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After 40, maximum age preferences for most categories remain lower than their own age.

Thus the rule for maximum ages is fairly ineffective at capturing what men actually believe is acceptable. Now let's apply the rule to actual dating behavior by examining George Clooney’s dating habits.

Even when fantasizing, such women’s minimum age preference remains over 30.

For rule-related involvement (e.g., relationships), 60-year-old men are stating that the minimum acceptable age is around 40ish, which does map much more closely to the rule’s predictions.Men’s preferred partner age: The rule states that you can calculate maximum acceptable partner ages by subtracting seven from your own age and multiplying it by 2.This rules states that by dividing your own age by two and then adding seven you can find the age boundary: Take your age, subtract 7, and double it.So for a 24-year old, the upper age limit would be 34 (i.e., 17 * 2).He approached the line with two other partners, but is well within the threshold in his marriage with Amal Alamuddin. The minimum rule (half-your-age-plus-seven) seems to work for men, although the maximum rule falls short, failing to reflect empirical age-related preferences.

How well does the rule capture women’s preferences?In other words, while the rule states that 40-year-old women can feel comfortable dating 27-year-old men, this does not reflect the social preferences and standards of women.Women in their 40s think that approximately 35 or older is acceptable for marriage or a relationship.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.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.