There’s a fairly well known average age differential in marriages where the husband is about 2.5 years older than the wife. Humans have a mild Sexual Dimorphism with the males growing bigger and stronger than the females and full mating maturity takes a little longer for the men. The rule of thumb being the bigger the males get than the females in any species, the more important male on male violence is to win female sexual interest. Which is the only reason football exists. The girls may have no interest in watching football, but they are interested to know who is on the team.
Average age difference is about 2.5 years older for the men. In more MMSL related terms, the male Sex Rank takes a little longer to build and the female Sex Rank is weighed towards the younger model.
Most couples are going to clump around the average and have normal age spread between the couple between about zero and five years in favor of the husband being older than the wife. So a married 35 year-old man for example, usually has a wife aged anywhere between 30 and 35. That’s going to be a mildly positive effect on the relationship. He’s a little older and it’s easier to lead someone younger than you, so there’s a nice built in Alpha dynamic there.
I know it sounds trivial, but all the little milestones like turning 40, if the husband hits them first… there’s this tiny sliver of knowledge and experience he has over his wife. It’s just a tad easier being Captain when you’re a little ahead of your wife.
However, once you start spreading the ages apart much further than that, it starts becoming increasingly a negative factor the further you get. Whoever is the older partner, must bring a more focused game to the table to maintain the relationship interest of the younger partner.
Take for example a much older man than woman. Say a couple meets when he is age 40 and she is age 25. She cute and bubbly, he’s in shape and has some cash and game. They marry. The 40-year-old husband though, had to be able to be competitive with age 25-30 men (her normal age cohort of interest) in order to win her attention. So he’s had to bring some serious skill and likely just straight up resources to the table. In fact she probably wasn’t immediately interested in him, but he won her attention. She’s probably said, “I didn’t think I would go for an older guy, but….” and then fill in the blanks about why wonderful Mr. X is the exception to the rule.
However, Mr.X is always going to have to remain competitive with men 10-15 years younger than him, to maintain her interest in him. So when he is 55-years-old and she is 40-years-old, he’s still having to act like his competition is 40 to 45-year-old men. Which as time passes, is somewhat of a risk. If Mr. X at age 55 has a major reversal of fortune in either finances or health, he’s quite likely going to have trouble maintaining his wife’s attraction. He must always be on top of his game.
Likewise in relationships with a woman who is older than the man, similar stresses exist. If he is 30-years-old, and she is 35-years-old, her competition for his attention are 25 to 30-year-old women. Thus she must always keep herself in excellent shape, pay attention to maintaining a youthful appearance and generally be pretty pleasing in the sack.
If you’re eager to tell me a story about a hot, sexually insatiable older woman, that’s just making my point. Men barely even notice women older than themselves unless they ooze sexiness and look great for their age. 35-year-old men don’t swap stories about obese 48-year-old women who wear granny panties. A totally put together 48-year-old who swallows, is down for anal and threesomes… well maybe.
There are particular risks for the older woman though. I’m very often seeing the younger man, older woman situation develop, because the man has some sort of limitation with women at the time the relationship begins. Whether that’s just terrible skills in meeting women, some sort of childhood issue unresolved, a lack of understanding his value in the sexual marketplace, it doesn’t really matter. In short, he has a problem. The risk for the older woman is that at some point… he solves it.
So say a couple meets when he is 23-years old and she’s 30-years-old. He’s not the greatest with women, she’s got some experience and makes it easy for him. He’s kinda broke and she’s established. He’s a little lost and she grounds him. It’s all good, because she’s good for him. But if when he’s 35-years-old, his life finally clicks in place, he’s in shape, his career is going well and he learns a little game…. well he’s solved his problem… he can fairly easily pull the interest of 30 to 35 year old women… and she’s 42-years-old. In that situation, if she has any weaknesses in her game, things can unravel rather quickly.
So… what to do?
Well if you’re already in a relationship and you’re the older one… you’ve absolutely got to bring your A-game. It’s no different than any other relationship, but the margin of error is smaller. You want to be with the young hottie… you gotta keep the young hottie interested in you.
If you’re getting into a relationship with a major age spread, it isn’t an automatic ruling out, but you do need to go into it with eyes wide open. Is this something that can be sustained over the long term?
Also if you’re getting into a relationship with a major age spread, is the relationship only interesting because it’s solving a problem for you now, that you will eventually solve anyway? Thus reducing your need for your partner over time, or possibly even encouraging them to sabotage you fixing it?
Plus for normal age distribution couples…
The way women out live men is always a concern for the endgame years. It’s no fun living alone for the last decade of your life. Mutual good health is always a priority in a marriage.
So yeah… kinda depressing to read and think about it I know, but knowing your Relationship Math can be the difference between an easy marriage and a hard one.