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Also, many of the commonly held beliefs about dating a younger man or woman — for instance, that a junior partner may lack maturity — aren’t true, relationship expert and columnist April Masini told Fox News.

Older parents who have their own children, on the other hand, may not want to take on a step-parenting role due to lifestyle preferences or a preoccupation with parenting their own biological youngsters.

“A younger partner has more energy, and usually fewer or no kids of his or her own,” Masini said.

Data seem to support that idea: A 2003 AARP survey of about 3,500 single men and women ages 40 to 69 found about 66 percent of men want to date younger women and 34 percent of women want to date younger men.

EXPERTS SAY THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO FLIRT Celebrities like actor and director Mel Gibson, whose partner Rosalind Ross is 35 years his junior, and director Sam Taylor-Johnson, whose husband, actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, is 24 years younger than her, apparently agree with that notion.

You can read some top tips for a healthy dating relationship.

Dating relationships also are different from other relationships.

And you'll have time for goals and activities that matter to you. Love involves really knowing someone, respecting them, trusting them, and caring about their happiness.

It's great when it happens, but it usually takes time! Sexual feelings can be strong, and you may feel confused. In our section on dating and sexual feelings, you can read about deciding about sex, why waiting makes sense, talking to your partner about sex, birth control, and more.

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