A study published in Sexual and Relationship Therapy compared the emotional intelligence, sexual self-efficacy, and subjective happiness of women with same-age male partners and those with younger male partners. The results indicated that women with younger male partners scored higher in all three aspects, suggesting that their romantic relationships might be more fulfilling. Traditional views on romantic relationships dictate that men should be of the same age or older than their female partners, as maturity and financial stability are prerequisites for a relationship. However, modern societies increasingly see romantic pairs in which the female partner is older than the male, known as age-hypogamy.
The study involved 17 women in age-hypogamous relationships, i.e., with significantly younger male partners, and 7 women with same-age partners, aged between 25 and 57 years. Participants completed an online survey that included assessments of sexual self-efficacy, emotional intelligence, subjective happiness, and age-related dating preferences. The results showed that women in relationships with younger men scored higher in all three evaluated psychological characteristics, reporting greater subjective happiness, enhanced emotional intelligence, and better sexual self-efficacy.
The study questions the preconceived notion that women in relationships with younger men are any less fulfilling or successful than those in similar relationships, as these traits are associated with fulfilling intimate relationships. The research suggests that understanding the factors that contribute to the success of romantic relationships can help individuals navigate the challenges of age-hypogamy and develop more fulfilling relationships.