They have under four years difference. THEY SHALL BE VICTORIOUS.

When it comes to heterosexual relationships, particularly those portrayed in films or on television, many people still believe that it is ideal to have the male be older than the female. We’re regular shown the Brangelinas, the Catherine Zeta-Jones/Michael Douglas couples, the Hugh Hefner/Crystal Harris pairs, all of whom (well, minus Hef & C, I s’pose) are portrayed as totally standard age gaps despite each exceeding a decade of age difference. But what is the best age gap for couples, according to regular folks?

Apparently, it’s four years and four months. According to a survey by (talk about a great name for a site asking dating questions) of 2,000 adults, the average ideal age gap is 52 months. While nearly half of respondents stated that there isn’t any ‘best age gap’ for them, about 33% of females stated they wouldn’t mind a partner up to 7 years older while approximately another third of females said they would prefer to look for one in the 50 – 57 month age gap range.

The biggest consistency between females who answered was that nearly all of them wanted the male to be the older partner. In fact, only 1 out of 100 women said they think a relationship with a much younger man is the most ideal.

Other noteworthy finds from this survey: about a third of female respondents stated their belief that if a woman is dating a much older man, he must be very rich, and a fourth said that they would dismiss that woman as a “gold digger,” because apparently we still use that term. 18% believed that such a relationship between an older man and younger woman simply cannot last. (I would like to note here that I’m pretty sure Beyonce is not hitting up Jay-Z for money despite their 12 year age gap. Just sayin’.)

Obviously, there are tons of exceptions to the ‘best age gap’ rule of this survey, even in Hollywood: Jennifer Aniston up there is three years older than fiance Justin Thereaux, and they seem to be doing just fine! (Or jealously dissolving into piles of anxious slime a la Alex Mack, depending on what website you read.) There really is no hard and fast rule regarding ages — only each individual’s preference, and even those can change over time. Plus, if you close yourself off to entire age groups of people because they’re not within four years and four months, or any other specific gap, you might wind up missing out on somebody for whom you’ll fall head over heels.

Photo: Adriana M. Barraza/