Does the age difference really matter for successful marriage?

Today I would like to discuss a common mistake our clients make, which can end up destroying a future marriage. Of course, you want to be together forever with your true love, don’t you. Okay, the subject of this common misconception is…age difference. Well, grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s talk… is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain

Does the age difference really matter for successful marriage, or is it “just a number” anyway? I understand that this can be a touchy subject for some of you… In fact, some men who pursue much younger and sexier women have turned their head towards Eastern Europe MOSTLY because in their local “marketplace” women will often narrowly restrict their dating age range. The typical reason men use is, “that’s who I’m more attracted to.” However, we don’t blame these men too much for their blindness, because for many years the giants of the International Marriage Business promoted the concept that Russian women are dreaming about husbands who are 25-30 years older (aka “older = wiser, richer, more reliable, etc.”).

There is some truth to that because essentially a broader age difference was quite popular with American-Russian marriages in the peak of the blossoming Mail Order Bride business from 1995 through 2005. That is understandable since we had just lost our Iron Curtain, and women were quite tired of irresponsible and uncaring Russian men. Foreign men seemed much more kind, generous, caring and loving. So a broad difference in age as well as physical appearance were not so important.

But the world changes so rapidly! Technology has opened the borders and made the world smaller place. Right now when Russian and Ukrainian women have much more possibilities to communicate with the whole world through the Internet, and even easily travel to countries of the European Union, Dominican Republic, Taiwan, Cuba, Mexico, etc., they became pickier, and wiser in their choice of marriage candidates. The media also plays its role in removing the rose colored glasses from Russian women’s eyes. Now they even speak openly about how many unsuccessful marriages occur when Russian ladies marry much older American men without paying attention to their age difference and common interests.

Don’t take me wrong. There are some successful cases… In fact, my husband is 18 years older than I am. But honestly, it’s more a happy exception than a rule. We are like “Dinosaurs” living happily married for 9 years already. The fact is that few marriages survive nowadays with such a big age difference…and even less of them prosper and thrive!

Because I opened my first International Marriage agency more than twelve years ago, and remember how those business years really rocked, I am totally aware of different ladies’ requirements back then. Well, I will tell you one story which made me very sad. We were in Seattle on a business trip recently, and decided to meet one of our couples who married about 5 years ago… Honestly, even back then, I was a bit concerned because Fred and Natalia had a 30 year age difference. Fred is a successful businessman. Natalia is a quiet and cute provincial girl. Now 5 years later they have quite a comfortable, established life with a lot of toys, a beautiful home, yacht and expensive cars… We met in an elegant ocean view Seattle restaurant. She looked very glamourous, but there was not the usual sparkle in her eyes. Fred also seemed a bit tense, but well groomed, in good physical shape, and a decent gentleman. When Natalia drank more wine and we went to the lady’s room together, tears started to roll from her eyes. She opened up, “I don’t want to live like this anymore… I don’t love him. Actually, I never loved him. And now I’ve started to hate him. I know he’s a nice man, and everything… and he loves me… BUT he… smells like…..OLD. His skin is old”… How sad is that?

So, what is the best choice you can make now so that you will have no regrets sometime in the future? Well, again, be realistic. Everything is quite individual, of course, but our advice in this regard is as follows:

Keep the age difference around “a golden formula”: 10 plus or minus 5 years between the Russian woman and American man’s age. In other words, if you are 50, your best lady’s age range goes from 35 to 45. Maybe you’re disappointed about learning this right now, and can tell me – “hmm…I can easily find a 45 year old woman here in the USA, so what’s the point of looking in Russia?”. Very wrong approach! It’s not the certain age…it’s how ladies LOOK at their age (and their inner beauty, of course) which is the most the important! I won’t tell you how many women I’ve met in Russia and Ukraine who, when 35, 40 or even 50 years old, looked just smoking hot! Even in America the “sex appeal boundary” gets pushed out further and further as women in their 50s and 60s find themselves as public sex symbols. Kim Catrell of Sex in the City fame is 55. Jane Seymour is 60. Jaclyn Smith is 62. And while most people aren’t as attractive as these, it is certainly possible to meet someone with a reasonable age difference, who is sexy and attractive. Okay, we will not speak more here about celebrities because I have doubts that Antonio Banderas or George Clooney are reading this right now. How about the “normal” women in America? Well, there are loads of beautiful and young looking women, too… But you see, the problem is that feminists have sold to some modern American women the idea that “you already have it ALL!” You don’t need to put any effort to care much about yourself (beside hygiene, of course). “Love me natural, who I am already.” However, and thankfully, feminism is not very popular in Russia, and women there still WANT to look the best they can, so that they will have a better chance to be noticed and be LOVED by this strange specie, men, who are extremely spoiled in Russia.

Of course, if having children with your new spouse is in your plans, it’s a little bit different. But this is still not a good reason to choose a 25 year old girl, if you are close to your 5th decade. Just think in the long term. If she is 45, basically still in her sexual woman’s prime, and you are 70, will you then be able to give her what she needs or what a 50-year-old man could give her? How about your over-all realistic appearance at an old age, and what of your health issues then? Hey, don’t be selfish! Think seriously before you promise each other to be together until death do you part.

And finally, if you ignore our advice, you can easily be prime bait for “gold diggers” – young, sexy and adventurous girls, who don’t care about your age. They just care about your wallet, and the rest of your heard-earned assets. But of course, they will not tell you about that now…

Are you getting all this down? Great. Because I’m going to stop here for now and let you finish your coffee and absorb everything. 😉



  • Matin, RD says:

    Thank you Antonia. This is a very interesting summary of age difference issues and considerations. It got my wife and I thinking since our age difference is significant but not extreme.
    Then we started listing all the other possible differences that could be a problem in a marriage. We came up with the following: Religion, Race, Intelligence, Affluence, Politics, Sexuality, Ethics, Personality, Work Ethic, Honesty and possibly Physical Size.
    Some of these differences, if they exist, may be impossible to change, while some can be changed for improved relations. Some marriages may be burdened with several of these differences.
    We were happy to discover that our only significant difference was the age issue, and due to good health and youthful attitudes we hardly ever notice that difference.

    • togetherforever says:

      Thank YOU, Martin! I enjoyed reading your intelligent comment…I totally agree about your listing of problems in marriage. And I know, they are all quite difficult to overcome. However, if there is a physical chemistry between two people, I believe, – “Religion, Race, Intelligence, Affluence, Politics…” become less important. Essential age difference can reduce physical chemistry and that’s why all little differences can become BIG. But definitely, not in your case… First, you don’t have this essential age difference (25+). Second, I believe, you two met in a very unique and completely different way than many others in International dating and even in traditional USA marriages… And third…You are both very mature and open-minded people, who have strong connection with a spirit; you always had powerful reasons to be together… and frankly, I am very happy to know you as a couple.
      I would wish it could happen “automatically” with all people on our site…but unfortunately, it requires a lot of work sometimes. That’s why we’re trying to help here.:)

  • Charity Martin says:

    I really enjoyed your article on age difference. I think the exceptions are when a higher power brought you together and it lasts for good.

    • togetherforever says:

      Yes, Charity, higher power always helps…I think it helped Alan and me…and thank you for reading this blog post. I enjoyed reading your comment, too…:)

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