They say age ain’t nothing but a number if you really love each other, but are certain age gaps – or lack thereof – more likely to end in tears? According to a study conducted by Emory University in Atlanta, there’s an ideal difference that can heighten your chances of a lasting relationship.
The study looked at 3000 people, and found that the greater the age gap, the greater the risk of a break-up. These are just patterns, but the results could come down to partners having conflicting goals and interests at different stages in their lives.
Researchers found that couples with a five-year age gap are 18% more likely to split than an equal-age couple, while that figure jumped to 39% with a 10-year age gap. For couples with a 20-year age gap the statistics aren’t looking very hopeful, with chances of separation rising to 95%.
As for that ideal age difference, researches believe that a one-year gap is the sweet spot, with the chances of divorce standing at a much smaller 3%.
Still, as we said, this is just data, and while researchers may have noticed patterns, every couple is different and other factors – like children, behaviour, and plain old compatibility – can impact the results also.
As Hugo Mialon, one of the researchers behind the study, said: “It could just be that the types of couples with those characteristics are the types of couples who are, on average, more likely to divorce for other reasons.”