Does age difference matter in dating
With more women working, in higher positions and being paid more, they no longer have such a reliance on men for resources. Many people assume that age-gap couples fare poorly when it comes to relationship outcomes. Studies have found partners with more than a ten-year gap in age experience social disapproval.
But what these trends tell us is that the majority of the population is likely to partner with someone of similar age. For this, socio-cultural explanations might provide insights. These couples also seem to report greater trust and commitment and lower jealousy than similar-age couples. The limited evidence on same-sex couples, however, suggests the prevalence rates are higher. Messenger Romantic couples with a large age gap often raise eyebrows.
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. This is because our lives are made up of different stages, and each stage consists of particular life tasks we need to master. 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.
So the reality is, while an age gap may bring about some challenges for couples, so long as couples work at their relationship, age should be no barrier. This largely has to do with having social circles that generally include peers of similar ages and being attracted to others who are similar.
And we give priority to the mastery of different tasks during these distinct stages of our lives. But when it comes to our own relationships, both men and women prefer someone their own age, but are open to someone years their junior or senior. In some non-Western countries, the average age gap is much larger than in Western countries. 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. While there is variation across cultures in the size of the difference in age-gap couples, all cultures demonstrate the age-gap couple phenomenon.
Another factor at play may have to do with the stage of life each partner is experiencing. So they are attuned to looking for a partner who will also invest resources into a relationship and family. 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. This is probably because women place more importance on resources and men on fertility. So fewer women will prioritise resources when looking for a mate.
These effects appear to apply to heterosexual and same-sex couples.
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