Does age difference matter in dating

What are the relationship outcomes for age-gap couples?

This largely has to do with having social circles that generally include peers of similar ages and being attracted to others who are similar. Similarity entails many things, including personality, interests and values, life goals and stage of life, and physical traits age being a marker of physical appearance. Many of the reasons proposed for age-gap couples have been largely rooted in evolutionary explanations, and focus on explaining older man-younger woman pairings.

From this perspective, it's thought men's preferences for younger women and women's preferences for older men relate to reproductive fitness. That is, the extent to which someone has "good genes" — indicated by their attractiveness and sense of energy also known as vitality — and the extent to which they are a "good investment" — indicated by their status and resources as well as their warmth and sense of trust. Although men and women place importance on a partner who is warm and trustworthy, women place more importance on the status and resources of their male partner.

This is largely because, with women being the child bearers, the investment is very high on their behalf time and effort in child bearing and rearing. So they are attuned to looking for a partner who will also invest resources into a relationship and family. But because the building of resources takes time, we tend to acquire resources later in life and so are older by the time we have acquired enough wealth and resources to comfortably provide for others.

So, women's attunement to status and resources might explain why some women may be attracted to older men. In contrast, there's evidence to suggest men value attractiveness and vitality more than women because, from an evolutionary standpoint, youth is seen as an indicator of fertility. Given men cannot bear children, evolution suggests they're attuned to younger women to enhance the chances of partnering with someone who can provide children. But the evolutionary explanation is limited in that it doesn't explain why the reverse occurs an older woman-younger man pairing , or why age gaps exist within same-sex couples.

For this, socio-cultural explanations might provide insights. With more women working, in higher positions and being paid more, they no longer have such a reliance on men for resources. So fewer women will prioritise resources when looking for a mate. As for same-sex couples, there's very little research. Some suggest a lack of , or a reduced pool of, suitable age-similar mates may bring about same-sex coupling with large age differences.

Mind the gap: Does age difference in relationships matter?

Many people assume that age-gap couples fare poorly when it comes to relationship outcomes. But some studies find the relationship satisfaction reported by age-gap couples is higher. These couples also seem to report greater trust and commitment and lower jealousy than similar-age couples.

Over three-quarters of couples where younger women are partnered with older men report satisfying romantic relationships. A factor that does impact on the relationship outcomes of age-gap couples is their perceptions of social disapproval. That is, if people in age-gap couples believe their family, friends and wider community disapprove of their union, then relationship commitment decreases and the risk of break-up increases.

These effects appear to apply to heterosexual and same-sex couples. So the negative outcomes for age-gap couples seem to reside not in problems within the couple, but in pressures and judgments from the outside world. Another factor at play may have to do with the stage of life each partner is experiencing. For instance, a ten-year gap between a year-old and a year-old may bring up different challenges and issues than for a ten-year gap where one partner is 53 and the other is This is because our lives are made up of different stages, and each stage consists of particular life tasks we need to master.

And we give priority to the mastery of different tasks during these distinct stages of our lives. So when each member of a couple straddles a different life stage, it may be difficult for the couple to reconcile each other's differing life needs and goals. The success of a relationship depends on the extent to which partners share similar values, beliefs and goals about their relationship; support each other in achieving personal goals; foster relationship commitment, trust and intimacy; and resolve problems in constructive ways.

These factors have little do with age.

Does Age Really Matter in Relationships?

While a little sister two years younger than you seems completely annoying when you are seven, but 10 years down the road, she seems far less immature. The other beauty about becoming more secure in our identities is that suddenly, society's judgments don't matter as much to us. When I was 26 years old, I dated a girl who was five years younger than me. This was not a big, earth-shattering deal for either of us. She, in fact, asked me out first, which was a gesture I greatly appreciated and one that I later reciprocated.

However, I remember that our age difference seemed to be something of a big deal to her sister. Even if she were kidding, there is always at least a glint of truth in every sarcastic remark. Certainly, a five-year age gap would have made a significant difference to both of us just a few years prior to that time. Now that I am in my 30s, a five-year gap matters even less.

Does the age gap matter? What happens when there is an age difference when dating # AskRenee

So if it's okay for men to date younger women, does it matter if women date younger men? Sadly, this is not necessarily so, and there tends to be more of an unfortunate stigma attached to older women dating young men. That has been the case since I was I thought that would change as I got older and they realized it was just a number and that a few years didn't make all that much of a difference.

But nothing has changed. I find the whole situation frustrating and ridiculous. Either way, some misconceptions about dating apparently still need to be discussed and debunked. Not long ago, I read a biography of Church President John Taylor and learned that his first wife, Leonora Cannon Taylor, was 12 years older than he was! So then, when should age become a concern? Height, weight, number of Lord of the Rings figurines in his or her collection. While some of these numbers can be superficial and shouldn't tip the scales heavily in our decisions to date someone, age can raise some serious concerns.

No matter how much you love your grandma, no year-old wants to be stuck with an eighty-year-old who just wants to sit at home and watch reruns of I Love Lucy. Since we should be dating people with the long term in view, future concerns such as limited mobility, sickness, or even increased chances of ending up alone in your old age aren't something to laugh at. Couples should openly consider and talk about these concerns. And you should seriously think about what you are willing to commit to on your own time.

Marriage isn't a sprint; it's a marathon.

You need to make sure you have the endurance and ability to cover the miles. All you have to ask yourself is, "Am I willing to carry their baggage for the full Age shouldn't be your only grading critieria, but it should be a serious consideration. So then, why do age gaps happen?


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For many mid-singles 31 and older , it can feel like dating options become somewhat limited after attending young single adult wards and activities is no longer an option. While it is still OK to date people younger than you are, it also becomes more and more acceptable to date those who are more than a couple of years older than you, too.

Statistically, the number of potential spouses of the same age decreases as the years go on. This is one possible reason why age gaps matter less later in life.


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Not long ago, I went out on a handful of dates with someone more than a decade younger than me, while still following the half-your-age-plus-seven rule. To quote another well-known saying: But it is not necessarily a rule of thumb. The most important question tends to be not one of age but of compatibility and maturity—both emotional and spiritual.

In Doctrine and Covenants To spend the eternities with a companion who shares the most important fundamental values with us and who will discuss them, live them, and join in teaching them to children is among the most soul-satisfying experiences of true romantic love.

Mind the gap – does age difference in relationships matter?

How many years older than you are you comfortable dating? I have a different answer; let me tell you in the comments. I am a woman and I want to see the answers. How many years younger than you are you comfortable dating?

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