When it comes to love, age is just a number, or so the saying goes. But, in reality, is that the case? Does dating with an age gap ever really work out? And what are the long-term implications and considerations of settling down with someone outside of your age band?

Age gaps can determine the likelihood of divorce

In a 2014 paper compiled by researchers Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon for the SSRN journal, it was revealed that an age gaps could have a substantial impact on the longevity of relationships. In fact, the crux of the study indicated that the larger the age gap between you and your partner, the greater the chance of the relationship failing.

This revelation chimes quite nicely with the longstanding verdict that the risk of divorce between couples who share a five-year age gap increases by as much as 18 per cent. Of course, this merely adds more weight to the age-old debate – significant age differences mean relationships are doomed to fail.

Now this might not be so much of a worry if you are just looking for some adult fun. In that case you won’t need to worry about how long your relationship lasts. Naughty adult dating sites like will allow you to find partners of different age, as people who use those sites are really looking for fun. In that case, being older means you have more experience, and this will attract some people who want to learn new things.

The logistics of significant age differences

It’s all too easy to say that age is only a number. A little too pie in the sky for real-life relationships. In fact, when you do match with someone either younger or older than yourself, there are some quite serious logistics to consider, before allowing yourself to fall head over heels in love.

  • Personal health

As it stands, you may both be in fine fettle. But imagine yourself 20, 30, 40 years down the line. How old will you be? How old will your partner be? Are you prepared to care for them through illness? Do you want to be left alone without companionship later on in life?

  • Mental age

How old do you think you are? Often women match well with older men, simply because men typically rank a little younger in mental age than their partners.

  • Family planning

Do you want children? If so, a big age difference may not be for you. Consider not only your biological clock, but your physical capabilities. Can you run around after a toddler? Teach them to play football? To ride a bike? There’s years of sleepless nights to come. Can both your bodies take the strain?

  • Social stigma

How old is too old? How young is too young? It’s often hard to say. For example, an 18 year-old dating a 30 year-old is likely to cause quite a stir, while a 50 year-old settled with a 62 year-old wouldn’t even turn heads. Generally, a fifth of your age either way is deemed acceptable ground for dating. While the western world is edging towards an increasingly liberal approach to relationships, age gaps still carry a bit of a stigma.

Statistics don’t speak for everyone

Of course, just because the odds are against you, doesn’t mean to say that it won’t work out for you and your loved one. Countless couples have made their age gap work for them. It’s surprising how long the spark can stay alight, that is, when true love is on the cards. If you find yourself falling head over heels and an age gap could be an issue, approach the issue with your suitor. It may be that you can work through some of your worries to make your relationship work long-term. Go with your gut, it’s not often wrong.