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There are also plenty of May-December duos who didn’t last; think Demi and Ashton (16 years), or Sean Penn and Charlize Theron (15 years).
If you turn to research, some signs suggest the wider the age gap, the lower the likelihood a pairing will last... A widely-circulated 2014 Emory University study of 3,000 recently married and divorced people showed that age gap was correlated with breaking up; couples with ages falling within five years of each other were significantly less likely to divorce than couples who had age gaps of, say, 10 or 20 years.
Romantic couples with a large age gap often raise eyebrows.
Men, in contrast, are hypothesized to be most attracted to women in their reproductive prime, which tends to be when they are younger. Women’s preferences, on the other hand, hold relatively constant across their lives, not going more than a few years below their own age (extra-credit if you can identify the “cougar zone” in this figure), but women remain keen on men up to 10 years older than themselves. However, younger men (i.e., in their 20’s) tend to be married to someone of a similar age, but as they get older their wives get younger.According to this rule, it would not be creepy for a 30 year old to date a 22 year-old, but an 18 year-old would be off-limits.Although this is a fun rule of thumb, what does research say about age preferences for potential mates?For example, by their 50’s the average male has a wife who is 10 years younger than him.
The “half your age plus seven” rule of thumb probably helps you avoid being a creep, but is it accurate?
Those who marry spouses of similar ages, by comparison, are more stable in terms of happiness and fulfillment, and perhaps more resilient as a result, say the researchers; it’s harder to swallow satisfaction that drops and stabilizes at normal levels when the relationship started at a higher high.