Appropriate dating age difference

In , a 1953 film adaptation of the 1951 play by Frederick Hugh Herbert, Maggie Mc Namara—playing 22-year-old Patty O’Neill—asks her 30-year-old suitor, “Haven’t you ever heard that the girls is supposed to be half the man’s age, plus seven? In the 1950s, Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad “taught that a wife’s ideal age was half the man’s age plus seven”; this age gap should make up for women’s maturing more quickly than men, as well as ensure that the husband was sufficiently authoritative over his wife.

When Malcolm X met his future wife Betty Sanders, he interpreted the fact that their ages fit the rule of seven as a sign that they were destined for each other.

They found that women’s preferences were fairly consistent over time: Throughout their lives, women tended to prefer men who were around their own age, with a range from a few years younger to a few years older—even in fantasy-land.

Age differences can also mean significant differences in lifestyle.The rule is widely cited, but its origins are hard to pin down.In its earlier incarnations, it seemed to be a prescription for an ideal age difference rather than the limit of what’s okay.A middle-aged man dating a much younger woman has long been thought of in American culture as a classic sign of midlife crisis.In some circles, dating a younger woman is a status symbol.

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Some who date only much older people may be seeking a parental figure more than a romantic partner.

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