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Is it wrong to fall for a guy five years younger than me?

 I never thought I would enjoy dating a younger guy (Image: Shutterstock)

Hi Chris,

I’m in my mid-thirties, and all my friends are all going out with boyfriends who are a few years older than them.

But I’ve found myself falling for a guy who’s five years younger than me. It wasn’t anything deliberate, it just happened, but I will admit I’m enjoying every minute of the relationship.

And, in my wilder moments, I even find myself wondering whether we might even end up settling down together. Not surprisingly I’m better off financially than him, and have progressed in my career, but he seems perfectly happy with that.

But I also sense that my friends and family think that what I’m doing is a little bit weird, and even though they aren’t saying anything out loud, that’s making me a bit scared.

So is it OK to marry a man younger than me? After all, quite a few celebs have. But will our relationship really succeed?

Potential Cougar

Chris says,

Hi Potential Cougar!

Traditionally women married a man who was just a few years older than herself, because her youthful fertility linked with his greater stability and wealth led to more successful families.

But people stay fit and healthy for far longer nowadays, and many women are looking for partners later in life. After delaying marriage to pursue a career, for example.

So there are now many couples where she’s older than him. And on the whole, these relationships are very successful, though some people still feel an older woman dating a younger man is unseemly.

But you have lots going for you. Your career’s given you financial stability and you’ve got your act together. And your boyfriend sounds like he appreciates your achievements and perspective on life.

You’re probably also more sophisticated sexually than him and more knowledgeable about yourself. He’s less likely to try to become controlling, more open and optimistic, more willing to try new things, and will still have an exciting zest for life.

But you need to be sure that he also has driven and ambition, and is making a success of his career. If you have insecurities about ageing the relationship will be hard to pull off.

And the two of you need to be in the same place in your lives. Maybe he still wants to avoid adult responsibilities while you’re ready to settle down and thinking about having children? Maybe his attitudes values, aspirations and ambitions are very different from yours?

Hopefully he’s confident and able to express his views, but you may end up feeling like you’re the one who’s in charge. You may even start feeling like his teacher. Or his mother. Both can become seriously creepy.

Maybe you’ll see your social lives differently, or your interests won’t match. Many younger men just aren’t interested in long-term relationships. You may find yourself worrying about his fidelity. It’s vital you’re able to trust him, and are on the same page in terms of commitment, family and career goals.

But as long as you’re open and honest with each other and are both completely clear about your expectations and values, then go for it!

All the best,


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