Acceptable dating age difference

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According to a new survey, the ideal age difference between a couple is when the man is 4 years and (this is the sort of weird part) four months older than the woman.

Which means that my ideal mate was born sometime in February of 1982.

A study released in 2003 by the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics concluded that the proportion of women in England and Wales marrying younger men rose from 15% to 26% between 19.

Another study also showed a higher divorce rate as the age difference rose for when either the woman was older or the man was older.

Differences in age preferences for mates can stem from evolutionary mating strategies and age preferences in sexual partners may vary cross culturally.

There are also alternative social theories for age differences in relationships as well as suggested reasons for 'alternative' age-hypogamous relationships.

Aside from that scenario, however, is there any reason that a 30-year-old woman can find love with a 37-year old and not a 44-year-old? Knowing that there are men of that age who are in great shape, physically attractive, interesting and successful is there a reason to categorically exclude these men? And while most people aren’t as attractive as these, it is certainly possible to meet someone significantly older who is sexy and attractive. Women in their 50’s will often narrowly restrict their dating range because they have a fear of meeting and falling in love with an older man – and then having to deal with his health issues.

Will women feel better about dating younger men as we chip away at the convention that it’s men who have to be the providers, and women the nurturers?

(Personally I have fewer qualms about dating a younger man than I do about a guy who makes significantly less money than I do — though I think that would be more of an obstacle than a dealbreaker.) Of course, biologically, men have it easier when it comes to dating younger women.

[Read: Dating someone younger than you: 12 ways to make it easier] Is the evidence real?

Many relationship researchers have gone to great lengths to figure out what type of couples make it and which don’t.

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