24 years old dating 19 year old
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.The rule underestimates women’s reported preferences in their 20s, but the gap between reports of what is socially acceptable and the rule itself widens 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.Figure 2 clearly shows that the rule’s max-age guidelines for men do reflect real-world preferences.The rule overestimates the perceived acceptability of men becoming involved with older women.In Figure 1, the solid black line represents the rule’s calculation for the minimum acceptable range.You can see that men are basically operating by the rule for minimum age preferences for marital relationships (blue bars) and serious dating relationships (yellow bars).
Only twice has he become involved with women whose ages were outside the rule’s guidelines.
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.
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.
In general, the figure shows that women are reporting minimum age preferences that the rule’s predictions.