As Society Marched On, this became less and less the case, and in modern works a very small age gap is often considered ideal, with a maximum allowable (as opposed to "ideal") age gap proposed, and often applied equally in either direction (older man vs. One commonly-applied formula is the "half your age plus seven" rule, in which the older partner's age is divided by two and then increased by seven to reach either the ideal or minimum allowable age for a romantic partner.
Traditionally, a man was expected to be established in his career and lifestyle before marriage, whereas a woman usually transferred directly from her father's household to her husband's within a couple years of reaching adulthood, so it was considered ideal for the man to be at least somewhat older.
When I was a junior in college, a woman called “The Princeton Mom” wrote into our school newspaper telling undergraduate women to “Find a husband on campus before you graduate.”“Forget about having it all, or not having it all, leaning in or leaning out,” she said.
We had more important things to worry about, like the alarming decay rate of our attractiveness.
While women prefer a small and constant age gap, men are so hooked on the idea of a nubile young partner that they prefer a larger age gap the older they get. In theory there are plenty of reasons to favour a small age gap.
The ability of both members of a couple to sing a favourite childhood television theme tune could bond them together, at the risk of irritating those nearby.
The older you get, the wider the permissible age gap: a 50-year-old can venture as old as 86. In practice, research conducted by Christian Rudder, co-founder of OKCupid, a dating website, suggests that when it comes to age gaps, men and women have slightly different ideas.