Proper age gap for dating

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The “half your age plus seven” rule of thumb probably helps you avoid being a creep, but is it accurate?

Much to my surprise, when overlaying a line representing the rule of thumb on Kenrick and Keefe’s results (see red line in the figure below), you can see it closely matches the low end of the range (i.e., youngest preferred) for all but the oldest men.

It’s easier to spot heterosexual outliers because I have the original data provided by the CPS.

Of all those couples surveyed, the biggest age difference was 58 years.

Anyone looking for an age gap relationship should try Friends with Benefits UK, where the members span from fresh faced young adults to mature silver foxes and the people are open minded, respectful and free from prejudice.

Now science has studied mens ability to father children and discovered that there is an increased risk of miscarriage and birth deformities when the male partner is over 35.

Although this is a fun rule of thumb, what does research say about age preferences for potential mates?

There are two things that predict a preferred partner’s age: (a) your age and (b) your biological sex (male vs. From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense for women to prefer mates with resources and to like partners who are more established, both of which are more likely in older partners. It turns out that, on average, women tend to be married to men a few years older than themselves (2-5 years).

Men, in contrast, are hypothesized to be most attracted to women in their reproductive prime, which tends to be when they are younger. Women’s preferences, on the other hand, hold relatively constant across their lives, not going more than a few years below their own age (extra-credit if you can identify the "cougar zone" in this figure), but women remain keen on men up to 10 years older than themselves. However, younger men (i.e., in their 20’s) tend to be married to someone of a similar age, but as they get older their wives get younger.

For example, by their 50’s the average male has a wife who is 10 years younger than him.

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