There just weren’t any of them, anywhere (or if there were, they were in hiding).

As the only straight woman within reach, I soon became the de facto dating consultant for my male friends, despite my waning expertise.

The younger person gets an experienced companion who is often better established in the world.

The "senior partner" may also have more money — perhaps, even, a more interesting life.

Well, if you're 50 and your companion is 70, you're almost bound to provide care long before you would for a mate of the same age. Plus, most people would willingly choose to endure the rough patches so long as they get a reasonable run of the good stuff beforehand.

Your children, of course, may not see the lure of September-May dating quite the way you do!

The older person, for his part, gets a higher-energy companion who is likely to help the couple stay fit — and, quite likely, more sexually active.

But won't the "junior partner" eventually have to pay the piper?

They were even more eager to pick my brain on all things female when I started working as an engineer and data scientist at Ok Cupid, where I analyzed data from millions of daters to get a sense of the “correct” way to date for men, women, and everyone in between.

But what I soon realized was that sometimes the best way to date is to go off script.

They may impugn the motives of the younger person ("Gold digger!

"), or imply that it's all about sex ("You sly devil, you!

(Unless, of course, they were named Cher.) But all this prompts a bigger question: Is it smart or stupid to take on a partner 20 years younger once you hit 50, 60 or 70?