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We asked three relationship experts to weigh in on the rule - and their responses were surprising.Relationship expert Susan Winter said, “I find it amusing that there’s an equation for the ‘optimal’ age gap in love.She said, “one reason why this may have endured is because men are generally more attracted to younger women and would like a rule that makes them feel it is acceptable to date younger.” So basically men are to blame.But for relationship expert Rachel De Alto, the old rule is pretty helpful in determining suitable age differences.It turns out to be relatively well established, dating back more than 100 years to a book by Max O’Rell written in 1901, and the 1951 play The Moon is Blue.
As for why she thinks the equation has endured for so long, Winter said, “There's no logical reason for this to be a ‘rule.’ Nor does this mathematical equation determine the 'optimal age gap.'” “However, you might note that the gap is larger than one would imagine.Just don’t overdo it, and remember that humor and tone don’t always come through in a text.“[Texting] is a great way to flirt, maybe give them a taste of who you are,” says dating coach Chrisler.According to De Alto, “It is still a decent rule of thumb to set a boundary of a minimum age.While age is truly just a number, successful significant relationships are based on mutual understanding and connection.” She continued, “I’ve seen a few anomalies where a large age gap didn’t get in the way of a lasting connection, but often times, it can lead to frustrations and the end of a relationship.
“There are definitely guys who would be really into a woman taking charge like that,” says Manley.