'Whereas a woman with a younger partner is less likely to take it too seriously.She'll recognise the relationship primarily as a great ego boost, but won't expect too much of it.' These relationships, says Julia, are really only successful when both partners acknowledge their transitional nature.As usual when an age-gap relationship ends, the demise of the Amanda Holden-Les Dennis marriage (17 years between them) was met with a loud chorus of 'I-told-you-so'.

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Do the sexes expect - and get - different benefits from being in such a relationship?

Or does the younger partner have all the advantages, whatever their gender?

The longer you're together, the more likely you are to be forced to confront your age differences.

Questions'These may not matter at first, but rest assured they will when the gloss has worn off.

Put simply, most women don't reach the same heights of success as men do and don't have as much wealth or influence to flaunt, so that's not what younger men want from them,' says Julia.

If you're the older partner in an age gap relationship, the worst thing you can do is expect, or assume, that it will last - it's highly unlikely.

They are one of several Hollywood romances that features an age gap spanning generations and the difference in maturity has sparked enormous interest from the British public.

But why do age gap romances continue to be such a source of fascination, given that they have been happening for centuries?

It's the 'Mrs Robinson' fantasy - the sexually experienced older woman teaching the innocent young man.