I had the answer to my original question, but I wasn't satisfied.
If the creepiness rule is wrong, then I needed a new rule to guide my non-existent love life.
Based on the creepiness rule, a 20-year old John/Lauren can date someone who is 17.
This was in line with what people surveyed found acceptable (~18).
Mechanical Turk is Amazon’s online platform where people pay other people to complete online tasks.
This can vary from transcribing a movie, to identifying an item on a receipt, to taking a survey about hypothetical romantic relationships.
The results showed that the creepiness rule is generally too lenient about how young you can date - especially as you get older.The "creepiness rule" states that the youngest you should date is "half your age plus seven." The less commonly used corollary is that the oldest you should date is "subtract seven from your age and double it."According to this rule, society should accept a 50 year old man dating a 32 year old woman. Reactions ranged from “sure” to “that’s weird” to “why are you asking me this? When I flipped the genders – a 50 year old woman dating a 32 year old man – people’s responses often flipped as well.