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Men’s preferred partner age: The rule states that you can calculate maximum acceptable partner ages by subtracting seven from your own age and multiplying it by two.
Figure 2 clearly shows that the rule’s max-age guidelines for men do reflect real-world preferences.
Women in their 40s think that approximately 35 or older is acceptable for marriage or a relationship.
Even when fantasizing, such women’s minimum age preference remains over 30.
For rule-related involvement (relationships), 60-year-old men are stating that the minimum acceptable age is around 40, which does map much more closely to the rule’s predictions.
Thus the rule for maximum age 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.
Clooney has been scrutinized at times for dating younger women, though not consistently, and this pattern is nicely reflected in a graph of his own age, his partners’ ages, and the rule’s calculations for minimum and maximum acceptable ages.
In general, the figure shows that women are reporting minimum age preferences that the rule’s predictions.
In other words, while the rule states that 40-year-old women can feel comfortable dating 27-year-old men, this does not reflect the social preferences and standards of women.
As you can see from the graph, one partner exceeded the rule’s calculated acceptable maximum age, while Ashton Kutcher’s age fell short of the socially acceptable minimum age when they first started dating in 2003.