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The Ideal Age Gap for Happy Couples Answers Why Many Marriages End in Divorce


According to new findings from Emory University in Atlanta, the difference in age between you and your partner could play a crucial role in whether or not your relationship is long lasting.

The study of 3,000 people found that the larger the age gap, the larger the risk of separation. This is hardly surprising considering partners of vastly different ages would be at contrasting life stages and probably have conflicting goals when it comes to career, family, or lifestyle.

Interestingly, the research also found that less extreme age gaps also decreased the likelihood of a couple’s relationship not going the distance.

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Couples with a five-year age gap were 18 percent more likely to divorce, whereas this statistic rose to 39 percent for a 10-year age gap and a whopping 95 percent for a 20-year age gap.

So, what is the ideal age gap for a long-lasting relationship? According to this study, the ideal age gap for couples was one year. Case in point: David and Victoria Beckham (aged 41 and 42 respectively), who have been married for 17 years.

Having said this, it is difficult to tell what extent age played a factor in the breakdown of the relationships in this study. As Hugo Mialon, one of the researchers behind the study, pointed out: “It could just be that the types of couples with those characteristics are the types of couples who are, on average, more likely to divorce for other reasons.”

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And despite the data, we’re sure some devoted couples could attest to the fact that age is but a number. As Mark Twain once famously wrote: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Well said.

So, what do you think? Is age important in a relationship? We’ll let you be the judge of that.

This post was written by Elizabeth Bennett. For more, check out our sister site Grazia.

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