Age Differences in Romantic Relationships

There are no hard-and-fast rules governing the ideal age spread between married couples. A great deal depends on the two people involved. This is the kind of thing that almost always has to be determined on a case-by-case basis. What other people think is not important. While there are unique factors that ought to be considered, such as what challenges you may face later in life, essentially it all comes down to your compatibility as a couple.

What we can tell you is that, in our opinion, it's always a good idea for couples who are dating seriously to get counseling before they start thinking too much about engagement or marriage. If you and your girlfriend have been dating for at least six months, and if the two of you feel strongly that you would like to spend the rest of your lives together, we'd urge you to find a good marriage-and-family therapist and set up a series of counseling sessions. That would be the best way to get the specific answers you're looking for. Focus on the Family's Counseling Department would be happy to discuss the options with you and provide a list of qualified counselors in your area. You can reach them for a free consultation Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Mountain time at 855-771-HELP (4357). The Family Help Center staff member who answers the phone will arrange for a licensed counselor to call you back. One of them will be in touch just as soon as they're able.

The counseling process should include a personality test such as the PREPARE/ENRICH Premarital Inventory. You can find a sample test online at the following link:

You'll need to invest a certain amount of time and money in the process, but if you think about it you'll have to agree that it's worth spending a few months in pre-engagement counseling to make sure that your relationship is really marriage material. Doing so could save you a great deal of heartache later on.

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life (book)InDating

When Love's in View: Finding Focus in Dating and Relationships (book)

101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged (book)

Finding the Right One For You: Secrets to Recognizing Your Perfect Mate (book)

The Sacred Search: What if It's Not About Who You Marry, But Why? (book)

The Search For a Godly Spouse (broadcast)

You're How Old (podcast)

PREPARE/ENRICH - This organization offers programs to help couples prepare for marriage and to enrich the marriage of those already married.

Boundless - Boundless Webzine for Christian Singles

Searching for a 'Sole' Mate

Red Flags in a Relationship

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