Is There an Ideal Age Gap for Relationships?

Fairchild Archive

by Gena Kaufman


Despite the unfortunate rise of the cougar phenomenon (not that dating younger men is unfortunate, just the use of the term cougar), it seems as a society, we're still more into May-December relations when the guy is the December. Or is it the May? I'm not sure I actually know what that expression is supposed to mean.

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But what I'm trying to say is, more people still think that a romantic relationship is ideal when it's between an older man and a younger woman. Specifically, four years and four months older, which was the average "ideal" age gap as reported by a survey of 2,000 adults.







While slightly less than half of people said there was no ideal age gap (good call, sensible people), 33% of women wanted a guy up to seven years older than them, while only one out of a hundred women preferred a younger man.

Not that I have anything against dating older guys, but here's some afternoon uggghhh: Financial stability was one of the biggest reasons women cited for preferring older dudes, since 55% of women said they couldn't afford rent or mortgages on their own. Thanks, wage gap!

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Most of the guys I've dated have been my age to just a couple of years older, but sadly for poor old me (literally), none of them have provided any financial stability so I don't think I'd call that a motivation. I will say that while I don't have a rule against dating younger guys, I probably wouldn't consider it my ideal dating situation either. Stupid society and its conditioning that men look handsome and distinguished as they age while women don't. I do like a silver fox, though.

Do you have an "ideal" age difference? What is it? Is there anybody out there who prefers younger guys?


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