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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.
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.
When this question comes up in conversation, someone inevitably cites the “half your age plus seven” rule.For example, this sample of 60-year-old men report that it is acceptable to fantasize about women in their 20s, which the rule would say is unacceptable.But fantasies, of course, are not generally subject to public scrutiny and the rule is only designed to calculate what is socially acceptable —so this discrepancy is not necessarily a failure of the rule.Even when fantasizing, such women’s minimum age preference remains over 30.The rule’s calculated minimum acceptable partner ages seem to fit men better than women.