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Who started the Half Your Age Plus Seven rule?

There used to be this “Half Your Age Plus Seven” calculator so you could figure out how to date someone who is age-appropriate allegedly according to the Napoleonic Code. According to it, you really have no business dating someone who is younger than half your age plus seven years.
I wrote about this here a couple of years ago and I guess it’s time to revisit it.

So – I’m 33 years old. Half of that is 16.5, plus seven equals 23.5.

33 minus seven is 26; 26 times two is 52.

So, WTF?! I’m supposed to be dating dudes between 23.5 and 52?! Man. No way. I mean, don’t get me wrong, 23-year-olds are adorable and 52-year-olds are charming and often dashing, but we’re talking complete generational differences here. As much as I love people in their 50s and have befriended several of them, I have dated someone who was 19 years my senior and our lives were in completely different places. I don’t have any interest in being a step-grandmother or a stepmother to any full-grown children. I also don’t have any interest in dating someone who wants to go partying every. single. weekend.

So, screw you, Napoleon. Nobody liked you anyway.

And I’m looking over the entire text of the Napoleonic Code and NOWHERE does it say anything about “half your age plus seven” or even make reference to the number 7 in age-appropriate marriages.

So where did this rule come from?

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  • Randall McKay November 5, 2012, 7:18 pm

    Fuck math…follow the heart.


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