I don’t mean turning 40. I mean dating someone who’s 40, or almost 40. Let’s pretend for a moment that having children isn’t a factor. That’s a given. I’ve encountered a lot of men lately who are 37 to 45 or so, who don’t want kids, who still prefer to date women under 35.
Is it that we’re too rigid? Too set in our ways? Too settled? To self-sufficient?
What is it?
Here’s my two cents:
I think a lot of it has to do with our attitudes.
A few months ago we held a speeddating event for the 35-45 age range. We had one woman ask the host if she could “skip” one of her dates – before she had ever even spoken to the man. Of course we said no. It’s five minutes. Come on. We never get questions like this from the men. In fact, the men in this age range are more accommodating and open than the men in the 25-35 age range. Go figure. Men don’t ask us how many men are registered, or how old the women are. They just sign up and attend. It’s usually women want to know exactly what they’re getting in to before they arrive. The men just..show up and let the chips fall where they may.
I never hear my male friends, all 35-45, say that because they’re lawyers, successful media buyers, or psychoanalysts, they’re entitled to a certain type of woman. In fact, they’re often hitting on the bartenders and waitresses when we’re out for drinks. They frequently date teachers, nannies, artists. They don’t care what she makes or where she went to school. They don’t need to have stimulating conversations with them over the latest Wall Street Journal article. They have their male friends for that. My male friends don’t list the reasons why they’re “a catch.” In fact, they don’t even think of themselves in those kinds of terms. They’re financially stable, well-educated, engaging, intelligent and attractive. But they never assume because they are those things that they should have more success with a certain caliber of female. They throw their bait in the pond and wait for someone to bite. There’s rarely ever an immediate throw back to see what else is out there. If a woman shows interests online, they go out with her. (Within reason.) They’re not looking to date their clone or someone who matches what they believe are “valuable” traits. (The men who are like this? Yeah, they’re mostly online. Hence why they’re there in the first place. The funny part? They don’t actually want the women who do match their interests, intelligence or success. Why? Because most of those women are over 35. *shakes head*) They’re not often swept up by image or charm.
They also never complain about their luck – good or bad – with the ladies. They all date and can maintain ongoing relationships of various sorts with women. When they have a run of bad luck they shrug it off and don’t dwell on it. They just trudge forward.
They don’t write articles about the dearth of “good” women. They don’t blog about their love/sex lives. They don’t bemoan their bad dates on Twitter or Facebook. They have nothing to prove.They don’t defend they’re choice to stay single. They don’t have disclaimers or requirements beyond “Please enjoy giving head, be able to pay your bills, take good care of yourself and don’t be a pain in the ass.”
They don’t hold it against a woman if she sends them texts and doesn’t call. They don’t expect the woman to read their mind by being passive aggressive and just not replying in a timely manner. If they need something, they ask for it. They don’t see that as some kind of surrender or compromise. They don’t need women to jump through flaming hoops for them so they can be double dog sure she’s interested.
Most importantly…their expectations and standards are low to moderate. Which isn’t to say they date anyone with a pulse. No.
They just don’t need a dossier of their dates. Which, in my opinion, is just an excuse to avoid putting themselves out there.
Women are quick to say that it’s usually men that are emotionally unavailable. I think men and women “of a certain age” are neck and neck in that race.