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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.

Men’s preferred partner age: The rule states that you can calculate maximum acceptable partner ages by subtracting seven from your own age and multiplying it by two.

After 40, maximum age preferences for most categories remain lower than their own age.

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.

The rule’s calculated minimum acceptable partner ages seem to fit men better than women.

He approached the line with two other partners but is well within the threshold in his marriage with Amal Alamuddin. The minimum rule (half-your-age-plus-seven) seems to work for men, although the maximum rule falls short, failing to reflect empirical age-related preferences.

How well does the rule capture women’s preferences?

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.

Only twice has he become involved with women whose ages were outside the rule’s guidelines.

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