Dating range equation
When this question comes up in conversation, someone inevitably cites the “half your age plus seven” rule.
This rules states that by dividing your own age by two and then adding seven you can find the age boundary: Take your age, subtract 7, and double it.
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.
In other words, there's a socially acceptable maximum too, given by inverting the equation: It was only yesterday that i realised that the rule of thumb for dating people of different ages (the “half your age plus 7” rule) determines not only the lower bounds for dating but the upper bounds as well—that for each ½x + 7, there is a corresponding 2(x-7).
The utility of this equation is that it lets you chart acceptable age discrepancies that adjust over the years. Let's examine it: How well does the rule reflect scientific evidence for age preferences?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.According to internet lore, there's a mathematical equation that governs the lower bound for the socially acceptable age of a potential dating partner: half your age plus 7, or, in mathematical terms, if x is your age then the lower bound is f(x) = x/2 + 7. if you're 20, then the minimum socially acceptable age for a date is 17.But it was The Ragbag who pointed out that this rule has a duality: for the date to be socially acceptable, the rule must be adhered to by your date as well.
), especially for heterosexual males looking for the ideal age-ranges for potential dates.
What is the acceptable minimum age for your own (and others’) dating partners?