Purveyor of interesting topics. The real rules about how old and young you can date. A quick poll of my friends says otherwise. This made me wonder, does the creepiness rule actually reflect what is socially acceptable when it comes to age differences in dating?
In other words, does the creepiness rule actually reflect what society finds…creepy? The researchers approached random people in public and asked them to imagine themselves in a romantic relationship with an attractive person of the opposite sex.
The researchers then presented different types of relationships- sexual fantasies, casual affairs, long-term relationships, marriage — and asked the participants what the minimum and maximum age of their partner is for each scenario. Women want men around their own age regardless of the type of relationship. Men want much younger women for less committed, more private relationships e. For those types of relationships, men looked for women younger than the lower limits of the creepiness rule.
For more committed and public relationships, men looked for women closer to their own age. Men and women have no interest in dating as old as the creepiness rule allows. So I decided to find the answers myself. I created a survey. Although I could have hit the streets of New York and surveyed people in-person Buunk style, I decided to mTurk my survey.
I try to avoid as much social interaction in my daily life as possible. This can vary from transcribing a movie, to identifying an item on a receipt, to taking a survey about hypothetical romantic relationships.
Within a few days I got responses: As John and Lauren got older, however, the creepiness rule differed from how people actually responded. Yet according to the survey, 37 was well outside the age range of what is socially acceptable. The results also showed that the creepiness rule is too restrictive about how old you can date when you are young, but becomes too lenient as you get older.
Yet, people surveyed were fine with John and Lauren seeing someone in their early 30's. When John and Lauren are 60, the creepiness rule allows them to date anyone older than themselves the official cap is However, society places more restrictive age limits of 71 and 75 respectively.
Overall, the creepiness rule does not accurately represent what people find socially acceptable; people are more judgmental than what the creepiness rule implies. If the creepiness rule is wrong, then I needed a new rule to guide my non-existent love life. As I reviewed the data, I realized that one rule was not enough. When it comes to dating older, women have the advantage. According to the survey, a 20 year-old John can date someone who is However, when Lauren is 30, she is supposed to date someone who is at least I not only created separate rules for men and women but also created different rules to determine how old and how young each gender can date.
In almost all scenarios, the revised rules are more restrictive than what the creepiness rule would suggest. What is the actual average age difference between couples? How would this research translate to same-sex relationships? At the end of the day, this article was about how people think, not how people should think. Look for relationships that just make you happy.