Having a younger man knocks four years off a woman’s age, according to a study.
Research revealed women who have toyboys consider themselves younger at heart than women who date – or are married to – an older man.
A tendency to enjoy more outdoor activities and mix with people who have more youthful hobbies emerged as the biggest contributors to their happiness.
A spokesman for dating site www.ToyBoy.com, which carried out the research among 1,000 adults, said: ”It’s always been believed having a younger man makes you feel younger and now we have proven this is true.
”Whether it means going out more, dressing differently or trying new things they wouldn’t normally have done, it does seem having a younger man is the answer.
”Our members are forward-thinking and don’t want to waste time – they want a man who’ll make them feel younger, won’t be set in his ways and has a relaxed, fun outlook on life.
”We’ve seen membership increase by 102 per cent since new US TV show Cougar Town was first aired.
”An increase in high profile toyboy relationships like Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher has also helped.
”That is the largest increase we’ve seen in the ten years since we launched and it shows women are no longer secretive about their preferences for a younger man.”
The results emerged from a question in which female respondents aged between 18 and 65 were asked: ”How much younger does he make you feel?”
The average was four years, but one in ten said their toyboy had ‘knocked’ ten years off them while it also emerged that the greater the age gap the happier a woman is likely to be
Four in ten admitted that having a younger man made them feel more youthful – with more than half saying their partner’s energy had rubbed off on them.
Three in ten enjoy more outdoor activities and the same number wear clothes which make them look and feel younger.
A quarter have got into hobbies they otherwise wouldn’t have contemplated attempting and 27 per cent venture to pubs and nightclubs more.
But one in six admitted they tend to over-compensate – by trying harder in the relationship to keep it fresh and exciting.
Comparing going out with younger men to someone older, youth came out top.
More than a third (36 per cent) said older men are more set in their ways, grumpy (27 per cent) and more serious (22 per cent).
And one in five reckon they are more boring, out of shape and too serious.
Toy boys on the other hand are more likely to make them laugh, fun to be with and have a relaxed attitude to life. But older men were deemed more chivalrous and trustworthy.
Women were also asked to rate their level of happiness in their relationship and it emerged the greater the age gap, the happier women were.
Of those who were previously married or with an older man, one in six admitted to being on the look-out for someone younger.
Six in ten would encourage other women to find a toy boy and 46 per cent feel younger than friends of a similar age who have an older bloke in their lives.
But three in ten don’t completely trust their man not to run off with a girl his age.
The spokesman for the site, which helps women find younger men, added: ”Our women know what they want and this is reflected in the typically detailed, intellectual profiles they post on the site.
”The ‘Cougar’ dating trend is another great symbol of empowerment for women and it’s spreading throughout the world.”