I've heard from a couple of sources now a formula for calculating the minimum age of the age range that you should be dating.
Take your age, cut it in half, and add seven.
So for instance, if you are 20, the minimum age that you should be dating is ((20/2) + 7) = 17.
Using this formula and symmetry, a reasonable maximum would be your age plus half your age again, and subtract seven.
So again, if you're 20, the maximum age you should be dating is ((20 * 1.5) - 7) = 23.
It breaks down at for instance age 14. Some would argue that this is the minimum age that anybody should be dating, but I have to think that if a 14-year old is allowed to date that a 15-year old is probably not out of the question. And hell, when you're 60, it gives you a lot of leeway... 37 to 83. It kind of breaks down at the ends. Of course if you're in your mid-20's, it seems to give you a pretty good range, but that is one of the characteristics of trying to do a linear approximation of a non-linear function.
Okay, I'm not really a subscriber to this formula. I have always found age to be a bad measure of maturity, and I think that's a much better guide toward compatibility. For instance, my maturity model is somewhere in the mid-30's, peg it at 36. Sweep the formula here and my dating maturity capability age range runs from 25 to 47, rather bell-curve shaped with a peak at 36.
Of course, the problem with this is that maturity age is a completely arbitrary number. And it's probably not the kind of thing that should be represented by a simple number: I have different maturities depending on what facets of my life you look at.
And then there's the problem of physical type. I am not small, I'm never going to be small. Even if I was in top physical shape, my structure doesn't lend itself to the broad-shoulders/narrow-hips stereotype. To use a vehicle analogy, I'm much more a truck than a sports car, and you very rarely hear a truck being referred to as sexy. Utilitarian, yes. Heavy-duty, yes. Capable of carrying large loads in its wide rear end, yes.
Nobody polishes a truck. When you use a truck, you use it to haul stuff from place to place. You expect it to go through the mud and the blood and the cornfields where the marijuana grows. You expect it to perform in harsh conditions, rocky roads, hot and cold. You don't expect it to be high maintenance.
I've pretty much unconsciously given up on the whole dating thing, at least for a while.
Stop laughing. It's true.
Look, I don't have time to actually put into building a relationship. I barely have time to breathe anymore between the Big Broken Box™, work, and the various creative projects to which I have become attached. Maybe it's time to just hang it up.