half your age plus seven

or standard creepiness rule

[haf yer eyj pluhs sev-uh n]

What does half your age plus seven mean?

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How young is too young to hook up with someone? Do the math. If they are older than half your age plus seven yearsthen you are all good—at least as far as this rule of thumb is concerned. The age, here, is usually the man's. Because double standards.

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Examples of half your age plus seven

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Examples of half your age plus seven
You know the old rule. Half your age plus seven.
Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), "The Master Plan," Parks and Recreation, 2010
quoracdn.net
the half your age plus 7 years rule is bad, i have no business even being friends with a 19 year old
@CONNORisSWEET, March, 2018

Where does half your age plus seven come from?

Half your age plus seven is an unofficial rule of romance often credited to French author Max O’Rell (Léon Paul Blouet) in his 1901 love manual with the incredibly romantic title of Her Royal Highness Woman and His Majesty Cupid. In it, Blouet’s mathematical formula applied to the ideal age of a bride as half the groom’s age plus seven years.

Over the 1900s, half your age plus seven became a popular dating rule for sexual partners, not just marriage partners—but don’t miss it’s gendered undertones, as the age being halved is almost always the man’s. The French entertainer Maurice Chevalier referenced half your age plus seven in an interview with Detroit News in 1931. By 1951, the American play The Moon is Blue and the 1953 film based on it both mention half your age plus seven.

The rule was so well-known by the 1950s that even Malcolm X is quoted as being a staunch believer in half your age plus seven.

Many decades later, the rule remains widespread. In 2007, the poplar webcomic XKCD referenced the rule, though brilliantly recast it as the “Standard Creepiness Rule.”

explainxkcd.com

In the 2010s, the online dating platform OkCupid also released data on age ranges that people entered when asked about their preferred partner. Men, as it happens, roughly followed the half your age plus seven rule when it came to lowest age that they would consider in a partner … except for dudes in the mid-30s, who were a little bit too interested in girls in the early 20s.

Who uses half your age plus seven?

Half your age plus seven has been used quite often over the years in dating and dating advice as an easy rule of thumb some like to follow to determine if it is a good idea—that is, appropriate or creepy—to hook up.

Some relationship experts uphold the general value and decency of half your age plus seven while others critique it for 1) perpetuating male-centric age disparities in relationships, 2) stigmatizing older women as less desirable, and 3) washing over the importance of compatibility and other personal qualities to a relationship.

Still, women also may apply the rule for themselves and men may (attempt to) use it to steer their bros away from predatory, if not statutory, encounters.

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