Monday, May 7, 2012

The "Half the Age of the Older Person Plus Seven Rule"

Let's be candid: Many people get troubled when they behold someone who is much older being romantically involved with someone who is younger.  After all, we have a plethora of descriptives: gold-digger, sugar daddy, cougar, twinkie, jailbait, nymphet,etc.  None complementary.  Other than the rare situation where two people share the same birthday, there will almost always be one that a older than the other, even though only slightly.  Statistically, the older one is more likely to be male, and the modal age disparity is a little more than two years.  But what sort of age differences become upsetting to people?

Some of us have been in this situation. For example, while barely 21, I briefly dated a someone in his late 30's. Women were particularly catty, and I found that uncomfortable -- uncomfortable enough for it to affect things.  [Parents were in no way involved or even had any knowledge.]
Even celebrities are not exempt. For example, the age differences between Demi Moore and Ashton Kutchner had caused twitterings by people left and right. Not to mention the differences between Anna Nicole Smith (26) and her eighty-nine-year-old husband, though both were well into chronological adulthood. Frankly, I found it kind of ishy.
At what point do age differences produce discomfort?

It breaks down to a simple rule: people feel untroubled whenever the age of the younger individual is greater than half the age of the older individual, plus seven years. Mathematically,

(Age of Older Person)/2 + 7 < (Age of Younger Person)

Therefore, a 26-year-old may date someone as young as 20 [26/2 + 7] or as old as 38 [x/2 -7 = 26; x = 38].


I don't know of any explanation that sociologists or psychologists have come up for this.  It's one of those empirical comfort/discomfort reactions that people have.

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The Lolita fashion culture is emerging in Mexico now:

http://boingboing.net/2012/05/03/japan-lolita-fashion-anime.html

Don't wear this when dating an older guy!







16 comments:

I'm With Stupid said...

So, I can date someone as young as 29 or as old as 74? I think that's right. I was told there would be no math.

Anyway, you wouldn't think it would be so hard to find someone in the 29 - 74 year old age range.

Jay

Full Cup Balcony said...

I don't think much of that rule. Where did it come from? Older guys prove to be better lovers.

Mike said...

So I have to keep my lower dating limit to 35. I could live with that. I'm not so sure my wife would go along with it though.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

My lower one is 24. Okay.

Banana Oil said...

There's a lot of formulas regarding tis activity: When you can kiss on a date, when to go to second or third base, how old you should be before you lose your virginity, even what sex of person you can go out with. These rules need to be critically examined.

The Bastard King of England said...

Virginity should have a "use by" date. The person's 25th birthday.

Bilbo said...

Does anybody have a calculator? If I've figured this out correctly, my acceptable age range for potential dates is 23 to 37. And while I think it would be great for my ego to be seen with a 23-year-old (hell, even a 37-year-old), I think I'd have a bit of trouble keeping up with that person. Not to mention the axe in the head from my wife.

Randomly Rachel said...

There's the delicious thrill of having a dangerous or forbidden affair that should not be underestimated. To put it bluntly, doing it with an older guy is a turn-on. You don't have to be the sweet, unassuming Catholic girl who always wears panties all the time. Go wild!!!

Svejk said...

I like BKE's idea about the "use by" date for virginity.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

It's really not.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I think it was used by matchmakers in cultures that preferred arranged marriages but were not screwed up.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Get your wife's permission first.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

They do, in each generation, during the teen years.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

When to lose yours should be your own choice.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

One should always beware of wives bearing sharp implements.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Whatever floats your boat, Rachael; including your fantasies about Catholic girls.