Been out of the dating game for a while

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The course of true love never did run smooth – and especially not for men, it seems.

New research suggests that, when it comes to the minimum and maximum ages that men and women consider acceptable for a new sexual partner, women tend to opt for someone of similar maturity; men, however, are less willing to restrict themselves.

"Men are not coming to us and asking for a much younger model."Finding the right age match is not the only challenge that men on today's fast-paced, often cut-throat dating scene must contend with, however.

Many men also struggle when it comes to emotional intimacy."Older women are good at keeping female friendships, at networking and at keeping up with their favourite activities," says Kurland. They can become a bit isolated if they have been widowed or made redundant."I think it comes down to confidence.

So as a man grows older, while the upper age limit of his prospective partners rises, his lower limit hardly changes. While the likes of Mick Jagger, Hugh Grant and Leonardo Di Caprio appear to have little trouble attracting younger women, these men may well be the exception, rather than the rule: the study of more than 2500 people by researchers at Abo Akademi University in Finland suggested that older men interested in younger women might be condemned to a life of unrequited love. * Why age gaps in relationships are fine * No 'gaps' in our 45-year age gap relationship"Their potential interest in younger women is not likely [to be] converted into sexual activity," the authors write delicately.

READ MORE: * Can someone in their 50s date someone in their 20s? However, in the same way that youth fades, so too does a middle-aged man's impression of his attractiveness to women young enough to be his daughter.

I do this knowing I’m not in the market for a new woman.

He was, however, unprepared for what he found there.

As a man hits his fifties he is more likely to consider a woman of his own vintage worthy of pursuit.

It is a conclusion that Ed, 46, arrived at a few years early – that, having tried for some time, dating younger women was a non-starter.

Men aren't always as good at talking about their feelings, but saying you're lonely and want to meet someone is the first stage to finding a partner."Yet for many, the cultural expectation that men don't share their feelings can make this incredibly tough.

Andy, a 6-foot-1 Yorkshireman who grew up in a post-industrial community where men traditionally hide their emotions, agrees.

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