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Relationships: Is There an Optimal Age Gap?

Is there such a thing as an “ideal age gap”? How much older โ€” or younger โ€” than you should your sugar daddy or sugar baby be?

In a previous blog post, we talked about the subjective side of this question, namely, whether love knows no age. Today, we’ll tell you what science has to say about this:

The ideal age gap according to science

woman calculating on blackboard

Researchers from the Emory University of Atlanta have conducted a study to determine what is the ideal age gap of a couple โ€” ideal meaning a high likelihood of them staying together.

The study involved 3,000 participants and had very clear results: the wider the age gap, the higher the rate of separation. The reasons for it are many, such as social acceptability, differences in life goals, maturity, interests and so on.

As to the numbers, couples with only 5 years of age difference already have an 18% chance of separation. This number increases dramatically the greater the age gap is, with the probability of separation of partners who were born 10 years apart at 39%! If you’re dating someone 20 years your senior, you might want to reconsider it, as the rate of separation is 95% in this case.

happy couple with a small age gap

On the other hand, couples with a 2-year age gap are the most likely to stay together over a longer period. That makes sense, as people with a small age gap are more likely to have grown up in the same society with a similar mentality, having much more in common.

RELATED ARTICLE: Do people from different generations date differently?

Can you calculate the optimal age gap?

Much before this study came around, in 1901, French writer Max O’Rell presented in his book Her Royal Highness Woman and his Majesty Cupid a famous formula with which the ideal age difference between partners can be calculated.

According to him, men should choose women whose age is half theirs plus seven years. Calculated over 100 years ago, you can still find this formula everywhere. Of course, barely anyone takes it seriously and the study above proved it wrong.

How much older than you can your partner be?

woman with significantly older partner

According to Max O’Rell’s formula, you can find it out by subtracting 7 from your age and multiplying the result by two or (n-7)*2. So if you are 22, 22 minus 7 is 15, 15 times 2 is 30.

… and how much younger?

According to the same formula, if we take the average sugar daddy, a 46-year old, he should be dating someone who is at least 46/2 = 23, 23 + 7 = 30.

However, sugar relationships are nothing like traditional ones, and nearly no sugar daddy or sugar baby takes this formula into account.

Do couples with a considerable age gap have a future together?

As with everything, there is always a risk of failure. It is certainly not enough to build a stable relationship based on physical attraction alone. Focusing on the shortcomings of the partner and the unfavorable public opinion does not bode well for the future either. If there is a sincere feeling between you, your relationship has the potential to develop.

Additionally, despite the differences, you can communicate with your partner and talk openly about your needs and expectations, making it less likely for a significant age gap to ruin your relationship.

Successful against the odds

couple with a considerable age gap happy on boat

George Clooney is 17 years older than his wife Amal. There is a 22 year difference between Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart. Yet, they aren’t record-breakers! There is 33 years difference between Roman Polanski and Emmanuelle Seigner, and Mark Kondrat and Antonina Turnau are 38 years apart.

It’s easy to find couples in which the man is significantly older than the woman. This pattern is becoming more common not only among celebrities.

Age is no longer the most important thing when choosing a partner. Nowadays, age is only a number and people tend not to act their age in the positive sense, with older men showing much more vitality and younger women, more maturity and assertiveness,for their age than in the past.

Find out the advantages of dating an older man in this popular post from our blog.

Truth is that two matching souls will find each other regardless of their age. Age is only a number and, above all, relationships based on mutual understanding have a high chance of success.