Dating large age gap
Women’s preferred maximum partner age: Examining maximum preferences, again the rule is more lenient, offering an age range with which most people are not comfortable.
Men’s preferred minimum partner age: Let’s start with minimum age preferences reported by heterosexual men.The rule underestimates women’s reported preferences in their 20s, but the gap between reports of what is socially acceptable and the rule itself widen over time. Let’s take a look at Demi Moore, who at times has been criticized for dating men who differ substantially from her own age.As you can see from the graph, one partner exceeded the rule’s calculated acceptable maximum age, while Ashton Kutcher’s age fell short of the socially-acceptable minimum age when they first started dating in 2003.Those age preferences consistently hover around the values denoted by the rule (the black line).If anything, in practice men are than the rule would designate appropriate.He approached the line with two other partners, but is well within the threshold in his marriage with Amal Alamuddin. The minimum rule (half-your-age-plus-seven) seems to work for men, although the maximum rule falls short, failing to reflect empirical age-related preferences.
How well does the rule capture women’s preferences?
What is the acceptable minimum age for your own (and others’) dating partners?
When this question comes up in conversation, someone inevitably cites the “half your age plus seven” rule.
In other words, while the rule states that 40-year-old women can feel comfortable dating 27-year-old men, this does not reflect the social preferences and standards of women.
Women in their 40s think that approximately 35 or older is acceptable for marriage or a relationship.
Figure 2 clearly shows that the rule’s max-age guidelines for men do reflect real-world preferences.