Age disparity still matters in romantic relationships

/ 05:24 AM February 15, 2019

JUST A NUMBER Only 41 percent of the respondents say age gap is a nonissue. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Is age just a number when it comes to relationships?

For Catherine Pestana, a 27-year-old flight attendant, age difference does not matter in love.


“I guess it’s all about wavelength. I’m 27 and I’ve been dating my 34-year-old boyfriend for almost four years now. I can say that I haven’t been happier. Love is ageless,” Pestana said.

But for half of the respondents in the latest survey of Social Weather Stations (SWS), age disparity in relationships matter.


The Dec. 16 to 19 survey showed that 50 percent of the 1,440 respondents believed that age gap had weight in a relationship while 41 percent said it was not an issue. The remaining 9 percent were undecided.

The SWS also found fewer adults who said that their love life was “very happy,” down to 51 percent last year, from 57 percent in 2017, while 36 percent of adults said “it could be happier,” up from 29 percent.

The percentage of those who “do not have a love life” barely changed at 13 percent, from 14 percent.

Asked about their willingness to have a relationship with someone 10 years younger, 36 percent of respondents nationwide said they were willing, while 44 percent were not, for a balance of opinion of “neutral-negative” net -9.

Balance of opinion

Among women respondents, a “negative” balance of opinion of -35 (23 percent willing, 58 percent not willing) was recorded, while it was a “positive” net +17 (48 percent willing, 31 percent not willing) among men.

Asked if they were willing to have a relationship with someone 10 years older, 49 percent nationwide said they were willing, while 31 percent were not willing, for a nationwide net opinion of +18.


The survey also showed women were more willing to have a relationship with someone 10 years older, at net +26 (54 percent willing, 28 percent not willing) compared to men at +10 (43 percent willing, 33 percent not willing).

On the personal assessment of the respondents’ love life, the survey found that married men and women had the highest proportion of those with a “very happy” love life.

Sixty-four percent of married men and 59 percent of married women said they were “very happy” with their love life, compared to the 44 percent of men and 56 percent of women with a live-in partner and 31 percent of men and 20 percent of women who are single.

No love life

According to the survey, more single women (59 percent) than single men (43 percent) have no love life.

Moreover, men age 24 years and above recorded higher percentages of “very happy” love life—ranging from 53 percent to 58 percent—compared to those aged 18 to 24 years at 39 percent.

Among women, the proportion of those who were “very happy” with their love life was higher among those aged 25 to 54 years (ranging from 47 percent to 59 percent) compared to those aged 18 to 24 (43 percent) and among 55 years and above (42 percent).

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points. —ANA ROA AND KATHLEEN DE VILLA, INQUIRER RESEARCH

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TAGS: age gap, love, love life, romantic relationship, SWS survey, younger
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