Appropriate age for dating

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According to the rule, for example, a 30-year-old should be with a partner who is at least 22, while a 50-year-old’s dating partner must be at least 32 to not attract (presumed) social sanction. Does it match our scientific understanding of age-related preferences for dating? Researchers Buunk and colleagues (2000) asked men and women to identify the ages they would consider when evaluating someone for relationships of different levels of involvement.

People reported distinct age preferences for marriage; a serious relationship; falling in love; casual sex; and sexual fantasies. Based on the figures Buunk and colleagues (2000) provided (and thus the numbers are only informed approximations), I replotted their data superimposing the max and min age ranges defined by the half-your-age-plus-7 rule.

Because the idea of dating someone in their teens makes me uncomfortable, I’m gonna go ahead and round that up to an even 20, which seems…

still pretty young to me, honestly, but I guess 5 years isn’t that much.

When this question comes up in conversation, someone inevitably cites the “half your age plus seven” rule.

I n the past many kids didn't start dating until high school.

Now it has become more common that kids start dealing with these problems as early at fifth grade.

The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that on average, girls begin dating as early as 12 and a half years old, and boys a year older. You may be surprised to hear dating labels like “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” and “together” from the lips of your sixth-grader.

At this age, it probably means your son or daughter is sitting next to a special someone at lunch or hanging out at recess.

However involvement in a serious romantic relationship in early teen years can create problems.

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