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And sharing the joy of getting a free bus pass at a similar time, or saving money from combining big birthday parties, is clearly attractive.Some economists have wondered whether smaller age gaps between partners could have wider, societal benefits, as they might help to narrow the gender earnings gap.

Another study by Sven Drefahl of the University of Stockholm looked at people over the age of 50 in Denmark, and found that men with younger spouses survived for longer than those with ones of a similar age.

The older their spouse, the worse their survival chances, even after controlling for things like education and wealth.

It did not find a strong link between age gaps and divorce rates in England and Wales, though there was some evidence that women marrying later than 30 who were more than ten years older than their spouse were more likely to divorce.

Common sense does suggest that a large age gap would have implications for old age.

Something about the kind of person who opts into a marriage with a large age gap could be driving the higher divorce rates, rather than the age gap itself.

A bright young thing considering a silver fox should also take heart from a study by Britain’s Office of National Statistics.It’s fine for a 22-year-old to go out with an 18-year-old.It’s not for a 38-year-old to go out with a 23-year-old, however a 26-year-old would be fair game.Again, the link might not be causal: healthy men might be particularly able both to attract younger mates and live to a ripe old age.But mysteriously, this phenomenon does not appear to apply to women, where the bigger the age gap, the worse their survival chances, regardless of whether they were younger or older.“What I learned at a very early age was that I was responsible for my life.