Is the age difference between the couple bad?

Is the age difference between the couple bad?

One of Amazon Prime’s most recent hits is the movie The idea of ​​having you, starring Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine and based on the book by actress Robinne Lee. Both the film and the book tell the story of a young boy band singer who falls in love with a woman 16 years older than him. Although she initially resists, she eventually decides to let herself go. But will society be prepared for a relationship with such an age difference?

Relationships in which one partner is considerably older than the other are quite common, but in heterosexual couples It is much more common for the man to be the one who is older. It is true that reverse cases are known. Precisely, there are many similar stories among celebrities that, in fact, could have inspired the story of The idea of ​​having you.

These relationships go unnoticed when it comes to anonymous people, but in the case of public figures They often receive a lot of criticism. Now, are these criticisms based solely on society’s prejudices or does science have something to say about it?

An essential clarification

It is very important to make it clear that when we talk about relationships with an age difference, like that of the protagonists of The idea of ​​having youit’s about people adults, who have given their consent without pressure of any kind.

This is important, because in some cases, especially in certain cultures, marriage between girls and adults, where they may not have given their consent or, if they do, they do so to avoid defrauding their family or guided by false promises. On the contrary, there are couples with a large age difference, where both members are there because they want to. There shouldn’t be any problems, but in some cases it is inevitable to encounter them.

The disadvantages of the age difference in the couple

The age difference in couples, if it is very high, usually leads to several problems. To begin with, it is very socially frowned upon, so criticism can become unbearable for one or both members of the couple. All you have to do is look at the case of The idea of ​​having you.

There are also usually problems regarding the vital goals. A person in their early 20s does not have the same purposes in life as someone who has turned 35. That is why many relationships of this type end up breaking up.

Another important factor is related to the health issues. As the older member of the couple ages, they may require care from the other person that they would have been less likely to be exposed to with someone their age. In many cases, love and affection can handle all of this, but in others it ends up being unfeasible.

Age is a number and sometimes they cannot be compared

In statements to Psych Centralthe Iowa psychiatrist Loren Olson He explained that there are four different ages: the chronological, the psychological, the physical and the sexual. Two people may have a large chronological age difference, but they are much closer in the other three. In that case, the gap between them will not be as noticeable and the relationship is more likely to move forward.

It is also important to take into account the maturity of the person. It has been seen that, when there is a much more mature person in the couple, they often have to deal with all the emotional charge of the relationship and ends up getting tired. Again, we must think about the four ages that Dr. Olson talks about, since the most mature person in the relationship will not always be the one with the oldest chronological age.

Is there a perfect age difference?

The protagonists of The idea of ​​having you They have been together for 16 years. Without a doubt, it is a significant age difference, although there are even more surprising cases. Now, what is the perfect age difference, according to science?

In The idea of ​​having you The protagonists are 16 years apart.

It should be noted that science has carried out studies and that, through them, an answer can be given, but we must take it with a grain of salt. For example, in 2017 a team of Australian scientists analyzed the well-being of a group of couples with different age differences and came to the conclusion that gender gaps are ideal. between 1 and 3 years, with the man being older than the woman in the case of heterosexual couples. Furthermore, in their study they found that from 6 years age difference The quality of the marriage deteriorates greatly and divorce is much more likely.

On the other hand, a team of Korean scientists concluded in 2015 that in couples with an age difference of more than 3 years, it is more common for one of the members to develop depression. This, again, could be due to what they will say, the social stereotypes and the difficulty of creating a common life project.

What draws most attention in The idea of ​​having you

Let’s be honest: yes in The idea of ​​having you Had he been the oldest, his story would simply be another. He is usually seen worse than he is the woman the one who is older. This is something that science has also studied, but again it should not be taken as an absolute truth.

The causes, broadly speaking, are due to the fact that, biologically, the times of men and women are different. A woman who wants to have children will prefer an older man, since they do not lose fertility as quickly. On the other hand, younger people may not yet be willing to start a family. On the contrary, men often opt for a younger woman, precisely because Biologically it will be easier to give offspring.

This may have evolutionary advantages. Even social advantages if we stick to another era. Nowadays, however, offspring is not the main life goal of many people, so the reasons are much more varied.

In The idea of ​​having you Solène already has a daughter.

On the other hand, there are studies that indicate that women prefer older men, because they have a higher economic status. But this again would be a very outdated fact, since today there are many couples in which the woman has a higher salary, regardless of the age difference. In the case of The idea of ​​having youSolène, Anne Hathaway’s character, he already has a daughter. She had her when she was very young, so she had to mature at a forced pace and she precisely wants to live a youthful relationship, different from the one she could have had in her day. But at no time is money what attracts her.

Be careful with the age difference and abuses of power

Sometimes, even if both people are of legal age and there appears to be consent, abuses of power can occur, on some occasions more clear and dangerous than on others.

For example, in 2018 a study was published in Nigeria which concluded that cases of gender violence They were significantly more abundant in couples with a large age difference.

abuse of powerabuse of power
The elderly person could cause economic dependence on their partner so that they never want to separate. Credit: Brook Cagle (Unsplash)

Other times there may not be physical violence. However, there can be more devious abuses of power, in which the older person causes the couple to have a economic dependence yours that prevents you from leaving the relationship. If this older person is also famous or has a good social status, this abuse of power can be even more marked. Possibly some celebrities come to mind when we mention this, but let everyone draw their own conclusions.

What is clear is that, at least on this issue, science does not have definitive answers. There are couples in which the age gap never becomes a problem. It may even be good compared to previous relationships. In other cases, however, it is the main cause of the end of the relationship. We also cannot ensure that there is a perfect age difference, since the studies are based on statistics, but there can always be exceptions. What is clear is that what is important is the well-being of both people, respect and communication. It is often said that love conquers everything, but that is not true. These three factors, if given together, are not infallible either, but they are much more powerful than love alone.

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