And is it different between heterosexual and homosexual couples (we fall into the latter)?Thanks, Seth, 32, Dallas Dear Seth, The average age difference (for a heterosexual couple) is 2.3 years, with the man older than the woman. Whether you’d never date a younger man or are considering dating an older women – or vice versa – everyone is sure to have an opinion.

So given all this, do traditional notions of appropriate age gaps in relationships still matter?

What is traditionally deemed acceptable changes with age, especially as people grow older .

The American actress was only 19 when she started dating the Gothic rock star, 18 years her senior in 2006.

The couple split in 2008, then reunited and got engaged in 2010, only to part ways again later that year.

This data comes from the 2014 Current Population Survey (CPS) and is based on information provided by 31,075 male-female couples.

Those surveyed couples are supposed to represent the estimated 70 million heterosexual couples who live together in the U. It doesn’t matter whether they’re married or unmarried, parents or childless — all couples are counted in the CPS, unless they’re gay.

"My friends and family were very supportive of us, they warmed to him quite quickly.

We were in the same circle of friends, so they were all very happy for us." While other couples are given the benefit of the doubt, and any problems they might face are assumed to be the cause of extenuating circumstances, if you're in a relationship with an age gap that courtesy isn't extended to you.

Age isn’t just about the time you’ve been on the planet, it’s about your attitude and approach to life.

With huge advances in technology creating all manner of age-defying treatments; better diets; dental care; and life expectancy, it’s entirely possible to stay looking, and feeling, young well into middle age.

A fifth of a 20 year old’s age would be four years, for example, so they could date someone between 16 and 24 (four years older or younger).