But fantasies, of course, are not generally subject to public scrutiny and the rule is only designed to calculate what is socially acceptable —so this discrepancy is not necessarily a failure of the rule.
For rule-related involvement (relationships), 60-year-old men are stating that the minimum acceptable age is around 40, which does map much more closely to the rule’s predictions.
The rule overestimates the perceived acceptability of men becoming involved with older women.
Men do not show a linear increase in maximum age preference that matches the rule’s predictions.
Deep down I was more of a homebody, so it didn't work out." "Everyone assumes that when you date someone younger they're more wild and immature, but it was the opposite when I dated a guy who was nine years younger than me.
When we met online, I wasn't looking for anything serious but he was actually looking to settle down.
Thus the rule for maximum age is fairly ineffective at capturing what men actually believe is acceptable. Now let's apply the rule to actual dating behavior by examining George Clooney’s dating habits.
Clooney has been scrutinized at times for dating younger women, though not consistently, and this pattern is nicely reflected in a graph of his own age, his partners’ ages, and the rule’s calculations for minimum and maximum acceptable ages.If you're ready to accept that age is just a number, then your pool of eligible bachelors just got a hell of a lot bigger—and might include some much younger dudes.Plus, all the cool kids are dating younger these days.If anything, in practice, men are than the rule would designate appropriate.For example, this sample of 60-year-old men reports that it is acceptable to fantasize about women in their 20s, which the rule would say is unacceptable.Ultimately, the age factor didn't matter much to him.