Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.09 12 Nov 2019


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The issue of 'age gaps and dating' is making headlines and generating discussion again.

Listeners and guests discussed the issue of dating and age gaps - including what was described as 'Peter Pan syndrome' - on today's Lunchtime Live.

Age gap romances - what are your thoughts and experiences?

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

It comes after 55-year-old Keanu Reeves received widespread media coverage when he appeared on the red carpet with his date Alexandra Grant - an artist who is 'only' nine years younger than the actor.

It prompted a fresh debate - some commentators praised Reeves for having an 'age appropriate' relationship, while others expressed frustration that it was considered news or praise worthy at all.

So, what do people think about the subject of age gap romances?

Fergal Harrington, CEO and director of Intro Matchmaking, spoke about what he dubbed 'Peter Pan syndrome'.

He explained: "31, 32, 33 year old guys are quite happy to meet women their own age - it's only when the guys creep up to the late 30s, early 40s that they start getting extremely difficult and challenging on age gaps.

"There's a sense of entitlement out there, that 'if I throw money at something, I'll be able to demand what I want... If I'm paying you guys a few euro, I want you to get what I want, where I want it, when I want it, and how I want it looking.

"There's a huge sense of entitlement, from men and women, and it's across the board... but the age thing is major with the men, and it's from 40."

Here's what some listeners had to say on the issue:

Aisling:

"I'm 44 years old... and I was in relationships for twenty years - two for ten years each - with men of the same age.

"[Now] I date almost exclusively younger men - about ten years younger.

"I keep myself in good nick, I'm in good shape - I don't look or feel my age, and I guess I don't act my age as per convention.

"I get what I need on all levels - intellectually, sexually, you name it - from younger men."

Colin:

"I suppose it's more typical to point to the men who are interested in younger women - I'm aware that it's generally the pattern.

"But it's not exclusive - I was 30 when I met my partner, and she was almost 40.

"The fact that she was older was neither her nor there - the fact that she had four kids was more of a problem... the age difference wasn't.

"Comments were made... I'm sure people sheepishly made comments. I've read one or two emails between mutual friends where there was a bit of laughter.

"It's 15 years now together... I think people are probably very surprised it has lasted."

Main image: File photo © Don Hammond/Design Pics via ZUMA Wire

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