Age differences while dating

You just need to look to Hollywood to see that when it comes to relationships, age really is just a number. But there's still an argument to suggest dating someone in a different stage of their life can throw up challenges that wouldn't be faced if you were closer in age. "I think it depends on the level of maturity within the couple and if they are able to negotiate things that can crop up in a relationship of this kind," relationship expert Melissa Ferrari told Huff Post Australia. So for somebody who likes that in their partner, it can be a really big advantage, but if you are somebody who likes to have things more equal that can be an issue.

"It's about the ability of the couple to be able to negotiate those issues, and how you go about soothing each other about them," she said.

"It's so important to address them in the first place, to say 'hey sweetheart, I know you have issues about me leaving you for a younger person, but I would never do that because I love you', rather than pretending it's not happening or saying 'that comes from your childhood and that's your problem'." While it's perfectly possible for a couple with a large age difference to enjoy a long and happy relationship, Ferrari did say that those who constantly sought out much older partners should think about why that is.

Common sense does suggest that a large age gap would have implications for old age.

Having someone to look after you in your dotage is wise, as is avoiding widowhood.

A younger, healthier partner could make sense, at least from your side of the equation.