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This dating equation calculates the acceptable minimum age for a dating partner

This dating equation calculates the acceptable minimum age for a dating partner
/ Tim MacPherson / Stone / Getty Images

What is the acceptable minimum age for a dating partner?

When this question comes up in conversation, someone usually cites a common rule of thumb found online. According to the internet, it is acceptable to be interested in someone “half your age plus seven” years. For example, if you're 42, you can date someone as young as 28 while remaining in the realm of what is “socially acceptable”.

Conversely, to find your ceiling for dating, you would subtract seven from your age and then double it. So, per the rule, a 32-year-old could date a 50-year-old.

But how legitimate is this rule and does it match our scientific understanding of age-related preferences for dating? More importantly, does it always apply? Should it ever?

Recently on The Beat 5@7, Cat and Claudia discussed this rule and whether it makes sense. Listen to the spot below. Enjoy! 

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