It was once the norm that men either dated women roughly their own age or, if not, younger women. (And if it was the latter, their friends would slap them on the back and say, "You old dog!")

However, in the era of MILFs and cougars, it is becoming socially acceptable for just about anyone over the age of 18 to date just about anyone else over 18.

In fact, after crunching a lot of numbers, the folks at OkTrends, the blog for the dating site OkCupid, have come to the conclusion that guys might be better off dating older women.

This contradiction between tradition and a bunch of fancy-looking, data-driven graphs has left us confused. So we want to know what you think the ideal age difference is in a relationship. Read on for the pros and cons of robbing the cradle or being robbed from your cradle.
What's the ideal age difference for a relationship?
Much older man -- eight or more years9918 (15.6%)
Slightly older man -- three to seven years26840 (42.2%)
About the same -- zero to two years 15630 (24.6%)
Slightly older woman -- three to seven years8457 (13.3%)
Much older woman -- eight or more years2723 (4.3%)


Older Man/Younger Woman
Pro: For the most part, men are more financially secure when they are older, whereas women are better-looking when they are younger. History suggests wealthy men and good-looking women are attracted to each other.

Con: There were probably quite a few guys in their 30s and 40s who felt like they had taken a wrong turn somewhere in their life when they were forced to explain the significance of Corey Haim to their 20-something girlfriends.
Roughly the same age
Pro: It makes sense that folks around the same age would have an easier time relating to one another. Also, with the average age spread between married couples at a little less than two years, it makes it easier socially to have a partner around your age.

Con:
When both people in a relationship are of similar ages, nobody is working out any parental issues. What's the fun of that?
Older Woman/Younger Man
Pro: As mentioned, OkCupid drew up a lot of pretty-looking graphs that suggest guys should go for older women. But we'll sum up their conclusion right here: Older women like to get it on.

Con: If you want to find a relationship that eventually bears children, there are biological reasons you should stay away from older women. Also, our poster couple for this type of relationship is no longer together. Though we should admit that Ms. Sarandon is now dating a 31-year-old ping-pong-bar owner, freeing Tim Robbins up to explore his inner Michael Douglas. So to spare yourself the indignity of being replaced by a spry young table-tennis tycoon, stay away from the cougars.

Do you have any personal experience with a May-December relationship that did or did not work out? Let us know in the comments.