They say age ain't nothing but a number if you really love each other, but are certain age gaps—or lack thereof—more likely to end in tears? According to a study conducted by Emory University in Atlanta, there's an ideal difference that can heighten your chances of a lasting relationship.
The study looked at 3,000 people, and found that the greater the age gap, the greater the risk of a breakup. These are just patterns, but the results could come down to partners having conflicting goals and interests at different stages in their lives.
Researchers found that couples with a five-year age gap are 18% more likely to split than an equal-age couple, while that figure jumped to 39% with a 10-year age gap. For couples with a 20-year age gap the statistics aren't looking very hopeful, with chances of separation rising to 95%.
As for that ideal age difference, researches believe that a one-year gap is the sweet spot, with the chances of divorce standing at a much smaller 3%.
Still, as we said, this is just data, and while researchers may have noticed patterns, every couple is different and other factors—like children, behavior, and plain old compatibility—can impact the results also.
As Hugo Mialon, one of the researchers behind the study, said: "It could just be that the types of couples with those characteristics are the types of couples who are, on average, more likely to divorce for other reasons."
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.