They say age is just a number when it comes to love, and it’s more evident today that people don’t focus on age gaps in relationships as much as they used to.Even those negative stigmas associated with an older man dating a younger girl, or an older woman and a younger man, have dissipated.
It really boils down to compatibility, lifestyle, goals, vitality, and interests.READ: 10 Reasons a Man Might Prefer an Older Woman in the Bedroom Barbie Adler, the founder and president of Selective Search, says it’s not so much about the age as it is about the maturity level.“You really have to be crystal clear about your hopes, dreams, and desires from the start,” says marriage and family therapist Dr. “A big issue for couples with a big age gap is mismatched life experiences and goals around marriage, children, lifestyle and freedom.” For example, the younger woman in the relationship may desire children in the future.But if the significantly older man has "been there, done that," he may not be interested in having more kids. "The bigger the age gap, the more you need to consider what natural aging brings.Furthermore, a May-December couple may be mistaken for parent and child, or onlookers might think the younger half of the pair is only looking for some type of financial gain.
READ: How to Tell If Your Boyfriend Will Make a Great (or Awful) Husband It goes without saying that all relationships face challenges.
In fact, Adler says, “both [our] male and female clients typically seek matches within a 10–15 year age range of themselves.” But can a relationship where two people are 10 or 15 (or more) years apart really work out in the long-term, once the novelty has worn off?
It’s not likely, according to a study out of Emory University that finds the larger the age gap, the more likely a marriage will end in divorce.
Also consider how you get along with the person’s friends, because these people will also be part of your life.
Johanna said she found it a bit awkward to connect with her boyfriend, Paul’s, friends, even though he was only three years younger. I felt removed from their age and current life stage," she says. A friend once told me that the acceptable age difference was half the older person's age plus seven.
But while the Emory study shows that people are better off dating within their age group, it's more important to be with someone you mesh well with, the experts say.