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It did not find a strong link between age gaps and divorce rates in England and Wales, though there was some evidence that women marrying later than 30 who were more than ten years older than their spouse were more likely to divorce.Common sense does suggest that a large age gap would have implications for old age.Another study by Sven Drefahl of the University of Stockholm looked at people over the age of 50 in Denmark, and found that men with younger spouses survived for longer than those with ones of a similar age.The older their spouse, the worse their survival chances, even after controlling for things like education and wealth.And sharing the joy of getting a free bus pass at a similar time, or saving money from combining big birthday parties, is clearly attractive.
The rule, whose origins remain mysterious, has been passed down through generations as a way of justifying or, more commonly, pouring scorn on other people’s couplings.
It’s fine for a 22-year-old to go out with an 18-year-old.
It’s not for a 38-year-old to go out with a 23-year-old, however a 26-year-old would be fair game.
While women prefer a small and constant age gap, men are so hooked on the idea of a nubile young partner that they prefer a larger age gap the older they get. In theory there are plenty of reasons to favour a small age gap.
The ability of both members of a couple to sing a favourite childhood television theme tune could bond them together, at the risk of irritating those nearby.