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These couples also seem to report greater trust and commitment and lower jealousy than similar-age couples.

#HusbandNotDad: What Experts Say About Relationships With Large Age Gaps – HealthyWay

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 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.

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#HusbandNotDad: What Experts Say About Relationships With Large Age Gaps

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. Read about our editorial guiding principles and the enforceable standard our journalists follow.

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How many relationships have a big age gap?

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Which brings us to the question—how common are age gap relationships?

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According to the data published in the study, couples with ages within one year of each other had only a 3 percent chance of splitting up. Those with a five-year difference in ages were 18 percent more likely to to split up. As the gap widened, the likelihood of a split continued to increase. Couples with a year gap had a 39 percent chance of splitting up, and the chance of splitting for couples with a year gap was a whopping 95 percent.

While the connection is by no means definitive, it seems possible that the rapid decline in marital satisfaction relative to similarly aged couples observed in the University of Colorado study may lead to an increased likelihood that marriages with large age differences will end in divorce. Jonathan Bennett, however, has a few ideas why. This is one of my favorite pictures of us because it describes the silliness in our relationship.

When this was snapped, we were standing in the line at a train show. The security guard thought you were my dad and his head exploded when I kissed you right smack on the lips. We laughed about his facial expression for the rest of the night. A post shared by Courtlyb Photography courtlyb on Nov 21, at 5: The relationship becomes about standing up to others, even entire institutions and systems.

First, how much do you actually have in common? Next, are your social circles supportive? As both Bennet and the study referenced above mention, general and ongoing disapproval of a relationship can lead to fatigue and a reduced commitment to resolving tensions that arise between yourself and your spouse.


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  5. Excited for a life with you. A post shared by Courtlyb Photography courtlyb on Jul 26, at 3: Finally, are you financially prepared to deal with a long-term relationship with someone much older or younger? Be sure to like HealthyWay on Facebook to get more stories like this! Please click here if you are not redirected within a few seconds.

    Courtney and Vann Thornton started out as friends.