Several years ago, my daughter explained to me the age rule. For those of you unfamiliar with this, here’s a summary of what Wikipedia says:

The Half-age-plus-seven rule (“never date anyone under half your age plus 7”) dictates what age disparity between two people is acceptable in romantic relationships. According to this rule, the age of the younger person should not be less than half the age of the older person plus seven years, so that (for example) no one older than 65 should be in a relationship with anyone younger than 39 and a half, no one older than 22 should be in a relationship with anyone younger than 18, and no one under 14 years of age should be in a relationship at all…

This, over all, works for me. (I feel as though the rule would be improved with an added variable of plus one for every year over 40.) However, as a woman of a certain age*, I am always happier when men in my age group–who are never referred to as men of a certain age–partner with similarly age women. But that’s me and real life.

In romance, the older man/younger woman trope is common and, in recent years, there are stories with the roles reversed. Do those stories work for you? What influences whether or not they do? And what are the novels with this trope that you love and what are those you hate?

Let the conversation begin!


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Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day.