Does age difference matter in marriage?

Does age difference matter in marriage?Over the years, we have been asked if the age differential between people contemplating marriage really matters. Our answer – it depends!

In our thousands of interviews on six continents of the world, we have learned this – when you are truly in love, your age and the age of the one you love really doesn’t matter for the most part. But there is a reality to this notion as well. There are circumstances when the difference in age does matter.

When you are 17, contemplating marriage to someone who is 47, marriage is probably not a good idea. The life experiences of a 17-year old are very, very different from a person who is 47!

Our experience tells us that the closer in age two people in love are, the greater their chances of Building a Love That Lasts. Whether it is one year, five years, ten, or more, true love trumps everything else. The question really is more about “How do you know your are in love” versus “How old is the one you love?” Being IN love is far more important than an age difference between two people who purport to love each other.

So, what have we learned about age differences from our three decades of research? When the difference is greater than ten years the “success rate” starts to go down. In other words, it is generally true that the smaller the difference in ages, the greater the chance of having a successful marriage.

However, there are no magic elixirs when it comes to love. Being in love is more important than age. Age is relative. Age matters far less in a relationship than love. Love is timeless, of that you can be sure.

By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts
Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For more marriage advice visit their website Simple Things Matter

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25 Comments »

  1. 1
    weinsten Says:

    hi
    am in love with a woman who is fur years older than i am..i wonna marry her..i love her soo much that i cant do without her.plse advice

    • 2
      marriageexperts Says:

      Weinsten,
      Four years difference in age is totally within the normal age span of most married couples. If everything else in your relationship is fine and you love her, the small difference in your ages will not matter.
      Liz and Charley

  2. 3
    Razvan Says:

    weinsten ..if you love her then love her till the end;)
    i am in love with a women that is 10 years older then me
    and i love her as crazy;)..if the marrige is fully supported by true love then it will last

    • 4
      marriageexperts Says:

      Razvan,
      The statistics we write about from our research are only group studies. They do not speak for a single couple in love. You two may just face more challenges than other couples. You will have to understand that going in and work harder to make the relationship a success, but it can work out just fine. We wish you the best of good fortunes.
      Liz and Charley

  3. 5
    ERS Says:

    I’m a 48 yrld. man in love with a 24 year old woman in a foriegn country and have proposed marriage to her ring and all. I met her over 2 years ago while contracting overseas and we have been living together since that time. We have had our share of ups and downs over the 2 years, me having an exwife that was still financialy dependent on me and for some reason I felt obligated to continue to support her to keep her from living on the streets. That issue drove my fiance up the wall because the only time my ex called was to drain money from me. A new problem has landed with a “thud” at my feet recently, We split up for 3 weeks after a month arguing about my ex telephoning me for money and her boss at work put the move on her instantly. She was wounded emotionaly at that time and made the mistake of moving right in with him. This lasted 3 weeks and she decided this was not for her and contacted me to reconcile. After a long discussion of where we were at now with a relationship we agreed to mutaul terms to try to make what we had work and I proposed marriage to her with a ring. Now the guy she only knew for 3 weeeks has proposed marriage to her at her work (with a ring. She is still living and sleeping with me in our home each night while this old boss of hers is moping around his house waiting on her to leave me for him. I was shocked that she accepted his proposal and was planning on packing up her things and moving from our house when I went to work that day. I was more shocked that this “Snake” of a man would dare propose to a woman that was already engaged. Needless to say I ditched work that day and asked that the whole truth be told to me. She says she is confused now and needs to think about the choice she needs to make(err, me or him or neither one of us) I feel like I’m trapped in a no win situation until she makes up her mind. I want to confront this so called “man” that is professing his undying love for her after only 3 weeks together and tell him he is interferring with my relationship and to leave us the hell alone or worse. This guy’s not to bright to say the least, but how bright does that make me?

    • 6
      marriageexperts Says:

      ERS,
      We hope that your situation has worked out. The age difference between you and the woman you love is quite great and some of the problems you are describing can be expected due to a maturity difference. It sounds as if the situation is critical and that the one you love is needing to determine what she wants to do with the rest of her life. Whatever the decision, it is better that it be made now rather than after you have married. Both you and her have to be solid in your love for each other until death do you part. That means that she cannot be wavering each time a new man comes into her life. Best of luck with the decision she is making.
      Liz and Charley

  4. 7
    Nauman Says:

    Hi All

    I was married with a women who is 6 years older than me. Now i have two kids and my life is going nice but with out sex satisfaction. Now i realy feels that this is real a big differnce. When ever i want to close her she refused. I love her and may be only for this and becase of my kids i could not thing any thing else. i am now 31 years old and she is 40 years. is it true that women is finish after 40. Plz help me how i could manage it, it may spoil my home and i dont want to do any thing wrong

    Regards

    Nauman

  5. 8
    Gracie Says:

    I am a 32 year old woman, never married, dating a 47 year old man. We met a work; I was an engineer and he was my technician, and we had been friends for 2 or 3 years. He has seen me date 2 other guys, and after each of the breakups I went straight to him to confide with him. I also saw him go through divorce from a woman he did not love, who only married him so he can support her son. One day we finally found out that we had a lot in common as far as interests, social style, educational values, moral character, and we both want to have kids. We were exclusively dating for the last 3 months. He is a very mature, financially secure, sweet, respectul person, and he is serious about getting married, and already has asked me several times. I wanted to at least get him to meet my parents before he puts a ring on my finger. What other things should I make sure about before I say yes?

  6. 9
    Gerry Says:

    From my observation/experience, you’re in the sweet spot right now – you’re 15 years apart but both still relatively young, healthy – but take that out a few years – when you’re 47, he’ll be 62 – that’s a whole other ballgame – you’re still young but he’s on the cusp of retirement, probably has aches and pains, energy starting to lag – now take that out another 10 years, you’re 57 and he’s 72 – that’s REALLY a much bigger difference in every way than where you’re at now at 32 and 47. At 57 and 72 you’re going to see really huge differences in health, energy, points of view – I know it doesn’t seem that way now, but 15 years is a lot.

  7. 10
    Peter Says:

    My fiance and I are separated by 28 years. She is 33 and I am 61.
    We have known each other for 1 1/2 years. We met by chance. Despite our age difference we liked each other right off the bat. We have grown to like each other more every day since and every time we have shared many of life’s experiences . Now we find a very special closeness and have grown to love each other -very deeply. I was the one who questioned how we might over come the age difference. Natali reminds me that there really is nothing to overcome since we like each other and love each. Natali’s 11 year old son and my 34 and 31 year old sons and 27 year old daughter accept our situation totally given their respective ages. My daughter who is very insightful mand mature has told me ,” Dad I know you love Natali but I want you to know that Natali unconditionally loves you as well. Speaking on behalf of my brothers we are happy for you and Natali. We know you will make an amazing couple.”
    Natali and I are going to be married at Christmas.
    As a post script …yes I am a healthy man ,fotunately possessed of very good genetics across the board . Our children-all 4 of them- are settled and happy with our decision. Natali and I make each other very happy every single day. We recognize that age may impact our lives and we accept that fact. Nonetheless we have a lot of fun together every single day. We make each other laugh and we enjoy life. We truly do love each other. We want to share that love together for as long as we are priviliged to do so.

    • 11
      marriageexperts Says:

      Peter,
      Congratulations on your relationship. It is rare indeed that this great an age span can work, but when it does, it is beautiful. We wish you the best of good fortune. Please let us know how you both are doing in the future.
      Charley and Liz
      Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz

  8. 12

    interesting n inforrmative ….

    • 13
      marriageexperts Says:

      Kimmarie, Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.
      Charley and Liz
      Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz

  9. 14
    JENNIFER Says:

    I am 24 years and in relationship with 37 years man, now he is asking my hand in marr but am afraid about age difference

  10. 15
    raj Says:

    i got married with 14 years elder women who is doctor …i am 22 years old guy and she is 36 years pld women..but we are happy .we stay in mumbai ..it doesnt matter ..but you must love each other ..bye

    • 16
      marriageexperts Says:

      Raj,
      This is rare indeed for the woman to be 14 years older than you. Since you love each other so much, you will be ready to fight the obstacles facing the age difference. You have our sincere best wishes that your relationship works out.
      Charley and Liz
      Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz

  11. 17
    I had a child with one lady back in school, now i'm being forced to marry the lady of which i do not love. what do i do since am in love with someone else? Godson Says:

    I had child with a lady back in school and am being forced to marry her of which i do not love. What do i do since am now in love with someone else?

    • 18
      marriageexperts Says:

      Godson,
      Without knowing the circumstances of your situation, it is difficult to give you advice. In the great marriages around the world, love is at the center of what makes the relationships last for a lifetime. It is very hard to begin a marriage without the underlying foundation of love between the two of you. Being forced into something so critical to the rest of your life takes on potential consequences larger than people can imagine.
      Dr. Charles Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz

  12. 19
    benedicta nanor. Says:

    may the good Lord continue to bless to keep up with the good works.

  13. 21
    Benjamin Agbadi Says:

    Am great full to that what really matters is not about the age difference but the that both partner share

    • 22
      marriageexperts Says:

      Benjamin,
      Thanks for your comments. You are right. However, if the age difference is too great it will make it more difficult to have a successful marriage. That doesn’t mean it cannot work. It means that you will have to overcome the obstacles that occur because of the age difference.
      Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz

  14. 23
    Ruth Ehireme Says:

    Dats ok because i think age doesn’t matter.

  15. 24
    ashi pal Says:

    hi..my name is ashi…i love a boy who is 9 yrs older than me..he also loves me..bt at present he is in mumbai..will our age difference be a hinderance in our love..at present am 21 and he is 30..really need a help

  16. 25
    nithya Says:

    I am 26 years old girl my partner is 25 years..both having 1o months difference.this difference is affect my life in future.


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