Average Age Difference In Couples Dating — How Young Are Mail Order Brides?
When most of us are thinking about an average age difference in couples' relationships, we imagine age gap marriages to involve men and women with any age difference at all. However, modern psychology has a very definitive age gap meaning that is used to assess the nature of the relationship and is commonly accepted around the world.
According to Macmillan dictionary’s definition of an age gap relationship, the age gap means any difference in the age between the man and the woman of more than 10 years. So is an age gap marriage any different from a regular marriage and what should you know before committing to an age gap relationship?
Dating age rule: how much age difference is acceptable?
Obviously, there are no laws regulating the acceptable age gap in the relationship, but society has its own views on the ideal age difference between spouses. The most common way to calculate the acceptable age difference in a relationship is the “half your age plus seven” rule. It has been known for over a century, and while not everyone is happy with this rule, there are no better alternatives at the moment.
Calculating the minimal acceptable age difference using the dating age rule will take you just a couple of steps. All you need to do is take your own age, divide it in half, and add 7 to that number. It means that a 30-year old man can safely date someone who is 22 and older, while for a 40-year old man, the youngest potential partner should be 27.
The relationship age gap rule also works to calculate the maximum age of the partner. To do it, you need to take your age, subtract 7 from it, and double the result. For example, a 30-year old girl is completely fine dating a 46-year old, and for a 40-year old lady, that age is 66.
How do men and women view the age difference in dating?
Relationships between older and younger couples are nothing new and have been around for as long as the concept of a two-person relationship itself. Traditionally, the most common type of age gap dating is the one where the man is considerably older than the woman. The reasons for men and women to go for partners of a different age vary. Men typically want to marry someone who is obviously young, attractive, strong, and ready to have multiple children in the following years. Women, on the other hand, prefer men who are financially secure and mature, and older partners are more likely to possess those qualities.
However, when analyzing the approach to average age difference in couples' dating in men and women, it’s important to take into account not only the age of the participants but also the type of the relationship. A man is more likely to consider an older female partner for a fling or a friends-with-benefits situation, while younger women are more preferable for long-term dating and marriage. When it comes to mail order brides, the situation is similar: younger brides are more popular on the international dating scene since they are less likely to abandon the marriage after getting a permanent status in the man’s country.
What is the average age difference in marriage to a mail order bride?
The average age difference between husband and wife can vary greatly from country to country, but there are plenty of age difference marriage statistics to paint a rather complete picture of age gap marriages around the world. Here are a few most important things to know about them.
- People in the US are in no rush to get married: the average marriage age for US citizens is 28 for men and 30 for women. 7.6% of US couples consist of a younger woman and a man who is 10 or more years older than her; in other words, over 7% of US marriages fall into the age gap category.
- Couples in South America do not usually display a big age difference: the average age gap in Latin American marriages is 2.9 years. However, different Central and South American couples have vastly different average ages of marriage that range from 21 in women and 24 in men in Honduras to 32 and 36 in Dominica.
- In marriages between a US man and a mail order bride, the age difference becomes even more apparent. The average age gap in a marriage between a US native and a foreign mail order bride is 7 years, but it can differ from region to region: a European bride is, on average, 4.5 years younger than her US husband; for Latin American brides, that difference is 6.5 years; US men are 7.6 years older than Asian brides; and Russian brides are, on average, 9 years younger than their US spouses. On the other hand, the age difference in those regions can be 2 to 3 times smaller when the marriage is between two locals.
Average age difference in couples that could cause problems
Like any relationship in the world, an age gap marriage can run into certain difficulties, but while some of them are similar to the issues in relationships where both parties are closer to each other in age, some of them are specific age gap relationships problems. Here are the six most common ones:
- Shared interests. The difference in age can lead to a difference in the background, interests, and views on various relationship aspects, from maintaining the household budget to spending free time.
- Relationship checkpoints. Couples with an age gap are more prone to running into difficulties when discussing the next steps they should take, especially when it comes to moving in together and getting married.
- Support system. Not all friends and family members of people in age gap relationships have a similarly positive reaction to the news. Some of them may be opposed to dating with an age difference, but seeing the support from your social circle can be very beneficial to a relationship.
- Starting a family. The older partner in an age gap marriage may be more eager to have children immediately than the younger partner, which may be influenced by health issues. However, a rash decision to start a family rarely has a positive effect on the family.
- Family finances. The older spouse, who is typically the one responsible for contributing most of the family budget, may need to retire later than they hoped or make other difficult financial decisions to accommodate the younger partner.
- Relationship goals. It’s not uncommon for the younger partner in an age-difference relationship to feel like they are not ready to settle down yet, which may be disappointing and hurtful to the older partner.
Can age gap relationships work?
After everything that has been said about age gap marriages, you probably have just one question left: can age gap relationships work at all? The statistics concerning age-gap marriages is actually very uplifting: partners with an age difference are less selfish, more understanding, more loyal, and are less prone to displaying jealous behavior.
Regarding the satisfaction in an age gap marriage, the data is clear: at the beginning of a relationship with a significant age difference, men are at the peak of their happiness, particularly when their partner is 6 years younger, since 6 years are considered to be the best age difference for marriage. However, the satisfaction level decreases significantly after 8 years of marriage. Women are less satisfied at the beginning of the relationship, but their satisfaction levels don’t change dramatically over the years. 74% of women in relationships where their spouse is 10 or more years older report being completely happy, which is a very promising number.
When you are planning to get married to a mail-order bride who is ten or more years younger than you, it can feel like you are stepping into uncharted territory and can only rely on chance to make your relationship successful. However, like any other romantic relationship in the world, marriage to a mail order bride requires both parties to invest a lot of effort into the success of the romance. Whether you marry a local woman or a mail order bride, an age difference won’t matter as long as there is love, respect, and the desire to make each other happy.