She’d reached the fortunate position of being able to choose a man she actually liked rather than one who ticked boring, predictable boxes. While the traditional template of older man/younger woman still dominates, there appears to have been a shift.Ann would laugh whenever I brought up the subject of age. Research suggests the older woman/younger man relationship has been on the increase since the Eighties.She was his drama teacher, married and 25 years his senior.

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On occasion, my more conventional friends would question how long a relationship like ours could last.

They joshed about desperate, predatory cougars, but what they failed to grasp was that her maturity and solvency meant she no longer had to worry about judging men along shallow lines such as bank balance and career status.

Ann cut through my insecurities and uncertainties, assuring me her love depended not on what I was, but who I was.

Having survived the vagaries of an unhappy marriage, there wasn’t much that could phase Ann, and although I initially found her career success slightly intimidating, she never once made me feel diminished or emasculated, even on days when I struggled to leave the house.

The first woman I ever fell in love with was 20 years older than me.

Her name was Judith and she worked as a matron at my boarding school.Looking back, the age gap doesn’t seem so cavernous, but I remember feeling anxious at the time.She was so much more together than me, despite the fact she’d just emerged from a long and painful marriage break-up.I was 15 years old — the same age French Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron was when he had his first tentative encounter with wife-to-be, Brigitte Trogneux.She was his drama teacher, married and 25 years his senior. Being more than twice my age only made my matron seem more intoxicating.Here was a woman old enough to be my mother tearing a hole in my heart.