According to the rule, the age of the younger partner (regardless of gender) should be no less than seven more than half the older partner’s age.
In its earlier incarnations, it seemed to be a prescription for an ideal age difference rather than the limit of what’s okay.
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.
We both suspected the age difference might be significant, but avoided the topic for as long as possible. Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi threw “bunga bunga” parties while in office.
Having said that, a guy at 41 squiring a woman of 23 is far more controversial than a 71-year-old man dating a 53-year-old woman. There is an unofficial rule that exists, even though nobody seems to know where it originated. A 40-year-old should stick with someone at least 27.