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What is the “normal” age gap between dating couples?

You might think that it’s all a matter of personal preference when it comes to the age of a prospective partner. And to some extent, you would be correct. However, as far as human psychological tendencies are concerned, there is actually an established “normal” age gap when it comes to relationships and dating.

However, while the research has shown that men tend to prefer to date women that are younger than them (and women prefer to date men that are older than them), the sexes don’t agree on how much of a difference in the age gap there should be.

The Difference Between The Sexs

Studies have shown that men tend to prefer women who are about two and a half years younger than them. Women on the other hand prefer men to be about three and a half years older than them. Who’s right? Well it all comes down to averages at the end of the day. So there’s no right answer. But an average of these two couple be taken at just over 3 years as an age gap.

However, some guys like women that are much younger than them. Indeed a study by Max Planck Institute in Germany seems to favor men getting involved with younger partners since the study found that choosing a partner who is 15-17 years younger can actually reduce the risk of dying an early death by as much as 1/5th.

Likewise some women prefer guys who are much older than them. A survey conducted on Chinese women aged 18-25 years showed that not only had they a preference in general for older men – but that the age disparity preferred by Chinese women was much larger than usual at 10 years.

Reasons For These Preferences

The average age difference between couples may vary across different cultures, countries and norms but what is consistent (even cross-culturally) is that women prefer older men. Various sources consistently cite the faster mental maturity of women at around 14-16 years old when compared to the average man at 20-25 years as the main reason for this preference.

Also, women generally tend to look for financial as well as physical and mental stability (the qualities of a good provider), so in this regard, an older guy would be the most likely candidate. Conversely, men tend to base their preferences more on physical appearances and traits of fertility in favor of successful reproduction … so in this regard, a younger woman would be the most likely candidate.

At the end of the day though, these are only generalities. Couples were the man is younger than the woman can be just as successful as the general preferences outlined here. It all comes down to the individuals, and how their personalities are paired up as a couple.

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