Again, the link might not be causal: healthy men might be particularly able both to attract younger mates and live to a ripe old age.
Age differences while dating
When a friend opts to date someone who is old enough to be their parent, a common response is to see if the decision passes the “half their age plus seven” test.
The rule, whose origins remain mysterious, has been passed down through generations as a way of justifying or, more commonly, pouring scorn on other people’s couplings.
A true economist, however, would look for better evidence, perhaps by comparing the marital bliss of random couples with varying age differences.
Unfortunately for them, but luckily for the rest of us, people make their own choices – and are free to ignore silly rules of thumb.
In the case of women with younger husbands, Drefahl suggested, the gender difference could be due to women being less reliant on their partner for support, and so benefiting less from the energies of a younger spouse.
What evidence there is, therefore, vindicates the choices of OKCupid’s users: women should pick men who are as close as possible in age to them, while men should look for younger women.It did not find a strong link between age gaps and divorce rates in England and Wales, though there was some evidence that women marrying later than 30 who were more than ten years older than their spouse were more likely to divorce.Common sense does suggest that a large age gap would have implications for old age.While women prefer a small and constant age gap, men are so hooked on the idea of a nubile young partner that they prefer a larger age gap the older they get. In theory there are plenty of reasons to favour a small age gap.The ability of both members of a couple to sing a favourite childhood television theme tune could bond them together, at the risk of irritating those nearby.The older you get, the wider the permissible age gap: a 50-year-old can venture as old as 86. In practice, research conducted by Christian Rudder, co-founder of OKCupid, a dating website, suggests that when it comes to age gaps, men and women have slightly different ideas.