In addition, Buss collected actual age differences at marriage for 27 of the 37 cultures, and across the board men normally married women who were younger than themselves.
And in a 1993 study that analyzed over 1,000 personal ads, researchers found that women typically sought older men, and men typically sought younger women.
In a classic study of human mating from 1989, David Buss surveyed 37 cultures across 6 continents and found that in every culture in question, men preferred to marry younger women (2.66 years younger on average) and women preferred to marry older men (3.42 years older on average).
The late Tony Randall was 75 when he married his 24-year-old wife. Playboy founder Hugh Heffner has several girlfriends, most of them half a century his junior. So if 40 and 27 are acceptable, one could say that 41 and 26 are close enough.
Playgirl exists as well, and Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins, Martha Raye, and Cher all dated men decades younger than they were. Eliminate the touchy-feely stuff about age being “just a number.” That is what people say to justify behavior that they know is problematic. For every person saying “just go for it and be happy,” there are realistic considerations. Yet soon after that, the slippery slope becomes 44 and 24, which can lead to Lolita situations and other felonies. If a man is 40, is dating a pair of 20-year-olds equivalent to dating one 40-year-old? From a brag and go high-five your friends standpoint, yes.
But be aware - if he's just exciting and fun, don't fool yourself into thinking he's boyfriend material when he probably isn't.
It is a commonly accepted idea that men prefer the company of younger women, while women prefer men who are older.
LOS ANGELES, July 7, 2013 - When dating, how big an age gap is too big? The name of this guideline is “half plus seven,” Take the age of the person, divide it in half, and then add seven years. For somebody aged 70, the bottom limit of respectability is 42.