Moxie 101: After 35, You Just Don’t Get To Be So Picky

Name: JaneF
Age: 45
State: FL
Question: I find it impossible to meet anyone of quality. I’ve tried online, offline, inline, outtaline, you name it.
I’m slender, pretty, and fun, over 40 but playful and ‘young’ for my age and not attracted to anyone 50+ or 250lbs+  (I’ve tried!). I’m friendly, smiley, attractive, smart and get attention from men…it’s me who doesn’t like them, not the opposite.I’m friendly, smiley, attractive, smart and get attention from men…it’s me who doesn’t like them, not the opposite.
Yeah, I have “baggage” (who doesn’t?) – I’m divorced, gainfully employed, and share custody of the two most amazing, happy, delightful kids imaginable -we’re very close, but they are 1 year away from leaving home and I am looking for a true love to share my life with. I’ve been divorced for ages, and looking for 4 years since losing my long-term BF (no, there’s no chance of reconciliation- he’s engaged- to someone with no kids).

I see so many red flags when dating someone new and have come to the conclusion I’m just a bad “fit” for men here (FL) who are used to flashy, shallow golddiggers who throw themselves at man, and just expect the same from me. (again, the “fit” issue) I expect courtship and old-fashioned romance, but that’s gone the way of the dinosaur. I see some of my friends’ husbands are good guys, but I’ve not met any single guys of strong character (and I’m not interested in stealing someone else’s man, I have a strict moral code).

I’ve tried meetup. Grocery stores. Bookstores. Asking friends to fix me up. Social media. You name it. That saying “all the good ones are taken” is absolutely true. (Or gay). Ok, so tell me I’m wrong, or that there is something I can do differently and get a different result. I’m open to and appreciate gentle suggestions – just don’t beat me up – I’m fragile and sensitive ;) I’d even relocate if I met the perfect guy, which is something I’d never consider til now (now that the kids are grown).

I’m convinced there’s a better place where men are honest, faithful, spiritual, respectful, smart and sexually attractive – it’s called Oz. Just kidding. Am I on crack, or does a place like this exist – do I just have to drastically lower my standards and date men I don’t even respect or give it up and retire an old maid?


I’m slender, pretty, and fun, over 40 but playful and ‘young’ for my age and not attracted to anyone 50+ or 250lbs+  (I’ve tried!).

Try harder. You’re 45. Your target age range, if you’re looking for a long term relationship, is roughly 47-57. Yes, you’re going to have to make some concessions if you seek a committed relationship. I’m sorry to seem curt, but I simply can’t keep answering letters like this. I can’t. I can’t keep saying that you need to choose wisely when you get married or when you commit to someone. I can’t keep saying that fewer men are committing and therefore you need to refocus your energies and re-evaluate these so-called standards you have.

It’s not that all the good ones are taken. It’s that all the good ones you want are either taken or don’t want you. There. Fixed that for you. There are plenty of great guys out there who seek a relationship with a 45 year old divorcee with kids. Unfortunately for you, they all fall under your undesirable category. Yes, you’re going to lower your drastically out of whack standards. Sorry, but that’s your only recourse here. That and get a more accurate perception of what your value is in your particular market. 45. Divorced. With kids. If you seek a serious relationship, you’re probably going to have more luck focusing on the Divorced Dad market. Guys your age or a couple years old who don’t have children don’t have them for a reason: they don’t want them. They also don’t want to take on the added responsibility of being financially responsible for another man’s children. Yes. I know. That wouldn’t be the case. Unfortunately, many men won’t believe you. And let’s be honest…that wouldn’t be entirely true. At some point, if you and a man get serious, he will be shelling out money for your kids in some way.

I am looking for a true love to share my life with

But…you already had a true love. That guy you married, remember? Weren’t you going to have true love with him and share your life with him? What happened there and what makes you think that a) you deserve another shot at it and b) you’ll be any better at it the next time around? Look, you might be everything you say you are. A catch and a half. That’s not the issue. The issue is this entitlement you appear to feel about how every lid has a pot, etc. You might have to settle for great companionship. It’s not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth.

As for whether or not you should give up, that’s a personal choice. I do think you’ll need to make changes. Maybe that includes moving or maybe that involves lowering your standards. I don’t know. If you’re using all these mediums and outlets to try and meet someone and nothing is working, obviously changes need to be made.

Whatever you do, you need to confront this fear you have of ending up alone. might. Dating just so you can alleviate this fear of dying alone in your home and having cats eat your face off rarely ends well.


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70 Responses to “Moxie 101: After 35, You Just Don’t Get To Be So Picky”

  1. Lalalatte Says:

    I don’t understand all these mid to late 40 something women with rules about not dating a 50+ year old man. Is there something about 50 that freaks these women out? Men is their 40s, especially those who don’t have kids and make a good living have their pick of 30+ women. Unless you can truly compete with the 30 year olds you’re going to be running up hills in stilletos to catch those men. There are some great guys in their early fifties who’ve reached the point where their kids are off to college and their financially secure in that they’re no longer shelling out alimony, child support, and orthodontia payments every month. Are those guys looking for long-term relationships? Not all of them are but most want companionship and someone to have carefree fun with. If women would let go of those rules about dating older guys and having to get married their options would widen considerably. As a 39 year old I’ve found that dating 8-10 years older has increased my options substantially and I kinda dig the salt and pepper hair on older guys ;)

    • Howard Says:

      There is something as chronological age and real age. I have a friend, Sid that is in his mid 70’s that people assume is in his fifties. I have another friend, Al, in his late sixties that everyone assumes to be late forties. I know lots of guys in their fifties that people assume to be early forties. JaneF, you very well could end up with a guy who is 45 like you but his body age is 59.

      JaneF, you may not be on crack, but you sure are behaving like you are on. The forty something male has the most options of any male. The problem you have is that you are too damn picky, and you have no reason to be. As men get older they ask this question more often. ” Madame, what do you bring to the table?”

      Regarding your statement, “I see so many red flags when dating someone new”, that says it all. What you obviously don’t see, is what an inflexible, know-it-all, you are. I personally don’t think you are fun to be with. I don’t think you are a comfort to anyone’s spirit. Let me tell you what the over 40 man likes. We like women who are cheerful. We want a sexy woman, and that has more to do with her attitude and efforts than her god-given looks. We want a woman that is a comfort to our spirit.

  2. LostSailor Says:

    I’m friendly, smiley, attractive, smart and get attention from men…it’s me who doesn’t like them, not the opposite. […] I’m divorced […] I’m just a bad “fit” for men…who are used to flashy, shallow golddiggers who throw themselves at man […] I expect courtship and old-fashioned romance, but that’s gone the way of the dinosaur […] I have a strict moral code […] just don’t beat me up – I’m fragile and sensitive […] ’m convinced there’s a better place where men are honest, faithful, spiritual, respectful, smart and sexually attractive.

    Moxie’s assessment is spot on. You think you’re entitled to a fantasy and are seeking a sparkly unicorn. Moving won’t help you. You’re 45, divorced, with kids (it doesn’t matter however old). You’ve bought into the idea that you “deserve” endless love with a perfect man. It’s a delusion, an illusion, and a lie.

    Ok, so tell me I’m wrong, or that there is something I can do differently and get a different result.

    You’re wrong. But the good news is that all is not lost. Yes, men your age who meet your criteria have options and are dating women much younger than you, so you’re going to have to loosen your seemingly strict age criteria.

    But the major change needs to be attitude. Your attitude. I’m betting you actively look for flaws in each man you date, seeking a reason to reject them before you even get to know them.

    I suggest the Private Man challenge: with every man you meet, let alone date, look for at least one (though better to look for more) positive quality. The more you look for positive qualities, the more success you’ll have. That doesn’t mean that you should ignore obvious red flags, but you need to get out of the mindset that none of the men you meet or date are beneath your exalted self.

    Then there is the issue of sex. Your letter shows definite signs that you want to be wined and dined and romanced. But the big question is what you offer in return. And not just the pleasure of your company. What do you offer an man–that he wants. And yes, that does mean sex. It doesn’t mean jumping into bed with everyone, but it does mean that if you’re not sleeping with decent prospects, you’re going to lose out. More, it seems that you’re mentally against the idea of sex with anyone but the perfect man, hence the comment about golddiggers who “throw themselves” at men.

    If your “strict moral code” won’t allow you to change attitude, then the only place you should be looking for men is church. You might find honest, faithful spiritual, and respectful, but probably not smart and sexually attractive there.

    You actually know all of this. Which is why you correctly note that the only place you’ll find your desired man is Oz (and I don’t mean Australia). So, it’s either change your attitude and approach or learn to love cats…

  3. Behindthecurtain Says:

    From this brief piece there’s no way to know what’s been going on in Jane’s mind, but on its face it reminds me of an article in the UK newspaper Daily Mail. As a blogger once said, “Women today have a self-esteem problem: it’s way too high”.

  4. Joey Giraud Says:

    I am looking for a true love to share my life with

    it’s me who doesn’t like them, not the opposite.

    Sounds dismal, a real dilemma.

    Have you considered simply letting go of the need to have a man at all?

    Learn to live alone with a positive attitude, enjoy each day simply being alive.
    And ignore the cats. Cats are horrible creatures for comfort, all self-absorbed. Get a dog instead.

  5. ISOf16 Says:

    Oh My Golly… the secret is out …..we all want that . “I am looking for a true love to share my life with” This lady is in serious Deep Doo Doo with all her wants , needs and demands on age and such. Yes, Little Miss Perfect…. dip you big toe in the waters of 50+ guys. I’m well past the 50+ stuff, but if I met her and that Princess attitude of hers, I would just get up and leave….. Get real girl!!!!!.

  6. Treifalicious Says:

    OK, let me put this in stark terms: Women want to fuck. They want to fuck men they actually desire instead of going through the motions of being fucked by men they don’t really desire. Many women do NOT desire to fuck men that look old to them. Generally speaking old is not sexy. Is women dating guys they actively want to fuck supposed end at 35? Is this what you are all telling this woman?

    If yes, how many of these 50+ men OK with open relationships? That would probably make them a LOT more attractive to younger women.

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      OK, let me put this in stark terms: Women want to fuck. They want to fuck men they actually desire instead of going through the motions of being fucked by men they don’t really desire.

      Sorry, but I disagree. While I believe that there are women out there who have high sex drives and want sex multiple times a week, many women don’t. Especially women her age. And what the woman wants is only part of the equation. The guy has to be into it, too. A 45 year old guy with a high sex drive is dating women in their 30’s because they are more attractive to him because they’re younger. A guy in his fifties is going for a woman in her forties.

      Is women dating guys they actively want to fuck supposed end at 35? Is this what you are all telling this woman?

      Well, finding a guy who is sexually attractive should really only be a priority if you actually place sex as a priority in your relationship. Which, I’m sorry, I don’t think many women do regardless of how much they insist that they do.

      I love how it’s perfectly okay for women to express a clear bias against men of a certain age and not get any flack from other women, but if a man did it, he’d be call sexist and ageist. Women her age don’t want to date men in their fifties because that’s “too old” and dating them would mean they’re “old.” Look at how she feels compelled to let everyone know how youthful and playful she is. This woman refuses to accept that she’s no longer in high demand. That’s it. All the other stuff she’s saying is just to justify her insistence upon pursuing men who don’t want her.

      If having a lot of sex is important to her, then sure, she should go after guys in their late thirties to early forties..with the understanding that these men aren’t going to commit to her.

      This just in: life is a series of trade offs.

      • Treifalicious Says:

        Aha! So what we have here is a fundamental difference in our worldviews. OK so maybe a 45 year old woman doesn’t want to have sex multiple times a week, but when she DOES want to have sex, shouldn’t she have it with someone she WANTS to have sex with?

        As for women eschewing men of a certain age but complaining when men do – sure, it’s an inconsistency. What I’ve observed, however, is that women put more time and energy into their appearance and they have been doing so since puberty so that a 45 year old woman will often look better than a 45 year old man who never exercises and doesn’t bother to dress well because he figures women will want him anyway. I have been to parties with a number of 40-someythings in attendance and seen this all too often. The men think they’re too good to talk to the women their own age and then descend upon the 30somethings in the room who often times can’t be bothered unless the guy is so utterly and totally super hot which he usually isn’t.

        But your answer clears things up for me, Moxie. I will keep your worldview in mind going forward.

        • Speedy Says:

          You don’t really understand men do you.
          Men expect to get rejected a lot more often than ‘oftentimes’.
          There will be another party another day.

        • John Says:

          You had your chance when you were 18-28. Then, you had all the choice of virtually ANY man you wanted. Now it’s our turn. You should have thought about this when you were young and sexy, and you should have caught a genuinely nice and good guy and you could stay loyal to each other.

          If you showed no interest in good guys back then and were chasing pump-and-dump style bad boys, you don’t have the right to complain that good guys don’t have an interest in you now.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      let me put this in stark terms: Women want to fuck.
      Some women, yes. OTOH, many women are sexually repressed and/or outright dislike sex, and even women who like sex and have a healthy attitude about it rarely want sex as often as men do.

      If you’re not attracted to the guy, don’t date him; otherwise you’re just pissing in the dating pool. And if guys you are attracted to don’t return the interest, it’s time to get a cat or three–or at least start spending more time at the gym than you do at the bar.

  7. Denny Laine Says:

    I find that when quality women (and men) complain that they’re not meeting any people, one phrase is missing from their text: “that’s my type.” For example, the question above should have started out:

    Question: I find it impossible to meet anyone of quality that’s my type.

    I 100% believe that you’re friendly, smiley, attractive, you have baggage (who doesn’t?). I believe that you’ve tried grocery stores and bookstores. But no, old-fashioned romance has not gone the way of the dinosaur. I’m convinced there are men that are honest, faithful, spiritual, respectful, smart and sexually attractive right under your nose, but the thing is I’m sure they’re just not “you’re type.” There are millions of single men out there who are looking. Just the fact that this site exists is proof of that. Quantity nor quality of available people is not the issue. I think alot of times when people complain about the lack of potentional partners out there it’s not so much a reflection of what the world’s coming to but really a statement on the mindset of that person questioning.

  8. HammersAndNails Says:

    “who are used to flashy, shallow golddiggers who throw themselves at man, and just expect the same from me.”

    This statement is a huge part of why you are alone. You expect to do less because you think you are oh so special.

    Cupcake, you are 45. Your market value as a unique beautiful unicorn is practically 0. You need to become the kind of woman that is going to really offer something to a mans life. The days of being able to sit back and shout about what you deserve are long behind you. The fact that you don’t already know this should be embarrassing to you. You know how you don’t want a 50+ guy? well the 45 year old guys, well the guys under 50 don’t want a 45 year old. Luckily for them, many reasonable undemanding 37 year old women are not as stupid as you, so a 45 year old man with much to offer will date a 37 year old who is happy to date him. Not you.

    • India Says:

      What do these men have to offer her? If she has already had children, and she is financially independent (not desperate for a provider), why should she not be picky? What are these men adding to her life at this point?
      She has been alone for 4 years, and the truth is that men she is meeting do not add to her life. She has chosen to be alone rather than to be these men (the trade off favors being alone).

      • D. Says:

        Yes, but she’s apparently unhappy with the choice.

        The argument that Moxie and others are making is that she cannot have the thing she wants (and in the meantime appears to be letting the perfect be the enemy of the good). If she accepts that, then she has to figure out what else will make her happy and then go for that. If that means not having a man in her life, then fine and dandy. If that means figuring out how far from “perfect” she can go and still be happy (e.g., adjusting standards and expectations), then that’s cool too. But right now (so the argument goes), she’s saying “I want a Lamborghini, but I only want to pay $20,000 for it.” Sorry, not an option. Now what?

        One could argue that her actions — her selectiveness — are a manifestation of the unconscious choice she’s already made: she’d rather be alone if she can’t have what she wants. But based on the email content, I’m not so convinced that’s accurate.

        I don’t take quite as stark a view as some of the other folks here on this subject. I think the thing to do when you can’t find what you’re looking for is to re-examine what you’re looking for and reduce it to essentials. Figure out what the core of what you want is, and go for that, while being more flexible about the peripheral issues. What that all means in practice is pretty subjective, but that’s kind of the point. It’s not about externally measured or even necessarily measurable factors (most of the time). It’s about the underlying subjective impact on you.

        So, for example, one could say “Oh, they have to have a college education.” Objective criteria. Or, one could say “They have to be sufficiently intellectually curious, articulate, and well informed to keep me interested.” Subjective criteria. I say focus more on the subjective, since sometimes the objective stuff can actually prevent you from finding something that would be subjectively good.

    • Treifalicious Says:

      37 year old women date 45 year old men when they are desperate to get married. Left to their own devices, they’d choose men under 40.

      • HammersAndNails Says:

        Lol. you keep telling yourself that.

        • Treifalicious Says:

          These are NORWEGIAN marriage statistics! I do NOT live in Norway. What’s your point?

          • HammersAndNails Says:

            If you have somehow made it this far without noticing that a guy dating a woman 10-15% younger than he is is very common, you just aren’t very observant. This situation works because he values youth and beauty highly, and the woman is attracted to men in that demographic, because she values resources, status, stability, and confidence above youth.

            I understand that once the later stages in life set in, the woman may start to value youth a bit more than they did when a few years older was still in the mans prime, but the precedent is set. Women started it, much to the chagrin of younger guys, since pretty 15 year old girls starting going after older guys with cars.

            • Treifalicious Says:

              Where do guys get this narrative for “revenge” for teenage and college age dating patterns? Not every girl wanted the older guy with the car or was chased after by everyone and had tons of options. A LOT of girls just wanted to date a nice guy in their class give or take a year or two but were IGNORED by all but the most lecherous until some point well into their 20s and 30s.

              • D. Says:

                Of course there were. Just as there are plenty of perfectly decent guys in their late 30s and early 40s who are being overlooked by 40-something women pining for the “highly desirable” men who are busy chasing women in their late 20s/early 30s. That’s kind of the point.

                The main difference is that this blog caters more towards people who are out of that stage of life and closer to the late 20s-and-up age groups. You don’t see a lot of teenage or college-age guys writing in asking for advice.

                I suppose the key difference is that the high school/college-aged guys don’t bother writing to blogs like this because they already have the attitude that their day will come. By contrast, women who used to be able to pick and choose are suddenly finding out it’s a lot harder after 35 to find what they want, and so get the feeling that it’s all downhill from here, which I expect is a lot scarier than “Some day…some day the tables will turn in my favor.”

                Of course, neither attitude is 100% accurate. Men aren’t automatically more attractive and women aren’t automatically less attractive merely because they’re 35+. But the fact is that the dynamic — such as it is — shifts.

                Actually, I’d expect that the people who were never “10s” and always had to put a bit more effort into finding what they wanted are in MUCH better shape at any stage of the game to actually find what they want, because they’ve ALREADY had to adjust their expectations and are better able to determine what they really need to be happy, as opposed to continually chasing fantasies. It’s not a guarantee, of course, but I’d bet it’s a lot easier for folks like that to recalibrate than the folks who never had to work for it and are now having to figure out just what the hell happened when they weren’t looking.

              • HammersAndNails Says:

                I think you are projecting a lot more childhood angst then I am here. You really are being completely unreasonable, and I don’t have the energy to pound my head on this brick wall, but I guess it is a slow day at the office. I very clearly never said every girl.

                I tripled my income between 26 and 29. If you were 26, would you rather date 26 year old aimless slacker me, or 29 year old professional me? More than enough very pretty 26 year olds would choose 29 year old me. I would choose the 26 year old because I don’t care about a woman’s money, career, status, or assets. I just want her to be pretty, fun, and easy going, and those are things that usually women have more of at 26 than at 29. With a woman 10% younger then the man, everyone gets more of what they want.

      • mindstar Says:

        Treifalicious you’re ignoring the fact that men also have a say in whom they choose. Thus the 50 year olds are dating woman in their 40s and the 40 year olds are dating women in their 20s and 30s.

      • The D-man Says:

        I’ve dated women as much as 20 years younger than me and the thing they all have in common is they were not desperate to get married. Just looking to have fun. Most women I date over the age of 35 have already been married once and do not seem to be in a rush to do so again, even the ones who want kids.

    • The D-man Says:

      Where does the women who throw themselves myth come from? You might see this if she’s drunk at a nightclub, but otherwise it’s not common.

      I’m a 44 yo man who gets plenty of action from younger women. However, they most assuredly do not throw themselves at me. I’ve also dated women my age and older. None of them threw themselves at me.

      Perhaps it’s one of those women things. They like to hint at what they want instead of just speaking up. So girls see other girls dropping hints and to them it’s like a flashing neon sign. Not so to most men.

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        None of them threw themselves at me.
        That’s female code for “slept with him sooner than I would have.”

  9. Grace Says:


    Your response to this OP may be hard to hear, but so true. After a certain age, no matter how much attention one got when they were younger, your market value changes. Both women and men have told me that they feel invisible to the opposite sex once wrinkles, gray hair and extra weight set in.

    I am in my late 40s and I took myself out of the dating market because I knew good and darn well that being in my late 40s and having 30 extra pounds on my body would make for an almost unbearable dating experience. I am happy to say that last year through healthy eating and exercise I have lost 25 of the 30 pounds. Younger people do look better. When I was in my 20s and 30s I was extremely photogenic and my pictures always reflected my almost model good looks. Now…am I ugly?No. but I am nowhere near as photogenic. LOL!! It’s humbling, but we all go through it.

    My OkCupid profile asks for educated men between 45 and 60. I realize that these men will likely be less arm candy looking, but so am I. A divorced dad works for me.

    A few nights ago, I woke up experiencing what I assumed are hot flashes – I got very warm and sweaty. For a split second I wondered what man would want a woman who sweats at night. But I reminded myself that men go through their own issues as they age. We can go through these changes together, with humor and compassion.

    • sway Says:

      I would be careful using the word “educated” in your profile.

      Many eligible guys will see that as “rich”

  10. Cynthia Says:

    I am 41 and must live on another planet because where I am from, people, in general, date people who are about the same age than they are. I date people I like, I don’t care about their age (in general they are a bit younger, it is just the way it happens). Last summer I had this crazy thing with a 50 yo who finally decided to go with a 47 yo woman. From what I know, they are very happy, living together with her two kids. This is only one example. In fact, the only case of a man in his 50s going for a much younger woman that I can think of is my uncle, who remarried a lady 12 years younger. And we all know he did because she is rich.

  11. Christina Says:

    Wow. I thought people became more mature, and less superficial as they got older. The more I read about the dating marketplace, the less this appears to be so. I was also under the mistaken impression that age matters less as we get older. Heck, when I was 38 I dated a 57-year-old without even thinking twice. I didn’t have an agenda- I just enjoyed his company. My husband is a few years younger, but at our ages (39-43), the difference honestly seems like nothing. In fact, it’s completely irrelevant.

    At any age, it’s a good idea to be less picky about all of the superficial stuff. You’ll have a lot more fun.

    • Eliza Says:

      Christina…where have you been? No way…so many people in the dating scene in their 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s – men AND women who are quite superficial…and unrealistic, and have this sense of “entitlement”. For instance, a friend of mine – she is turning 60 in June. Honestly–she looks like she is in her very late 40’s body wise…yet her face looks like she is in her early 50’s…but the fact is she is 60 years old. Now–she claims that so far, none of the men that are in their 50’s, much 60’s appeal to her physically. Guess what? Your body changes, so does your face, skin, hair, etc. She actually went on a date with a guy she meet at a nightclub (at night)…well he is 47/48 yrs old…when he did take her out for lunch…he changed his mind…and told him friend – who sees me…”wow, didn’t realize, but she’s old”…”too old”.
      That’s reality. Men are shallow…and so are some women. Shallowness knows no age boundaries. People can be superficial at any age. When a person is mature enough, they realize that looks may be somewhat important…but there are other qualities we do need to look for – that one can’t see right away.
      Being openminded does make life more easier….and fun.

      • LostSailor Says:

        It’s not superficial at all for a man in his late 40s to decline to date a 60-year-old woman. She may “look” in her late 40s to your eyes–or in the darkness of a nightclub. But your opinion doesn’t count. You’re not a man she’s looking to date. Apparently, she doesn’t look so young by light of day.

        What’s superficial and shallow is this: she claims that so far, none of the men that are in their 50′s, much 60′s appeal to her physically.

        Yet the men are shallow for not wanting to date her? Yeah, right. Talk about entitlement…

        • Eliza Says:

          If you RE-READ my statement…you will see that i wrote: Some men AND women want to date younger. And go soley on appearances and age, or rather “perceived age”. Dating solely on looks and age is in fact being somewhat shallow. Do I feel that my friend makes sense expecting to date a 40+ year old man? No, I don’t…I find it to be very unrealistic and silly…and yes, a man in his 60’s looking to date a woman in her 40’s is equally absurd. I NEVER stated that the man she had lunch with who declined to date her was shallow. He actually never found out how old she really is…but he did determine she was much older than he initially thought (given the dark/lack of sunlight) when they did first meet. It happens. To some degree…we, as human beings are somewhat shallow — especially at first.. Let’s face it…first impressions are usually purely physically-driven…and that’s a shallow aspect. We must like what we see…and then other attributes do become important. Unfortunate, but reality for her is – that most, if not all the men she has met so far – that are in their 50’s and 60’s happen to be out of shape…or not in the same shape as a 30/40 year old…but to expect that is absurd. No matter how hard you workout and take care of yourself…no man or woman in their 40’s is going to have the same bone density/body shape and skin texture as that of their 20’s, and some 30’s peers.

          • LostSailor Says:

            Nice attempt at backtracking. I know what you wrote; do you?

            so many people in the dating scene in their 40′s, 50′s and even 60′s – men AND women who are quite superficial…and unrealistic, and have this sense of “entitlement”.

            That’s not “some” people, that’s “so many,” which indicates quite a lot, not “some”

            Men are shallow…and so are some women

            Oh, there it is: a declarative statement that “Men are shallow.” Not a qualifier in sight. Except when it come to the ladies, then only “some” are shallow. Actually, let’s look at that one in more detail:

            he changed his mind…”wow, didn’t realize, but she’s old”…”too old”. That’s reality. Men are shallow…

            So, yes you did directly imply that the man who wouldn’t date your friend was shallow.

            What you deem shallow is simply human nature. Your plaintive cries for people to date and “get to know” people they aren’t attracted to–whether it’s looks or age–is naive Pollyanna posturing. Sorry that reality is so hard on you.

  12. Horace Says:

    Women seem to be unaware that the tables start to turn right around 30. Before that, except when dealing with a particularly attractive guy, you run the mating game. After that, however, we start to gain the upper hand.

    Perhaps it’s because guys sex drives been to mellow, and theirs begin to ramp up. Perhaps women’s youthful beauty gives way to an increasingly more mature beauty, but men are hardwired to prefer the former.

    You can be mad at me for saying it, but it doesn’t matter; it is what it is. At 37, I can catch the interest of late 20-somethings far easier than I ever could in my 20s or early 30s. And any time a woman in her mid-thirties or older gives me a really hard time in a bar for just trying to have a normal conversation, I always think “Ha. Girl, you’re playing a younger girl’s game. Ease up.”

    • HammersAndNails Says:

      Agreed. 33, and to me a 26-28 year old girl is what I consider my equivalent dating age. Not really a problem to date 22-25, but that actually feels like dating a younger woman, just as dating a woman 29+ feels like dating an older one.

    • Kurt Says:

      I agree with you and wonder why it is that case that it is easier to get the attention of women in their late 20s now when I am in my late 30s than it was when I was in my late 20s. Maybe when I was younger I was “less confident” because I had less experience with women? Now I care less about the outcome and tolerate far less crap, so that somehow makes me “more confident”?

  13. Me Says:

    I think you people who try to push people into going out with divorced old coots should f-off. I don’t speak vulgar very often, and when I do, it means something. That’s because it’s against my religious belief to go out with someone who is divorced, and how DARE you keep pushing what is wrong on people! as if it’s right just because people are loosey goosey and do it! you’re completely in the wrong here. And as well, I have a touch of ASD and my social age and emotional age is 25. Stop telling people to give up and lower their standards you pig. thanks. :) maybe it seems difficult, I hear her on that one…but to be honest, no one should lower their standards for ANYONE. If that means accepting there are no more options, then that’s that. But to push people to break down and resort to immoral decisions, that’s completely disgusting. How dare you. Get lost don’t write anymore, you’re a pig.

    • Matt Says:

      Immoral? I missed the part in the Bible where Jesus says divorcees are going to hell. Oh, wait, that’s right, HE NEVER SAID THAT.

  14. Me Says:

    anyway in response to her: You will find someone who cares a lot about you! You’re such a caring person! And your looks are definetly still there!! it’s too bad people don’t take the time to get to know someone. I hate it.. It’s unfortunate. Most we can do is move on the best we can!
    I almos think men are scared of independent confident woman. They don’t know how to handle us haha. I once had a man say to me “you’re too strong”. Well what did he want, weak?? Nevermind. only the real men will love us! I’m gentle kind and sweet too with morals, and I would say…we need someone who is at our level. someone who isn’t intimidated by the fact that we are people and we are educated and accomplished. If that bothers them so much they should go and get a life! It’s the men you are meeting, not you! Try doing volunteer work, meeting people there, or Habitat for Humanity, or an art gallery (work at one as a volunteer), or church. That’s where the better people might be.

    • HammersAndNails Says:

      the kind of man you think you deserve wants nothing to do with you. You are rigid, difficult, demanding, angry, and unfeminine.

      “If that means accepting there are no more options, then that’s that.”
      I will give you credit for at least being somewhat rational about where this road may lead.

    • Kurt Says:

      In my own experience, the type of men who volunteer for Habitat for Humanity tend to be unemployed hippie or drug abuser-types. Is that really what you want?

      Also, art galleries are places that women, not men, like to attend. If you volunteer at one, you are likely to meet other women or gay men.

      I must admit, however, that a church definitely could be a good place to meet men, depending on where it is located.

  15. Alan Says:

    target age range should probably range up to 62. weight range to 270. %age of teeth left: 60%. I definitely understand making a cut on “all the equipment works (more or less)”

  16. joe-f Says:

    She found her unicorn. Now he is engaged to someone else with no kids. I believe by our 30s, we know whether or not we want kids. Why spend so much time with someone who eventually wanted to be with a woman with no kids?

    If you want that everlasting love, you are gonna have to give a little, maybe more than a little. Anytime you have a standard such as not willing to date someone five years older, you reduce that small probability of finding someone.

  17. Chilllybeans Says:

    “Strict moral code”=boner killer

    • Matt Says:

      Depends on the moral code, and the person in question. Batman has a strict moral code, and people LOVE Batman.

  18. VJ Says:

    “I’m convinced there’s a better place where men are honest, faithful, spiritual, respectful, smart and sexually attractive – it’s called Oz”.

    No it’s a place called Utah. Or Amish/Mennonite country in OH or SASK. And boy do they have some equally demanding expectations of their prospective wives too! And Please don’t press too hard on the honest bit either I imagine.

    This has been another episode of the Shorter Version. Cheers, ‘VJ’

  19. JaneF Says:

    To clarify here: this is the Internet. You don’t know me- you’re seeing the part of me no one else does typed into this little box. I am remarkably cheerful in person, men unanimously comment how much I smile and lift their spirits and they’ve never met anyone like me. Which is great! I like making people happy! Is it too much to ask for the same in return?

    After this discussion, I do think it comes down to personality – if someone wows me with their intelligence, humor, and generosity, I see past lots of other stuff. I can be attracted to heavier men, older, etc. who don’t fit the “mold”- e.g. I recently made a date with a heavyset friend who I always felt attracted to, now divorcing. So it’s not really the age or the weight, but CHEMISTRY lacking. And yes, sex is important, so a 70 yr old is not in the cards for me, personally. But hey, we’ll all be 70 some day. Just…not now.

    It’s surprising how many VERY eligible 30-somethings (financially sound, ‘hot’, smart, the works but never married) have been asking me out; but – I mean, I know who I am – I’m a mom, first. A 39 yr old man single that long will never like being second to my kids, and I can’t have more. I don’t think they’d stick around very long.

    My ex BF “unicorn” DID have kids of his own- he just didn’t want someone else’s (I get that a lot).
    Divorced dad is fine – it’s great! That’s what I usually seek (they can relate).

    My female friends chronically date wrong men who treat them like crap (use them for money, sex, etc) b/c it’s all that’s out there, then complain about it. I rarely date anyone more than 2 times; I don’t waste time with someone who’s not right for me, hoping they’ll come around, or that I’ll suddenly become something I’m not. I really have been remarkable open minded about dating all shapes and sizes.

    I divorced b/c my ex became an alcoholic and blew all our money. I wanted a better life for my kids and I’m proud of what I have given them on my own. :)

    It is scary that people are really telling women to give sex even when they don’t like a guy, if they want a man. Really? Whore ourselves out just to be with a pig and catch a disease? Uh, I’d rather have self respect and be alone thank you. Shocker: yes, women need to be romanced or at least attracted for sex most times, unless you are paying for sex, you would know this.

    I know there are great men out there in all kinds of packages, let me make that more clear…but I’m not being exposed to the great ones.

    I like the church/temple and charity function ideas, that’s my “type”…but I’ve tried and all I’ve met there are married men. I’ll have to keep trying that angle, it seems like a good one.

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      First off, allow me to educate you about sharing anything personal on the internet. It’s shocking how much someone can reveal about themselves.

      Next off, you’ve either got a third eye or some other impediment if you’re so attractive and youthful and fit and sexual and uplifting and yet can’t seem to find any guy to be with you.

      One of your numerous problems is that you think a man is supposed to “wow” you while you sit there and be youthful and awesome. If your letter is any indication, you’re beyond irritating to deal with for any extended period of time. Just reading your comments makes me want to shoot myself in the eye.

      Those eligible 30 something have no interest in you.None. Zero. You’re old to them. You’re considered some hard up divorcee desperate to believe she can still pass for 35. The fact that you have to even include this not at all special attention as proof that you’re attractive makes me sad for you. Think about it for a moment. Why on earth would they want you When they can get someone 15 years younger? Answer: they don’t want you.

      Sure, try the charity angle. Translation: I want a rich hot guy. Hilarious. You reek of self=obsessed single woman holding out for her Mr. Big. Sorry, hon. He’s not coming.

      You can continue to come up with rebuttals for all this advice. You’re still alone on a Saturday night, sitting on your little perch looking down on all your whorey friends. Let me repeat that: you’re alone.You can’t manage to find one guy that appeals to you because you’re too busy hanging around thirtysomethings who think you’re a sad hard up divorcee clinging to her youth. Shut up already.

      • JaneF Says:

        …”and yet can’t seem to find any guy to be with you” – uh, did you actually read any of this? Guys want to be with me (for that I’m thankful), I just can’t find one I’m attracted to.
        Get a clue. “Those eligible 30-somethings” ARE asking me out, in fact continuing to text me even when I ignore them.
        Did you get that last part? They chase ME (I really don’t know why? Maybe they are tired of young party girls, IDK?), I keep turning them down, nicely…eventually, in time, they give up. I know I’m not suited for them, they just don’t…but eventually they’d figure it out.

        But thanks for your brilliant insights, Andthatswhyyouresingle.

        “One of your numerous problems?” Really? And you’re perfect because….? Never mind, no one will believe you anyway – you’re a raging maniac trying your damndest to hurt others. Karma is a bitch. Enjoy.

        This is tragic – I thought this site would have value. It’s full of angry, bitter, loser men who hate women, and themselves, because they can’t get one. (Is it any wonder?) And a few women who actually care enough to try to help others but are met with a punch in the face from clueless men. Which, ironically, is exactly the point of this post in the first place. And so, there we are.

        Peace out.

        • Marshmallow Says:

          I don’t understand why people come here for advice then get all bent our of shape when they receive advice. There are a zillion other places to go if all you want is for someone to pat you on the head and tell you that someday your prince will come. You came here because you wanted no nonsense advice and now you need to process it. The truth isn’t pretty.
          True, no one here is all-knowing and you might be that .001% who finds the perfect man after the age of 40. But more likely you won’t so you either have to adjust your rules OR adjust your expectations. Maybe you don’t want to get married, you just want companionship. Then you can indulge those hot younger guys for a bit.

          Oh and re: “I am remarkably cheerful in person, men unanimously comment how much I smile and lift their spirits and they’ve never met anyone like me.”
          Men tell ME the exact same thing! I always chalked it up to “trying to be nice,”

        • LostSailor Says:

          Well, JaneF, it’s nice to get confirmation of my initial impression of your character. Marshmallow is quite right: you asked for advice and you got it, you just don’t like it and angrily reject it with your lashing-out missive.

          My further assessment is that you were looking to hear one thing and you didn’t get it. You were looking for confirmation that you are indeed as fabulous as you think you are and that the sparkly unicorn of the perfect man is still just waiting for you.

          Your comment is indeed confirmation of what I noted above. You can’t find a man you’re attracted to because of your unrealistic expectation and more specifically your attitude, as evidenced by your view of men as It’s full of angry, bitter, loser [and apparently clueless] men who hate women, and themselves, because they can’t get one

          Men offering you sage advice are “clueless” because they don’t tell you what you want to hear? Which was “the point of this post in the first place”?

          You apparently don’t really like men very much, which is, of course, the root problem. You really need to get over yourself, darlin’.

        • chillybeans Says:

          “Did you get that last part? They chase ME (I really don’t know why? Maybe they are tired of young party girls, IDK?), I keep turning them down, nicely…eventually, in time, they give up. I know I’m not suited for them, they just don’t…but eventually they’d figure it out.”

          Yes Jane, we get it, but you don’t. Those guys think you are easy pickings because of your age. (old = easy to them) Plus all that smiley-ness!!! Newsflash, guys don’t have to want a LTR with you, or even like you that much, to have sex with you. I’m your age and have gotten that same attention, but unlike you I’m not flattered by it.

          Since you don’t speak “guy”, let me translate further.
          fragile and sensitive=high maintenance
          I expect romance and courtship= I will never ever, pick up the check
          all the good ones are taken=too picky and loves to man bash so why even try?

          As has been succinctly stated in this blog before, “Change the bait, or change the pond”
          You won’t date men 50+, yet you live in the state that America goes to retire and die in?

        • D. Says:


          When I was 26 I dated a 41-year-old divorcee with a kid. And by “dated” I mean, we’d go out to dinner, have sex, and that was it. There was no intention of a long term relationship. Periodically, I’ve gone out with women who are several years older than me, usually for the same casual dating purposes. I never would have gotten serious with them, certainly not in the

          Now, what’s that mean? It means that, while I genuinely enjoyed their company, and certainly found them attractive, I had no illusions about romance blossoming with them. 9 times out of 10, they felt the same. It was strictly casual dating, and everyone knew the score, which kept things from getting too complicated or messy. That was a big part of why I dated them. If younger guys ranging from mid 20s to mid 30s are asking you out, chances are it’s for the same reason, particularly if they’ve indicated they want kids. So, yeah, you’re right to reject them. What you shouldn’t do, though, is take their pursuit as indication of anything other than it is. You’re attractive enough and interesting enough that they’d casually date, but they’re not interested in getting serious. They’ll look elsewhere for that.

          That’s been the major, central point of pretty much all the comments here suggesting you reexamine your standards. If you’re looking for true love, those guys are NOT a benchmark. If anything, they represent the proposition that you should, generally speaking, NOT look in that age range anymore, since most of the time they aren’t looking for true love with you — they’re looking for casual fun.

          As I said previously, my advice is not necessarily to chuck in the towel and buy a litter of cats, but rather to seriously look at the things you think are important in a guy with whom you’d get serious, and reduce them to essentials. This is what it means to adjust your standards: examine them, ask yourself whether your requirements are realistic, and try to determine what the core of those requirements really is.

          Lastly, on the subject of chemistry, I’m assuming you mean that intangible “click.” Trust me when I say that finding chemistry has nothing to do with age. It’s tough to find someone you really click with at ANY age. There’s nothing wrong with wanting chemistry, but there’s two things to keep in mind. First, recognize that holding out for chemistry — to the exclusion of casual dating — means you’re going to basically be waiting around for a while, which is (again) true at any age. Second, really carefully examining your standards and figuring out what’s at the core of them MAY make it somewhat easier to find chemistry, because it may expand what you see as your eligible dating pool, and may clue you in to the things that you really need in a relationship, rather than the extras that are “nice to have.”

    • Kurt Says:

      “My female friends chronically date wrong men who treat them like crap (use them for money, sex, etc) b/c it’s all that’s out there, then complain about it.”

      This quote made me laugh! Your friends end up with men like this because that is what your friends are attracted to! If a decent man asked out one of your friends, your friend would likely complain that the man was too nice or boring.

  20. VJ Says:

    “This is tragic – I thought this site would have value. It’s full of angry, bitter, loser men who hate women, and themselves, because they can’t get one. (Is it any wonder?) And a few women who actually care enough to try to help others but are met with a punch in the face from clueless men. Which, ironically, is exactly the point of this post in the first place. And so, there we are.

    Peace out”. (OP/JaneF)

    Like anything else in life, you can get out of something what you’re able or willing to invest into it. Want to actually openly question the direction of your dating life & choices? Ask the questions and take your chances. There’s good useful advice, and there’s also some less useful stuff there too. You pay your money/time and take your chances. If you enter into the realm with an overly entitled mindset, you’re likely to be severely disappointed. No there’s no one quite suitable for the wonder that is you & your ‘unique snowflake’ personality/essence/being. We get that. We’re sorry we’re just unworthy of your attention.

    Me I live a modestly if not wholly tragic existence down south, where one recent charity event I attended had the inevitable required directions to ‘turn off the paved road’, and led to a large homestead with a small herd of cattle on the front lawn. Strangely enough I actually knew the owner too. Although I’d never clapped eyes on the site before, naturally I was immediately ‘angry and bitter’ over the gent’s obvious good fortune. Until I was reminded talking to him that he and his wife worked hard for their success, and had endured many tragic and terrible circumstances to actually arrive at where they were.

    As one of those embittered ‘loser men’, I’ve only been reasonably happily married for 2 plus decades, have an office someone recently described as looking like a fine art gallery, own our own business for over a decade, and mostly cheerfully pay more in taxes than the average family makes in income in oh 4 years.

    Me? I know I’m not entitled to any of it, despite the insane work hours and constant effort to ‘maintain’. You Just Know you Deserve Better. Perhaps you do. But perhaps that population of ‘desirables’ gets smaller by the hour, and you’re already talking about fractions that make winning the lottery look somewhat more hopeful. Why not make it easier on yourself? Just take up with the youngin’s and enjoy yourself while you can. That might at least give you some happier memories to reflect back upon in your dotage. Go for it! Cheers, ‘VJ’

  21. Kurt Says:

    I am in my late 30s and live in a big city. I find that the younger women are generally far more appreciative and less bossy than the women my age. One would think that a woman in her late 30s would be nicer and more pleasant to be around than younger women if for no other reasons other than the fact that these women are getting less attention from men than they did when they were younger; however, I generally find the opposite to be true. Specifically, I have met so many who are more demanding than their younger peers despite having less to offer, which seem absurd to me.

    Women in their late 30s who still want to get married seem to be shooting for “perfection” and want to quickly find a man to rush down the aisle with them. However, men definitely do not feel the same sense of urgency and want to proceed according to their own timetable. The fortunate women figure this out when they are in their late 20s/early 30s before it is too late for them.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      One would think that a woman in her late 30s would be nicer and more pleasant to be around than younger women if for no other reasons other than the fact that these women are getting less attention from men than they did when they were younger;
      Oh, the women you speak of were just as unpleasant when they were younger; they were just the minority back then. However, all the pleasant women have been taken off the market, leaving only the unpleasant ones, who spend all their time bitching about how men aren’t attracted to their unpleasantness, compounding the problem.

  22. Julie Says:

    I think theres a bit much being made of age here. Yes age is a factor but its not the only factor. Youth is beautiful while maturity allows more time for achievement and perspective. Some prefer youth, some prefer achievement/perspective. And there are some that dont care about either, or dont give so much weight to it and prefer to focus on other factors.

    I’m sure the princess attitude isnt helping the LW, but being in the very desirable category doesnt necessarily solve all of your problems either. My best friend and cousin are both 29, cute, divorced with *no* kids, accomplished, brilliant, financially well off, and thin (one is a climber and runner while the other is a size 4). My bff hasnt been in a relationship (other than FBs) since her divorce 5 years ago. The only 2 guys she wanted something serious with both only wanted her as a hookup. My cousin is hit on constantly but cant find a guy she thinks is both attractive, smart and fun. I think her problem is that she wants a guy who is both assertive but also will let her control the relationship….good luck! In the mean time, a different friend who is 39, freshly separated, unemployed, and only on the dating market a little over a month just told me that she met a great guy who is tall, gorgeous and her age who has been calling her every day. Go figure.

    If age and fitness level are her only requirements, I dont think this would make it so hard. She didnt say she was being rejected by the men she wants. She said she cant find any man she wants who is actually *available*. I think theres more going on here.

  23. Shark Says:

    Women’s stock decreases with age. The opposite is true for men… Or put more eloquently, “Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be.” – Goethe. 40 year old men, assuming they aren’t destitute, have their pick of 20 year old girls.

  24. Guitardiva Says:

    Now I know why so many mean people have ended up on this site. The author is mean and one follows the other.

    All of you are going to be “old” one day and now I hope you get the same shit you are dishing out now.

  25. SoCalLady Says:

    Maybe I’m making an assumption here, maybe I’m going to say something that people won’t like, and maybe I’m wrong. Either way, this is going to sound harsh. But it seems like the more I read this blog, I’m see a common theme among 40-something divorced women with kids (or 40-something never married women with kids): they don’t understand the clean slate is gone.

    As divorced, “older” women, they seem to be looking for the truth and it manifests as a search for love. Perhaps they didn’t seek that out the first time they settled down and began raising a family because they were focused on validation instead of the truth. The first try at marriage and kids had more to do with being accepted, fitting in, and fulfilling a role. It didn’t last because it was built on a weak foundation – the deep need to do what our culture says you must if you are to become a woman.

    Now, with all this baggage, they want the real thing. They want authenticity, truth, connection, and love; they also want to search for it as if the clean slate still exists. Men know that no matter how young these women look or behave, in a “past life” they took vows or made promises, became parents, ended their marriage, and experienced the death of a family.

    What is so striking to me is that as a single, childless woman I seem to have a better grasp of how these experiences are perceived by potential partners. In fact that is precisely the reason why I do not have kids and will not have kids unless I’m living my truth. In many cases I think we know deep down when something’s right for us or when we’re doing it because we are scared to go against the cultural grain.

    I know it sounds like I’m being hard on the women in this age bracket who wrote in with questions. But with something as serious as a failed marriage and kids in your past, plus several decades gone by, can you really just say, “I don’t get why my dating life is so different this time around.”

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