We're all familiar with May-December romances, yes? An older person (usually the man) with a much younger partner. But were you aware that there was an actual "test" to determine if the person you're dating is too old for you? Apparently, you're supposed to follow this equation: divide their age by two, and add seven. That number will be the youngest aged person it is "appropriate" for that person to be romantically involved.
For example, if you're 28, and you're dating someone who's 40, the equation works in your favor! Because 40/2+7 is 27. But, if you're 28 and your paramour is 45, the number say no deal. It's a very strange and not at all scientific method. But there may be some truth there. A 2014 study shows that the ideal age gap in relationships is much smaller than you might have realized.
The study, conducted by Emory University, says that relationships with a 1-year age gap have the smallest chance of ending in divorce, with only 3% of those couples splitting up. At 5 years, the divorce risk jumps to 18%. 10 years? 39%. And relationships with a 20 year or more age gap have an astonishing 95% chance of ending in divorce. Now, that's obviously not set in stone. Plenty of relationships with substantial age gaps stand the test of time, and lots of relationships with the "ideal" age gap fizzle out. But researchers determined that out of the 3,000 couples analyzed for the study, the larger the age gap, the greater the chance of divorce.
The success of a relationship depends on a lot of factors. Shared belief systems, healthy communication, similar goals and dreams, and of course, trust and intimacy. So it could be that people in relationships with smaller age gaps tend to hit all those marks, making their relationships more stable. People closer in age to each other likely feel more on the same page when it comes to the big, important stuff. And that's so incredibly important if you want to build a solid foundation with someone.
That being said, successful relationships are mostly dependent on the people in them, and how well they communicate, compromise, and support each other. If you're in a relationship with a larger age gap, there's no reason to panic. Just know that you may have to work a little bit harder to make it work.