition of life experience, a common circle of friends is an excellent dowry for starting a life together.

However, not everything is so rosy. Most likely, such a marriage will be built on the positions of partnership, and here the first pitfall awaits the young couple - the struggle for supremacy in the family, during which young people will open an unplowed field for scandals and showdown.

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The second serious problem is connected with the banal truth of life - love lives three then, and then what? Young spouses may not be ready for a situation of cooling feelings, they risk getting bored with each other and prefer to break off relations instead of working on a family, which, let's be honest, requires a lot of endurance and dedication.

A stellar example. This category has a large number of young couples of varying degrees of stability. For example, Pavel Priluchny and Agata Muceniece , with their difference of 2 years, successfully go through crises under the close attention of the press. But Rita Dakota and Vlad Sokolovsky , as well as Guram Bablishvili and Anfisa Chekhova could not maintain their relationship, despite the “optimal” age difference.

The husband is older by 5-10 years

There is a perfectly logical explanation for why women choose older husbands. It is always nice to create a family with a person who knows exactly why he needs it. He does not need to be lured to the registry office, huddle in a rented apartment, he is ready to send his wife on maternity leave and take on the financial support of the family.

The man's motives are also quite understandable - it's always nice to see a younger woman nearby. According to many psychologists, such a difference in age very often guarantees a strong union. In such a marriage, the dominant role most often belongs to a man, as the most experienced of the partners.

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However, let's move on to the minuses that also exist. Firstly, your mother will be afraid that an older son-in-law is unlikely to heed her advice and completely capture her daughter's attention. Secondly, if a woman is not ready for a model of patriarchal relations, it is worth saying this in advance in order to avoid conflicts in the family. In addition, your relationship with friends can crack, because your husband is unlikely to be interested in people younger than him.

A stellar example. Harmonious in this age range can be called the union of Pavel Volya and Laysan Utyasheva with their difference of 6 years. Actors Artur Smolyaninov and Daria Melnikova, , who recently became parents for the second time, are also an example of a stable relationship, despite the difference of 9 years.

Wife is 5-10 years older

Often such relationships become a continuation of a casual romance, when both parties are surprised to find that they feel good together in everyday life. The reason for this is the natural behavior of a woman with a man younger than herself, because initially she does not attach seriousness to these relationships and therefore does not try to impress him.

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younger. An interesting observation by psychologists is that the relationship of such couples can develop quite stably, provided that the man is internally older than his biological age, and the woman knows how to preserve beauty.

A stellar example. In a couple Yana Rudkovskaya and Evgeni Plushenko the spouse is 7 years older, which is not an obstacle to happiness. Another example of a strong union with a similar difference of 7 years is Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling .

The husband is older by 10 years or more

Society traditionally condemns a significant age difference between spouses, but there are a lot of such marriages. The key to the success of such a union is the psychological maturity of the woman and the careful care of the man about his health. Love for a person from a different age category is possible, this has been repeatedly confirmed by human history.

The downside is that it is difficult to match the rhythm of a young wife's life, her physical and emotional needs. Psychologists assure that if a man is ready to be a full-fledged life partner for a woman, then age is not a hindrance to sincere love.

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Yes, your mother and girlfriends will never come to terms with the age of your chosen one, but over time they will get used to it. In such families, the husband becomes the recognized leader, simply because of his life experience.

A stellar example. The difference of 36 years did not become an obstacle to a strong marriage Andrey Konchalovsky and Yulia Vysotskaya , and just the other day the couple got married. Another example of the fact that all ages are submissive to love is Sylvester Stallone - "Rocky" is 22 years older than his wife Jennifer Flavin and managed to raise three daughters with her. "Dancing Millionaire" Gianluco Vacca was younger than model wife Georgia Gabriele for 18 years. "Was" - because the couple nevertheless broke up after several years of marriage.

A woman older by 10 years or more

A woman who decides to have a relationship with a man much younger than herself will certainly be subjected to gossip and gossip. Her husband will be called a gigolo, she herself will be called a "hunter for the young", and the marriage will be predicted to be short-lived.

The good news is that a mature woman knows how to defend her right to happiness, and even her mother's opinion is no longer so important to her. Moreover, in recent years, thanks to the examples of celebrities, society has begun to more favorably treat such unions. Psychologists say that such a couple can be quite happy if the psychotype of a child prevails in a man, and his companion takes it for granted and is not against a little guardianship.

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