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The two-year age gap pattern also shows up in adulthood, with the average age of marriage for women at 25 or 26, and for men at 27 or 28, said Ann Meier, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. Societal expectations tend to dictate that the older male-younger female dynamic will create one-sided pressure, and perhaps, submissiveness.
“In terms of it being problematic, there are two sides to the coin,” said Meier, who studies the effects of adolescent sex on mental health.
When she finally decided to break it off, she realized her relationship was already, well, broken.
Her “‘boyfriend” of three years was still with his last girlfriend and only dated her to see what someone younger was like. “I can’t believe how easily I was dragged into that!
But when the topic is broached, it’s important to make sure both voices are heard and that they understand each other well.
“But as we got to know each other more, we found we had a lot in common, such as spending hours reading a book in Barnes & Noble and bowling with friends at night. “I’m pretty sure it would’ve been a different story if my dad caught on first. “She did warn Ethan about what would happen if he broke my heart and what she would allow her husband to do to him if he did.
But are there greater risks to consider with a large age gap between partners?
Ethan Bennett, 26, and Mia Thompson, 18, haven’t been affected by an eight-year difference — two years more than the formula’s appropriate “cut off age.” The pair met on the University of Minnesota campus, which offered a free prep session led by college students.
“If the couple is open and understanding with their partner, then there shouldn’t be many difficulties in the relationship,” Meier said.
“And keep the parents informed about the status of their relationship.