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Perspectives on Age Differences

As you search for women on, you will find some who are very attractive and smart but significantly younger than you – and you may find you’re interested in getting to know them better. Many people believe age is just a number, others have doubts about long-term success in a relationship with a much younger woman. You’ll find yourself wondering: Is there an optimal age difference? Could we live a long and happy life together in spite of our age difference? Will a younger wife remain faithful? What will family and friends have to say about our relationship? Can this work at all?

Statistics show that most people end up with a partner close to their age — three to five years on either side tends to be the norm. But it’s not uncommon to see couples who are 10, 15 or more years apart in age.

When there is a large age gap, a couple often have differences in modes of communication, interests and lifestyle. Sociologists and psychologists say a couple should feel comfortable with the age difference and be compatible enough to be able to satisfy and complete each other in a positive way and bring out the best in each other. It might be possible to find a 20-year old with the maturity level of a 30-year old due to life experience, outlook, goals and culture, but this is rare. If you do enter into a relationship with a woman 20+ years younger, be sure you understand the potential pitfalls. The most important elements of a happy long-term relationship are a similar outlook, respect and mutual caring.

Norms in Eastern Europe

In Eastern Europe the age difference between partners ranges from 5 to 15 years. So a Western man should not be surprised if he is contacted by women from this part of the world who are up to 15 years younger. This could be due to the following:

  • The demographics in Eastern Europe are such that there are fewer men than women, so it’s harder to find a husband.
  • Women tend to start families early in life – in their early or mid 20s.
  • The educational system in Eastern Europe readies women for stable careers starting at age 24.
  • Eastern European women feel more comfortable with men who are at least 5 to10 years older. They are mature for their age and prefer to marry someone even 10 to 20 years older because with age comes maturity, wisdom, financial stability and the ability to support a wife and children. Often Eastern European women seeking older men have been married once before to a man near their age who was immature and irresponsible.

The rule of thumb is: the greater the age difference, the lesser the chances for a successful marriage. You don’t want to end up with someone who does not have strong feelings for you who is mostly concerned with money and stability.

Norms in Latin America

In general Latin American women are faithful, loyal and devoted wives, which is why Latin countries have the lowest divorce rates in the world. For Latin American women the world revolves around the family. They tend to stay with their birth family until they marry, then continue the tradition with their new family. They are raised to complement, nurture and respect their men.

Many Latin American women prefer men 10-12 years older because they consider age to be a sign of maturity and stability. Latin American women are also concerned with appearance and financial success. If you are fit, attractive and have a lot to offer, you can generally take 10 years off the minimum age you could attract in your home country. So if you’re 40 years old and usually date 35-year-old women, you may be able to find a 25-year-old Latin bride.

Beware of agencies and middlemen who claim they can find you a Latin American wife 30 to 35 years younger than you. It may be possible, but the chances of keeping her are very slim and it’s probably a scam.

Norms in Asia

In Asian countries the age difference between spouses is in the range of 5 to 10 years, and in some countries parent-arranged marriages are common. The demographics in Asia have changed over the years – in the past only women with serious physical or mental disabilities were likely to remain single. But today in Japan, for example, around 40% of women entering their 30s are still single; in Indonesia it’s 12% and in other Asian countries the number of single women in their 30s are within this range. But throughout Asia women prefer older husbands.

The mean age difference between husbands and wives is much wider in South Asia than in East and Southeast Asia – the biggest age gap is in Bangladesh and The Philippines. The wider age gap in South Asian countries reflects the prevalence of parent-arranged marriages and patriarchal family structures, which typically result in females marrying at young ages to older males who can financially support a family and who are mature enough to take on the responsibilities of a family.

When dating internationally, it’s important to become familiar with the cultural beliefs that may affect the relationship. For example, Koreans believe that a five-year age difference is very unlucky.

As with Eastern European women, often Asian women seeking older men have been married once before to a man near their age who was immature and irresponsible. When they join they are hoping for a better experience with an older Western man.

The good news is – even with a significant age difference, it still can work

Now that we’ve given you an overview of the norms related to age differences for couples around the world, let’s summarize why it’s still possible to find happiness and have a successful long-term marriage with a younger woman and give you some final tips:

Foreign women tend to be more mature – European women tend to be more mature than Western women of the same age. Many Russian women already have established careers by the age of 24 due to the way the educational system is set up. This maturity is generally manifest in romantic relationships as well.

Sharing similar interests and hobbies can help – Finding common ground is a good way to counter the effects of a big age difference. Shared interests and hobbies can help keep the relationship exciting and fresh.

Be clear about life goals – A younger woman will likely want to have children. If you are 20 or 30 years older, will you be willing? Be sure you understand each other’s life goals before you make it official.

Consider the potential loss of family support – Cultural, social and religious differences might cause some families to feel that a big age difference is too great an obstacle and may disown you or her. Hopefully the love between you will be strong enough to withstand being cut off from the family support system.

Remember that age is truly just a number – You will be dating a person, not a birthdate. The sooner you get the number out of your mind, the easier it should be to concentrate on what you have to offer each other.

Make sure your motivations are healthy – If you seek a relationship with a much younger woman, be sure you want it for the right reasons. It's not unusual for an older divorced or widowed man to seek out a much younger woman. He may be seeking assurance that he has not lost his sexual appeal, for example. In all cases, remember that you are dating a real person with real emotions who was not put on earth to ease your anxieties.

The team at aims to help our members in every aspect of online dating. We wish you well in your search.