So you’re thinking of dating somebody a couple of years younger than yourself. No big deal; Hollywood’s leading ladies do it all the time! Demi Moore, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry have all walked the red carpet, hand in hand with a younger man, at some point. According to Cyndi Targosz, author of Dating The Younger Man, it is absolutely okay for real women to pursue such relationships because they really work. They just have to be open to the idea.

In such cases, however, the rules of the relationship change, and the equation gets a little more tricky. Keeping these pointers in mind will ensure that both, you and your partner, have a smooth-sailing relationship.

1. Maturity Match
The first thing that comes to mind when he’s younger is the question about how emotionally mature he is. Some men are 20 going on 35, while others can be 25 going on, well, 26. Every guy has a different scale of emotional growth, so don’t be quick to judge. Observe whether he can take care of himself, since you’re surely not signing up to replace his mother. According to Targosz, younger guys tend to be a little intimidated by your life experience and financial security. If that’s the case, be friendly and open about it, assuring him that the two of you are at par in the relationship. At the same time, check to make sure that he is a stable, reliable sort who won’t play the “I’m so young, I couldn’t have known this” card.

2. Commitment Cues
So maybe you’re not looking to settle down with this guy, immediately. You’ve had serious relationships before, probably even been married, so you don’t want to sacrifice your independence until you’re sure he’s really worth it. While it can be flattering to be pursued by a younger man, be sure he’s doing it for the right reasons, and not just because he wants a ‘sugar mommy’. If he doesn’t have much relationship experience, he could easily be infatuated and commit too early. Give it time, scope out his intentions, and only then seal the deal.

3. Baggage-Free
He most likely doesn’t have kids or divorced exes, alimony payments to make or a mortgage to take care of. His responsibilities extend to doing his own laundry, paying off his loans, or probably, furthering his career. This can be a good thing, as he is free to focus on you and the relationship. Enjoy this freedom, the attention, and the feeling of being the only thing that truly matters to him. Above all, be more spontaneous, be willing to try new things and exploring new facets of life in the emotional, mental and physical sense.

4. Compatibility Conundrum
You might want different things from life, considering that you are at radically dissimilar points in your individual journeys. Your tastes may differ when it comes to music, literature, cinema and food, but that’s the easy stuff since you can always try everything once and take turns checking out each other’s favorites. What’s tricky is how you’re going to integrate your respective family and friends’ circles. They might not be as understanding, encouraging or supportive of your choice of mate because of the age gap, and both of you are sure to face a fair amount of prejudice and suspicion. Deal with it by being frank and respectful with each other.

5. The Perks & Payoffs
Dating a younger man can be exhilarating because they have tons of energy, and make up for their lack of experience with seemingly boundless enthusiasm. This makes intimacy an exciting area, since they’re more willing to experiment, to learn from you, and will most likely be bowled over instead of being threatened by your knowledge. It helps that your comfort with your body will make him more confident of pleasing you, since you are already clear about what you want and enjoy. And in all probability, he will want to please you.

Regardless of your age, dating has its own share of ups and downs. Go into it with an open mind, take some risks, and don’t forget to have fun.

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Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.