It's long been contended that age and love have a lot in common. And it turns out, yes, they actually do.
Everyone knows the stereotypes well. If a much older man marries or dates a much younger woman, then he's a cradle-robber, and she, a trophy wife. Conversely, if a much older woman dates a much younger man, then she's a cougar (possibly also a cradle-robber), and he's a cougar hunter.
In these situations, both sides face the negative onslaught of opinion around them from people who believe the relationship doesn't add up because of age. They always believe there's another reason (usually gold-digging) that these people wind up together.
Whatever the argument for the couples having met, and regardless if they stay together or not, according to science, their relationship really does have more of a limited expectancy because of a giant gap in their ages.
Though there are some people who would argue that age is "just a number," there is actually a specific age difference that will help you spell out "true love" with your significant other.
In a study recently published by Emory University in Atlanta , researchers discovered that increasing the age between partners actually increases your chances of splitting — in one case by over thirty times the odds of an equal-age couple.
The study consisted of 3,000 people and researchers determined that the wider the difference in age, the greater the chance of them facing Splitsville.
So what's the prognosis? Well, if you and your beau are about five years apart in age, you face an 18 percent higher chance of breaking up, whereas if you two share an age gap of about 10 years apart, that number increases quite a bit — all the way to 39 percent! Wow.
We've also got bad news for people with at least 20 years' difference between them: your chances of separating rise to a staggering 95 percent over people with an equal-age gap.
And the sweet spot for a perfectly-aged pairing? It turns out that finding someone close in age to you is where it's at. Marrying someone only 1 year older or younger than you decreases your chances of splitting to 3 percent.
While everyone is different, and people thrive in all sorts of relationships, researchers were certainly able to find a pattern. Other factors — children, lifestyle, and behavior — were taken into consideration, of course. So, in the end, age is only one factor of many, even if it's quite telling.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.