How do people really feel about age gaps when dating?

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Amy Lewis

When it comes to finding the perfect partner, how much older or younger would you go? Just one year either side? Five years? Ten years?

We’ve all got ideas about what can and can’t work for us, but according a new poll the clichés may be true; men and women do approach the subject from opposite ends.

Underscoring certain stereotypes, the poll reveals that men are more likely than women to date a younger partner, while the opposite is true for romance with somebody older.

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The survey, carried out by, asked 1,000 single people in the UK about their thoughts on age gaps when dating.

On average, the male participants said they would to date a person up to 10 years younger than them, while the average answer for women was that they'd go no lower than four years and nine months below their own age.

When it came to dating above their age however, the average answer from female particpants was that they’d ideally like to date somebody six years and eight months older than them.

The men who responded meanwhile, said they’d be reluctant to date a partner who was more than four years and 10 months beyond their own age.

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Attitudes to age gaps do appear to mellow in both camps as we get older though. A quarter of 34 to 44 year olds revealed they’d happily date a person up to 10 years their junior, while one in six would date a person 15 years younger than them.

London came out as the area with the most relaxed approach to dating and age, with one in six Londoners saying that they’d be happy with a 10 year age gap in either direction.

That said, one in 12 Liverpudlian participants revealed that they’d happily date somebody a quarter of a century younger. Something Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have almost achieved with their 23-year age gap.


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Amy Lewis

Amy Lewis is a freelance writer and editor, a lover of strong tea, equally strong eyebrows, a collector of facial oils and a cat meme enthusiast. She covers everything from beauty and fashion to feminism and travel.

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