Marrying someone much younger only makes you seem older in the eyes of everyone else, according to an academic study.
Being seen with someone younger emphasises, rather than closes, the age gap.
When someone see a mature man with a woman half his age, they estimate him to be much older than he really is because of the obvious age gap, said the study.
By the same token, anyone who wants to look younger should try to be seen with older colleagues, friends or family, the research suggests.
Psychologists from Jena University in Germany discovered that a person’s perceived age varies depending on the people they are with.
They carried out a series of research projects called Person Perception to see how people estimate the age of others.
If they see a person on their own then most observers are fairly good as estimating that person’s age. And the same applies if there is a group where everyone is around the same age.
But if most of a group are old and one person is young, that difference is exaggerated and those trying to guess the individual’s age are ‘consistently wrong’ said the research.
The study added: “The founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner (pictured), might be surprised by these findings because he prefers to surround himself with young women, not knowing that they make him look much older.”