I am a year-old woman recently married to a man 18 years younger than myself. We've been together about 2 years, and got married mainly so that he can live with me and my two children from a previous marriage. So far we all get along great, but from the beginning I've wondered how realistic it is to hope for long-term success given the age difference.
In particular, our society ridicules and devalues older women, and I worry that as I get older, it will be harder and harder for my husband to feel attracted to me even if he still loves me. I don't know any other women who have tried dating younger men, but I've noticed that you are one of very few people who has published research on this subject.
Is there any advice you would give, based on your research or on your experience with age-gap couples? Thank you for submitting this thoughtful question. Navigating an age-gap relationship can be challenging because our society is not very accepting of couples in which one partner is significantly older than the other. Studies have found that people are particularly disapproving of heterosexual age-gap couples in which the older partner is female .
So in the face of this double standard and bigotry, is it possible for older women to develop and maintain long-term, satisfying relationships with younger men? For example, according to U. If there were less stigma against age-gap couples, I would think that number would be even higher.
Second, research on women in age-gap relationships has found that women who are more than ten years older than their male partners are happier in their relationships than women who have partners closer in age. Specifically, woman-older partners reported higher levels of relationship satisfaction and commitment than similarly aged partners . We know from a lot of research that greater equality tends to make couples happier .
For past Sex Question Friday posts, see here. Want to learn more about The Psychology of Human Sexuality? Click here for a complete list of articles or like the Facebook page to get articles delivered to your newsfeed. Opinions towards sexual partners with a large age difference. Retrieved April 8, from: Commitment in age-gap heterosexual romantic relationships: A test of evolutionary and socio-cultural predictions.
Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32, Equity and commitment in romance versus friendship. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 6, —