Love by numbers

25 Nov

When I was surveying at Opera Bar on Sunday afternoon (I went back after Saturday night to check out the arvo crowd), I started chatting to two guys who were in committed relationships. They asked me what I thought the perfect age-gap between partners is. I’ve always believed age isn’t particularly important. I think if two people have similar values and goals, non-conflicting interests and are attracted to each other, age shouldn’t matter.

These guys had a different philosophy, one I’d never heard before. It’s called the ‘half your age plus seven’ rule. Using this rule, men look for women who are half their age, plus seven years. I was horrified because it meant I’d be the perfect partner for a 48 year old. I’m sure if I met someone I really connected with, who was in the same phase of life as me, I wouldn’t care how old he was. But on paper my age limit for a prospect partner is 38, possibly 40. Over 40 and I’d be worried he’d want to settle down right away and have babies, which I’m not ready for, much to my mother’s disappointment.

So I thought I’d put it out there. Has anyone else heard of the ‘half your age plus seven’ rule? Is this a rule guys really use? And ladies, what do you think is a datable age-range?

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10 Responses to “Love by numbers”

  1. James November 26, 2010 at 2:47 am #

    I thought the rule was more of a minimum, ie: “> age / 2 + 7 means you’re not being a dirty old man”.

    • Lucie Stevens December 24, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

      Hmmm…seems like there’s a few different versions of this rule going around…very confusing! Thanks for visiting!

  2. Richard November 27, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    I thought this was the rule for arranged marriages, only it’s half the man’s age, minus seven years.

    • Lucie Stevens November 29, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

      I don’t think this guy had an arranged marriage. He look like your average Aussie guy, in a good way…

  3. Catherine November 27, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    I’m with James, I’ve always heard that this formula represents the youngest age a man can date – not the ideal age.

    • Lucie Stevens November 29, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

      Maybe that’s what the guy meant but he was definitely under the impression that the ‘ideal age’ was exactly half the guys age plus seven. We weren’t talking about the minimum acceptable age or what age made a girl too young. He just stated it like it was fact and he seemed surprised I hadn’t heard of it before. If I bump into him again I’ll ask him for more information!

  4. Stuart December 22, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    The first time I saw this ‘rule’ referenced was in this web comic: http://xkcd.com/314/

    In the comic the formula is used as the lower age bound, NOT as the ideal age, and the advice is being given TO a women.

    • Lucie Stevens December 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

      Hehe – Stuart that comic made me laugh – even more so because of its stick figures. Thanks for visiting!

  5. JJ December 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    the rule is the absolute youngest that a person can sleep with…it’s half your age, plus seven…anything below that is totally unacceptable and pretty much creepy and in some instances, illegal!

    • Lucie Stevens December 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

      Hi JJ, I think the guys I met were just bending the rules for their own agendas…thanks for reading!

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