It is also important to be clear about what you want from the relationship, even if the conversation feels a little stodgy."I do think you need to be clear on what a relationship means for both of you and yes, to a certain extent, what the future means for both of you, especially if marriage, kids, etc.

is an open consideration down the line because the timing can feel either rushed or slowed down depending on who you are in the relationship," a 25-year-old man in a relationship with a 29-year-old woman, who chose to remain anonymous, told ATTN:. Humor can also differ between older and younger partners."I guess the only thing that’s different is that I can be a lot sillier around someone my own age," the 23-year-old Los Angeles-based woman explained.

Courtney Croft, a 26-year-old Nashville-based anthropologist married to a 40-year-old man, explained that while she and her partner didn't encounter too many problems in their personal lives, other people didn't always react well to their relationship."Most of the issues stemmed from other people's initial negative reactions of us being together. I had some people flat out say it was gross that I was with someone so much older," Croft said.

Evolutionary psychologists say that relationships like this often occur because while fertility lasts only from puberty to menopause in women, it starts at puberty and can extend long into midlife for lots of men.

That means there’s a strategic advantage for women to snag an older gent—he’s had more time to accumulate resources and stability than his younger counterparts, which could make him a more viable partner and father.

Anyone who’s been in a serious long-term relationship knows the journey isn’t without certain challenges, and when you’re dating an older man—we’re talking a decade or more—things can get even trickier.

I know this firsthand, as I’m 25 years old, and I’ve been dating an older guy nearly 15 years my senior for almost four years.

Now, I’m not saying these are conscious reasons why dating a man quite a bit older—there have been several moments when I’ve thought that going out with someone closer to my age would be much simpler.

I even tried it when my boyfriend and I took a short break, and I found it was painstakingly difficult and more complicated than my experience dating an older guy. The texting games (How long should I wait to text him back? It’s exhausting), the fear of commitment that plagues most twentysomethings, and the simple fact that most guys my age aren’t as emotionally mature as I am.

Croft also emphasized that communication and patience were crucial."Honest communication and patience is key in any relationship, but particularly when there is an age gap; misunderstandings can happen more easily, I think, because of the different places you might be in life. When your partner has considerably more life experience than you, it can feel a little intimidating.

Be open to learning from one another," she explained. But it also provides opportunities and advantages you might not encounter dating someone your own age.

explained, describing the 37-year-old she had been with.