When it comes to love, there’s the saying that “opposites attract,” but in order for a relationship to work long term, the couple has to have at least a few things in common. We can’t imagine being married to someone who didn’t enjoy anything that we enjoyed.

A few similarities are important, and often age is one of those similarities. Many happy couples are made up of two people who are similar ages. This automatically gives these two people things that they have in common, like growing up with the same pop culture and fashion trends. However, there are also many very successful relationships where there is a huge age difference between husband and wife.

One Reddit user asked, “Couples with a large age difference: how is it different and what kinds of issues do you face?”

Meanwhile, Cafe Mom asked women who are much younger or older than their significant other to discuss how the age gap has impacted their relationship.

The answers to these questions are very interesting. If you’re in a relationship with someone who is much older or younger than you are, these answers might be very good to consider before getting married. For those of us who don’t have a huge age gap in our relationship, it’s interesting to see what obstacles other couples face. It can help us all be more understanding.

Scroll down to discover what it’s really like to be in a relationship with someone who is nowhere near your age.

  1. “Child Bride”

    Reddit user kisses-n-kinks wrote:

    My husband is 10 years older than me, but because I tend to be more mature for my age and him less so, it feels like we meet in the middle and the age difference really isn’t a factor. We do worry a bit more about the prospect of having kids as he doesn’t want to be 60 when our kids graduate high school like his father was, but that’s about it. We’ve also gotten some funny responses to people finding out about our age difference- I’ll never forget the story about a woman commenting to my husband that I was a “child bride, like back in the war” when she found out I was 18 when we got hitched.

  2. He Died After 4 Years

    Reddit user AbbyJensen wrote:

    My friend’s mom was 28 when she married a man who was 82. They didn’t think they would be able to get pregnant but evidentially they could. Husband died 4 years later at 86, leaving her a single mom. Besides that, they had huge issues on both sides. The dad’s other children (in their 50s!) claimed new wife just wanted his money. The mom’s family believed that this man was a cult-leader type and was luring her into an unhealthy relationship.

  3. A Nice Contrast

    Reddit user oldfrenchwhore shared:

    I (female) am 40 and my wife is 29. The main difference is that I am very jaded and cynical and she’s more like a wide-eyed excitable puppy. It’s a nice contrast though, brings me out of my existential funk.

  4. 2nd Marriage Drama

    Reddit user tacobae91 wrote about experience from her own parents:

    Mom and Dad. Mom was 26 when she met him. He was 65. People thought my dad was a predator and that my mom was a gold digger. But that was not what I saw at home. My parents loved each other pretty much. I have an older brother on my dad’s side, who is in his 60s. He did not have a hard time accepting us but his wife did, because my dad would help them financially. When my dad got married to my mom, she said that it was a mistake because he wouldn’t give them any more money because he would spend it on us…

  5. Different Life Experience

    Another Reddit user answered:

    My husband is 10 years older than me. We started dating when I was 21, he was 31. no real issues tbh, he’s got some more life experience and has seen a totally different side of life (he’s from Rio de Janeiro and has seen and experienced a fair share of shit, guns and poverty, I grew up in a sheltered upper middle class home in Germany) but I have more education so we complete each other perfectly. Recently had a kid and life is good :)

  6. Judgement and Death

    Written by Reddit user Croco-nut:

    My husband is 18 years older than me and it’s worked fine for us. I’ve always been rather mature for my age and people near my own age have always seemed childish to me. Many of my close friends are older than my husband is. The only issues really are that some people may judge but I really don’t care if they do. More of an issue is that he may pass away some time before I do which is a thought which lurks in the back of my mind. Of course that can happen whatever age you or your partner are.

  7. Retirement

    Reddit user withbellson added:

    13-year difference, he’s older. We started dating when I was 29 and he was 42. Been together 9 years, married for 5, one kid. Honestly, it’s not really about the numbers but about having compatible levels of utter immaturity (we suit each other well on that regard).However, one thing that’s been coming up lately is he’s planning for a hopefully early retirement at 57, and even if I end up being able to retire early as well, 19 years is a lot further away than 6…

  8. “He Looks Really Good for His Age”

    Stefani S. from Sarasota, Florida told Cafe Mom:

    My husband and I are 20 years apart — I am 30 and he is 50. We have been together four years. We got married last year in Ireland and it was the best day of my life.”When we met I had no idea the age difference was so huge; he looks really good for his age! We share many similarities and interests! I think common misconceptions are that there is a secret to making things work with an age gap. If it works for you it works for you!

  9. Warning That She’d Be Widowed

    Alison from Auckland, New Zealand told Cafe Mom:

    I had many people ‘warn’ me that Brian would age and I would be left either widowed early or frustrated by an aging partner who couldn’t or wouldn’t want to participate in things that interested me. Pleased to report that isn’t an issue — I think quality/satisfaction/team work/joy/retaining a positive attitude to life in a relationship is much more important than longevity in any case.

  10. Scared about the Thought of Raising Children Alone

    Another women told Cafe Mom:

    My husband is more than 25 years older than me and, let me be honest, sometimes it does make a difference. Sometimes I get scared when I think about the future. He is getting ready to retire and I’m still midway through my career. I wonder what will happen if he gets sick or disabled. We have two young kids and the thought of raising them alone scares me.But I love him and he is my favorite person.

  11. “More Emotionally Stable”

    Yuri G. from Katy, Texas told Cafe Mom:

    The age difference impacts our relationship in a positive way. Since my husband is 17 years older than me, he has more experience and already knows what he wants, has very clear goals and he is not wasting my time. Also, I find our relationship more emotionally stable than it would be with a younger man.

  12. Disapproval from Family

    Lael D. from San Diego, California, told Cafe Mom:

    My husband is 20 years older than me and my parents didn’t approve. Partially it was the age and partially it was because this was his fourth marriage. They actually didn’t come to the wedding, which hurt a lot.Facing the judgment and disapproval from my family was a tough way to start but we’re making it work.

  13. Sacrifices

    Autumn D. from Des Moines, Iowa, told Cafe Mom:

    I wish people knew that you can’t help who you love and that most couples with a big age difference probably talked a lot about what they’d be facing. Like, I wasn’t unaware that there would be tough choices that came with marrying someone two decades older than me. Like, for us, we decided that we’d only have one child and we’d have her right away so my husband would have as much time with her as possible.”In a perfect world, I wanted three or four kids. But I’d rather have one kid with him than have three kids with someone my own age.

  14. “The Same Fights and Struggles”

    Sarah T. from Oakdale, Minnesota, told Cafe Mom:

    My husband is 19 years older than me but I honestly forget about it sometimes. When I compare our live to the lives of my friends who are married to people the same age, they look basically the same. We have the same fights and struggles as everyone else. We fight about money and the kids, all the usual stuff.”We’re just a basic couple, you know? I’m not a trophy wife and I don’t have daddy issues! I just love this one person.

  15. “It Doesn’t Make Any Difference”

    Tracy B. from Los Angeles, California, told Cafe Mom:

    I am 49 and my boyfriend is 26, so it’s a 24-year age difference. To us it doesn’t make any difference. He’s a bit of an old soul and I am definitely young-at-heart and have tons of energy (too much for men my own age, usually). We have been dating for almost two years and the age thing has never been an issue for us. I have a few friends that that don’t understand how it works but some get it. People assume that we won’t really have much in common or that we won’t get each other’s cultural references but he’s seen a lot of ’80s movies and I have a teenager and work in social media so I’m up on most trends. We totally get each other and also have really great chemistry so it works well for both us.