I dated a guy who was 15 years older than me, and boy did I learn a few things.We ended the relationship because we both wanted different things for our future; he was a divorced father of two and I was in my last year of uni.This can go the other way too; they won’t fight about that guy who always likes your Insta photos.This can cause a problem especially if someone comments on your picture, “Who’s that old man in the photo with you” or “ Is that your uncle?This can seriously reduce the drama in your relationship!They may not have social media or use it very often, which means no stalking of girls who like or comment on his pictures.Men do not show a linear increase in maximum age preference that matches the rule’s predictions.Instead, men report maximum acceptable partner ages that hover around their own age through their 40s.
Only twice has he become involved with women whose ages were outside the rule’s guideline.For rule-related involvement (e.g., relationships), 60-year-old men are stating that the minimum acceptable age is around 40ish, which does map much more closely to the rule’s predictions.Men’s preferred partner age: The rule states that you can calculate maximum acceptable partner ages by subtracting seven from your own age and multiplying it by 2.Now we can see how well the rule corresponds with people’s reported acceptable ages.Men’s preferred minimum partner age: Let’s start with minimum age preferences reported by heterosexual men.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.For example, this sample of 60-year-old men report that it is acceptable to fantasize about women in their 20s, which the rule would say is unacceptable.But fantasies, of course, are not generally subject to public scrutiny and the rule is only designed to calculate what is socially acceptable —so this discrepancy is not necessarily a failure of the rule.According to the rule, for example, a 30-year-old should be with a partner who is at least 22, while a 50-year-old’s dating partner must be at least 32 to not attract (presumed) social sanction. Does it match our scientific understanding of age-related preferences for dating? Researchers Buunk and colleagues (2000) asked men and women to identify the ages they would consider when evaluating someone for relationships of different levels of involvement.People reported distinct age preferences for marriage; a serious relationship; falling in love; casual sex; and sexual fantasies. Based on the figures Buunk and colleagues (2000) provided (and thus the numbers are only informed approximations), I replotted their data superimposing the max and min age ranges defined by the half-your-age-plus-7 rule.