Subtract By Seven, Add Two: How Important Is A Man’s Age In The Dating Game?

September 3, 2015  |  

Some women prefer to date older men because there is an assumption that they are wiser and more grounded in life. One 24-year-old woman I conversed with believes that they are more powerful and aware of such power, well-established, and are more likely to know what they want from a woman. Some men prefer younger women because they are perceived as more fun and “trainable.” For some men who wait until later in life to settle down, they believe there are perks to doing so with a younger woman. One 37-year-old man I talked to thinks that dating a woman in her late 20s will give him a better chance of still having the children he wants without the rush factor that a lot of older women come with. Some men date older women due to the assumption that there will be fewer expectations and more maturity while some women prefer younger men because both parties aren’t looking for anything serious.

A 2013 U.S. Current Population Survey on the “Age difference in heterosexual married couples,” revealed that 33.2 percent (the majority) of husbands and wives in the U.S. have a year difference in age. The percentages got lower and lower as the age gap widened. Despite the so-called perks that come with dating older or younger, most people settle down with someone closer in age. So in conjunction with all the dating assumptions, expectations, lack of expectations and dating preferences, does age really matter?

According to an article published by The Guardian, Danish researcher Sven Drefahl found that “the key to a longer life is to marry someone the same age, if you’re a woman.” His research showed that women who dated men older and younger than them decreased their lifespan while men, on the contrary, had a higher mortality rate when dating a younger woman.

Psychology Today published an article in 2014 about a dating trend that is being used as the deciding factor on the minimum and maximum age of your partners. This trend is called the “Half your age plus seven” rule where you divide your age in half and add seven to determine how low you should go when dating someone younger than you. On the contrary, when finding the maximum appropriate age for dating, you must subtract seven from your current age and multiply that number by two. But how effective is this rule? As a 25-year-old, my minimum dating age is 19.5, which I’m just not here for. My maximum age would be 36, which isn’t too bad, but based on the assumptions and beliefs that were made in the beginning, and on my own experiences, I don’t believe age is important. Here’s why.

I’ve dated a man near 30 who was still trying to figure his life out and had no idea what he wanted from a woman, so he sure wasn’t looking to settle down with one. I’ve dated a man near 40 who was just as clueless and unestablished. I’ve dated a guy who was my same age, and while things lasted for a while, we ultimately realized we wanted two different things. I’ve dated younger and have found that some young men are way more mature than older men. Even though there may be some truth to the statistics and stereotypes, I do believe that measuring someone’s level of establishment, maturity level, and direction in life goes way beyond the factors of age.


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