What is the Golden Dating Age Rule in a Relationship

The origins of this strange and peculiar Dating Age Rule

By Sameet
What is the Golden Dating Age Rule in a Relationship

What is the Dating Age Rule?

Is there really a criteria which can guide you towards finding the perfect age group to date? Experts say so. This criteria is called as the Dating age rule, which is a simple formula that tells you a range within which you can find a compatible partner for yourself. The rule acts on the principle, "half your age plus seven". If you want to find out which age group is most suited to you below your age, then simple divide your age by two and then add seven.

Source: www.psychologytoday.com

For example if you're 26 then half your age is 13, adding seven to it makes 20. So bascially, it is ideal for you to date someone who is at least 20 but not 19. Similarly, for someone who is older than you, the rule is "minus seven then double". We'll talk about the same age i.e 26. Subtracting 7 makes it 19, then doubling it makes 38. So dating above this age is not recommended in this case.

You see, this gives a safe limit to which you can find someone to date, whose mind matches up with yours and there isn't much conflict either. Besides, this rule has been authenticated by many surveys and by feedback of the people who use this rule in their lives.

Accuracy of the Rule

As for the accuracy of this formula, the minimum age boundary seems to be more acceptable than the maximum age limit.

Of course, there are many social and cultural factors which do not entirely favor the rule. But as this criteria gives people a very wide range of age, this becomes a broad-minded approach towards the stereotypes that restrict different possibilities of great relationships.

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. -Mark Twain

Preferences of Men & Women

It's quite obvious that men and women have different minds and their preferences vary a lot. When it comes to dating, men and women want completely different things most of the times. The age factor being a big issue in the selection of a partner. As this can help in estimating the compatibility and thinking of people.


Men compartmentalized their choices according to the situation they're facing. But as opposed to women, the age groups prefered by men are much more lenient and more in accord with the age rule.

Minimum preferred age by Men

Most of the time, when fantasizing, men would more likely be interested in younger women. Young being, even below the age predicted by the dating age rule. For example, a man of age 46 years should be paired up with someone for at least 30 years. But surveys and feedbacks have proven that in such cases, men would prefer even a lesser age like 25.

Maximum preferred age by Men

The age rule is not really that effective in these kinds of scenarios. Men do not want a large age gap when their partner is older than them. Instead, they would prefer an age that is somewhat closer to theirs. For example, a 40-year-old man is more likely to date someone around 43 to 50 and not more than that. Whereas the dating age rule predicts that the maximum age could be 66.

Cultural and Society Perceptions

Men are culturally and socially subjected to the idea of dating a younger woman. Long-standing cultural and societal roots of arranged marriage, marrying a younger girl continues to remain in modern society. 

The desire to form a family

A younger woman can marry an older man, have children and form a family whereas the vice versa does not work out the same way. Unless scientific intervention like freezing of eggs happens, biology works in favor for younger women to men who desire to form a family.


Women usually prefer their partner to be not too far in the age difference. This gives a short range which differs a little from the dating age rule mentioned above.

Minimum preferred age by Women

Women prefer the age limit a little above than that calculated from this rule. For example a woman of 36 years of age, should be dating someone at least 25. But they would like a greater number like 30 rather than this. Women do not prefer a large age gap when it comes to dating someone younger than them.

Related Article: Why Older Women With Younger Men Relationships Work
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Of late, we are getting to see older women younger men relationships​ popping up everywhere. Truth is, such relationships have a plethora of advantages.

Maximum preferred age by Women

Similar to the minimum age preference, the maximum age selection for women also restricts the range estimated by the dating age rule. For example, if a woman of age 40 needs to date someone older, the recommended maximum age would be 66. While most women will go for someone closer to their own age like 45-50s, it is possible for women to accept dating men who are 66 or beyond. As the age increases, the recommended maximum age widen. This makes sense as older women look out more for companionship with emotional stability in older partners.

Women tend to be more matured

Women tend to mature faster than men. Throughout childhood till puberty, it is proven that girls mature faster than boys. Even after 20s, some women continue to have a more mature outlook in life and may be able to connect well with men who are much older than her age range. Thus the minimum age for men to be not too far apart but maximum age for men can be much wider.

Women seeks for different characteristics at different life stages

Depending on where is the life stages, women seek for different characteristics in men. A younger woman may be attracted to older men due to emotional and financial stability. Older women may seek companionship and are open to date younger men or much older men. 

Related Article: Dating Older Men: Learn the pros and cons of the age gap

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The range and difference in age gap that is acceptable in a Relationship

Across various cultures and norms, the age-gap couple phenomenon is displayed all over. Usually, in romantic couples, where there is a larger age gap, objections are expected and questions are raised. This creates a lot of problems for the couple. To be socially accepted can be a great pressure to deal with. Whereas, in some cultures, true love is appreciated and acknowledged despite the large age differences.

The most ideal age difference

The age difference which is considered perfect by experts is one year. This obviously doesn't mean any relationship, with a greater difference doesn't work out. This is just the standard of greatest compatibilty seen in relationships. And not only romantic ones, relations like siblings or even friends and colleagues, have also shown that smaller the age difference more understanding is developed between them.

The most common age difference

In the modern world, people look for partners with whom they are compatible with. Compatibility is majorly linked with a same age group of different people. Mostly, interactions of people are within the bounds of their routines or lifestyle. Whether it's a workplace, or learning institution. In these case, the age difference is minor and very suitable for these people.

The maximum age difference is around 4-5 years and the minimum is 1-2 years. Two people are most likely to enjoy their dating time with people of this certain age gap. There's usually more to talk about, even if you don't work or study together.

After all, does age really matter?

A successful relationship is the one with such a strong bond, that issues of the society or insecurities about being judged, can never come in the way. It is formed by support, love, similar beliefs and goals. So when there is all that, does age really matter? No, it doesn't. It's true that a big age gap between a couple can be challenging for them, but as long as they work it out, this age barrier can be broken easily.

Famous examples of big age gap relationships

It's really hard to fit in the society when there's is something unique about you or your dating life. But when you see soomeone else, especially someone famous going along the same path, it changes your prespective and you feel confident.

George Clooney

Source: @amalclooneyofficial/Instagram

In his love life, this guy has usually been associated with women younger than him. A few times, this lower limit went beyond the range predicted by the dating age rule. Even now his wife Amal Clooney and him have a difference of 17 years of age, but it is one successful relationship which shows that this age difference is quite acceptable and works if you want it to.

Source: www.psychologytoday.com

Demi Moore

Source: @demi.moore/Instagram

She has been reported to date men with a variety of age differences. During early years of dating, Ashton Kutcher was a bit lower than the limit of the age rule, but by the time they separated after 7-8 years, he was 33 and had crossed the threshold (31.5 years old).

Source: www.psychologytoday.com


No matter how many rules you apply, or formulas you follow, when you meet the perfect partner to date, you'll know deep inside if they are the one. The advice would be to always follow your heart, and do not let the pressure of the society ruin your love life. Date according to your will and with an open mind, keep a preference according to the dating age rule to give you a direction. If someone is happy in their relationship, despite a major age gap, then the whole thing automatically becomes acceptable.

Related Readings

For more tips on dating for over 40 and for 60:

Best Tips For Dating Someone Over 40 - Things To Expect
Tips and Advice on Dating over 60: Age is Just a Number