Appropriate age differences when dating

It’s defined ten times on Urban Dictionary, gets its own section in Wikipedia’s page on age disparity in sexual relationships, is espoused by Barney Stinson on “How I Met Your Mother” and is referenced by and The Awl.But the rule of seven may not actually describe what people consider acceptable.D., a psychologist and author of “While there are always exceptions to rules, a good rule to remember is that dating someone more than 10 years older will present challenges now or later that add to the preexisting challenges any relationship has,” he says.Couples with a big age difference need to think things through or risk finding themselves at conflicting stages in their relationship, adds relationship specialist Rachel Sussman.“You can see varied cultural references, disapproval from family and friends, and perhaps community disapproval, as well,” she says.

Buunk of the University of Groningen, examined desired minimum and maximum ranges across different ages by approaching people in public spaces—railway stations, libraries, malls—and asking them (anonymously) what ages they would consider appropriate for five different levels of relationship: marriage, serious relationship, falling in love, casual sex, and sexual fantasies.

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.

Muhammad might not have been the most reliable relationship counselor, though; he was also concerned about height disparity: “a tall man married to a too short woman, or vice versa … Now, the half-your-age plus seven rule has entered the cultural lexicon.

We continued to date until, eventually, our lifestyles proved drastically different.

His career and financial situations were a far cry from mine, and the idea of things getting serious felt rushed and scary to me.

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