Age may be nothing but a number, but it's a sensitive subject nonetheless. And it's a particularly complicated issue when it comes to dating.

According to the Telegraph, one study has published findings suggesting the stereotype of older men finding younger women more attractive may not reflect reality and is in fact "too crude".

According to reseacher Jan Antfolk of Abo Akademi University in Turku, men are also attracted to women their own age, and their preferences mature. Antfolk stresses that neither men nor women base their romantic choices on age alone.

"Some older men have a strong preference for younger women, but most tend to also find older women attractive," he told CBS News. "An interesting finding is that as men age, they become less picky about age. They report an interest in both younger and older women."

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In which case, some men may be missing a trick by only dating younger women. So without further ado, here's 9 reasons why men over 50 should consider dating women their own ageā€¦

1. You will be at a similar stage in life

Couples who retire together often appear to have the most enviable of lifestyles. As a mature dater, if you date a woman your own age, you will have more scope to plan your dream retirement together - as it's a phase of life you are likely to be entering at a similar time. You may have around the same level of fitness, and be a more even match when it comes to your favourite pursuits.

2. You can grow old together

Although it's not a nice thought, there's the obvious consideration that a younger partner could take on the role of a carer rather than a partner in your later years, and may even resent you for it as a result.

Dating a woman your own age also means that should you commit to each other, she is unlikely to outlive you for many years and go on to experience loneliness without you or look to return to dating to seek a new partner.

3. Mature females are attractive

According to AskMen.com, many men are drawn to older women. Their independence is attractive, and they're less likely to be needy or clingy. They have a clear sense of who they are and what they want, which can be a real turn-on.

4. She'll appreciate you for who you are

According to the Mature Dating UK blog, this is a significant reason why dating a woman your own age is a savvy choice. "As we age, our bodies change and we become self-conscious," it states. "When you date a woman your own age, she's going through the same body changes."

Even if you look and feel younger than your years at this point in time, there will come a time when this will change - and women in your own age bracket may be more likely to appreciate you for who you are as the years go by.

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5. You will have more life experiences in common

Years add up to contribute to your psychological development, and it's clear that those of a similar age often - although of course not always - have a similar level of maturity. Dating a woman your own age means that you are more likely to be in a similar place emotionally.

6. You'll share the same cultural references and hobbies

You are more likely to appreciate the same films, music, books and activities as a woman your own age. You will perhaps have a more similar world view, and enjoy reflecting on the years gone by together - making the transition from first-date conversation to pillow chat a little smoother.

7. You will have a more equal partnership

A woman your own age has lived her own life previously. You can challenge each other and support each other, rather than taking on the role of a mentor.

You can rest assured that status and finance are lesser factors contributing to her commitment to you.

8. You can spoil each other's younger family members together

If you're dating over 50 or if you're a mature dater, it's likely that you or many of the women you come across will have children or even grandchildren. If both of you have grandchildren, it means that helping your children to look after them and taking on the role of doting grandparent could be a real joy.

9. You may have more mutual friends

Although of course people of all ages move in each others social circles, those of a certain age do tend to socialise together. You may find that if you date a woman your own age, it is easier for her to integrate into your established friendship groups, and you in turn are less daunted when it comes to getting to know her friends.