ECONOMIST - Societal norms around romantic relationships often reference the "half your age plus seven" rule to gauge the appropriateness of age gaps. Research shows that men typically prefer younger women, regardless of their own age, while women tend to seek partners close to their age. The implications of these age preferences are mixed. Studies suggest that smaller age gaps may offer benefits in terms of relationship stability and shared experiences, but larger gaps are associated with differing divorce rates and longevity outcomes. Men with significantly younger partners tend to live longer, a benefit not mirrored for women with younger partners. Ultimately, personal choice plays a significant role in these relationships, challenging the applicability of traditional rules.