Alright, so I decided to poke around on a dating website since I let my curiosity override my skepticism for a few days. And yes, I DO know that dating websites don't necessarily represent dating in general.
I used a site that had pretty good search parameters, and since I don't have a ton of experience scrutinizing other adults' relationships and relationship desires, didn't quite know how it would turn out.
There were some clear trends in regard to age. They weren't really unexpected, but I wasn't exactly ready for the broad extent of them, given that these were adults and not teenagers.
Search radius = 100 miles (around my city)
of females age 18-35, with a few other restrictions, which returned:
Population size = 460
(18 is the minimum age allowed by the website, so anybody who would date somebody younger than 18 will not be accurately represented.)
Figure 1: http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/895/dating1.png Ages of men that women of a given age are looking for.
Figure 2: http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/6435/dating2.png Age difference that women of a given age are looking for. +0 IS AGE-NEUTRAL.
Figure 3: http://img33.imageshack.us/img33/4870/dating3.png Age multiplier that women of a given age are looking for. 1.0 IS AGE-NEUTRAL.(For example, if a 36-year-old woman is looking for men age 27-54, then her "low" multiplier is 27/36=0.75 and her "high" multiplier is 54/36=1.5)
Figure 4: http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/2608/dating4.png Percent of women of a given age who are willing to date older men, men of the same age, and younger men.
Figure 5: http://img803.imageshack.us/img803/2607/dating5.png Ratio of women's "high" multiplier to the smallest "high" multiplier of the youngest men they would date. 1.0 IS AGE-NEUTRAL. (For example, if a 36 year old woman is looking for men age 27-54, then her high/low ratio is (54/36)/(36/27)=1.125)
Figure 6: And the most relevant statistic:
At least I found love, it was just with numbers.