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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.

Here is a recent example of what we are talking about.  Mark and Susan are 48 and 37 respectively.  Both are divorced.  We can honestly say they both experienced terribly bad first marriages. The good news, Mark and Susan have discovered each other!  

Listening to them describe their love affair is enlightening and uplifting.  They are redefining "Date Night!"  These two not only love each other, they have learned what it feels like to be respected by one another, trust each other, be honest with each other and value each other as human beings.

In the beginning, they were cautious about their age difference.  No longer!  Now, they are focused on their love for each other.  Their respective ages do not matter.

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 Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

**For [Link Removed]  .

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Veggie wrote Apr 27, 2010
    • heart

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Angela Watson wrote Apr 28, 2010
    • Age does not matter in a marriage. To me love conquers all as long as there is not emotional or physical abuse. Different Issues will come up in a marriage whether young or old and its up to the partners to choose to work on them together.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kandykahne 5 wrote Apr 28, 2010
    • When my Grandfather met my Grandmother she was 12 and he was 24. Their families became friends that is how they met. When my Grandmother was 17 he asked her out on a date and she said yes and they ended up being married for 60 years when my Grandfather died. I don’t think age matters!happy

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Apr 28, 2010
    • I had a long relationship with a man who was 20 yrs older than me.  The age difference did not matter a bit to either one of us.  

      His oldest child who was seven days younger than me is the one who had issues with the relationship.  He was grown and gone from home though, so it really didn’t matter.

      My ex husband was one year older than me.  Too immature for words.  

      I’ve told all my daughters to marry a man who has had some time to grow up rather than marrying a guy their own age.  Oldest daughter’s S/O is twenty years older than her.  In fact he’s older than me.  They are very happy and she and I have discussed these age issues at length.

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