5 Reasons Not To Date Outside Your Age Bracket

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher

Do cougars have it right? In some ways, they might. One 2010 study out of the University of Texas suggests that women aged 27 to 45 not only have increased sexual fantasies, but have more sex on the whole than their younger counterparts. This can prove beneficial to certain relationships, especially those in which an older woman dates a younger man.

But what happens after the excitement of a sexually-charged relationship fades? For couples with a significant age difference between them, it can be particularly challenging to stay strong for the long term.

"Dating more than 10 years out of your age bracket is a significant jump," says Lisa Steadman, a relationship expert and bestselling author. "It can create significant barriers in a relationship." Fox News iMag: Jackie Collins: How To Keep Your Marriage HOT

So, can a relationship with someone significantly older or younger ever really work? Experts say the chances are slimmer, but it's possible, as long as expectations are set and extra challenges can be met with solidarity.

Creating a long-term partnership with someone much older or younger can be challenging, as goals and expectations for the future can differ. "Shared goals, common interests and compatibility make up a successful relationship," Steadman says. "Without these things as a solid foundation, there is a weaker potential of the relationship lasting."

Different Life Stages
"You're not necessarily going to grow together," Steadman says. "You might be starting your career while someone else is winding down. Don't expect to be on the same page about everything." This can be difficult in terms of relating to one another.

Mixing Friends
While relationships shouldn't necessarily be determined by external opinions, disapproval by close family and friends can add additional strain to a pairing. "What if your friends and family think you're insane?" Steadman says. "What if they judge your choices?"

Furthermore, mixing the two groups can be even harder. "Friends around both parties might have difficulty relating to one another," adds Matt Titus, a relationship expert.

Read more reasons not to date outside your age bracket: 5 Pitfalls To Dating Older Or Younger

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.