It certainly isn’t uncommon to see a big age gap in marriage these days. More and more people are realizing now that it’s very much possible to have a genuine, committed, successful relationship with someone who is older. And because May-December love stories are starting to become more accepted and practiced, so is a large age gap in marriage. However, it still seems that an age gap marriage is more in the cards the second or third time around.
A study by Pew Research has discovered that for American men, there’s more likely to be a larger age gap in marriage—an older man and a younger woman—if it isn’t his first time down the aisle. And not only will his second wife be younger, but she’ll likely be a lot younger. According to data about recently married couples taken from the 2013 American Community Survey, about one in five remarried men tied the knot with a woman who was at least 10 years younger, and an additional 18% had a wife who was six to nine years younger than them. That’s compared to only 5% of men who married a woman 10 years younger in their first marriage, and 10% whose first age gap marriage was six to nine years.
On the other end of the age gap marriage scale, 80% of first-time grooms have a relatively small age difference in marriage—five years or less. But only 57% of remarried men have that same age gap range.
A similar age gap marriage trend was seen among remarried women as well, although the increase wasn’t quite as significant. Seven percent of first-time brides married a man who was 10 years older or more in their first marriage, but almost twice as many (13%) remarried a man who was at least 10 years older.
If you’re a woman looking for a match with husband potential, don’t discount an older man just because his first marriage didn’t quite work out. A divorce in his past doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with him. Many May-December love stories can happen later in life, after other relationships have come and gone. And if this research is any indication, it could work in your favor—your older man might just be more open to an age gap marriage if he’s wedded before.
Livingston, G., “Tying the knot again? Chances are, there’s a bigger age gap than the first time around,” Pew Research Center web site, December 4, 2014; http://goo.gl/5ff6zV.