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Some suggest a lack of , or a reduced pool of, suitable age-similar mates may bring about same-sex coupling with large age differences. Many people assume that age-gap couples fare poorly when it comes to relationship outcomes. But some studies find the relationship satisfaction reported by age-gap couples is higher.


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These couples also seem to report greater trust and commitment and lower jealousy than similar-age couples. Over three-quarters of couples where younger women are partnered with older men report satisfying romantic relationships. A factor that does impact on the relationship outcomes of age-gap couples is their perceptions of social disapproval. 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.

These effects appear to apply to heterosexual and same-sex couples. 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. Another factor at play may have to do with the stage of life each partner is experiencing. For instance, a ten-year gap between a year-old and a year-old may bring up different challenges and issues than for a ten-year gap where one partner is 53 and the other is This is because our lives are made up of different stages, and each stage consists of particular life tasks we need to master.

And we give priority to the mastery of different tasks during these distinct stages of our lives. So when each member of a couple straddles a different life stage, it may be difficult for the couple to reconcile each other's differing life needs and goals. The success of a relationship depends on the extent to which partners share similar values, beliefs and goals about their relationship; support each other in achieving personal goals; foster relationship commitment, trust and intimacy; and resolve problems in constructive ways.

These factors have little do with age.


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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. Equal earnings help couples say 'I do' and stay together. There are lots of theories about why some couples who live together get married while others separate. In dual-physician couples, women with children worked fewer hours than women without children but similar differences in hours worked were not seen among men, according to a new research letter published by JAMA Internal Among couples with marriage-like commitments, same-sex couples have a similar break-up rate as heterosexual couples, according to a recent study.

The study also found that same-sex couples with a marriage-like commitment A newly released Australian study , which started in , observed 19, Australian households over the course of 13 years and then analysed the data.

Please pipe down about age gap relationships being doomed to fail

How many same-age couples would report being totally satisfied over the course of 13 years together? Keeping another person blissfully happy until one of you pops your clogs is a tall order. How old either of those people are is by-the-by. For someone like me, who was born 35 years old, the idea of going to a house party and staying up until 5AM is not a fun one. At least not on the reg. Another factor at play may have to do with the stage of life each partner is experiencing. For instance, a year gap between a year-old and a year-old may bring up different challenges and issues than for a year gap where one partner is 53 and the other is This is because our lives are made up of different stages, and each stage consists of particular life tasks we need to master.

And we give priority to the mastery of different tasks during these distinct stages of our lives. So when each member of a couple straddles a different life stage, it may be difficult for the couple to reconcile each other's differing life needs and goals. The success of a relationship depends on the extent to which partners share similar values, beliefs and goals about their relationship; support each other in achieving personal goals; foster relationship commitment, trust and intimacy; and resolve problems in constructive ways.

These factors have little do with age. 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.

Why doesn't age matter to some?

Gery Karantzas is an associate professor in social psychology and relationship science at Deakin University. This piece first appeared on The Conversation. First posted April 20, If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC. ABC teams share the story behind the story and insights into the making of digital, TV and radio content.

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Mind the gap – does age difference in relationships matter?

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It's not just sex: The success of a relationship depends on partners sharing similar values, beliefs and goals about their relationship.

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