Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy, Elton John and David Furish, Kris Jenner and Corey Gamble, Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor.

Look, it’s pretty clear that age is no barrier when it comes to love or serious physical attraction. Sometimes it’s a one-off occurrence that can wildly confuse you, other times it’s a straight-up routine / well and truly established preference.

MIND THE GAP: Why You’re Keen On Someone Much Older / Younger Than You

Whether that’s someone more mature, with an endearing naivety or at a similar life-stage as yourself, that’s OK. Seriously, fuck what ingrained stereotypes about age-gap or intergenerational relationships might suggest, but, that being said, every pattern in life is worth looking into. 

So, if you find your private parts tingling over someone in a different age bracket, or are confused as to why someone much older / younger wants to be with you, we’ve gathered some info that might help you answer these burning questions / desires.

MIND THE GAP: Why You’re Keen On Someone Much Older / Younger Than You

OLDER

OK, so the age of your birth-givers can play a part in this attraction towards older humans. A study by the University of St. Andrews showed that people born to what society considers as “older” parents (30+ when you were ejected from the womb) aren’t overly phased by youth, and react more positively to signs of ageing on the noggin. 

Your parent’s influence brings me to my next point  you know, the ol’ concept of people dating significantly older partners because of mummy / daddy issues. As Regina George would say, it’s half-true. If you’re only dating people much older than you, there’s a chance you might be seeking more of a parental figure in your life than a romantic partner. We’re all raised in different ways or suffer losses along the way which can subconsciously affect our choices in all relationships, romantic or otherwise.

However, it might have nothing to do with your parents at all. You might just think silver foxes and confident cougars are fucking hot.

MIND THE GAP: Why You’re Keen On Someone Much Older / Younger Than You

But why? Because experience and confidence are very attractive to certain people, instead of game-playing and insecurities. Older generations are more likely to inspire just by default  they’ve been through more and seen more in this life than you have. Ashton Kutcher once said about then-wife Demi Moore (#NeverForget):

“The real trick is putting yourself around people you admire. That’s why I married my wife. I locked in the brightest light in the room.” 

And because y’all are thinking it, there’s also the money factor / sense of security. You yourself might be insecure about your account balance and lean favourably towards someone who is more *established* in their career (and in other words has a bucketload more cash than you).

And, hey, if you’re courting someone who’s nearing death, we’re assuming you either have a deeply embedded need to take care of others, love those wrinkly bits or, well, you want to be a part of their, er, legacy. We’d like to have more faith in humans but these agenda-based relos can happen. 

YOUNGER

Please excuse the next point as it’s super heteronormative  the Parental Investment Theory believes that men are attracted to younger women because they showcase signs of fertility (aka youth).

Look, while there’s plenty of divorced humans out there who’re bitchin’ and moanin’ about their exes cheating on them with a young, hot slice, the PIT concept does make sense for those seeking a long-term relationship with a family on top. Younger women have a higher chance of fulfilling another’s desire of wanting a family one day, thanks to their fresh eggs and that painful dictator called the biological clock. 

As for the cheating imbeciles, we’re not so sure. Maybe they’ve bought into media’s apparent ideal of youth equalling beauty. Fuck knows.

Others just have a need to be admired, to be put on a pedestal of sorts. While it’s been widely believed that women go through their sexual peaks after their 30s and men do so a good decade or so earlier, Huff Post refuted those claims earlier this year with valid evidence (soz, Paris Hilton).

MIND THE GAP: Why You’re Keen On Someone Much Older / Younger Than You

That being said, Lucy Jones, resident expert at age-gap dating sites Toyboy Warehouse and Gay Toyboy Warehouse, explained to PEDESTRIAN.TV that younger men are much more eager to please (sexually at least), and, well, a lot more energetic. 

She also explained that younger counterparts are “excited by the future“, which can also be v. bloody attractive.

MIND THE GAP: Why You’re Keen On Someone Much Older / Younger Than You

“They don’t simply reminisce on their past achievements, they look forward to new experiences and opportunities.
One of our recently-divorced female members is a fantastic example of this – she had a hit to her confidence and very rarely experienced anything exciting. After joining the site and meeting a fantastic younger guy she’s now an avid adventurer – she’s completed two skydives and will soon be attempting to climb the Tatra Mountains in Poland.”

Older, younger, same age — after all’s examined and done, who really cares? You do you, unapologetically and unabashedly, plz. 

Photo: The OC.