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In some non-Western countries, the average age gap is much larger than in Western countries.

For example, in some African countries about 30 per cent of unions reflect a large age gap. And do couples with large age gaps experience poorer (or better) relationship outcomes compared to couples of similar ages?

But some studies find the relationship satisfaction reported by age-gap couples is higher.

These couples also seem to report greater trust and commitment and lower jealousy than similar-age couples.

But when it comes to our own relationships, both men and women prefer someone their own age, but are open to someone 10-15 years their junior or senior.

This is probably because women place more importance on resources and men on fertility.

Across Western countries, about 8 per cent of all married heterosexual couples can be classified as having a large age gap (10 years or more).

These generally involve older men partnered with younger women.

This is largely because, with women being the child bearers, the investment is very high on their behalf (time and effort in child bearing and rearing).

So they are attuned to looking for a partner who will also invest resources into a relationship and family.

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