My So Called Single Life: Ageism & Dating

Name: One American Girl |  | Location: Boston , MA |Question: My biggest frustration is dating at the ripe old age of 36. I found through online dating that men my own age and even in their early 40s are not interested in woman my age. They are looking for younger. And I’m not interested in the over 50 bracket. What’s a mid-30 year old single to do with this problem of ageism in America? |Age: 36

I’m going to call a little bit of Bravo Sierra here. If, at 42, I can find men ages 38-50 to date, I find it hard to believe that you can’t find a man at 36. So is it that you can’t find someone, or is it that you can find anyone that you feel is “good enough?”

Here’s a great quote that my friend B. wrote to me today.

Women chase after and obsess over these “glam” guys for some reason and then, when it goes badly for them, they declare themselves and the whole internet dead for dating.  That’s fine, but not if they’d like to eventually find something substantive.  There’s a real-life “trade-off” there that I’m just not sure most women are willing to make.  They want what they want.  (I do too, but I don’t care when/if it ends badly.)   The men they declare sad and undateable will probably find a girlfriend who adores them.  Women will overlook a lot especially if he says a lot of bullshit.

You’re right in that, as we get older, the men tend to look for younger women. I don’t disagree. But I look at profiles all the time and the men here in NYC, one of THE toughest markets in which to date, and many of the men in my age range (38-50) seem to date women well in to their early forties. Yeah, there are some men in their mid to late 40’s who don’t want to date anyone over 37, but who cares as long as there are men out there that DO want to date us. There are. You just have to be willing to find and meet them.  At 36, you should definitely be widening that net to men in their late 40’s. You shouldn’t be focusing on men a couple years older or younger.

I choose not to buy in to this idea of “ageism.” I’m sure it exists. I’m sure I’ve been a victim of it at one time or another. But I refuse to brainwash myself in to believing that there’s huge conspiracy out there being waged against women over 35 or single women in general. I know that there are pockets of people who dismiss us. I’m not denying that they exist. I’m just not going to sit and stew about it. It’s not worth it.  The important thing for you is to not focus on the people who don’t want you, and turn your eyes towards those who do.

Bottom line…if something isn’t working, you have to check under the hood. That’s it. That’s the key. I wish there was some oogity boogity woo woo ya ya sisterhood spell I could pass along, but there isn’t. It all starts with you and your thoughts and your choices.

That, OP, is your challenge. It’s not ageism. It’s that you want what you want, and unfortunately those men – or at least the ones you pursue – don’t want you. The more you go after them, and the more they reject you, the stronger that belief system becomes. That doesn’t mean you’re not attractive or worthy of love or anything like that. It means your “picker” (TM Evan Marc Katz) is off. Now you have to fine tune your picker. But you have to begin by determining why other tactics and approaches have not worked and where you play a role in the outcome.

The only one conspiring against you is you. Forget the list of shoulds and the “I don’t wannas.” Listen, I don’t blame you for not wanting to date men in their 50’s. That’s a big age gap. But the reality is that once a man turns 34 or so, he’s not as willing to date women his own age. Look at what you said…you have your own preferred age range.  Are you ageist? You don’t even see how your behavior and thoughts contradict your own beliefs. You have convinced yourself that you are right, and nobody is going to change your mind.

You have to turn off all that noise that’s buzzing around you out there. You have to clean out the filters. Yeah, some guys aren’t going to be interested. Yep, you will be “too old” for other men. But you can not buy in to all the negative crap you hear and read and see and make some sweeping generalization. That’s what gets us stuck. Do that long enough and pretty soon you’ll be going after men you know don’t really want you just so they can reject you so you can turn around and say, “See? I knew it.” You don’t want to become one of those people who would rather be right than be happy.

There are men out there that want you. You just have to get all that other stuff out of your head and out of your path so you can find them or be open to them. I read so many articles every day, and the stuff that some women  say about men just baffles me. Believe it or not, there are many men out there that want what we want…they want a partner, someone to come home to, someone with whom they can be intimate and vulnerable and lean on. They, like us, are feeling somewhat battered around, too. They’re unsure of their choices, too. Know why? Because they’re out there looking for a great girl and, just like us, meeting a lot of walking wounded. That problem is not exclusive to women. Both genders are baffled about what the opposite sex wants. But you know what?  They’re too afraid to be vulnerable because they don’t want to be perceived as weak or too available. So they internalize everything and, like us, they create this false belief system and they, again like us, shut down. So what we have now is a collective of people completely closed off and emotionally ambivalent.

My theory on the success of the PUA blogs is that they provide a place for a lot of men to vent. Because anger and aggression is acceptable. Vulnerability and fear is not. Imagine if we females took the lead and encouraged men to let down their guard. Imagine what that could do and how that could turn the whole game around. This is where we have an advantage, but we’re not using it. Use it. Let down the wall a bit and get rid of all the negative thoughts you have based on the handful of bad experiences you’ve had. We’ve all had them. You can’t assume that these experiences are exclusive to you. They’re not. It’s all part of the overall dating experience. You’re going to meet some douchebags. That’s inevitable. But after each one you should be adjusting your approach until you finally meet someone that makes you feel how you want to feel.

Hey, I get it. I understand how sometimes you feel a little bruised and pushed around. I do. But you have to keep getting back in to the game. This is why I think dating breaks are a double edged sword. Yeah, it’s good to take a step back and re-group. As long as you don’t spend all your time telling yourself or listening to others say how hard it is and how men are this or that. You can’t let the fear get to you, and that’s all it is…fear. Remember when you were a kid and you thought there were monsters under the bed? What helped you to get over that? That’s right. You looked under the bed. You faced it.

Face it. You have the power to change the game completely. You just have to want to do it. If you’re not really interested in having a relationship, you’re going to keep encountering unavailable guys, or the “wrong” guys. But when you’re truly ready and open, you’ll start meeting men that restore your faith.



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61 Responses to “My So Called Single Life: Ageism & Dating”

  1. Joey Giraud Says:

    “There are men out there that want you.”

    She might have the Groucho problem: “I wouldn’t belong to any club that would have me.”

    Ambition can be a vexing burden.

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    • bree Says:

      Hon why don’t you try being a “Cougar” …If you look fairly younger than your years, take good care of yourself and look good and have sex-appeal and confidence many many younger men will love you.
      Nowadays a lot of younger men opt to date older women and reject women their own age saying older women are more mature, responsible, focused, “seasoned” and know how to treat a man better and keep him happy….so widen that dating pool to include some “young bucks” … could be pleasantly surprised….*smile*

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  2. Vox Says:

    The problem is, the men you covet online want to date much younger. Have you checked out the profiles of men your age who aren’t of interest to you? Lots of them would be interested in you if you stopped ignoring them. At least that is the case for me. I have a new guy now – it’s only been 2 months, so anything can happen – and believe me I would not have dated this guy if he’d contacted me a year ago.

    Also, Joey is right. Ambition is a huge part of the deal for many. If you have it, you have to lose it ASAP when it comes to dating. Save that for work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  3. Saj Says:

    Your friend B is a wise woman.

    Try to focus your pool not on the guys you want but on the guys who want you and choose the best from that. There are great things to find in everyone and hopefully one of these guys (while not as perfect at first) will have enough going for him to bridge the initial attraction gap.

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  4. Abby Says:

    Moxie is right – you can change the game. I was in a similar situation. I’m 37 and was having trouble finding love myself. I even wrote in to this site about it. In my case, I had one issue that most folks don’t have. I didn’t want to date a divorced dad. I’ve tried it – three times. Almost 15 years of my life spent revolving around someone else’s family. Now the never-been-married-no-kids men in my age bracket are looking for younger women.

    I’m here to tell you: Take heart and keep at it. I did. I thought long and hard about what I was willing to accept (i.e. shorter than I’m normally attracted to, a few extra pounds, etc) and what was non-negotiable (i.e. kids with someone else), and I widened the net while at the same time sticking to my guns. The result – I met a nice 33 y.o. man online, never married, no kids, ready for all that, in the same place as me financially, etc, etc. It’s now been 3 months and we’re still on track.

    FWIW – he was dating younger women before me, but he told me that he was glad that he didn’t have to “train” me (referencing spending his hard-earned money), so we older ladies (and I use that term very lightly) have plenty to offer a successful man ready to settle down. Keep faith, and keep looking and don’t give up or let others try to tell you what you already know inside. If you want to change the game as Moxie suggests, own it. Own your age, your experiences, and all that you have to offer…even own your flaws. The one thing I think men like the most is confidence, wherever you are in life. good luck. peace.

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    • Joey Giraud Says:

      “The one thing I think men like the most is confidence, wherever you are in life”

      I’ve been noticing how much more attractive it is when a woman shows me a closed-mouth sly smile rather then the blinding full-grill, no matter how perfect the teeth.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  5. Paula Says:

    For me, the challenge of men in that age range is not necessarily that they don’t want to date women my age (although many of them don’t). It’s about the kind of woman they want to date.

    Many of the guys in this age range who are single are coming out of 10 to 15-year relationships, and may be the father of older children or teenagers. They’re used to being in a relationship and having a certain kind of lifestyle, with their wife taking care of their home and the details of their lives, and are really adrift following their divorce or breakup. They’re looking for someone who can step right in to that kind of role and help them manage their life, and are pretty set in their ways. Although I’ve been married, I’ve never been a mother, and have no interest in being suburban wife/soccer mom/Martha Stewart #2.

    Others have made it this far avoiding committed relationships, and are unlikely to change at this late date. If someone has made it to 40ish without a relationship that has lasted more than a year or two, most of them have some issues in that department. They may say that they haven’t met the right woman yet, but if they haven’t encountered her in 20 years of adult dating, maybe she doesn’t exist (or if she does, she has no interest in these guys).

    I recommend going younger…especially if you don’t have a ticking biological clock. There are fun guys, who are not too jaded, and are capable of relationships, as long as they don’t feel like you’re eying them as a sperm donor or father. And they still are able to go out and do fun stuff on dates, rather than having their patterns and routines all figured out.

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    • pistola Says:

      Amen to what you said Paula. I’ve had the same experience. I’m not a mother and not interested in being one. And not interested in being a wife any time soon or maybe ever at this point in my own career development and life. There are other things I need to sort out first.

      OP, there’s a split for a lot of people between what they want and what they’re actually getting. I have many many many single male friends in my age range (42) who, yes, want younger women. But they don’t GET younger women. Most of them spend enormous stretches of time single not dating at all. When they do occasionally manage to land a younger woman, they get used as a fallback guy between her younger boyfriends. These male friends of mine are decent guys but they are having serious issues around their own aging process and aren’t dealing with it well. It has nothing to do with you, or me, that this is going on. Don’t take it personally.

      There are men out there who have worked on themselves and are in a better place of being mature and happy with who they are, their age and accomplishments. Those are the guys you want to date anyway. Mostly, I have not found they are on online dating sites. My .02.

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    • Joey Giraud Says:

      Category: 15 yr Married, 3 yr separate, 1 yr post D-day and 2 tweenage sons.

      Except in my case I’ve no desire to get a new woman to fill “that role.” Frankly not sure there’s room for a woman around here. We’ll see. Maybe in a few more years.

      Could use a “Mr. French” though.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  6. Andrew Says:

    Complaining is negative behaviour. The nature of our world is inequity at every turn. As guys, when we were kids growing up, the girls our age were never interested in guys their age. First it was the guys the class ahead, then it was the guys two classes ahead. And as we got older the girls seemed to be interested in older and older guys. So guys are not the ones who created this pheonomenon. Growing up, I don’t know of a single girl who was interested in a guy in a lower class year. Guys adapted, to the game that women created, and figured out that they had better chances trying to date a younger girl, so we continued that.

    So when women get done using the older guys or the older guys get done using them, and they are now in their late thirties, I guess they figure they want a guy that looks good. So they wanna change the rules, they created. Well I got a few rules we can change too. Like guys wasting money on women who really know they don’t like the guy, but let him spend on her in the vain hope of convincing her. When women want to talk of men using women, I laugh. I see more women using men to buy them a meal than I ever see men using women for sex. About that using for sex thing. That is the biggest bunch of nonsense I have ever heard. How can a woman enjoy a sexual experience where she had endless orgasms, was fine for the months she and the guy went out. Then wanna come back months later and claim the guy used her for sex, if things go sour.

    I got some advice for guys. Avoid whiners like this women. She forgot how many guys she played, and now that the karma is coming back to bite her, she wanna bitch about it.

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    • dimplz Says:

      But you’re not complaining, right? ;)

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      • Andrew Says:

        Hey dimplz. Guess I hit a nerve. I am not complaining. Just stating the facts. Most guys are too nice to say it like it is.

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        • dimplz Says:

          Not for me, I just thought your rant was funny. :) I actually dated guys my age or a couple of years younger since I began dating. My current bf is only 10 months younger, but I’ve rarely been able to attract an older man, and even so, it’s only about 2-3 years older. I would have liked a guy 10 years older, to be honest (in the past, not now that I have my guy).

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      • Paula Says:

        We’re talking high school, right? A senior is less likely to be a dork than a freshman or sophomore — that’s just the reality of how boys and girls develop. But that older boy is going to drop the girl in a hot second when he leaves for college, or if she won’t put out like the older girls.

        By the time we start college, everyone was dating people their age again, since they were more likely to meet them in the dorms and classes. I didn’t know any older guys in college for a while (except the guy on my floor who was on the five or six-year plan and bought us all booze — he’s now a high school teacher; how’s that for irony?)

        Once we get out in the world post-college, 3-5 years age difference either direction doesn’t matter so much any more, so I don’t think we can blame it for those guys in their 40s and 50s who want to date 25-30 year olds.

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    • BILL Says:

      The reality is the men most women desire they can easily date a younger/attractive women because they are highly desirable. There are plenty of men/women who date within less than 4 years/same age.

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  7. Alan Says:

    If One American Girl wants children I would not advise this, but otherwise I think she should be expanding her dating pool to over 50 here in Manhattan and not judge a book by just its date of publication.

    Same for you M.

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  8. BILL Says:

    At the end of the day we men want happy, sweet, caring, warm, and a women with a good personality. The women I meet who is always chasing after someone unavailable usually/generally there personalities aren’t bright warm they are always chasing after the status/ impressing there friends.

    If you are a girl who want that ideal guy the best way to make yourself super attractive: smile, have a warm personality, be positive, sweet, caring.

    Overall I find too many women abrasive which they will say “i am too confident!”

    After my workday of disputing/managing people/deal&wheeling. I want to go to someone who makes me smile and make me feel warm and cuddly. Not someone I have to argue with/debate/etc.

    The women I have met who the biggest smiles, the happiest smiles, warm, cuddly; they always end up with that idea guy most women crave.

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    • dimplz Says:

      I have to agree with you. I usually find the women who have a lot of trouble connecting with men are demanding and particular about too many things. Pick your battles. In this day and age, where people are disposable, it’s important to remember that there isn’t perfection in human beings. We aren’t machines, and we should be less rigid about the unimportant things (physical appearance, height, status) and more rigid about the important things (values, accountability, personality). I mean, women work hard too, so this is not to say that we also don’t want a shining, positive partner, but on the other hand, I usually hear women complaining about men more than I hear men complaining about women. Maybe, just maybe, the reason some of these women are complaining is because their expectations are too high. Maybe they should focus on attracting the right man by being the kind of woman that the man they want would be attracted to.

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    • Andrew Says:

      Amen!!! The faults, we often think in others, are merely ours.

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    • pistola Says:

      “I want to go to someone who makes me smile and make me feel warm and cuddly.”

      Women want this too. There are just as many negative, downer men as there are women. Positive people are hard to find period.

      A woman doesn’t have to turn herself into a CareBear to get lots of dates. She can ALSO be confident, assertive, and intelligent. They’re not mutually exclusive.

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  9. Joe Says:

    49 and just divorced after 25 years. My wife really let herself go, so the idea of getting laid by a tight young thing has a definite appeal. The idea of dating a tight young thing sends chills up my spine. I’m not interesting in discovering what life is. Been there, done that. Now I just want to enjoy life in my own sublime, way. I’d love to do that with a companion, but with someone comfortable in their own skin and, very importantly, without the compulsion to be always doing something.

    This may be the biggest frustration with online dating. Where I live (in the mountain west) just about every profile talks about hiking, camping, dancing and doing this that and the other thing. There aren’t enough minutes in the day to do all they want to do. How about just sitting at home, surfing the web, watching TV, perhaps reading a bit, cooking simples meals, screwing and, heaven forbid, just conversing?

    Where are the women simple looking for a companion, not a life adventure exercise partner who will complete her or some such bullshit?

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    • Ellie Says:

      So, you’re looking for a “tight young thing” who basically doesn’t exercise and wants to spend all her time living the life of an enderly person, with a person presumably old enough to be her father. Good luck with that.

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      • Joe Says:

        Are you literate?

        My wording could have been better, but I clearly meant the young thing is a fantasy and remains as such. “Chills” here was negative, not positive. I’m looking for someone who’s sending their kids on their way and who has already experienced enough of life to know who they are.

        I have a twenty-three year old daughter and being around her friends for too long makes her want to bang her head against the wall. I run out of patience after a few minutes with most of them.

        My other complaint was that dating sites in my area tend to attract outdoorsy types and women who want to do everything as though they are nineteen again. Women complain about forty-somethings chasing teenage tail, but fail to admit to all the forty-something women trying to act like teenage tail.

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        • Vox Says:

          Hiking and camping should be out of bounds if you are a woman over 40? A woman being active at 40+ means she is trying to act like a teenager? Honestly, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read on this site.

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          • Joe Says:

            Oh, Good lord. I was speaking of my preferences.

            Will you people please read instead of skimming and picking and choosing what you want to believe I wrote. I picked my words carefully.

            “tend to attract outdoorsy type and women who want to do everything as though they were nineteen again.”

            and; in addition to.

            Do you even read women profiles on dating sites? Have you not seen profiles that have massive lists of mandatory things along with crap like “you must sweep me off my feet” and “you must do something original for me.” You know what I’m talking about because you’ve seen and heard it. And when women like this don’t get dates, they complain about ageism.

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            • Aldonza Says:

              I’m with Joe. Most dating profiles are ludicrous. If everybody loved “walks on the beach” as much as they say, the shorelines would be covered with strolling singles. Everybody trying to sound unique and fascinating…that “unique and fascinating” becomes the rule…and mundane becomes unique.

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              • Susan Says:

                Yeah and everyone is as comfortable taking those long walks on the beach in jeans and a t shirt as they are in a little black dress! lol!

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  10. pistola Says:

    “just sitting at home, surfing the web, watching TV, perhaps reading a bit, cooking simples meals, screwing and, heaven forbid, just conversing?”

    Joe, I see your point, but with all due respect, I don’t know any woman who wants to sit and watch TV or surf the web with a guy, at least not any of the really great women I know: smart, fit, pretty, mature, available, loving. You’ve pretty much just painted a picture of yourself as the guy Paula described in an above post: set in his ways with no interests and unwilling to dip into the interests of a new partner.

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    • Saj Says:

      Points at me! That’s so me and yes I’m young, tight and enjoy nothing more then bumming out. I also know plenty of peers like this too but I think New York breeds the mentality of go go go go or you are a loser. Nobody sees the joy of slowing down the pace of life and just enjoying.

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    • Joe Says:

      So, let me get this straight. Women who insist on doing everything their way are noble. Men who want anything similar are set in their ways and are assholes. Okay, a little cynical, but that’s how you come across.

      I didn’t say I was unwilling to dip into interests of a companion, that’s the point of the word and my point–to do things of joint interest, not simply cater entirely to someone else’s demands because it makes them happy. I don’t exist to make someone else happy and I don’t want a woman who thinks she exists to make someone else happy.

      And, frankly, anyone over 30 who isn’t set in their ways to an extent is a flake. By the age of 30, you should have a pretty good clue of what you enjoy and who you are. I’m not interesting in being your avenue of self-discovery. If I decide to go that route, I’ll go buy, I mean find, a nineteen-year-old who at least hasn’t turned cynical yet.

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      • Paula Says:

        Call me a flake, Joe, but I’ve been able to figure out a whole lot more about myself in my 40s than I had the capacity to in my 30s, when I was trying to make an unworkable relationship work, and a fundamentally unhappy person happy, without any regard for what I wanted. I shudder to think how my life had turned out if I had been set in my ways at 30, or even 35.

        Now, I have a pretty demanding job which involves lots of travel, am now practicing daily to try out for a local athletic league, go on dates two or three nights a week, have a regular volunteer gig, and average a book read a day. And because I’m not skinny, a lot of guys (and Vox, apparently) will make the assumption that I’m lazy and sedentary (which if they spent a few hours around me, they would know is not the case.)

        Can I be in a committed relationship? Yes, I know I can. Do I want to stay home and watch TV? Hell no. There will be plenty of time for that when I’m in those Depends. I want a life companion who actively pursues his interests and wants to pursue some of mine. I understand that you’re weary, Joe, from what you’ve been through, but some of us, regardless of our age, need someone who’s still interested in actively living their life.

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        • Joe Says:

          This is a little ridiculous. Actively living life means something different to different people. For one guy I know, it means bar hopping and geting blasted every weekend. For another, it’s working on his yard and house. My mother likes gardening. A friend’s dad growing up liked working on his model railway (and was very good at it.)

          I want a life companion who actively pursues his interests and wants to pursue some of mine.

          Why does that have to mean physically active? Why can’t it mean going to plays? Or a museum? Or just watching a sunset? Or debating a book?

          So you like constantly doing physical activities. Great. I don’t. Everything has it’s place, but constantly having to be on the move has never been part of my makeup. Just last night, I watched Tangled with my granddaughter sitting next to me, periodically getting up to dance. I would change that for the world.

          I respect that you like to do the activities that you like, but it is the height of arrogance to denigrate what other people enjoy doing that you don’t.

          I want a life companion who actively pursues his interests and wants to pursue some of mine.

          I not only never said that, I said the opposite. Again, you are so intent on insulting my choices, that you give no room for an honest difference of opinion. Taking what you said literally, you have no interest in pursuing some of your ideal mates interests, yet will demand the same of him. I assume, you simply didn’t complete your thought. But what if you find out that your companion loves building model ships? You going to participate in that? Or is that beneath you as well?

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          • Paula Says:

            I’m not insulting or denigrating your choices, Joe, just pointing out how they’re incompatible with my own. I’ve never been someone who enjoys staying home much (it’s mostly just a place to sleep and store my stuff), and having newly discovered some physical activity that I like and need to pursue given my age and physical condition, I don’t want to give it up for something more sedentary. Plays, TV and movies mostly make me squirmy, and while I would never begrudge anyone’s simple pleasures with their family members, watching an animated movie with someone else’s child is not high on my own personal list. Basically, I need an “outie,” not an “innie” when it comes to spending time together.

            Someone I have recently dated is an Adult Fan of Lego (about as close to model shipbuilding as you can get) and while I haven’t yet participated (nor has he asked me to), it’s something we’ve talked about a lot, as well as a musician he’s very passionate about. I have my own quirky hobbies too, and so am happy to participate in the give-and-take of getting to know someone and what passionately moves them. But he pursues these more sedentary activities with the level of passion that I bring to my life, and isn’t just sitting at home watching TV and surfing the web — that’s the difference.

            Here’s what you said: “Where are the women simple looking for a companion, not a life adventure exercise partner who will complete her or some such bullshit?” and “all the forty-something women trying to act like teenage tail.” If, like you say, “it is the height of arrogance to denigrate what other people enjoy doing that you don’t”, I really have to ask here: who’s denigrating whom?

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            • BILL Says:

              ” smart, fit, pretty, mature, available, loving.”

              Do you realize the majority of the women who tell me this are overweight with a list of issues and baggage?

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

    • Trouble Says:

      I don’t know any woman who wants to sit and watch TV or surf the web with a guy, at least not any of the really great women I know: smart, fit, pretty, mature, available, loving. You’ve pretty much just painted a picture of yourself as the guy Paula described in an above post: set in his ways with no interests and unwilling to dip into the interests of a new partner

      My guy and I do this all the time….side by side matching laptops. Yes, we’ve hiked in Alaska together, and are hiking in the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State later this month, but we also spend plenty of time just being lazy, cooking dinner, reading books side by side and just chilling. Isn’t it possible to do both? It seems to be, at my house.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  11. Ellie Says:

    While I do think there are many decent men willing to date women their own age or, god forbid, older, I have to say the age discrimination thing is pretty pervasive among men online. I’m only 27 and I notice a lot of men around my age and slightly older are looking for women even younger than me. Nothing on earth will make me lose interest in a man faster than seeing that while he is 34, he’s looking for women 18-25. Hell, I’d be turned off even if he was looking for women 18-30.

    And to all who claim One American Girl is discriminating by not wanting to date men in their fifties, I have to disagree. She is 36. Let’s say she ends up dating and marrying a man who is 56. Right now, that probably won’t be too much of an issue. But, in twenty years she’ll be in her fifties, still working, relatively spry and in decent health. And she’ll be with an old, possibly immobile, possibly senile man. I’d rather be alone at 50 than cleaning up someone’s shit, quite honestly. It’s not discriminatory, it’s practical. There’s nothing practical about being 45 and refusing to date women over 30. Even if it’s because the man wants children. Modern medicine has made it pretty safe to have children well after 30. And if they’re much older, then they really should have thought about children sooner, huh? And, moreover, I don’t really want my kids to have a father who is too old to really do anything with them, and who will most likely die while they’re pretty young.

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    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      “I’d rather be alone at 50 than cleaning up someone’s shit, quite honestly. It’s not discriminatory, it’s practical. There’s nothing practical about being 45 and refusing to date women over 30. Even if it’s because the man wants children. Modern medicine has made it pretty safe to have children well after 30.”

      So, it’s okay for you to discriminate against older men (because your reasons are “practical,” of course) but it’s not okay for a man to do the same thing? I’m sure there are men out there that would “rather be alone” than date someone over 30. If it’s okay for you, why isn’t okay for them? I’m sure “modern medicine” will help with that incontinence/senility problem too.

      I’m surprised women aren’t more inspired by Joe’s “stunning” admission that he’d rather sit on a couch than go skydiving. Sounds like he’s the only one here who has actually “settled down” and has some conept of what that actually means. That’s what “settling down” looks like. If you ladies were more impressed by guys who wanted to “settle down” you’d probably be spending a nice evening with your husband rather than reading this.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 15

      • Vox Says:

        Joe is almost 50, and wants to date younger, attractive women, and that is why he isn’t realistic. Younger women aren’t ready to sit there on the couch – this is why he is frustrated with online dating. It is unrealistic to want a young attractive woman who isn’t active, in his part of the country. If he wants to be with someone with the same desires to sit on the couch, I am sure there are 50 year old women who would love the chance to be with him. Or he can go for the younger obese ones. Can’t have it all.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          I’m pretty sure he said the idea of dating a young hottie sent chills up his spine.

          I actually don’t relate to Joe. I’m just saying it’s ironic that women (even young ones) don’t flock to guys like him, given their purported desire to” settle down.” I wonder what women think that means. Really? Someday you’re going to get grossed out that I’m old, fat and incontinent and dump me? Doesn’t sound like the committment that my (now elderly and incontinent) grandparents made when they said their wedding vows? That’s what a relationship means to you? So, tell me again why a relationship conditioned on the delusion that we will always be beautful and never be ugly or get sick is of use to me (or anyone)? I’ll take my chances being single, thanks.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 8

          • Vox Says:

            You are twisting the conversation to promote your own agenda.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

            • DrivingMeNutes Says:

              If ,by “twisting,” you mean accurately characterizing someone’s words and commenting on them, then yes. I am doing that.

              Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

              • Trouble Says:

                I don’t mind cleaning up your shit when we’re both 80. But, I’m not at all attracted to men 20-30 years older, nor do I want to take on a 70 year old man’s health issues at 45.

                Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

                • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                  Yes, and 25 year old women are more
                  adorable and sweet than women over 30. No person’s preferences are more legitimate than another’s. I just question whether people have really thought through what it means to make a genuine long term commitment to someone, especially when I read the bullshit above.

                  Anyway, I think VJ articulated my point better than I did.

                  Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

        • Joe Says:

          Vox, that isn’t what I said at all. I said precisely the opposite and repeated myself several times. It is you who is twisting my words and making them mean what you don’t want to hear. I have no desire to date girls twenty years younger than me; that is a fantasy that might be nice once in a while, but that’s all it is.

          The fact is I could land a wife who is twenty-five. I’m well off, established, geeky, but not ugly. But I’ve no desire for that kind of relationship.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

          • Dimplz Says:

            I understood what you meant but originally I’d misunderstood as well. I held back from responding once I read it over again.
            That said, I think there’s something that happens only with online dating. People feel like since they have so many profiles at their disposal, they will go for the ideal in every category (height, weight, activities etc). They mistake it for shopping. Also, if these people are so active, why are they sitting home creating profiles and trawling the dating site? Shouldn’t they be off being fabulous? ;)
            Most of these people would be fine with sitting at home. The problem is, when you’re selling yourself on a site, you have to be “interesting.” No one takes pics sitting on the couch watching tv, barbecuing and browsing the web (all of which are most of my “activities”). It’s top real and too mundane. Once people are honest about how Important traveling is in a flailing economy with insane gas prices, they will change their interests to be more realistic and acknowledge those interests to “dreams.”

            Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

            • Dimplz Says:

              “too real” not top real and “acknowledge those interests are dreams.”

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

            • chuckrock Says:

              People feel like since they have so many profiles at their disposal, they will go for the ideal in every category (height, weight, activities etc).

              For what reason would I not go for my ideal when looking online? There are so many profiles(ie women) to choose from, I have to narrow it down somehow. I just don’t see a point to initiating with someone who doesn’t meet my ideals. She may be wonderful, but if she is not my ideal and the other 50 are…well, I can afford to not have her come up in my searches.

              I am 34. My “Ideal” age range is 27-36. The closer to my age the better because they are more likely to have things in common with me. i don’t go much older than 36 because by then you are usually talking about single moms and I would prefer to not date a single mom, and you are also talking about women that likely can’t or wont have children in the future – and this is something that I want. Notice I say, in the future, because any child I have isn’t going to be immediate. If I meet “her” today it will still be 2 years or so before marriage and a year or two at best before a child. So we are talking at least adding 3 years to their current age. At 40, a woman isn’t going to be having a child safely – without medical aid….for the most part.

              And for anyone who would tell me – i should have thought about having kids at an earlier age – well I did, and I wasn’t ready for them yet. I wasn’t mature enough myself to be raising a child. So I was smart enough to not have one.

              Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 10

              • dimplz Says:

                I’ve been trying to find a good guy who’s marriage material since I was 25. Thing is, I did online dating very infrequently, and I didn’t go out a lot (dancing, yes, but not to meet men).

                Maybe the word I am looking for isn’t “ideal,” but “perfect.” Maybe your future wife will have a few extra pounds on her (and I mean that literally, like 5-7 lbs), and maybe she won’t like going to the gym but she will go anyway, or she will find pleasure in walking outside, going whale-watching, visiting the zoo, watching movies, cooking dinner, playing with her nieces and nephews, or having dinner with friends. These sound kind of ordinary, right? But these are all things I actually do, so what I mean is that most people are attracted to the profiles of the girls who are fit, like to travel, go out dancing, and are extremely outdoorsy. That leaves the ordinary girls without a date, when really, you’d probably be more comfortable with the ordinary girl who will be fine with Chili’s on a Saturday night rather than Peter Luger’s. Do you see what I mean? You can be happy with much less and *still* find an ideal woman, and it’s not settling. It’s just broadening your horizons to find the “less than perfect” person. Do you remember the marathon girl who wrote in not too long ago? She was like Alpha woman. I mean, that’s great and all, but people like her make up probably less than 1% of the population. And she was cute, too, so now she’s in an even smaller percentage. It’s awesome that she has accomplished so much, but what’s wrong with the woman who takes care of her dad when her mom is away and keeps the house in order, works hard, and is very loving? That’s my gf, M, who is 25 and already thinking about finding a guy to marry. When is someone going to choose M and stop shooting for marathon girl?

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

                • chuckrock Says:

                  she will find pleasure in walking outside, going whale-watching, visiting the zoo, watching movies, cooking dinner, playing with her nieces and nephews, or having dinner with friends. These sound kind of ordinary, right? But these are all things I actually do, so what I mean is that most people are attracted to the profiles of the girls who are fit, like to travel, go out dancing, and are extremely outdoorsy.

                  The ordinary woman you describe sounds a lot more attractive to me than the second one. While I certainly find fit attractive, I look for average fitness or better. Mainly be someone I actually am attracted to – that could be slightly over weight or even very thin….it will change with the woman and how she carries herself. I hate going dancing, as I am much more of a Pub guy than a Club guy. While travel is fun, I would rather save the money that is spent on travel and instead do little weekend getaways. Walking is on of my favorite activities and whenever I can do a long walk instead of hitting the gym – i do. I like outdoorsy in the sense that I like going to the beach, a game, or having a bbq but not so much that i need to be kayaking or hiking everyday. Those are occasional activities.

                  I’m sure I am not unusual in what I am looking for, and actually would guess that I am almost the definition of a typical guy in my age range.

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

                  • dimplz Says:

                    Are there women who have that kind of profile online? If not, you will probably meet someone through someone else or when you are out doing your mundane activities, like I did. My bf was my tax guy, so keep your head up.
                    Also, I’m 37 and I will most likely be 40 or over if/when I have a child. If it’s meant to be, it will be, but don’t rule out too much. I did that for too long.

                    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

                    • chuckrock Says:

                      There are all types online. (Well I guess minus those that still think they are “too good” to be online) I think I have a better chance at meeting someone online because I tend to be shy around women I have never met before, especially if I don’t have a reason to talk to them besides being interested in them. Of course it is a catch 22 because everyone also tells me that I am much cuter in person and my pics don’t do me justice – so I get rejected by women online all the time that I know if I had met them in person they would very much be interested in me.

                      Oh well, nothing I can do about it. I will just keep plugging away at it until I meet “her” I have a third date tonight with someone that I like very much thus far. Picnic in the park. Simple but kind of cool, I think.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

                    • Dimplz Says:

                      Romantic. Have fun :)

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

      • Paula Says:

        “Settling down” has a variety of meanings, not all of which mean you have to become sedentary in order to be with a partner. I’m still hoping to find the one who will have the means to travel around the world and/or at least the US with me, without driving me crazy in the meantime.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      • Ellie Says:

        Actually modern medicine can’t solve the incontinence problem — that’s why it’s a problem. My 83 year old grandmother is now cancer-free, thanks to modern medicine, but she still shits herself.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    • dimplz Says:

      I’m going to venture to say that this is why many marriages don’t last. Right now, I know two couple who are divorcing, one of them being my sister. The reasons why are because they married their men knowing their flaws. I guess they never believed it would be a huge problem. However, after many years of living with these huge flaws (money management issues, unable to prioritize, men who they have children with who wind up not being family men), it becomes unbearable and the union snaps in half. Ok, so these women knew the evil they were getting themselves into (and the men knew theirs as well, being that these women didn’t stand for it) and they got married anyway. Ellie, you’re talking about a host a variables that are unknown to you. My bf’s mom is 62 and in the throes of pretty serious dementia. I have already acknowledged and accepted that we will have to take care of her if I marry him and clean up after her one day. I have to accept it because I love him and I love her. I have never had kids, but I have changed diapers, and while it’s not on my top things to do, I am the only female nearby who can help (besides a home attendant, which they are not ready for). When the time comes, I know I will get the strength to do what I have to do.

      In a way, I think I was blessed to know that shit happens at a young age. My mother has been a widow since she was 29, never remarried or dated, just raised us. She’s a wonderful person and would have made many a man happy, but her priority was us and she valued being a mother more than finding herself another husband. Now at 66, she is lonely and I would love for her to find a companion. However, she’s not lonely enough to be someone’s wife again. My father was a good man, but got involved in drugs after they got married. There was no way she could have known that after 9 years of marriage, she’d be a widow. Shit happens. You can’t hedge yourself from hard times. If you have that kind of attitude, do yourself a favor and avoid marriage. It will be much easier to get out of a live-in situation than it will be to get divorced.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

      • Joey Giraud Says:

        “these women knew the evil they were getting themselves into”

        That seems a bit harsh. We all fall short in the perfection department.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10

  12. VJ Says:

    Some folks wound not recognize ‘maturity’ if it smacked them in the face like a wet cod. I knew exactly what Joe was getting at. If you’re 45-50 and still skydiving/bungee jumping/rock climbing ever weekend? You’re not the gal for him. And you’re likely a little less ‘settled’ and also perhaps ‘child free’ too. Which is all fine, but it does speak to a certain mindset that Joe was talking about. Chasing eternal youth is one venue of conceit here, over the ‘merely exercising’ or ‘keeping healthy’. And BTW? Who has time for all this anyway? I’ll tell you, the un/under employed or the very wealthy. The rest, all those in the ‘workaday’ world, struggle just to keep up. And demanding this fantasy life of the ever ready uber jock who’s also that ‘sensitive new age guy’ with the requisite, ‘little/no baggage’ & ‘financially secure/independently wealthy’ is just too much to ask.

    And please, Ellie & others who bemoan the risks of handling Depends at the tender age of 30 something? Never changed any diapers either, right? Never took care of or looked after an elderly parent or relative? They’ve got a word for such miserable experiences that you’re desperately trying to avoid: LIFE. It’s also called Caring in some circles. See also: Loving. I know couples in their 20’s where the wife was recently made an invalid, basically immobile and very sick. In the 1st year of their marriage. I know an older couple where the situation was reversed due to an unfortunate car accident soon after they were married. It happens more often than you care to imagine. This messy and unfortunate spate of luck that life afflicts on us all, eventually.

    So no, you need not look for love beyond the comfortable confines of the ever popular female dreamy desires of; ‘tall, dark handsome, healthy, athletic, well endowed, well educated, rich, powerful, & well employed’. And as I’ve said many times before you too can get lucky! You’ll be his Mrs. #7, and you’ll be the stars of your own nursing home by the time you’re likely to find him too. The whole world can not be looking for that ever elusive ‘golden tenth’ (actually <5-10%), be it Male Or Female. The stats are not with you. There's always someone more attractive, & 'hotter' than you are, or more willing to do or become what he/she needs/wants or desires. (Unless you're highly mercurial, and ever willing to change to suit your suitor's felt needs).

    So ageism is in everything. It's best not to fret to much about this now, as it's a moving target. It only gets far worse at more advanced ages! And no one believes that until it happens to them, again. And again. Cheers, 'VJ'

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  13. BILL Says:

    I love how people complain that Joe wants someone who he can watch tv and have normal dinners and etc.

    A lot of women complain of men not taking them on dates. Although these women prefer men who do x y z. Lets work on one thing first find a guy your into that will take you on real dates. Start on step 1 not step 10.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  14. Trouble Says:

    When I turned 40, my boyfriend was 35. At 45, I’m dating (seriously) a 43-year-old. I haven’t experienced much of this ageism of which the OP moans and complains. If you want to date men your own age, however, you might have to loosen your demands in other areas. You might, for instance, have to date a guy who has kids. Or, who doesn’t want to have kids (because you are no longer in your prime childbearing years). You might have to date someone who makes less money or has a less than full head of hair. You might (gasp) have to date someone shorter.

    It’s not that men your own age don’t want to date you. I strongly suspect that it’s that you don’t want to date the men in your age group who want to date you. And, that’s a choice that YOU are making.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

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