), especially for heterosexual males looking for the ideal age-ranges for potential dates.
the “half-your-age-plus-seven” rule, which states that no person should date someone under (age / 2 + 7), otherwise they will look like a creeper.
This seems arbitrary, but if you crunch your age into that equation, I’m willing to bet that you wouldn’t even consider dating someone under that age. ) If we plot the Standard Creepiness Rule out for men: (Note that you can easily just change the axis labels in the above chart and it works just as well for women.) It just so happens that Christian Rudder released his book Dataclysm last week, which features a chart showing us the age range that men search on Ok Cupid for when looking for women to date.
Incidentally, if you're wondering how well is this rule adhered to in practice, the dating website has done an extensive analysis of age preferences amongst their members.
A really interesting analysis (and quite sophisticated - maybe done in R?
In other words, there's a socially acceptable maximum too, given by inverting the equation: It was only yesterday that i realised that the rule of thumb for dating people of different ages (the “half your age plus 7” rule) determines not only the lower bounds for dating but the upper bounds as well—that for each ½x + 7, there is a corresponding 2(x-7).
For the last 15 years of my life, i have been ignoring an entire market segment, namely those of the genus The Ragbag handily plotted out the socially acceptable upper and lower bounds for dates at various ages in the chart below: Notably, the chart also implies that there is a socially acceptable lower bound for your age: below the age of 14, by this rule, you shouldn't be dating at all.
According to internet lore, there's a mathematical equation that governs the lower bound for the socially acceptable age of a potential dating partner: half your age plus 7, or, in mathematical terms, if x is your age then the lower bound is f(x) = x/2 + 7. if you're 20, then the minimum socially acceptable age for a date is 17.
But it was The Ragbag who pointed out that this rule has a duality: for the date to be socially acceptable, the rule must be adhered to by your date as well.
One of my first thoughts when I saw this chart was: Do men on Ok Cupid follow the Standard Creepiness Rule?
(And now we see why the last panel of the XKCD comic above applies so well to me…) Sure enough, if we overlay Rudder’s Ok Cupid data over the first chart, we see that men follow the rule almost exactly.
According to the Standard Creepiness Rule, it’d be perfectly fine for a 30-year-old man to date a 45-year-old woman, but apparently 30-year-old men are already struggling with the idea of dating a 37-year-old!