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The age when you hit 'peak loneliness' and other life milestones ... https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2017/may/03/...

The age when you hit 'peak loneliness' and


other life milestones
A new study has found that 35 is the age at which men feel the most lonely. But when
might you feel the most creative or content?

Life is a numbers game. Composite: Getty Images

Gavin Haynes
Wednesday 3 May 2017 18.55BST

E
verybody has to peak sometime. Were all vaguely aware of this. The problem is
that science has taken that vague meh of lifes slide and is increasingly
converting it into a series of discrete data about when exactly we will run out of
juice in this or that sphere of life from sex to intelligence to muscle mass. And,
as if you werent already choked by the anxiety of all of those maxima, there are also the
minima to make you feel depressed such as research into the age at which youll feel
the most depressed. This week, a study concluded that 35 is the age at which men are
at their loneliest, with 9% ofmales at thatage saying they have no regular friends.

To navigate this Clapham Junction of constantly departing potentials, we have


developed this guide to the key ages.

8 Peak language

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The age when you hit 'peak loneliness' and other life milestones ... https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2017/may/03/...

Our capacity to learn a second language to a good level is much more static than we have
been led to believe. Its just that our capacity to do so with total uency and no accent
starts to ebb sharply after age eight.

20-23 Female peak attractiveness


Christian Rudder, founder of OKCupid, parsed the data goldmine of his site to come up
with a few home truths on who is attractive to whom. While women wanted partners
slightly older than them before theyre 30 and ones slightly younger after, men of every
age homed in ruthlessly on the female fertility-max: 20-23.

25 Peak creativity
Researchers from Stockholm and Paris tested volunteers aged four to 91 for their ability
to think up random sequences of coin-tosses. The peak came at 25. Whether you
consider a lengthy random coin-toss sequence to be the equivalent of Mahler is another
question, that possibly depends on your views on Mahler.

31 Peak chess
Published in the geroscience journal Age, by comparing statistics of 96 Grandmasters at
similar career phases, researchers looking into cognitive decline were able to say that
chess players peak at the age of 31.

38 Peak contentment
Three years after being lonely, six before becoming depressed, Britons feel most content
with their lives at the age of 38. Drilling down into the data, life-partnering made a huge
dierence: those who were married suggested maximum contentment came at 42, while
those who werent preferred to be 27.

44 Peak depression
The classic midlife crisis loomed out of a 2008 survey. Our declining powers depress all
of us, and it doesnt matter who you are. Two million people were surveyed in one of the
largest mental health scans ever undertaken. For men, the peak was closer to 50, while
for women it was a depressing 40.

59 Peak Nobel
Despite humanitys inevitable chess ability sag, the age at which the average Nobel
laureate gets their gong is pretty late. If yours hasnt arrived yet, dont panic, theres still
time.

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