And is it different between heterosexual and homosexual couples (we fall into the latter)?
Thanks, Seth, 32, Dallas Dear Seth, The average age difference (for a heterosexual couple) is 2.3 years, with the man older than the woman.
So I have to switch to a different data set if I want to include gay couples in my analysis (and I do! In this case, Facebook has some answers that might be of interest to you. Those in their early 20s have an average age difference in their relationships of about two to three years, but once people get into their 40s, that average age gap increases to about seven years.
"We studied how parental age difference at marriage affected [families'] reproductive success among Sami people who married only once in their lifetime[s]," says ecologist Samuli Helle of the University of Turku in Finland.According to the rule, the age of the younger partner (regardless of gender) should be no less than seven more than half the older partner’s age.Martin, then, shouldn’t date anyone younger than 26 and a half; Lawrence shouldn’t go above 34.They found that women’s preferences were fairly consistent over time: Throughout their lives, women tended to prefer men who were around their own age, with a range from a few years younger to a few years older—even in fantasy-land.For men, though, the difference between their own age and what they considered an acceptable minimum increased as they got older, with the most dramatic drop around age 40: “Men of 40, 50, 60 all seemed to show an interest in partners for sexual fantasies and casual affairs that extended down into the mid to late 20s.” The lower the level of involvement, the lower the minimum age.Bloggers and busybodies are divided over whether or not the age difference between actress Jennifer Lawrence, 24, and musician Chris Martin, 37, automatically renders their relationship inappropriate.“relationship expert” Tracey Cox condones it, saying their common ground should count for more than their 13-year age gap; other commenters, meanwhile, condemn Martin as “creepy” and Lawrence as “lame.”If you subscribe to the “rule of seven,” the question of where the boundaries of a socially acceptable relationship lie aren’t a matter of opinion—they’re clearly defined.So, I’m sorry, Seth, but these numbers just don’t properly represent you.I ran into a similar problem when I wrote about the average height difference in couples. users who say they are in relationships, Facebook found that the average age difference in gay couples tends to get bigger the older people get.(Remember, this is self-reported data from people who make their relationship status public on Facebook.) Your relationship probably is an outlier, Seth.But using these averages, it’s hard to say how much of one.