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Many of the reasons proposed for age-gap couples have been largely rooted in evolutionary explanations, and focus on explaining older man-younger woman pairings.
From this perspective, it’s thought men’s preferences for younger women and women’s preferences for older men relate to reproductive fitness.
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.
With more women working, in higher positions and being paid more, they no longer have such a reliance on men for resources.
So fewer women will prioritise resources when looking for a mate.
But because the building of resources takes time, we tend to acquire resources later in life and so are older by the time we have acquired enough wealth and resources to comfortably provide for others.
Some suggest a lack of, or a reduced pool of, suitable age-similar mates may bring about same-sex coupling with large age differences.Deakin University provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.View current jobs from Deakin University The Conversation is funded by the National Research Foundation, eight universities, including the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University and the Universities of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Pretoria, and South Africa.A factor that does impact on the relationship outcomes of age-gap couples is their perceptions of social disapproval.That is, if people in age-gap couples believe their family, friends and wider community disapprove of their union, then relationship commitment decreases and the risk of break-up increases.