Why Dating at 40 Is Better Than Dating at 30

I was talking with a friend recently about our respective views on marriage. His parents are still divorced. Mine are still together. (My Dad and were_all_women_of_a_certain_age_tshirt-p2354918781112837432mrbi_325my Mom were together 20 years when she passed. He remarried 3 years later and has been with my step-mom about 35 years.) 3 of my 4 older sisters are all married and have been 20+ years.

My family doesn’t do divorce.

When I was younger, I had decided that I would be married by 27. Which became 32. Which became 38. Which became…possibly never.  I’m thankful for the fact that I never wanted children. I knew that at 17 and, except for the rare moments of “what if?”, never really had regrets. It’s just not something I wanted. I’m sure some of that has to do with losing my Mom so young and never developing that mother/daughter bond. Mostly, I’ve just never wanted such a huge responsibility.

A few weeks ago, I watched on Facebook as one of my friends announced her engagement. She’s late twenties. Her fiancee a couple years younger. He proposed the night before they flew home to London (where her family lives) for the holidays. They’ve been together about a year and a half. Of course, up went the photo of she and her fiancee in an embrace, the ring prominently on display.

I was telling my friend about this and he asked me if it bothered me. I said yes, and then qualified my response.

“I think I’m jealous that she’s having that moment. You know, the ring and the pics. I’m not jealous that she’s getting married because, well, it’s marriage. It’s a gamble.  And they’re so young. But they look happy and I truly hope it works out.”

“Do you want to get married?” he asked. (Note: No, he was not proposing. )

10 years ago I would have immediately said yes. But now?

“I think maybe when I’m 50 or so. Maybe. But if I do it, I’m doing it once and that’s it. I can’t fail at marriage.”

The best thing about turning 40 was that people no longer looked to me and expected me to marry or get pregnant. Not that my family ever did that. There are 19 grandchildren. The pressure has never been on me to produce an heir. Nor did I ever have family members say things to me like, “You better hurry up! Time’s a wastin’!” Maybe if they had done that I’d have made marriage more of a priority. I don’t know.

I think I’d rather get married at 50 or older, after external life pressures and our respective sex drives have leveled and the relationship becomes primarily about companionship.  To me, there’s a higher chance of success then. Between temptation and work and bills and kids, it seems like most marriages don’t stand a chance. So why not remove most of that from the equation before making such a commitment? And why not enter in to such a Union when making announcements and posting photos is no longer an expected (and craved) part of the whole experience? I really do get the feeling sometimes that many people just want to say they’re getting married. Just like they just want to say they have a boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s just another milestone, something to give people fodder for status updates and tweets. It no longer feels like an actual celebration of a commitment.

When I was responding to a post yesterday, I told the woman who submitted a letter that, at 42 and a divorce behind her,  the Race for True Love was over. She had had the Big Day. Kids probably weren’t an option at this point. Therefore she had all kinds of time to really get to know someone and enjoy her life without feeling any pressure. That was another change that I think occurred over the last year. I stopped fearing the idea of being alone at 45, 50, 60. I hope to be with someone, of course. I want to be. But I don’t feel this overwhelming pressure to have every relationship I have follow a certain path.

I don’t feel like I’m being evaluated anymore. That is probably one of the biggest blessings of turning 40. Nobody expects anything from me any more. They’ve either assumed (and to some degree, they’re right) that I’m 43 and single for a reason and therefore not a quality candidate. Or they feel more relaxed because I don’t have a biological clock ticking. I feel like I get to enjoy things more. I no longer have to care so much. I don’t need to have everything figured out because I’m under a deadline. I can enjoy an open ended relationship without worrying where it’s going.

On Friday I was working with a woman and she showed me the profile of  a guy that had emailed her through Ok Cupid. As we know, OKC has a whole section of questions that cover everything from politics to lifestyle choices to sex. One of the questions they ask is whether or not he could respect someone with whom he had sex with on the first date. This man answered yes. But then he fills in the explanation part and says that he is not the “first date sex” kind of guy and it usually takes him longer than one date. He said:

It would take such a respect in order for me to have sex with her in the first place. But feminine wiles are not enough to seduce me.  I can say confidently it probably won’t happen.

I rolled my eyes and immediately thought aloud, “Ugh. Too much work.”

It felt like some kind of challenge to me. So, what, a woman is  supposed to perform a song and dance for this guy while he determines if he respects her enough to sleep with her? Seriously? Next. It felt like a man trying to set himself apart from other men and presenting himself as “different.”

I guess I’ve just lost interest in trying to impress men. I man, more than necessary. I still make the effort. But the idea of this guy doing some kind of mental evaluation of me to determine if my vagina was worthy of his penis just turned me off. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

In my thirties, I never felt like I had this kind of freedom. In my thirties, I clung to men that weren’t interested. In my forties, I’ve walked away from situations that didn’t feel right.  Now, I feel like I have all kinds of time. Now I feel like if I do find someone to marry, I have a better chance of it lasting. Forever. Like it’s supposed to.

For now, though, I’m quite happy to take it one day at a time.

 

 

 

 

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72 Responses to “Why Dating at 40 Is Better Than Dating at 30”

  1. The Private Man Says:

    Dating over 40? Yeah, as a man, I can certainly appreciate that. While Moxie might roll her eyes in dismay, there is something of a flip over 40 and the man is now in the position to do the evaluating. Hence my question to women over 40… what do you offer a man that he wants in the context of dating and a relationship?

    It’s a tough question and few, if any, of the women I know (or who’s online dating profile I have read) is willing to answer that question.

    Want to give it a shot, Moxie? Come on, we’re blog buddies now ;)

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

    • Angeline Says:

      Mind if I cut in?

      A real and solid understanding of the meaning and spirit of “vive la difference”, which to me, includes a genuine enjoyment and appreciation for men, and a lighthearted sense of humor (rather than a chip on my shoulder or deprecating attitude) about those differences.

      A sense of fun and respect and skill in the lost art of conversation.

      The desire on my part to look and be feminine.

      The ability to mesh my life with his without disappearing, or smothering.

      Enough skill to be interesting in a game of darts or tennis or golf, without giving a damn who wins. The flexibility to try his sports, and enough humility to laugh at and allow teasing for my fumbling beginner efforts.

      Integrity and direction in my own life.

      Respect for the fact that his children (at this age, it is likely that one or both have kids) came before me, and should remain primary on his priority list.

      Other than the normal, human, occasional grumpy or cranky spot, a distinct lack of princess and bitchiness.

      That, and I think I was in the last class of American girls to take Home Ec., where they not only taught cooking, sewing, and food safety, but how to take a gas oven almost completely apart to clean it … and I actually enjoyed it (the oven thing was pretty cool).

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

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Want to give it a shot, Moxie?

      Maybe in a future post. It’s an interesting idea. However, in this context, it feels like you’re issuing a challenge. Which, as I said above, doesn’t sit well with me. I’m sure it was posted in the spirit of good fun. But I’m hyper-sensitive to situations where I think a man is trying to use me or my blog to draw attention to himself. If others wish to jump in and answer they’re free to do so.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

    • dina Says:

      “Dating over 40? Yeah, as a man, I can certainly appreciate that. While Moxie might roll her eyes in dismay, there is something of a flip over 40 and the man is now in the position to do the evaluating. Hence my question to women over 40… what do you offer a man that he wants in the context of dating and a relationship?

      It’s a tough question and few, if any, of the women I know (or who’s online dating profile I have read) is willing to answer that question.”

      Oh Wow, Private Man… you are delusional if you think a man in his 40s has any advantage compared to a woman in her 40s. The only thing that’s flipped is you. A woman in her 40s doesn’t have to offer a man anything. If you want to be in her presence, then that’s enough. You sound very immature and juvenile in your “challenging” question. It’s about time you grow up and see the reality of things. Being over 40 doesn’t make you a catch. Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better, but it’s not true. Doesn’t sound like you’re mature enough to have an adult relationship if you have to ask that question. Everyone brings that something the table, if you like what each of you brings the table, then great, if not, then keep it moving. It’s very simple.

      Your comment makes you sound like you’d be be best suited wasting your time with an insecure woman who will compromise herself to be with a man. That sounds right.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 22

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        If you want to formulate a cohesive argument, please do so. But if you’re just going to attack people because they said something that ruffled your feathers, please leave.

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

        • dina Says:

          Moxie, quit projecting your insecurities on to other people. Your negativity is not appreciated. Stop acting so defensive and offended when someone makes a valid argument. No one is being attacked — you’re very dramatic and passive-agressive.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 24 Thumb down 19

  2. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “the idea of this guy doing some kind of mental evaluation of me to determine if my vagina was worthy of his penis just turned me off.” Now you understand where men are coming from when we bitch about y’all doing the reverse.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 4

  3. Dan Says:

    I fully agree with Private Man and Crotch Rocket.

    In dating, I see women evaluating men all the time. After looking at lots of online profiles, and also over-hearing women talking amongst themselves, I see this expectation that a man has to jump all kinds of criteria hurdles for a woman… or that a man has to just fit conveniently into a single woman’s life without it being “too much work” on her part.

    It goes both ways. I think as men get to a certain level of experience and status in their life, men are also not so keen on having to prove themselves, without knowing what the woman has to offer.

    So we are at a standoff.

    Allan Bloom, in Love and Friendship (Simon & Schuster, 1993, pp 27-28) writes:
    Everything is power relationships… The worst distortion of all is to turn love… into a power struggle… That is, the attempt to found all human relations on contract, the discovery of complementary interests, rather than human inclinations. …contract as the basis of social connectedness–the social contract, the marriage contract, somehow mostly the business contract as model, with its union of selfish individuals. Legalism takes the place of sentiment.

    Those are his words, and I don’t fully agree with all the theses in his book. But I do see a more “contractual” approach to dating these days: what do you bring, what do I bring, what interests can each party share and not share, how much does each party inconvenience each other, etc. etc.

    It’s just makes dating “too much work” in this way. I much prefer to see women with the attitude mentioned in Private Man’s post. I return, treat them with all the positivity, open-mindedness and interest to take things forward spontaneously.

    I guess when you get older, there is less time and opportunity for that!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

    • Saj Says:

      It makes dating seem “defensive” and “sad”. Challenges are bogus in this context. I’ve had a few guys just throw them from out of nowhere and it’s just like what? I wasn’t even thinking about getting together and just enjoying the interaction but now I’m annoyed. It becomes more about the competition then relaxing and enjoying compatibility. When making friends do you go “are you good enough for me? Well talk me into it” Trying to evoke defensiveness and insecurity in another person just seems like an insincere way to go about things.

      I don’t know if it’s an age thing where both sides don’t want to impress anymore and instead just sit back and demand it from others but from the complaints I see it must be. Perhaps it’s just a way to self sabotage and keep you distant from people because that’s where they feel the most comfortable. Judging, evaluating and holding back emotionally.

      Relationships and love take one or both people to just throw caution to the wind and jump into it. I like you and you like me lets put each other at ease and go for it. Older people who have gotten hurt seem to be afraid of making that leap first and wait or demand for the other to do it instead. Every relationship has one person just putting all their cards on the table and hoping the other person feels the same way. If both are waiting and holding back then yah…..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    • Teresa Says:

      Yes it’s that contractual approach to dating that I find so oft putting. We are all products trying to be the best and shiniest trying to outdo the competition. Online dating epitomizes this perfectly. I just find it all so sad and dehumanizing.
      Having been in a long term marriage it has been disheartening to see what’s happened to dating and relationships. I see a romantic relationship as a soft place to fall not some constant power struggle.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

      • SJ Says:

        I agree…this isn’t the dating I remember. It’s all very depressing and I hope my daughters don’t have the same experience(s) so many on this board are having.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Angeline Says:

      The idea that men and women evaluating each other for worthiness is a new trend is innaccurate. We had centuries of that, then we fell away from that when the romantic notion that “love conquers all” arrived on the scene.

      It is also inaccurate to say that only women are doing the evaluating. There is an elimination process at work before a man even talks to a woman, based on what he sees, and what he can assume from that.

      For either party to blindly leap into love without evaluating and assessing the other is frankkly nuts. However, when the evaluating is based on ridiculous, superficial or trendy criteria, the person on the other end is going to feel devalued. Try to see it as a lucky escape when you are judged unworthy because of paycheck, fashionable clothing or flashy car.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

      • Teresa Says:

        It is almost like you have to show up with a 500 word essay “What I have to offer and why I would make a great girlfriend/boyfriend”.
        Who knows what the criteria are anymore everybody judging and evaluating based on who knows what. I see this for example in the online world women who travel are automatically labeled golddiggers , women who have pets are “crazy animal people” and on and on.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        “We had centuries of [evaluating a potential mate’s worthiness], then we fell away from that when the romantic notion that ‘love conquers all’ arrived on the scene.” Yeah, and we’ve seen how well that works: the divorce rate is now well over 50% and still climbing. It was a grand social experiment, but the hypothesis has clearly been disproved: love does not conquer all. It turns out our ancestors were right: you do need to evaluate whether you’re actually compatible, rather than just fall in love and pray everything will be fine til death do you part.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. nasubi Says:

    I can relate to Moxie’s post. However there’s the disappointment from my aged Mother who wants me to be settled in a relationship before she dies. It breaks my heart.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  5. offensivedan Says:

    Man, I think everyone thinks of getting married and no longer having to deal with dating. However, marriage brings with itself other issues. I’m not jealous of others getting married but, I do sometimes think to myself, “wtf, life just passed me by.” Some people–it seems, when it comes to relationships or finding someone have a silver horseshoe stuck up their ass. Life just happens to others.

    I don’t know about dating in your forties but, I can tell you, dating in your late thirties sucks. You start running across ageism as women, in their early thirties, find you too old to date. Wtf? I could understand if I was trying to pick up on a 25 year old. All I know is that these fools are going to be forty one day and they will get a taste of their own medicine.

    Further, as I get older, I find myself being less and less gentlemenly with women and more and more to the point as in, “look are we gonna have sex or not.” If not, get out. I guess this stems from having to face the “bitch shield” too many times that so many women put up and expect you to deal with these days. Also, it stems from entitled women wanting you to pay to entertain them and act like a “trained monkey.” To be honest, I honestly don’t give a shit anymore who I offend. I go out with a women and I swoop in for a kiss and, if it seems I would get bayoneted, for a feel. If she gets offfended, who cares? I probably won’t see her again. Yes, I have lost all sahme and only care about vag these days,

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 30

    • fuzzilla Says:

      Please define what behaviors constitute a “bitch shield.”

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

        • fuzzilla Says:

          Yeah, I can piece together that it means “being cold/putting up defenses,” I want to know the specific behaviors offensivedan has encountered and is complaining about. (Specific like “I suggested Thai food and she said ‘I’m tired, take me home.'”). Because maybe in the process of doing a blow-by-blow of a bad date he’d tease out what he might be bringing to the table to cause a negative outcome – I’ll grant you that dating can be frustrating and people can be flaky/bitchy/assholes, sometimes nothing is your fault…but he’s the common denominator, and you can only change what’s in your control and learn to get over what isn’t. Isn’t that the whole point of this blog?

          (Is it possible I’m late to the party and this subject has been done to death?).

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

          • D Says:

            I’ve had girls be rude to me just for saying hi at a bar. It’s only happened a few times, and most times women are friendly. But women definitely test men. I’ve been seeing a woman recently he tried to test me last night. I called her on it and she admitted it was a test.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

          • offensivedan Says:

            Fuzzila, you are a female so stop acting like you don’t know what a “bitch shield” is. Today’s women have become proficient in its use.

            It’s like D described it. For example, you say good morning to a women in the elevator and she ignores you. Or you walk up to a woman in a bar and you start to chat her up and she tells you the seat’s taken or she is waiting on someone. Basically, the bitch shield involves a women trying to embarrass you or make you pay for approaching her despite you just being friendly.

            Another time I recall being at this social business meeting at a bar. The whole point of the social was to intro you to business contacts–not to pick up anyone. Well, I approached these two women and introduced myself and handed them my card. Before I could say anything else, one of them grabbed my card, said “thank you” very rudely and moved me along. The only time I almost punched a chick in her face for being rude.

            The bitch shield is also prevalent in online dating. You contact a woman and she writes back why you are not dateable or why she is not interested. For example, she says somone who has never been married or have kids is a red flag.

            Another example is her friend persuading her to move elsewhere so they can chat. Others would call this a cock block.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

            • fuzzilla Says:

              My best friend (male) does tell me stories like this, of simply being pleasant and being totally ignored/blown off/treated like a leper. I don’t see much point in getting angry and bitter about it, though. Just move along and find someone receptive. Plus, you’re talking about cold-approaching women you don’t know from Eve…that approach is a total shot in the dark. You have no idea if the woman is single or married, in the witness protection program, has a history of sexual assault, is batshit insane or what. The chips are stacked against anyone approaching a total stranger. I’ll bitch about the online dating sites but at least you know people there are single and looking and you have some clue about their personalities. If you get shot down, hey, it’s from a safe distance. (Personally, if I get a message from someone I’m not interested in I just ignore it; that’s what I’d prefer in return. I know I’d rather be ignored than be told what’s wrong with me, or worse, hear from someone responding “just to be nice” who turns into an excuse machine when I suggest meeting for a drink…says he’s “seeing someone” even though he just updated his profile that day).

              Even the PUA sites say their approaches only work a small percentage of the time. Trying your luck and sorting through people who are weird/rude/not interested is just part of the process. I’m not bitching endlessly about the guy who said he’d help me “monitor my weight” or the asshole who put on a show like he gave a shit about the death in my family and then turned cold as soon as I fucked him, and I’m not saying they speak for all men. I’m moving on and dating someone nice ‘cuz I forced myself to keep trying.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  6. Kurt Says:

    Dating might be better for you because you don’t put as much pressure on yourself. However, I seriously doubt that most 40-year-old women are capable of getting as good of a man as they could have gotten at age 30. A woman’s age does work against her and increasingly so if she is looking for marriage as she ages into her 30s.

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

    • Angeline Says:

      Or, since there’s no longer the pressure to make every single man that comes along The One, the woman can relax and do what (many? some?) guys do – see if they fit, see if they are right for each other. Which might lead to a far better dating pool, as the fellas who can sniff out the “I’ve had my china pattern and wedding dress picked out since age 13″ women will now hang around and actually date. Any time you can enlarge the pool of people to date, male or female, you’re going to have a better chance of meeting good people.

      The “you’d better hurry before your eggs dry up” thinking above is part of women’s problem, not an answer. Once the focus is off blindly being married at all costs, dating – hell, life – becomes more enjoyable and peaceful.

      P.S. it’s even more fun at 50.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

    • Sakeenah Says:

      The men I’m around are mostly 50+, ages ranging all the way up to 91. They are very much interested in the mature women in their company. They enjoy more talking to women who have a similar history, have been there, have many things in common with, and who they can relate to. It’s impossible for these men to talk about the good ole days with younger women. I dated a guy who was 54 and we ran into this problem. My point is that older women still have a very good chance of getting married. If she’s got it going on, has a happy social life, and has developed her character, a mature woman probably has a better chance of marrying a good man than most 22 year olds do. Many of the older women I see who don’t have men are bitter or kind of negative towards men. Even a 22-yr old with this disposition would find it hard to marry.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

    • dina Says:

      “However, I seriously doubt that most 40-year-old women are capable of getting as good of a man as they could have gotten at age 30. A woman’s age does work against her and increasingly so if she is looking for marriage as she ages into her 30s.”

      Do you realize that what you are really saying is that their aren’t enough quality men in their 40s? That’s what you’re really saying. It’s a reflection of the women, it’s a reflection of the quality of men that are out their.

      Slim pickings, but you only need one. Slim pickings makes it harder to find.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

      • dina Says:

        typo… mean’t to write… It’s not a reflection of the women, it’s a reflection of the quality of men that are out their.

        like i said earlier, everyone brings something to the table. if you can each accept what the other brings, then great, if not, just move on.

        relationships are not simply based on age. dating has never been easy, that’s why there are so many books on the subject, and so much confusion on the subject when you are dating and that’s why so many relationships don’t last and we keep trying to meet people until we meet the right one.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • 47widow Says:

      I have been widowed 9 years. For the past couple of years I have been testing the waters of dating again (long illness and death of mother and young child kept me too busy the first 6 years to even contemplate a new relationship). It seems like the older I get, the better quality of man I am finding. There are a lot of recycled (I like to call them) men who for whatever reason now find themselves single in their 40s and 50s. (For some reasons the 30-something men seem to like 40-something females too–too young for me). I have hope for the future and I think if you like yourself and keep a positive attitude that you will attract people with whom you can form a meaningful relationship. I think people may understand themselves more in their 40s than they did in their 20s; therefore, they may be looking for more compatible matches at that point in their lives. While I am doing okay as a single woman, I know that life is better for me with a committed partner and I hope to have that again one day. One of the things that I regret about my husband dying so young is that I will never have someone with a shared history — the life of my child — who has the same wonderful memories that I do.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. P. Says:

    IMO, dating at 40 is not better than dating at 30, for women anyway. It’s harder to get dates, as men in their 40s want to go out with women in their 30s and 20s. The dates you get tend to be with guys who are more beaten down and broken by life, whether it’s due to divorce or other long-term relationships ending badly, or decades of emotional unavailability being cemented into someone’s MO. So “dating” essentially sucks more, the older that a woman gets.

    Life in relationship to the opposite sex is better for straight single women in their 40s, however. Because the pressure is off. You’re off the treadmill. Moxie’s lucky that she never faced that pressure from family, but many people face it very acutely. No matter what you accomplish professionally or in the rest of your life, in some families, none of it matters unless you marry and procreate. My family doesn’t do divorce either. Except I did, and that was no picnic. Spending so many years feeling like I was supposed to chase the not-so-brass ring — and that my inability to do so successfully was entirely a personal failure on my part — was demoralizing and soul-destroying.

    So what are you left with? If you want to date, you can date, assuming you can find people you want to date. If you want to hang out with your single girlfriends, you can hang out with your single girlfriends (and there will be several. I’m not saying it’s always healthy or functional, but you can do it.) You can have a whirlwind of a social life, assuming you live in a major metro area where there are plenty of things going on for people who aren’t attached. All are options that are likely to make you reasonably happy.

    Or you can have FWB situations, hookups, be a cougar, or date all kinds of inappropriate people with whom you don’t want to be in a relationship. Because you’ve stopped worrying about what other people think of you. You’ve stopped trying to “make it work” with someone who isn’t right for you, but might be — in your head, anyway — your last and best chance to “settle down” and procreate. Your friends and family members have given up pressuring you (like that worked, anyway). That biological clock has stopped ticking. You probably have more of a sex drive than you’ve ever had, and much more awareness about how best to satisfy it. If you end up in a relationship, it’s a huge bonus, because you know you don’t need it to make your life complete, so you’re more likely to choose the ones that really enhance your life.

    After so many fits and starts and misfires, I have to say that I believe I’m happier than I’ve ever been — in a situation that looks a lot different from what I might have imagined it to be ten or twenty years ago. Because that square peg really chafed all these years.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

    • dina Says:

      “IMO, dating at 40 is not better than dating at 30, for women anyway. It’s harder to get dates, as men in their 40s want to go out with women in their 30s and 20s.”

      Wow…. first of all, were guys at 30 so much better? really? i don’t think so… many of them are either focused on their career, hanging out and chasing women… not so much relationship minded. And while some men in their 40s will be chasing women in their 20s and 30s, those men are confused into thinking those women want them… their may be some women who will respond, but why are they responding? I’m sure those women would prefer a man in their own age group.

      “The dates you get tend to be with guys who are more beaten down and broken by life, whether it’s due to divorce or other long-term relationships ending badly, or decades of emotional unavailability being cemented into someone’s MO. So “dating” essentially sucks more, the older that a woman gets.”

      Oh my goodness, pleeze, stay away from men like that — they need fixing and it’s not your job or obligation to fix them. Let them find a good therapist and work out their issues on the therapist’s couch. Not on your couch. Their are men in their 30s that are suffering with their own baggage so don’t paint them as being ideal, because they are not.

      There are healthy and damaged people in every age group.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

      • Kurt Says:

        “And while some men in their 40s will be chasing women in their 20s and 30s, those men are confused into thinking those women want them… their may be some women who will respond, but why are they responding? I’m sure those women would prefer a man in their own age group.”

        I think that you are wrong about this. If a man in his 40s has taken care of himself physically and makes a decent amount of money, he can absolutely be attractive to a woman in her 30s and I see this happening all the time in real life. The chances of that man finding a good relationship with a woman in her 20s is probably unrealistic, but a 10-year age difference is doable.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

        • dina Says:

          if the man is described as you say, then I would agree.

          while a 10-year age difference is doable, imo, i don’t think large age gaps are ideal.

          all things being equal, if the 30-something woman was to meet a guy in her own age group who as you described kept himself physically fit and makes a decent amount of money, she’d choose the guy closer to her own age then the 40-something guy. she’ll only choose the older guy if there isn’t a guy in her own age group offering the same deal… not to make it sound like a contract, but women prefer to be with men in their own age group.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  8. Mark Says:

    A lot of stuff in this post. Most of it pretty good. It might also be a good segue from a couple of recent topics a couple of ladies brought up. One of whom was addressing age differences and another who was looking to trade up.

    To me, one of the most important parts this post was this: “I don’t feel like I’m being evaluated anymore”. I would interpret that as saying that you have decided that are doing things for your own reasons that are important to you. While you may be aware of family or peer pressure, you are not beholden to them. It does allow you a certain sense of freedom. Doesn’t it?

    Why? Because it indicates that there is a self acceptance of who you and what you are. This applies to any age range. Then again, it also applies to anyone of any condition or status.

    Just to clarify, each person brings with him or her their own wants, needs, desires and aspirations. In many respects the same can be said of age. It’s also a reasonably fair statement that any status brings with it it’s own unique mix of the pro and con. Being single has its own set of issues. Being in a relationship may solve some things while at the same time it creates other issues. The same applies to marriage or divorce. It’s how you resolve them that’s the important thing.

    What is equally important throughout this is what are the qualities and attributes that you bring to the table, It’s always been that way, and probably always will.

    Interesting post.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  9. Kool Kitty Says:

    Interesting thread. I’m divorced, 50, with 2 middle schoolers, my own happy home and a small biz. Well aware that I’m being passed by by all of those men looking for a quick fix or whatever. And decided that I AM attractive…happy family, home etc. (great cook also). Am going with the “law of attraction”…a man either wants something warm, intellectual and real…or to just simply chase the others. Is that giving up? Maybe, so be it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  10. dina Says:

    A man’s age works against him too! Don’t be fooled into thinking an older man can compete the same as when he was younger. It’s just not the case.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

    • Kurt Says:

      A man’s age does work against him, although he will probably become relatively more attractive to women within his own age group as he ages. A 25-year-old woman has guys of all ages interested in her and will often overlook men her own age. However, a 45-year-old man is much more attractive to women he own age than he would have been 20 years earlier simply because the women have far fewer dating options.

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

      • dina Says:

        “However, a 45-year-old man is much more attractive to women he own age than he would have been 20 years earlier simply because the women have far fewer dating options.”

        That’s a pretty negative view. Maybe at 45 he’s more mature, more stable, more put together, then when he was at 25 and still looking to experience life like so many men and women at that age.

        Women have still have many dating options… the quality of those options vary from person to person. It’s no different for men. Think about it. Everyone has options.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  11. LT Says:

    I think that dating at 40 is better than 30 because you know yourself “better” because of your experiences. I also think it can be tough because when you believed you were going to be married with a family in your 30’s and that didn’t happen, you do ask yourself “WHY”???

    But all and all as a woman in my 40’s, I believe my dating experiences with men when I was in my 20s and 30s have allowed me to make better choices with the men I date now. I think as you get older you become more “comfortable in your own skin” so it’s easier to tell a man what you want and don’t want in a relationship and to know when to walk away at the right time instead of lingering too long – something that was difficult for me to do when I was younger!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

    • Sakeenah Says:

      I totally agree.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • dina Says:

      Well, I think when we’re younger, as women, we hold on to the fairytale too long, that causes us to linger in situations that aren’t really going anywhere. having crushes or pining for someone can have the same result. as women, we shouldn’t focus on one person unless some kind of commitment has been established. until then, each woman is still a free agent and should have that mindset and continue dating.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  12. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    I agree with these two sentiments which are not mutually exclusive:

    a- people in their 40’s tend to have more life experience and are therefore able to make better judgments.

    b- women in their 40’s are, all else equal, less attractive to men, than women in their 20s and 30’s. (I don’t know whether this is true for aging men because my personal experience is that men seem to be more attractive to women as they age. I guess I get tricked a lot.)

    Anyway, because these two factors (a and b) exist together, you end up with the basis for the expression that “youth is wasted on the young.” By the time women “figure it out,” they are at a relative disadvantage in terms of who they can attract.

    It takes a lifetime to learn what you really need to know but nature doesn’t give you a lifetime to exploit that knowledge to your benefit. And the paradox is amplified by the fact that, when you’re young, you cannot be convinced by anyone that the paradox even exists because your reality tells you the opposite. Life sucks!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  13. Marshmallow Says:

    As you get older, you no longer view marriage as a fantasy land. Your married friends do not have permagrins on their faces and they have problems too – different than the ones single people have but sometimes every more stressful.

    There once was a time when women needed to marry a man for financial security and hence dated older, stable men. This is no longer the case. I think this is going to even out the dating playing field in the future. Also, unless you want children – and don’t kid yourselves, guys. You can be infertile too – does age REALLY matter?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    • Kurt Says:

      Age is always going to be a factor – men want the most attractive woman they can get whom will commit to them. The fact that age does matter really does even out the playing field between men and women as it is. Women have an enormous advantage over men in terms of dating when they are young, especially during their 20s.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

      • dina Says:

        you said, “men want the most attractive woman they can get whom will commit to them.” you didn’t say youngest, you said most attractive. i think your confusing age with beauty. and every person, men and women, wants the most attractive person they can find who will commit to them. not all women are attractive, regardless of their age. same goes for men.

        you also said, “Women have an enormous advantage over men in terms of dating when they are young, especially during their 20s.” i don’t see how that’s true. if anything, it’s a level playing field as much it would ever be for people in the same age group.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

        • D Says:

          Disagree. Young women get interest and attention from men their age PLUS guys who are 10-15 years older. (They may reject that interest, but it’s still there.) Men in their twenties get interest from women their age and maybe a couple years older, though most women tend to think guys who are, say, 4-5 younger or more are immature.

          Plus, young guys think they need to have money to attract women, so they envy older guys. (again, not saying that’s accurate, just a perception that affects dating market value).

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

          • offensivedan Says:

            D , again is correct. Women in their twenties and early thirties are the most coveted by men. Now, in a city like NYC–with tons of women that age–it’s not a problem. But, in a smaller city—like the one I live in– with less “talent” it’s a evolutionary fight to the death between males. You have your alpha lions and the beta lions who were cahsed from the pride.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

            • dina Says:

              you’r right. and men in their twenties and early thirties are the most coveted by women.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

              • Marshmallow Says:

                I disagree unless the woman is in that age range. If she is looking to settle down, she will go for older guys. I know, everyone knows a woman in her 50s who married a 25 year old and they are madly in love. But that hardly ever happens.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

              • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                Some of the male commenters in their 40’s have reported that things seem to have gotten better for them with age. It’s not clear on what basis you could disagree with or challenge that, other than YOU prefer a younger man in which case: good for you.

                Are you a woman in your 40’s? Have things gotten easier or better for you in terms of the quality of men available to you? That would be helpful to know if you wanted to at least make some sort of defensible point.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

                • Marshmallow Says:

                  One thing than no one has touched on is sex drives. Mine has gone up with age and I find this to be true of most of my female friends (except for those who never cared for sex in the first place). We’ve also found that men have lower drives as they age.

                  I have a question for the guys who date younger: do you find this to be true? And do you find your sex drive to be an issue with these women who might be used to twenty and thirty something men who want to do it all night? I know about viagra but the desire has to be there for it to work. (I’m not trying to be combative, I’m really curious as this is never discussed!).

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. Ken Says:

    When the guy qualified his take on first date sex by saying this, “It would take such a respect in order for me to have sex with her in the first place. But feminine wiles are not enough to seduce me. I can say confidently it probably won’t happen.”
    I suspect all he was saying was that he realizes it can happen, & if it did he would not attach a scarlet letter to someone because of it. IMHO, he further qualified himself by saying that it was not his style & he is looking for something on a deeper level., What is wrong with that? This guys tells you up front he is not looking for a fast lay & you shrug him off by saying , “Ugh. Too much work.” I swear guys can’t win wit some women!

    I suggest to all, the next time you meet someone who you are interested in you take the time to get to know the person on a deeper level. One of 2 things will happen: 1.) You will decide you do not like this person as much as you thought you did. Moving on you will be glad you passed on the empty sex. OR, 2.) You will decide that you like this person beyond the surface & sex will have something attached to it beyond primal needs. Take a chance, you have everything to gain, nothing to lose.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

    • D Says:

      Actually, I think this guy is lying. It’s a PUA tactic known as qualifying. He’s trying to simultaneously communicate that 1) he’s not like all those other guys who jump into bed with just anyone and 2) if you’re really cute and attractive maybe you can be one of the precious few who win him over.

      More at http://www.pualingo.com/pua-definitions/qualification/

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

      • fuzzilla Says:

        Ha, totally. I more or less commented the same thing. (I didn’t have quite the nose for PUA bullshit that you did, but yeah, something seemed off).

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

      • Ken Says:

        OK, first thing: PUA? Thank you for adding a new 3 letter abbreviation to my vocabulary. Please allow me to return the favor: IRL – In Real Life! The fact that you even know this book exists speaks volumes about you. It tells me you are always out there looking for the bad in others, which you are sure to find if you look eneough. The happy fact is most people are good, honest people given a chance they will show you by their actions & deeds. Why are people always peeling onions, finding nothing but more onion, yet they continue to peel away looking for dirty details that are not there?

        Moxie advises against tests as they usually do not work out well. I suggest one that has never let me down: Take a S.A.S.E., a $1.00 biil & a sheet of paper. Write on the sheet of paper, “This was a test of charachter. While you may be a dollar wealthier, the fact that you are reading this shows you have no charachter.” enclose the dollar bill inside the shet

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          You’re new here, so allow me to explain a few things. One? D. is a long time commenter. And he’s not someone who looks for the bad in people. Actually, he’s the opposite. Two? If you want to engage in a debate with D. or anybody else, leave the ad hominem attacks at the door. People who immediately try to attack someone’s character (see what i did there?) in place of coming up with an effective argument end up looking worse than the person they are attempting to attack.

          Going forward, anybody who pulls this will be moderated. Not banned. Moderated. Because apparently I have to take time out of my day to review comments to make sure everybody is acting like adults. If the attacks continue, I just stop approving that person’s comments.

          And…scene.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

          • Ken Says:

            There was no attack, at least I didn’t intend it to be one. All I am saying is don’t look too deep into things. Sometimes things really are as they appear, nothing more, nothing less.

            Expanding on my original post, if the guy is a PUA following my suggestion to take one’s time is the best way to expose a player. I doubt a player / PUA will be willing to invest the time to get to know a person.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

        • Ken Says:

          SENT EARLY SORRY

          Mail it & you will find it in your mailbox within 3 days. Most people are good & honest.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

        • D Says:

          Whatevs. This blog often focuses on understanding the motivations in other people’s behavior, so I offered my opinion. I could be wrong, but something about that guy’s writing style is awfully familiar.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    • fuzzilla Says:

      I think Moxie was responding to the tone, not the sentiment of wanting a connection before sex. “But feminine wiles are not enough to seduce me. I can say confidently it probably won’t happen.” Kinda seems like he’s issuing a challenge to people he’s not even met. “Try your feminine wiles all you want, but…” Also “confidently say it probably won’t happen” kinda sounds like “I think he doth protest too much.” It sounds like he might have a history of a lot of one night stands that he judges himself for. It’s kinda like saying “I don’t drink on the first date. Bring over the finest bottle of champagne you want, but I can confidently say I probably won’t drink it”?

      If all he wanted to communicate was “I’m really looking for a connection and not just a one night stand,” he could’ve just said that without the baggage-y, challenge-y tone attached.

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

  15. The Private Man Says:

    “Oh Wow, Private Man… you are delusional if you think a man in his 40s has any advantage compared to a woman in her 40s. The only thing that’s flipped is you. A woman in her 40s doesn’t have to offer a man anything. If you want to be in her presence, then that’s enough. You sound very immature and juvenile in your “challenging” question. It’s about time you grow up and see the reality of things. Being over 40 doesn’t make you a catch. Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better, but it’s not true. Doesn’t sound like you’re mature enough to have an adult relationship if you have to ask that question. Everyone brings that something the table, if you like what each of you brings the table, then great, if not, then keep it moving. It’s very simple.

    Your comment makes you sound like you’d be be best suited wasting your time with an insecure woman who will compromise herself to be with a man. That sounds right.”

    Your insults and anger indicate that I am 100% correct with my question. The question cuts dangerously close to your sense of princess entitlement and so you react with anger and then attack me personally.

    So Dina, what do YOU offer a man what he wants in the context of dating and a relationship?

    Your words, Dina:

    “A woman in her 40s doesn’t have to offer a man anything.”

    And this is why you’re single.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

    • dina Says:

      This is why your immature. Again, if you have to go around asking the question, you’re not mature enough to be in a relationship. Men don’t ask such silly questions. Boys like you do.

      “Your insults and anger indicate that I am 100% correct with my question. The question cuts dangerously close to your sense of princess entitlement and so you react with anger and then attack me personally.”

      This statement makes no sense. Your statement neither insults me or angers me. It does make me laugh though. Princess entitlement??? LOL. Pleeze. You’re the one who sounds entitled… what a joke you are… do you even hear yourself?

      Here’s what you wrote:

      Dating over 40? Yeah, as a man, I can certainly appreciate that. While Moxie might roll her eyes in dismay, there is something of a flip over 40 and the man is now in the position to do the evaluating. Hence my question to women over 40… what do you offer a man that he wants in the context of dating and a relationship?

      Who’s the one who sounds entitled?

      Evaluating? that’s the word you use. What are you fit to evaluate? You sound so childish. And whiny. No one attacked you. Relax.

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

      • The Private Man Says:

        Google the term “ad hominem”.

        Then check out this website: http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/toc.htm

        And I again present this question:

        “So Dina, what do YOU offer a man what he wants in the context of dating and a relationship?”

        When you answer that question, the readers of this blog might take you seriously.

        In the meantime, you offer nothing.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

        • dina Says:

          Sounds like the person who offers nothing is you. Your ego is hurt and and that’s you carry on like a little girl who fell and her scraped her knee.

          You don’t speak for everyone. Why do you try to rally everyone around you. Need them to fight your battles? You speak for no one except yourself and put your foot in your mouth while doing it.

          Why don’t you provide a list of your qualifications and then we’ll evaluate you. You posed the question, you should answer it.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

      • D Says:

        When I hit 40 I seemed to get a lot more attractive, and my standards have definitely gone up. I’ve also done some things to help with that – better clothes, more exercise etc.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          I have had a similar experience (except for the exercise part). I’d say my “hottest” (for online dating at least) was 37-38. I think at 39, women suspect you’re lying about your age. At 40+,, I think you start falling out of some searches, so you have to make more of an effort to meet but, once you meet, it’s easier to command respect and hold their attention. I usually date women in their early thirties, occasionally in their late twenties. mostly highly educated, sophisticated professionals. The “quality” of the women I date has gone up consistently as I get older – the age group really hasn’t changed.

          However, like women in their twenties who can’t yet see how things will change for them in a few years, it’s hard to know what will happen when I turn 50, or 60 etc. I assume that things will “dry up” a bit for me too, assuming I don’t pair off (or die) at some point. Most likely I will be dating 40+ divorcees, which hopefully will be fine with me.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  16. j Says:

    You overreacted.

    The guy responded to the sex-on-the-first-date question by disclosing that typically doesn’t happen for him. There are a lot of guys like that.

    That’s an honest answer you should appreciate. Your negative response was off-base.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      People who have to share such information (and publicly, I might add) are rarely being sincere. The only purpose to say something like that is to present yourself as some kind of challenge or strip the other person of their power.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  17. Tina Says:

    41 year old female here. Divorced, dated two years and now just got out of a five year relationship. Sometimes it is overwhelming, but you spoke to me in this article. I need to take it all in and just enjoy. No pressure. I love it!!! No more marriage and babies for me. Full steam ahead…on my terms. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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