The younger man you are dating has lied about his age. Do you break up?
&149 Kim, 32, Rosie, 24, Rachel, 33, Alex, 47, Jen, 31, are all from Edinburgh
KIM: I'm inclined to believe that age is just a number, but if he has been lying to you about that, has he been lying to you about other things? It completely depends on his motives.
ROSIE: Yeah, I agree, it's the lie, not the age that would be the problem for me. However, we're all human, and I guess I feel that I might do the same thing in his position. I certainly wouldn't stop seeing him on account of his age.
RACHEL: Oh come on, just how young are we talking about here? Young enough to boost my ego or young enough to get me arrested? If he is young enough to be my son then, yes, I would have a problem, even if he had already won my heart.
JEN: I would think it was rather cute and flattering that someone would lie about their age. If they weren't legal, however, I'd be a little concerned that they would grass me up when I dump them and I'd go to jail – it happens!
ALEX: I once had a holiday fling with a chap who, when we'd resolved our linguistic differences, turned out to be just 20 years old. At 26 I felt indecent – little did I know that when I was 37 I'd end up marrying a guy ten years my junior. Everyone teased me about acquiring a boy toy, but I've had a great many flings with younger men and, frankly, what the hell's the problem?
KIM: Apart from anything else, he is most likely to have lied because he thought you would turn him down on the grounds of being younger. Is there a chance that he was correct on this assumption? If that's the case, it's quite understandable that he'd lie about it.
RACHEL: I'm not sure. While it seems incredibly flattering that this guy is willing to go to such great lengths to keep the relationship going, it is not a great sign that he is so insecure about the age gap that he feels the need to fib.
ROSIE: I think that if he's insecure, immature, unworldly or whatever, I'd be aware of that without knowing his age. I'd be angry that he'd lied, but I think it's quite understandable, so I'd just give him a ticking off then get on with it. There are certain things we all want to conceal in the early stages of a relationship, and he chose to conceal his age.
KIM: And don't forget, women pretend to be younger than they really are all the time.
JEN: You've got to be careful, though. In the early stages you don't have to worry so much about the age gap, but if you're going to get serious then remember that much younger men are a pain in the backside 90 per cent of the time. Unlike women, the 21st-century man often lives at home until he's 35, doesn't get a proper job until 40 and isn't ready to have children until he's Rod Stewart's age. Get your eggs frozen now.
ALEX: I disagree. You'll never know if the relationship has legs unless you carry on with it. My marriage to a younger man didn't fall down because, for example, he listened to the Sex Pistols as a kid and I listened to them while at university, it fell apart for me because of his general inability to behave in a responsible manner vis--vis employment and drinking and the paying of bills. Those failings, while they can be termed a lack of maturity, are readily apparent in a great many men and women my own age, so youth's not the whole problem.
JEN: But you can't say there aren't differences between you that aren't related to your ages. I mean, do you really want to nostalgically talk about music and TV programmes you've loved only for him to say: 'Who are Bananarama; what's The Tube; what does a Rubik's Cube do?' It sounds petty, but that is annoying. On the other hand, maybe it's worth trading reminiscing together and children for a virile young stud!
RACHEL: Love doesn't conquer all, but does age really matter in relationships now? With so many options and possibilities out there, I might just thank my lucky stars that we had found each other and forget about the age difference. If he was the right guy, that is.