Dating with an age difference

According to this rule, it would not be creepy for a 30 year old to date a 22 year-old, but an 18 year-old would be off-limits.

Although this is a fun rule of thumb, what does research say about age preferences for potential mates?

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To address this conundrum, I interviewed straight, single New York City women and spoke with more than 20, of diverse races, backgrounds and occupations, between the ages of 22 and 50.There are two things that predict a preferred partner’s age: (a) your age and (b) your biological sex (male vs. From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense for women to prefer mates with resources and to like partners who are more established, both of which are more likely in older partners. It turns out that, on average, women tend to be married to men a few years older than themselves (2-5 years).Men, in contrast, are hypothesized to be most attracted to women in their reproductive prime, which tends to be when they are younger. Women’s preferences, on the other hand, hold relatively constant across their lives, not going more than a few years below their own age (extra-credit if you can identify the "cougar zone" in this figure), but women remain keen on men up to 10 years older than themselves. However, younger men (i.e., in their 20’s) tend to be married to someone of a similar age, but as they get older their wives get younger.’ If you weren’t raised to be disrespectful to your mother, why would you talk to a woman like that?” Thompson added that if men can view the current focus on sexual harassment as an opportunity to learn “what not to do, they might get a better response.” Playful, respectful communication is generally a winning approach. After all, it’s only the future of the human race at stake.

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