Successful relationships have this age difference

One isn't the loneliest number

age difference and marriage
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One isn't the loneliest number

Words by Megan C. Hills

Pack it in Hugh Hefner – a bigger age difference doesn’t necessarily make for a more successful relationship. According to a study conducted by Emory University over in Atlanta, there’s a correlation between larger age gaps and divorce in married couples.

The study, which was conducted in 2014, is based on information from over 3000 people in the United States. Couples with a one year age difference were the most likely to make it with just a 3% chance of divorce, however those chances jumped up to 18% for a five year difference and 39% for a ten year difference. For relationships with a 20 year age gap, things look pretty bleak with a 95% chance of separation.

age difference and marriage

(Image credit: Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock)

However, people who happen to be in a relationship with a wider age gap shouldn’t be deterred by the statistics – these are just scientific observations and there’s always a possibility you and your partner can make things last. Naturally, a whole host of factors come into play when you’re in love (let alone finding your perfect partner to begin with) and nipping common relationship issues in the bud always helps.

The study, which looked primarily at the relationship between how long a marriage lasts and how much a wedding costs, was full of other interesting tidbits including the fact that couples who bought cheaper engagement rings were more likely to stay together. Maybe it's time to rethink that extravagant ring.

Megan C. Hills

Megan is a freelance journalist who covers entertainment and all things lifestyle, with a particular passion for fashion, beauty, travel and Keanu Reeves stories. She has previously worked on staff for titles including Marie Claire UK, CNN Style and The Evening Standard and has written for titles such as Bustle UK, Wallpaper*, Forbes and Hong Kong Tatler. She splits her time between London and her hometown Hong Kong, where she currently lives with the love of her life - an elderly dog named Poppy - and her husband.