Cons of Dating With an Age Gap

Dating someone who is considerably younger or older than you is a matter of preference, but can also be seen as socially taboo. In addition, wide age gaps can cause complications related to lifestyle and may even be illegal if either partner is not at the age of consent. While many relationships with wide age gaps have been successful, recognising the potential cons and setbacks can prepare someone who is considering dating someone much older or younger.

Large age discrepancies between partners can have negative consequences.Large age discrepancies between partners can have negative consequences.

Social Stigma

Couples who have a noticeable age discrepancy between them are more likely to be viewed with disapproval. According to relationship coach Ruth Purple, there is an increased chance that a person's family, friends and children won't warm up to a partner who is much older or younger. Furthermore, Purple adds that people are less likely to take wide age-gap relationships as seriously as those closer in age.

Lifestyle and Goals

Partners who are much older or younger are likely to have different goals and perspectives in life. For example, a young college student must likely spend a large amount of time studying and/or working for his or her future career. If their partner is much older, they are likely to have different goals and motivations in life, such as career advancement, home ownership and children or the care of ageing parents. Those who are closer in age are more likely to be in similar stages in life, which is conducive to a healthy relationship.

Ulterior Motives

Couples should be aware of their significant other's intentions and expectations in a relationship. Most people engage in relationships for companionship and love. If a much older person has recently divorced, it is possible they are looking for a quick way to boost their self-esteem by looking for a fling with someone younger. The allure of money has also been known to draw people to pursue a relationship with someone well-established financially (and likely much older).


The age at which couples can marry or have sex varies depending on where you live. For most states in the U.S., the age of consent is 16. Specific ages pertaining to males and females in various parts of the world can be found at the Avert age-of-consent website.

About the Author

Daniel O'Hair began writing professionally in 2010. He served as an editor and reporter for various campus publications including the "Western Front," "Klipsun" and "The Planet" magazines. O'Hair has a Bachelor of Arts in news-editorial journalism from Western Washington University.

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