Age ain’t nothing but a number
Last Saturday night, I found myself glued to the TV to watch the finale of Dahlia Harris’ masterpiece series on TVJ, ‘Ring Games’. For those who have not been tuning in, Dahlia’s character, Maggie, an older woman was torn between two men and she had to decide which one she will spend the rest of her life with. Her beaus – Scott, an older man with experience and means, and Brandon, a young man still finding himself and has some baggage of his own.
I held my breath as Brandon rushed to the airport to stop Maggie from leaving the country with Scott. He seemed to miss her and poured out his heart to her right there in the airport, screaming it on top of his lungs, hoping she could hear him from the departure lounge. I was crushed when he left the airport without knowing if she heard him. Anyway, we were all happy to see that she eventually came to her senses and left Scott at the airport and went to be with her young man.
IDEAL AGE GAP
After I got over the emotional roller coaster of watching this brilliant show, I started to think about age and how it affects the success of intimate relationships. We live in a society that has different rules for the gender age gap for men and women. We seem to be accepting of older men where are involved with women much younger than they are. However, the same acceptance is not applied to the older woman, like Maggie, who is in love with a man much younger than her. Looking at this fact, I wondered what the ideal age gap for successful relationships is.
A study conducted by researchers at Atlanta’s Emory University showed that the closer the age gap, the more couples stay together (less than three per cent chance of breaking up.) As the age gap increases, so does the chance of breaking up – five year gap – 18 per cent chance of breaking up; 10 year gap – 39 per cent chance of breaking up; and 20 year or older shows a 95 per cent chance of breaking up.
Taking the science into consideration, it seems that age is, in fact more than a number. Honestly, I think it makes sense, but there are other factors to consider when looking at the success and longevity of relationships. Clearly, age is important, but factors like, education, values, religion, etc. can override its importance. At the end of the day, finding happiness in relationships continues to be challenging, and it does take work by all parties involved.
What’s clear is that some human beings have found ways to be happy together, even with a large age gap between them.