The marriage will be successful by the age of 23

Age difference: From this distance it becomes problematic

At the beginning of a love, the sky is full of violins. It does not matter whether the partners are of the same age or whether there is 20 years between the two. However, an age difference that is too big becomes a problem at some point. A relationship expert reveals which difference is ideal and which is critical.

"With many couples with age differences, everything is often fine for years. It is completely unimportant whether the man or the woman is older," explains relationship coach Silvia Fauck. In her "Life and Lovesickness Practice" in Berlin, she has been advising couples and individuals who are currently going through a relationship crisis or who are suffering from separation pain for many years.

Breakout thoughts in a new phase of life

Fauck knows from her experience that couples can take different development paths in the course of their coexistence. This risk also exists in people of the same age, but is much higher in a relationship with an older partner. "When both partners reach a certain age, they suddenly feel that their life plans suddenly no longer fit together."

Example: A woman in her early 20s can easily harmonize with a man in her forties for years and be happy for years. 20 years later, however, the whole thing can look completely different: Then she is in the middle of life, while he is already of retirement age and may complain of first physical ailments.

"Suddenly the needs are completely different," Fauck sums up the dilemma. In such a situation, it is not uncommon for the younger partner to break out of the relationship and seek happiness in a new love.

"Everything under ten is fine"

This does not mean that a relationship with a large age difference is automatically doomed to fail. After all, there are happy couples who refute that. "That can work in relationships with a strong intellectual base," says Fauck. Nevertheless, one should keep in mind that with a certain age constellation, the risk that love will break at some point is fundamentally high. "Everything under the age of ten is usually OK," says the expert. However, it would be ideal if both partners were separated by a maximum of five years.

"People of the same age often have a similar history. They have similar youthful experiences, heard the same music, completed an apprenticeship at the same time and also made friends of the same age," says Fauck - all factors that fostered long-term bonding. Family planning is also easier in this constellation than in partnerships in which either the woman or the man is already at an advanced age.

Study: The risk of separation increases with age difference

Fauck's assessments are also reflected in the Germans' choice of partner. In fact, the average age difference for couples living together in this country is around four years. This is evident from the latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office. In almost three quarters of the partnerships (73 percent) the man was older than his partner, in 17 percent the woman was older. Relative to the total population, relationships with a large age difference are rather rare, as only six percent live with a partner who is more than ten years older.

According to a recent study by Michigan University (USA), it is better when both partners are close together in terms of age. A large age difference was associated with a high risk of separation, as the study results show. Accordingly, couples of the same age had the best chances of a happy and lasting relationship. According to the analysis, the more years separate the partners, the more vulnerable a relationship is. A ten year age difference means a 39 percent higher risk of the relationship breaking up. At 20 years of age, the risk of separation is already 95 percent higher.

Young woman, old geezer: is there a father complex behind it?

If people repeatedly look for a partner who is much older than them in the course of their lives, one speaks of a psychological pattern. "There is often a mother or a father complex behind this," says Fauck. The fact that choosing an older partner also has financial advantages is less relevant. From her advice, the expert knows professionally successful, attractive young women who do not need to catch a well-off older man. Nonetheless, they kept coming back to older semesters with whom they would not be happy in the relationship.

"There is hardly anything going on sexually in these partnerships and otherwise both usually go their separate ways." The expert knows this is a dangerous development: "If you do not have good sex, you often look for what you lack and fall in love with another person."