We’ve all seen seemingly perfect couples crash and burn, while couples that seemed doomed to fail make it work. While no one can say for sure what makes a happy, long-lasting relationship, science has revealed a potentially decisive factor. According to research, the age gap between you and your partner dictates the longevity of your relationship!
The study, conducted by scientists from Emory University, took into account data obtained from a survey of over 3,000 people in the United States who’ve been married at least once. Age difference was one of a number of factors that the researchers explored. Their findings indicate that if you’re looking for a relationship that’ll go the distance, you’re better off finding a partner close to your own age.
According to the findings of the study, the chances of the relationship ending sooner go up incrementally as the age gap between the couple grows. The chances of a couple with no more than a year’s age gap splitting up was found to be a mere 3 per cent. If the age difference was bumped up to five years there was an 18 per cent likelihood of them separating. For a 10-year age gap the likelihood went up to 39 per cent, and it shot up to 95 per cent for couples with a 20-year age gap. You get the trend, right?
The researchers took other factors into account as well. Having a child prior to tying the knot meant splitting up was 59 per cent less likely, while having a child during marriage meant a 76 per cent chance of staying together. Having different levels of education meant a couple is 43 per cent more likely to divorce, but making it to a two-year anniversary meant you were 43 per cent less likely to. Reaching the ten year milestone meant you're 94 per cent less likely to divorce. (But let’s face it, if you’ve been married ten years you probably knew that your relationship is a success already!)
There’s no reason to set an upper age limit on prospective romantic partners just yet—the authors of the study were quick to assert that age difference isn’t the only factor that causes the split. However, if you want to give your relationship the best chance of working out, science suggests you’d be better off in your own age bracket!