When you set up your dating profile on any app, one of the first things you have to fill out is the age range you are seeking. This decision affects who you will be able to swipe on. This decision also affects who will be able to see your profile and ultimately swipe on you. You make this decision based on many things, but what it really comes down to is your perception and how you feel about age gap (simply defined as, any difference in age) in relationships.
During the fall semester, I researched (with an amazing team) college students opinions on the matter. We had a whopping 213 respondents on a survey where we asked all about age gap in 18+ relationships. I will admit some of the responses I found surprising and some even made me laugh.
The following are the opinions we discovered…
“It probs won’t work out.” The majority of our survey participants had the bias that an age gap meant an unsuccessful relationship.
“Just looking for a sugar daddy…” The majority of participants thought a significant age gap meant someone was only in it for the money and other possible perks.
“Who’s in control?” The majority of participants also believed an uneven power dynamic will be the result of an age gap.
“Depends on the number.” Some participants expressed that their bias depended on how big an age gap was.
“It’s all good.” The minority of participants said it’s good, fine, and okay to have an age gap.
So, Does Your SO’s DOB Really Matter?
Yes, but also no. At the end of the day, everyone has their own opinion on what is comfortable and what is not. Everyone has their own preferences and that’s okay!
In our study, college students were a little “glass half empty” on the matter of age gap in relationships. But, IRL age gaps in relationships are becoming increasingly, more common. Some other studies even argue that couples with an age gap are happier.
Moral of the story, be honest about your preferences and swipe on!