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Meredith collects data to deliver the best content, services, and personalized digital ads.We partner with third party advertisers, who may use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on sites and applications across devices, both on our sites and across the Internet.In general, the figure shows that women are reporting minimum age preferences that the rule’s predictions.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.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.For rule-related involvement (relationships), 60-year-old men are stating that the minimum acceptable age is around 40, which does map much more closely to the rule’s predictions.You always have the choice to experience our sites without personalized advertising based on your web browsing activity by visiting the DAA's Consumer Choice page, the NAI's website, and/or the EU online choices page, from each of your browsers or devices.
With some quick math, the rule provides a minimum and maximum partner age based on your actual age that, if you choose to follow it, you can use to guide your dating decisions. It lets you chart acceptable age discrepancies that adjust over the years. 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 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? 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.Now we can see how well the rule corresponds with people’s reported acceptable ages.How well does the rule capture women’s preferences?Women’s preferred minimum partner age: Below are the data from Buunk et al.’s (2000) study on women’s minimum age preferences; the rule’s age calculations are represented by the solid line.