Age gap of 4 years 'is ideal for a relationship'

Just over four years is the ideal age difference for a relationship, new research has suggested.

Carried out by Confused, the study found the preferred age gap for adults in the UK is for the man to be four years and four months older than the woman.

However, a guy heading out on a date with a female up to seven years his younger may want to ensure he is well stocked up on condoms, as 30 per cent of the 2,000-plus adults questioned as part of the survey would be content in a relationship with an age difference as big as this.

Julia Cole, TV relationship commentator and counsellor, said: "Age gap relationships are becoming more and more common because of the greater acceptance of the diversity of couples and families."

The research also looked at a number of celebrity couples who have made a success of their relationship despite significant age differences, including the likes of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart.