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Four years 'ideal relationship age gap'

A man and woman smiling at each otherThe secret of a successful relationship? A four-year age gap, according to new research by Confused.com.

Who's older - you and your other half?

Confused.com polled 2,000 adults on what they thought was the ideal relationship age gap, and four years and four months came out on top.

However, it seems relationship age gap only applies if the man is older than the woman.

Man older than woman in relationship

Of those who expressed a preference for an age gap, 27 per cent thought the man should be older rather than the woman, compared to 2 per cent who voted vice-versa.

The majority of those in favour of an age gap – 46 per cent – said it was because "you can learn from the different perspective of the other partner".

And 41 per cent in favour of an age gap saying they believe "the youthfulness of the younger partner rubs off on the older partner".

Gold diggers & cougars

A third of female respondents who see a woman with a much older male partner assume he must be "very rich", our poll also found.

A quarter of women admit they view a woman with an older man as a gold digger and a fifth say when they see such couples they think it won't last.

Older women with "toy-boy" partners are also viewed negatively.

A quarter of women polled admit they regard older females with toy boy partners as "cougars".

This is an unflattering modern term for a woman who seeks out sexual relations with considerably younger men.

In fact just one in a hundred women think the ideal relationship is with a younger man, compared to two in a hundred men.

More women reliant on male partner’s income

It seems that many people opt for an older partner for practical reasons, with 34 per cent saying they believe "the younger partner can benefit from the older partner's financial security".

But when it comes to finances in age gap relationships, it sees that women still get a worse deal than men.

While 60 per cent of women say their partner could afford to pay the mortgage or rent if they were unable to contribute, only 34 of men said the same about their other half.

Matt Lloyd, head of life insurance at Confused.com, says it might be uncomfortable but it is important to talk money with your other half.

"For those couples with a larger age gap it may be even more important to get their finances sorted."

Money talk could pay dividends in future

Lloyd added: "Brits are certainly marrying later in life now than ever before, and this may imply that people are putting off making decisions about their finances.

"According to our research, far more women than men would be financially worse off if left alone.

"As age gaps in relationships become more readily accepted than ever before, it's vital to look to the future and talk with your partner about life insurance.

"It may seem unromantic, but it may pay dividends in the future."

Take our age gap quiz!

What are your thoughts on age gaps in relationships?

We want to hear from you! Click the link to take the Confused.com relationship age gap quiz.




Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick covers all things consumer for Confused.com. She started out on a weekly newspaper, via a national news agency and a stint in the fun but ‘not as glamorous as it appears on screen’ world of TV at the BBC researching consumer films for The One Show.

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