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Braving "robbing the cradle" jokes, almost one-third of women between ages 40 and 69 are dating younger men (defined as 10 or more years younger).

You name it, he wanted it.'Because older women are more fun, they don't agonise all the time and analyse everything, they don't hassle you to meet the parents a week after you have sex, they don't want kids, they don't send you angry text messages at 3am, they don't want commitment.'One chap I spoke to, who has political ambitions, was openly mercenary.

He said the great thing about going out with someone like me was the fact I could introduce him to all my contacts and take him into a world that no young woman ever could.

Not so their female counterparts, who by this point are keen to stop wasting time, their biological clocks ticking ever more loudly.

And so, says Smedley, these men go for much younger women who haven't got round to thinking about such things - or women significantly older who 'they still find very attractive' and who have already had children or decided they didn't want them.'Young women often view men as success objects (ie defined and rated by how much they earn and own) - and there's less chance of that with a more mature woman who, chances are, has already attained her own success.He also said some females seem to prefer texts to sex.Why is it, he asked, that they analyse every word, searching for hidden meanings, getting hysterical if he puts only one 'x' at the end of a message instead of three?There has been an incredible shift since the Fifties when three-quarters of women and half of all men had tied the knot by their mid-20s.Many men still aren't ready to commit by their mid-30s, it seems to me.For their part, the men like the sophistication and life success of their older mates, she explains.