Is It Harder To Find A Man After 35?

Name: NBover40onlinedating

Comment: Moxie,

I’m a 40 yo single woman who has usually had a boyfriend, hence, I just started online dating about 5 months ago. Needless to say, it has been a disappointing and discouraging experience. I’ve never proactively dated, so I’m on the naive side. I do look 6-10 years younger,(and yes, I know every girl says this, but I’m happy to attach pictures to confirm)and am often asked out by men in their late 20’s to early 30’s. I recognize that these men have no interest in a relationship, but I’m always up for a fun night so I occasionally go. When I first started online dating the endless parade of dates was fun and exciting, but it got exhausting fast. 80% of them were unattractive or incompatible, and the other 20% simply wanted a one night stand. Mind you, OKC was my site of choice.. so now I’m trying to limit myself to men who want more than a one night stand and to that end, will be upgrading from OKC to match.

My question to you is, what is the cutoff point? Do men in their late 30’s/early 40’s consider 40 year old women relationship material, or should I limit myself to 45+ yo men? As far as I know, if a male doesn’t want children, your age is a less important number than where you fall on the 1-10 scale of attractiveness, ie you’re only as old as you look.
Age: 40
City: Brooklyn
State: New York

and the other 20% simply wanted a one night stand.

I’m going to blow your mind right now. Ready? I will bet any amount of money that Mr. Relationship was part of that 20%. Here’s why I know that: because most women haven’t a clue as to how to determine whether a man is just looking to laid. Unless these men came out and told you they just wanted a one night stand, you have no evidence to back up your theory. All you have is years and years of crappy advice from your girlfriends. Something you’ll need to understand about men and dating now is that they prefer sex to happen sooner than later. If it doesn’t, or there’s too much challenge presented, these guys won’t think twice about Fading on you and looking elsewhere. Because they can. They have options that you don’t. So while these men in the 20% might have made a sexual comment or two or invited you back to their place, what I bet many were doing was testing the waters to see how you reacted. If you got uptight or defensive, they assigned you a high level of difficulty and mentally kicked you to the curb. I happen to think that the days of men judging women for having sex too soon are pretty much gone, save for the men here and there with the fragile egos.

My question to you is, what is the cutoff point? Do men in their late 30’s/early 40’s consider 40 year old women relationship material,

For the most part? No. Certainly not if they want children. But you’ll pursue them anyway, I’m sure because you’re convinced that you look young enough to be considered relationship material by them. That’s why you made it a point to mention your youthful appearance. You were setting up your defense. (And mind you, I wrote that part before I even read that last line.)

should I limit myself to 45+ yo men?

I don’t know if I would say that you should “limit” yourself to them. I think a better word is “focus.” You should direct your attention and efforts to meeting men in the 45+ range if you seek something committed and long term. If you seek a relationship, then you need to be looking at the Divorced Dad crowd and the guys in their mid/late forties to early fifties. Which isn’t a bad thing.

I don’t understand this whole thing about not wanting to date guys in their mid-forties. Yes, I know. You’re really active and fit and still dance like nobody’s watching, like when you were 25. You know what is the best thing about dating men 45 and older? They actually want you. Unlike those 38 year olds you’re hanging your hopes on who might date you for a few months until someone younger comes along. Because she will.

As far as I know, if a male doesn’t want children, your age is a less important number than where you fall on the 1-10 scale of attractiveness, ie you’re only as old as you look.

Nope. They pretty much still prefer younger women. The ones who are open to dating a woman of 40+ are in pretty high demand. If you want them, then be ready to go to the mattresses, because you will have stiff competition. Age trumps hotness, I’m afraid. Except with the younger guys. They just want to bang you for the story and experience, which explains all those emails you get from men in their twenties and thirties. We all get those messages. They are indicative of nothing.

I realize that this isn’t what you wanted to hear. But the fact is that you’ve had a string of boyfriends and nothing appears to have resulted in what you wanted. Or maybe it did and you’re just looking for a guy to date for a little while. I don’t know. What I know is that you’re now 40 and you’re doing what you can to find reasons why you can’t meet someone appropriate. It’s not OK Cupid’s fault. Welcome to dating at 40. Match isn’t going to be much different, especially if you try to get the guy in his thirties. This is what it’s like. You had 15+ years to find your Mr. Right. For whatever reason, none of those worked out in the way you wanted. Now you’re hoping that lightening will strike again.

The problem isn’t an algorithm or a website. You’re grappling with facing the reality that this is how dating is for you now. I’ve noticed that the women who return to the dating scene at some point in the last few years struggle the most. The dating landscape has changed and will continue to change change rapidly. It’s just..harder now. Especially for women our age. I’ve said this before: the 37-44 year old men in Manhattan and even Brooklyn aren’t looking for us. You’re going to have to branch out and start looking in Connecticut and New Jersey or even further. If you insist on local, then you have to channel your search and make yourself available to the 45-50 crowd. A lot of men 40-45 are still hanging on to the possibility of having children. Even if that pang to reproduce is faint, those guys are going to naturally seek out women they believe are of optimum child bearing age.

Dating isn’t like a vending machine. When the last Snickers bar is gone, the universe doesn’t magically put 10 more in your path. Your choice is to wait around for someone to come along and refill that option or select the Twizzler or Baby Ruth. Yeah, it’s not what you originally wanted. Someone came along before you and bought that Snickers before you could have a chance. That’s what it’s like to date at 40 in Manhattan or probably any other major city where there is an overage of single women to single men.

You can continue to pursue the late thirties to early forties guy. I’m not saying that getting one of them to commit is impossible. What you have to ask yourself is whether the frustration you will experience by holding out for them is worth your time. You also have to consider is whether or not you want to take those hits and run the risk of becoming less available and more impatient. There really is nothing more sad than listening to a woman in her mid-thirties and older complain about online dating and dating in general. The stench of bravado and remorse in her words is a pungent one.

Thoughts?

Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)

@ATWYSingle

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84 Responses to “Is It Harder To Find A Man After 35?”

  1. Latte-fan Says:

    Women over 35 who are not succeeding online need to heed Moxie’s advice and adapt and accept who their audience really is. Regardless of how young you think you look men don’t ignore how old you really are.

    If you want to remain alone or just have 2-3 month relationships keep trying to bang the young bucks, if you want to find a relationship with real potential date the older men who are contacting you online.

    I had a heckuva time online at 37-38 trying to date men my age or even 2-3 years older than me. Guys in that age range have way more options than women the same age so they naturally go for the youngest, fittest, childless, never married women.

    Once I learned to refocus my energy on men 45+ dating got MUCH easier. I still only accepted dates from men who I found attractive and had the qualities I was seeking. I also switched from OKC to Match where I meet my boyfriend (we’ve been together for 2 years now). He’s 8 years older than me and divorced with two teenage daughters, that wasn’t ever a scenario I’d pictured for myself but you know what it totally works — he’s loving, active, and adds to my life in many positive ways. I doubt I would have meet him if I’d stayed in the mindset of only dating men my age.

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    • Eliza Says:

      You are lucky–you actually have found a man older than you – that you “find attractive”. One other person here commented–and I agree….the bar is much higher for women – even in their 40’s/50’s to look fabulous–and we give birth! When you have men in our age range – even younger with beer bellies, who do not take care of themselves at all. Tough to find that gem, inner qualities–yet someone you are physically attracted to. Then you have to hope that any man 45+ who has young/teenage kids – either doesn’t have to deal with a bitter ex-wife, or actually has a great relationship with his ex-wife, or is a widow…or the teenagers are 18+. Believe me…I have lived through that – dated a 43 yr old man when I was 34! with little kids–and the angry, still bitter ex-wife–made his life IMPOSSIBLE. Not fun. For anyone.

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  2. Shadowcat Says:

    Think about this… YOU are pursuing the under-40 men. Why is that? YOU are not giving older men a chance. What makes you think men feel any differently? What is it about the younger guys that you find so appealing? Remember, whatever that is, men feel the same way, and much more intensely than a woman will. If you aren’t willing to give someone older a chance, why should they?

    I heard some a man say on a radio show “I would rather have an average looking 20 year old than a gorgeous 40 year old”. Nice, huh?

    I understand you, I am 45 next month, and these realities cause me to work more intensely on the relationship that I’m in, I have no desire to go back out there! I understand that the appearance standards are higher for us than them, and that we are judged so much more intensely for aging, or even just for the number of candles on our cake, no matter how great we look. It sucks. But it is what it is…

    There ARE actually attractive men out there our age and older, and if you truly look as young as you say, then you would be a hot commodity among those guys, better to be a big fish in a smaller pond I say, ut then again dating scares me shitless, so what do I know? :-P

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    • Late Bloomin Rose Says:

      I didn’t have the impression she was “demanding” younger men date her or that she “considers dating men her own age or a little bit older settling,” more just that she was asking the question, with an open mind, to hear what a dating expert thinks … One thing I notice about this site is that attractive 40-ish women seem to provoke a lot of hostility in some commenters, who seem to believe we should just shut up and take any man and be grateful for him! Maybe the problem lies in even asking what is the “cut off point” on a site where people seem very focused on the cookie cutter, quantitative approach to dating … This is an approach which online dating has exacerbated, I believe, because it requires us to put ourselves into boxes and list our stats (like age, height, weight) up front rather than encounter one another holistically. That said, as a 44-year-old woman dating in NYC, I can confirm it does get harder in certain ways, as I’m sure it does for men in this age range as well. Sure they have many options, but at this point in life, many singles have a lot of issues, and that includes women. And if a man is dating a woman more than a few years younger than he, in many cases that situation contains built-in challenges as well.
      That said, take heart, OP. I have dated many lovely men of various ages over the past several years and overall, while the number of men seeking me out (especially online) has diminished, if anything, their quality, in terms of character and attractiveness, has improved. I can’t say I’ve found the one yet, but I have had the two more serious relationships of my life past age 38, both with attractive, successful men in my age range … Though they didn’t have the depth of sensitivity I needed in the end, I have not given up. It makes sense to be flexible on age of men you date, I think (open to men in late 40’s and 50’s as well as men your age and younger) without being overly hung up on quantifying everything. It’s true, some men disqualify you for chronological age, but those probably aren’t the guys you really want anyway.
      And the truth is that chronological age is not everything as an indicator of true age, health, potential for longevity, or attractiveness, and there is tremendous variation from individual to individual. Think about it: different people feel, and look, very different from each other even if they are the same age on paper. It is true throughout the life cycle depending on many factors from genetics to the way a person cares for him or herself. If age on paper was the only true indicator of one’s biological age, we would all hit puberty, look and feel throughout life, and die, at the exact same age. Absurd, right? That’s why being obsessed with the numbers is just plain dumb. You can generalize and fair enough for the editor to have done so, since you asked her. But
      I have a feeling you are a beautiful woman inside and out, so don’t let the bitter types get you down. Take it from me, our type of women always have options;)

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  3. JulesP Says:

    OP, wait till you hit your 50’s… :-)

    I have found that most men in the age 45 plus range generally are looking for a woman in her early to late 30’s. I have also found that most (and I accept I’m generalizing here) guys in their late 40’s to early 50’s – especially those who are divorced with kids; generally are looking for a woman who is also divorced with kids. It always makes me smile that the age range stated for a/m divorced woman with kids is late 30’s to early 40’s! Which narrows the guys’ demands to a much smaller percentage of women they may be willingto meet.

    However, don’t give up and stay positive. For the record, I’ve just celebrated my 54th birthday last week, am divorced 10 years with a beautiful 15 year old daughter and currently in a 9 month relationship with an almost 55 year old man with 4 sons! So hang in there.

    Wishing you all the best x

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  4. Bree Says:

    “What you have to ask yourself is whether the frustration you will experience by holding out for [men our own age] is worth your time.”

    For me, the answer is yes.

    Women outlive men. If you’re so afraid to be alone in the end, pairing up with a man 10-15+ years older will doom you to end up all alone anyway. With the added task of being his nursemaid in those final years.

    If you think older men are more “secure” (i.e., they’ll leave you some money), think again. They will have ex-wives and adult children fighting over the will. Many men use money to lure younger women but won’t or *can’t* actually give or leave them anything substantial.

    I haven’t had a serious boyfriend in over 10 years. Friends and family sometimes try to fix me up with some “nice man” who is usually much older and unattractive but “successful,” they say, as if I’m not doing well enough on my own already. No thanks. Do people try to set men up with older women who make good money? No.

    It’s depressing that single middle-aged women are still expected to settle for being nursemaid to an older man in a day and age where more and more of us are able to take care of ourselves very well financially. Why are women so desperate to pair up that we settle for this bullshit? That this is the dating advice we’re still given.

    While men get to believe it’s “only natural” that they should get to suck the youth out of women because “they have options,” as Moxie says. They “can” because we “let” them.

    Ladies, stop being so desperate! It is really not the end of the world to not have a man in your life, RIGHT NOW, that you have to take up with some Viagra case.

    Men take enough from women already, in society and personal relationships both.

    I would RATHER be alone than settle for something long term that ends up with me being 50 and he’s 65. Then I’m 60 and he’s 75 and *HOPEFULLY* in decent health if he’s still alive. A lot of people start dropping dead from cancer and heart attacks in their mid-50s already from poor diet and lifestyle.

    So yeah, I’ll wait. I already know how it feels to be single and dating and it is FINE. So what if it’s another ten years, twenty years, and maybe even until I die. Because I’ll die alone whether I settle for some older guy or not. Think about it.

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    • JulesP Says:

      Oh Bree… this is depressing because you’re making it depressing for you. On the one hand yes.. I’m with you all the way that we should all much rather be happy on our own than miserable in a bad relationship. You know and I know that the only way we can be happy on our own is first of all to accept that we are complete on our own. A relationship is a nice added extra :-)

      “Men take enough from women already”… well, hopefully we can make that a ‘give and take’ situation. And something has happened that’s made you very bitter. All you can do is learn from it.

      Bree, nothing and no-one in our lives come with any kind of guarantees of safety… Sometimes you have to just take a leap and live and be more in the present and not in 10 to 15 years time!

      Be kinder and less harsh on yourself.

      x

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      • Eliza Says:

        Very well put Jules…I fully agree…Bree needs to be more positive, and confident that she will find someone (regardless of age) that will reciprocate what she has to offer…and in the interim, just be content with where she is now…on her own. There are no guarantees. And it’s absolutely true–men taken enough from women as it stands. Take that leap of faith.

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      • Rosie Says:

        I’m with you, JulesP. And there’s no reassurance that he might not be her nursemaid (man). Women get sick too. As sure of yourself as you sound, Bree. You just end up sounding bitter and unhappy.

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    • D. Says:

      If you’re so afraid to be alone in the end, pairing up with a man 10-15+ years older will doom you to end up all alone anyway.

      If you’re driven by fear, then I’d say the problem is…you’re driven by fear. None of your decisions will be good ones, whether it’s to “settle” for being a “nursemaid” to an older man (insert eyeroll here), or whether to hold out for some fantasy guy. The real thing to do in this situation is address your fears and find a way to overcome them or set them aside, rather than allow them to continue to drive your decisions.

      While men get to believe it’s “only natural” that they should get to suck the youth out of women because “they have options,” as Moxie says. They “can” because we “let” them.

      No, men “can” because younger women are interested in dating them. And that’s not universal, by the way. I mean, really, what do you expect to happen here? Do you think that by chanting solidarity slogans and such that women in their late 20s and early 30s are going to stop dating guys in their late 30s and early 40s, so those guys can be freed up for women their same age? Do you think that by telling women your own age not to “settle” that somehow this will magically make these same men — the ones pursuing younger women — take interest in them? Yeah. Have fun storming the castle on that one.

      This isn’t about what women “let” men do. It’s about what people in society generally prefer as far as dating options, and it’s about the people to whom they’re attracted.

      Ladies, stop being so desperate! It is really not the end of the world to not have a man in your life, RIGHT NOW, that you have to take up with some Viagra case.

      Men take enough from women already, in society and personal relationships both.

      This sounds familiar. It’s the same kind of angry, embittered, entitled rhetoric you hear from the “Nice Guys” who get pissed that “Hot women just want to date assholes” and such. Mabye the “Never Settle” brigade should start going after the self-proclaimed “Nice Guys.” That’d be entertaining to watch.

      I would RATHER be alone than settle for something long term that ends up with me being 50 and he’s 65. Then I’m 60 and he’s 75 and *HOPEFULLY* in decent health if he’s still alive. A lot of people start dropping dead from cancer and heart attacks in their mid-50s already from poor diet and lifestyle.

      So yeah, I’ll wait. I already know how it feels to be single and dating and it is FINE. So what if it’s another ten years, twenty years, and maybe even until I die. Because I’ll die alone whether I settle for some older guy or not. Think about it.

      You must be a hoot at parties. Have you read “In the Dust of This Planet”? You might like it.

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      • alan Says:

        wow at 62 i’m glad my 45 year girlfriend of six years doesn’t think like Bree. Sort of depressing to read in print. There are some great responses to her diatribe. I have nothing to add but will discuss with my sig other to see what she thinks.

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    • maria Says:

      Yikes! its nice that you fancy yourself some kind of oracle and can predict exactly when a man will die, but any one of us can walk out the door and get hit by a car or killed any time. I have seen 25 year olds succumb to illness and 95 year olds still going strong. life isn’t guaranteed for anybody and if you are living your life constantly afraid of death there is no point of living. If you are so terrified of dating because you don’t want to become “caretaker” than you are just wayyyy too cynical to date. while women do take on the roll of caretaker men do it as well.

      the problem with the OP is that she is demanding that younger men date her and considers dating men her own age or a little bit older settling which is a shitty and entitled attitude to have. nobody HAS to date you. Nobody OWES you anything and nobody DESERVES or is ENTITLED to their dream partner. OP since you are so put off about dating older men, why do you think that younger men should date you? why shouldn’t they be put off by you? because a few of your friends told you you “look” younger? well guess what, you may “look” younger but the facts are the facts you are how old you are. we all are. I don’t delude myself into thinking I look 27 when I am 34, and don’t expect a younger guy to date me because I think I look younger. that is absurd. Its just the entitlement dripping off of this post is so insane to me. This is the equivalent of some “nice guy” going on and on about why won’t pretty young 25 year olds date him. He’s nice! he looks young! women just like assholes! give me a break. everybody needs to understand that they aren’t entitled or owed anything. especially not with these shitty attitudes.

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    • AAORK Says:

      “Bree”, women like you who proudly exclaim the “Rather be alone than settle!” attitude are also the ones who end up with no man because none ever has, or ever will, measure up to the lengthy ‘must have’ list women like you have. And just like women, men also learn that certain all-too-common phrases in online profiles represent serious red flags and cause an immediate NEXT action from him. I don’t think you’re taking this into account. It really goes back to focusing on those who are interested in you, which it seems you won’t do. Or maybe you’ve already secretly resolved to live out your remaining years doting over an ever-expanding cat farm or whatever it is old lonely women do.

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    • Dori Says:

      I would think that men who are attractive to women 10-15 years younger are successful enough to be able to afford to pay a nursemaid rather than to marry one.

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  5. Selena Says:

    “My question to you is, what is the cutoff point?”

    When I see letters like this from women most have set their initial cut off date at 5 years older. Why 5 years? Do they really think they couldn’t possibly relate to someone 7, 8, 10 years older?

    Setting a range of 2 years younger to 5 years older is appropriate for a woman in her 20’s. A woman in her 40’s has acquired enough life experience to relate to people beyond such a narrow range.

    Try expanding your cut off date to 10 years older and see what happens. You may be surprised how well you get on with fellows on the upper end. Better perhaps than the 38 year olds.

    As far as, “…your age is a less important number than where you fall on the 1-10 scale of attractiveness, ie you’re only as old as you look.” That’s something that might work better in offline dating venues. Look into going to places/activities that draw 40 somethings and see what comes of it.

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    • Julie Says:

      Why stop at 10 years? I had no trouble relating to my 53 year old boyfriend when I was 34. We shared most of the same hobbies and values and had so much in common. Imagine the amaze-balls quality of men you would attract if you just aimed 20-30 years older?

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      • Bree Says:

        Haha! Good one.

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      • J Says:

        I have a hard time imagining that a woman who uses words like “amazeballs” has anything in common with a 53 year old man lol. I’m not knocking you, as I use the word myself… I’m also in my 20s though :)

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        • Julie Says:

          If you told a hundred single 53 year old men that they were “amazeballs”, at least half (if not most) of them would still want to date you.

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          • Joey Giraud Says:

            Dang right. I’m 53, my new girlfriend said “redonkulous” and I laughed and kissed her.

            She’s 8 years younger and I’m continually surprised at how much culture we share.

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        • Bree Says:

          It was a joke.

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      • Natasha Says:

        Why are you 34 and dating a 53. He is too old for you. A man who wants someone your age is just interested in trying to control you.

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        • Julie Says:

          I don’t disagree. I was just poking fun because the older a woman is willing to date, the higher the quality of men she can attract.

          In the case of my ex, it wasn’t control as much as me catching him in his post divorce date really young phase. We are both now with age appropriate SO’s :).

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  6. Jacinta Says:

    I don’t know…I’ve always “heard” most men will only consider dating younger women but I’ve never found that to be true personally or among other women I know. My ex husband was 3 years younger; after that I dated someone two years younger for 3 years. Both are currently dating women a couple of years older than them. My brother’s wife is 5 years older than him. My best friend’s husband is a year younger than her. I’m currently dating someone 2 years younger. Obviously if you’re 40 you shouldn’t be dating someone in their 20s, but saying that, say, a 38 year old wouldn’t take her seriously is ridiculous.

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    • Selena Says:

      I have some similar examples among friends and relatives. None of these people met from an online dating site though.

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  7. Lele Says:

    One of the lucky things of being a man is that we are laxer when it comes to our requirements for attractiveness and hence dating. Not only we cast our age bracket wider but we are also much less concerned about height, income and social status. Besides age preferences, this is one of the reasons for men to have an easier time dating in their older years.

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    • Joey Giraud Says:

      Speak for yourself. I’m 6’5″ and am tired of bending over to kiss.

      Next one had better be at least 5’9″, by golly!

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      • Lele Says:

        I wrote that we men are much less concerned about height, not that we aren’t concerned at all. You would probably date a woman taller than you, assuming that you could find such a woman. Most women, on the other hand, wouldn’t give a chance to a shorter guy, at least when they meet him on-line.

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      • Joey Giraud Says:

        3 months later, and the “next one” arrived as if by magic, and son of a gun if she isn’t 5’9″. What luck!

        I would have dug her if she were shorter of course, but still it’s amazing what positive thinking can do.

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    • Yvonne Says:

      Men cast their age bracket wider because they CAN. A man can date a woman 20 years younger and however much older he chooses to go. A woman can go older, but it would be very hard for her to go 20 years younger. Plenty of men would choose not to date a woman who is older, plain, flat-chested, or overweight, so men and women can be picky about different things.

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      • Lele Says:

        Men who can date twenty years younger have a lot going for them. That is not the average man. And I didn’t say that men are not picky because I know that we are. We are just much less pickier than women. Apparently, this has biological explanations. I know for sure that I would date most of the women in my area… if their on-line profiles conveyed enough intellect and humour, and a good nature. But maybe I am too picky.

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  8. Eliza Says:

    Another post about looking 6-10 yrs younger than they really. Why does it matter if a woman is attractive–and is the same age or 1-2 years older than say a 45 yr old man? Ego, that’s why. “Some” Men JUST like younger–of course, that “younger woman” also has to be put together, attractive (which is a subjective term) too. Why do some 20 and 30 yr olds reach out to you? To get laid–I get plenty of those messages on OKC too–from men 20 yr younger than me. It pretty much goes “Wow, you don’t look your age at all” – it’s basically a preface and method of buttering up someone with compliments – when there is a hidden agenda–which really translates to the underlying motive–“short term FWB, get laid” agenda. Does not mean you are not attractive, or can’t meet anyone–but face it – where is ANY relationship with a 40 yr old woman and a 20/30 yr old man going? Upgrading from OKC to Match? Seriously? No difference there, and I can say this–because have a number of girlfriends that have done this–to come back and testify that it’s the same faces on there as well. Face it, Match is not that exclusive–it’s affordable enough for some people to pay say–$30 a month–and then get 6 additional months free for just reaching out to a number of people–so it’s not going to break anyone’s bank. Also, not to say that given certain circumstances and lifestyle choices – not having children might open the door to possibly dating a man in his early 40’s even late 30’s. Just have to find someone that has similar values, not easy to find…especially on ANY site, where it’s like virtual endless shopping for the “next best thing”!

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  9. fuzzilla Says:

    I took Moxie’s advice and went after the divorced dads. Found someone in that demographic and we’ve been together about eight months (I will indulge this bit of obnoxiousness and say his coworker thought he was robbing the cradle when she saw a Facebook pic of us, even though he’s only a year and a half older). :P

    I want to say that moving from a big city to a small town might have improved my results. Can’t say I’d recommend uprooting your whole life just to better your dating odds, but…pickin’s here are fewer and further between, but the flip side of that is that it’s easier to stand out, maybe.

    As for Bree…Moxie’s advice was to be a little more open-minded about age, and you immediately jump to the extreme of being shackled to someone on his death bed? I agree that it’s better to be single than in a horrible relationship, and hey, maybe some people just aren’t the relationship type and are happier having a series of flings. But if they’re happy, they’re by definition not bitterly complaining.

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    • Bree Says:

      Moxie does not give the same advice to men. They are not expected to be “open minded” about dating women THEIR OWN AGE let alone older. Tired of the double standard.

      Also, yes I’m bitter, as people noticed. So what? I’m also content on my own. People seemed to miss that point. I’m content enough to be single that I don’t mind holding out for the FANTASY of finding a man MY OWN AGE to have a relationship with.

      I’m glad to see some comments here from people who know it can and does happen, lol.

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      • Lele Says:

        Bree, men don’t get the same advice because their requirements are less strict, hence their dating pool is wider. If a woman is looking for a man who meets her age requirements ON TOP of her other requirements, her odds become very low.

        A man can date a much younger partner and find her immaturity to be endearing. On the other hand, most mature women would deem an immature partner a turn off.

        Double standard? Why not? A double standard is a natural consequence of men and women having different expectations and mating value at different stages in their lives.

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      • fuzzilla Says:

        Well, no, life isn’t fair, and that’s not Moxie’s fault or OKCupid’s fault. The question is how to make the most of the hand you’re dealt, which strategy will help you win the game. Or you can complain about “society” and insist you’re somehow both content and bitter at the same time. Speaking of double standards, you do sound like the older men complaining that 25-year-olds won’t date them.

        You’ll get much further, whatever your goal, if you focus only on things within your control (er…and Horton hears a Who).

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        • fuzzilla Says:

          The people who commented here that they knew plenty of same age or older women/younger men relationships said the couples didn’t meet online, which makes sense. Offline you’re a person first, number second. Online, they just see your age (presuming your honest) and click away. After reading this site for a while I do feel like I found a bit of a unicorn dating someone my age/only 1.5 years older (yes, I met him online, but also my location changed).

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          • fuzzilla Says:

            *you’re

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          • Selena Says:

            “Offline you’re a person first, number second.”

            Yes. Everyone might have their preferences, and online dating provides a way to filter for them. The same people who have online preferences may find they hit it off with someone they meet randomly in person who doesn’t meet those supposed preferences.

            You meet someone great does it matter if they are 40 not 34? That they are 5’9″, not 6’?

            I’ve also wondered if people are more realistic the smaller the city.

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      • D. Says:

        Actually, if you read her advice more closely, you’ll note that, at the core, the advice she gives is pretty much the same between men and women.

        Most of the time, it boils down to the following advice:

        – Focus your efforts on people who are likely to be into you, rather than the people who are the most objectively desirable.

        – Don’t shoot out of your league. You’ll have better luck and will end up being happier as a result.

        – Pursue people who are actually available, rather than people you wish were available, but are being pursued by everyone else.

        It’s really that simple, and she’s entirely consistent in that advice regardless of who writes in, young or old, men or women.

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      • Eliza Says:

        Yes, Bree…but keep in mind, that you even used the word “Fantasy”…you are entitled to want that – we all do – and in our minds, those of us who feel we do take care of ourselves…and yes, some of us do look younger – but let others decide that – actually feel we want a partner that compliments us and our lifestyles…but holding out for that unicorn, or less likely specimen may culminate in you being single for quite a long time, and you are willing and OK with that–so be it. I have a friend–she’s great–very solid, kind hearted and good person, intelligent, a giver, and her daughter is not a teen, but grown…and she is already 50+ – and she actually does look like she is late 30’s/very early 40’s – she’s asian…and I noticed some Asian women do not age much…however, she is still 50+ – she is holding out for a man that is super fit, a professional that is somewhat well off, lives alone, has all his things in order, is a catch (by most women’s standards) – someone that is between the age of 46-50-52 at best! And a man that has all his hair! AND to top that off – a man that is not short–but about 5’10 – 6’0 tall! Hello!!!!? Seriously? That’s a prime example of being redunculous…meanwhile–she is self-sufficient–but has her mother living with her! and her child in her house no less. She is not a doctor or lawyer mind you. And she is no taller than 5’2! You can want what you want–doesn’t mean you will get what you want. Nothing comes in a perfect little package – moreso as we get older. There is one things to be desperate–and another thing being realistic and level-headed about what reality is in terms of dating.

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        • Bree Says:

          Depressing that we should consider a man who wants to date a woman HIS OWN AGE a “unicorn.” I used the word “fantasy” in sarcasm, btw.

          Your anecdotal Asian friend notwithstanding, many women are not looking for everything and a bag of chips. I have a successful career and am not interested in a lawyer/doctor/insert-other-high-income-stereotype-here. I can’t believe all these comments accusing women of being “too picky” or having more criteria than men, i.e., that women all want somebody who makes a lot of money. If that’s the case then yes, be a nursemaid then. Date some guy in his early 60s if you’re 45.

          My point is that if you’re financially successful on your own, you don’t have to, and I personally will not. I couldn’t care less about a guy’s income/accomplishments. They don’t seem to care about mine either. All I want is someone attractive, honest and kind who is MY AGE.

          Apparently that is too much to hope for.

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          • Dori Says:

            “I couldn’t care less about a guy’s income/accomplishments. They don’t seem to care about mine either. All I want is someone attractive, honest and kind who is MY AGE.”

            Really? Would you date an attractive, honest, and kind man of your age (45?) who lives in his Mom’s basement and never had a job?

            Just how far down the social ladder are you willing to go? Judging by the fact that you are single, probably not very far…

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            • Annie Says:

              How many men in their 40s are seriously jobless and live in their Mom’s basement? Most people are average and middle class. I dont’ think the poster is being unreasonable.

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              • Dori Says:

                ‘Most people are average and middle class’

                Hmmm…

                Median annual wage in NYC is $44K (half of the working people earn more than that, and another half earns less than that). PP said that she does not care about the guy’s income, hence she is presumably OK with said income being below median. I am curious as to how far below the median is she willing to go. Or perhaps she actually does care about the guy’s income.

                FYI the middle class (let us define it as the earners who are between 25th and 75th percentiles for the area, i.e. the ‘middle’ 50% of the population) in NYC are those who earn $26K to $74K a year. Would a ‘financially successful’ woman (whatever PP meant by that) date a guy who makes $30K a year (i.e. is still middle class)? Doubtful…

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                • Bree Says:

                  Yes. I have and would again.

                  I’m in San Francisco and it isn’t cheap here, probably on par with NYC. Yeah I make more than Middle America middle income but that doesn’t automatically mean I need to find a man who makes even more, which some people like you obviously assume. Enough to doubt those of us who REALLY DO NOT CARE HOW MUCH MONEY A MAN MAKES.

                  Perhaps I am a unicorn myself.

                  To me, if a woman is satisfied with her income there’s no need to settle for an unattractive man (whether he’s much older, overweight, fugly, whatever) because he can offer her a lifestyle. Men don’t date women for those reasons.

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  10. Donnie K Says:

    My advice to the OP is to take a middle-of-the-road approach.

    Forget about men more than a couple of years younger because that’s pointless.

    I wouldn’t give up on man close to your age but accept Moxie’s analysis as a reality of the situation.

    Most important, don’t dismiss men that are over 45 as long as you’re attracted to them.

    The last thing you want to do was fall into the trap of “accepting” dates just because dating is now become harder. At the same time you need to keep your options open and maybe abandon some of the old checklists that you had in the past.

    Finally, I’m sure you look great for your age but for your own sake don’t cling to that- is a self set trap.

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  11. Jenny Says:

    I just want to share I’m 41 years old and I’m currently dating a 43 year old man. We’re both divorced, we both don’t have children and want to have children. I look young and I am physically healthy. If it works out with us he said in a year we can get married. There’s hope!

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    • ? Says:

      And what happens if you are unable to have children ? Do you both agree then to adopt ? Or use donor eggs in an IVF procedure because most IVF clinics refuse to use a woman’s own eggs after a cut-off age – usually around 43 or 44. I don’t know if Moxie has covered the issue of female fertility here, but since you mentioned your health and youthful appearance, it appears you are linking your fertility to these qualities and making conclusions about it. While your body may physically be comparable to a woman 10 years younger, your eggs are not. Eggs age according to its own biology based on your genetics. Environment does not hold much sway over the state of your eggs/gametes as much as genetics does.

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    • Lele Says:

      And some people do win the lottery. Hence?

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  12. ChicagoGuy Says:

    The pendulum definitely swings the other way after 35-40. In my 20s, there were tons of single women but there were also tons of single men competing for them. In my 30s, there were still plenty of single women, but most were looking to start families. Since I didn’t want kids, that made it hard to find people I’d want to date. I’m in my 40s now and, unlike a lot of guys my age, I actually want to date women in their 40s. They may not look as young or be as fit as women in their 30s, but most aren’t looking for someone to start a family with. Plus, I don’t like having to compete with younger men for the attention of younger women. And what I’ve discovered is that if you’re a male who’s 40+, in decent shape, have no kids, and a good job, you definitely stand out among the 40somethings. Alas, I’m off the market as my 40something girlfriend snatched me up.

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    • Eliza Says:

      Of course she snatched you! For any woman – it’s a win/win–if you actually do take care of yourself, are fit, and have your act together and do not have kids…it’s a great start….plus you are willing to date a 40+ yr old woman. It works! People here are not telling Bree it’s impossible–but less likely–not easy to find that. But you are right–the flip side to any 40-50 yr old man that has to have that 30 something year old young one on their arms – is that she may be on that mommy/family-track. My cousin is 47 – about to marry a 28 yr old – yep…I’m happy for him…he asked me what I thought. I asked him. So–do you want kids? Because–she clearly indicate she does–get ready – to get on that “family track”! You want a young girl–you know the drill. He agreed.

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    • Bree Says:

      I guess unicorns do exist.

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  13. John Says:

    Moxie said:
    “Age trumps hotness, I’m afraid. Except with the younger guys. ”

    I have to disagree with that statement. I am 48 and I will take a fit 50 year old who looks hot in leggings over a dumpy, muffin top 40 year old any day.

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  14. ? Says:

    I always wonder why people, both men and women seem to think that they are the sole arbiters of their own dating value ? As a woman, you may think as highly of yourself as you wish, and you are entitled to do that. However, at the end of the day, it is men who ultimately decides what your true dating value is. If you can’t understand why you are so attractive and wonderful, but unable to pull a high value man of your dreams, maybe, just maybe, you are not as attractive or as wonderful as you seem to think you are.

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    • AAORK Says:

      A common culprit is a sort of ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ some women develop over time thru artificial ego validations (‘Likes’) on virtual social media venues and further re-enforced by ‘empowering’ comments from her friends, such as “You’re gorgeous, girl!”, “You deserve only the best!”, “He needs to make YOU happy”, “He should accept you just the way you are!”, etc. It results in a woman becoming convinced that her SMV is much higher than it really is (resulting in her constantly shooting outside of her league; an issue we see addressed here quite often). And the occasional bang with a boy toy or other exciting Alpha (both of whom are just upping their notch count and would never commit to her) further exasperates this.

      In a way, I have sympathy for women who rely so much on ‘decision by consensus'(“Will my girlfriends like him?”) and approval/envy from others (e.g. – the secret need to impress friends/family, or to make them jealous, etc). Men, on the other hand, just don’t carry this mental handicap.

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  15. Tinker Says:

    NB, you have to meet men offline. In person it’s your looks, then your personality and then your age and other stats that comes into play when meeting men. Save your money on that Match subscription and use it for happy hour drinks or Meetup dues or something else hat puts your focus on meeting people while out and about.

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    • AC Says:

      I agree that a lack of IRL options and a lack of success dating online can lead to burnout. I have to ask, when have Meetup groups ever worked? My understanding is they border on useless when trying to find a relationship. The bars aren’t much better. The real question is WHERE besides online dating can a woman (or man) find a consistent pool of single people? Those other options are at best, a crapshoot.

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      • Tinker Says:

        I wouldn’t do Meetup groups specifically for ‘singles’, but it’s easy to meet people in the ones geared towards various hobbies/activities/etc. You won’t immediately know if everyone is single, that is a drawback, but the same can be said for people online too, really.

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        • Robyn Says:

          Meetup groups expressly “for singles” can be a bit like “singles dances” – a bit of a meat market / full of desperate single people desperately looking to meet someone.
          It’s better to join Meetup groups where the purpose of the group is a common interest or hobby – yes, there may not be as many single people in such a group, but at least you will have something in common with someone in the group, and the atmosphere will be more present than in a group of desperate singles.
          And even if you just make some new friends in the group, they may well have single friends etc. etc.
          Expanding your social circle is key to meeting someone new off-line.

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      • katie Says:

        I totally agree. I was on Match for a while and let me tell you…ugh! Most of the people on there were either narcs, sociopaths or just guys that women ended up not wanting. It’s very hard, especially in NYC. I can’t imagine having to go back online for dates, so many fake pics, etc. But now that the nice weather is coming up…where do you go?

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      • AAORK Says:

        AC, I hear the “Where can I meet a quality man / Where are all the good women” question alot. I think there are multiple contributors to this and would require a dedicated article to respond so I’ll try to keep this short.

        First, I would say that the rise of social media is a big culprit. Far too many people spend too much time in a virtual world of virtual friends and virtual admirers and this not only causes people to minimize real world contact but also stunts those skills needed for personal communication with the opposite gender. Another side-effect is that it causes people to think they’re much more wonderful than they really are.

        Second, the massive rise in the percentage of boys raised by single moms (with no significant male influence) produces young men with a mal-adjusted perspective of not only their own masculinity but also skews their perception of women in general (The biggest complaint I hear from women is a real lack of masculine traits in men; their biggest disappointment by far).

        Third, an aggravating factor is our current culture which overemphasizes fem-centric achievements and assigns great status for even mediocre accomplishments (I’m looking at you, Danica Patrick) all the while de-emphasizing (and often demonizing) male achievements and masculine traits in general.

        Finally, the rise of feminism has really only achieved the effect of killing off chivalry (by placing men at risk of public shaming by doing it) and by removing all significant incentives to commit to women (what man would commit to a woman who can sleep around at will with few social, ethical or moral consequences?)

        To answer your original question, Meetup is a great way to get out and meet new people. The mistake alot of guys make is they view every group as a dating group. Big mistake. There are meetups devoted to this so focus on those if this what your goal is.

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        • Steve from the city next door Says:

          I sorta agree.

          The always connected I see as a big problem. Several months ago I was at a bar just to get out and doing something. The rail was full and everyone was on their phone ignoring the others. I didn’t have my phone out and after a few minutes the bartender comes over “Hey buddy, are you out of juice? There are some charges in the lost and found, maybe I can help you out.”

          I think the lack of well defined rules are also a problem. Too many things are OK or even good if she finds you attractive but if not then you are creepy…and because of social media friends all know immediately that you are “creepy” and more bridges are burned before you even knew about them.

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      • Steve from the city next door Says:

        Meetup is often suggested yet I don’t know of any couples who have met there partners via it. My experience has been that most meetup groups are really poor for making friends or dates. Meetup events seem to most fall into three types of events. Once is basically lets go to bar and chat about something – basically little difference then going to bar. Some are more class like – a lecture type thing. And activities. The activity ones have seemed like they were just to get discount tickets and sometimes transportation. E.g. a couple of years ago I went to an October Fest festival held out in the countryside and soon as we were through the entrance the group split into small groups that I believe were groups of friends that had came together and then their was nothing from the group until it was time to board the coach for home.
        For dating, it seems to me like no single women go to the meetups…at least I don’t know of any at the events I went to.

        I agree the singles focused meetups are the modern singles dance.

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  16. bbdawg Says:

    I love how we women complain about the inevitable age issue, but we rarely if ever compromise on a man’s status, career, income, etc…there are plenty of men who want to settle down out there, it’s just that in my experience, online at least, women all go for the 20%-ers.

    Meanwhile in the “real world”, my female friends all found partners within the same age bracket but none of them were bankers or lawyers…just regular creative guys doing ok or sometimes struggling to their regular doing ok or sometimes struggling creative girls thing. It’s vital to the offline thing as well, as a means to keep you sane and to show you what your range really is.

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  17. Letty Says:

    Dating is like walking on eggshells, too much prejudice in the dating world.

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  18. Dori Says:

    OP is forty and presumably good looking. Why not use it for her advantage? Why try chasing 38-45 year olds? She can have her pick among the 52-56 year olds, and select the most attractive ones (active, fit, smart, successful, you name it). They would be flattered by the OP’s attention, and eventually she could meet someone whom she could relate to and fall in love with.

    I am not suggesting that she should not accept dates from younger men. I am just suggesting not to spend any energy actively chasing them.

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    • Sandra Says:

      Why 52-56? Very few men in that age range are attractive, and “concentrating” on men 12-15 yrs older is not very inspiring. This seems to be a re-hashed post from a while ago, but regardless, how many 40 yr old women actively seek men younger. Obviously, focusing on younger is a mistake, but what is in it for her to focus on men 15 yrs older.

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      • Dori Says:

        Why 52-56? Because they want her. Yes, few in that range are attractive, but OP only needs ONE. And when she meets that one attractive 53 years old guy, he will be interested in her.

        Dating is tough for women after 40 (35?). Compromising on age (which is after all just a number) allows not to compromise on attractiveness, fitness, education, income, activity level, and whatever else is important for OP.

        If you need something ‘inspiring’… When I was dating I targeted a wide age range, from 4 years younger to 16 years older. It took me a while, but eventually I met my now BF. I am 44 and he is 57. He is handsome, fit, smart, and successful. I did not ‘settle’ for him, I fell in love with him, and we are very happy together. Inspiring enough?

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        • Julie Says:

          Age is just a number? Tell that to my 60-something year old friend who complains about her decade older husband slowing down and aging before her. Age is just a number for about a 20 year spread in middle age. Before or after that, age is something that effects can lead to significant physical or emotional incompatibility or frustration. Its one thing when you are 31 and your SO is 46. Its a whole other ball game when you are 55 and your SO is 70!

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          • Dori Says:

            I would tell her that it is a reasonable price to pay for presumably decades of happy marriage she got to enjoy. And to get a life and to stop depending on her aging husband for all her emotional needs.

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  19. mindstar Says:

    Sound advice except the OP may view that as both an indication that she can no longer “pull” men her own age or younger (big strike to the ego there) and she may view dating 50+ men as “settling”.

    She’s already beginning from a position where she states she looks “6-10 years younger” than her actual age.

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  20. BostonRobin Says:

    Wow, I have missed a huge discussion and can’t possibly catch up, just a quick skim. So on the agism issue, I’m going to blow your minds: EVERYONE above a certain age wants to date younger. Big ego boost, I reckon, or more likely just a way of setting themselves up to fail.

    I date women and they do it too, chasing the younguns. BUT, nearly every time I see some whack age range (how about a 60 year old looking for 25-40?) there is something else “off” about that profile. So I just see it as a red flag, maybe yellow if it isn’t too far out.

    This age thing is just something else to keep in mind. IMO, it suggests you are dealing with someone who is “ego dating,” I call it. Just looking for some arm candy, something (oops, I mean “someone”) to make them feel young again. It pops up a lot with people (men and women) just out of a long relationship, so they are actually in this mindset they were, say, 10 years ago before they met their last partner.

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    • Annie Says:

      Ego trip? The OP is 40 looking for men late 30s to early 40s, which is her own age group. I really don’t think she’s being unreasonable. I find all this advice for women to date men 10-15 years older kinda disturbing actually…

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      • ATWYSingle Says:

        Except, it’s not her age group. Her age group is 45+. There’s nothing unreasonable about suggesting she should focus her efforts on men 45 and older.

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      • D. Says:

        Look, complain all you want about the advice. You might as well complain that the weatherman suggests bringing an umbrella when the forecast calls for rain.

        The bottom line is that what Moxie describes is pretty accurate, at least in an online setting. In person, you might see a bit more flexibility because people aren’t immediately saying “How old are you?” But online, the number’s clearly stated. And, realistically, a guy in his late 30s or early 40s — especially one who wants kids — is probably going to pass on a woman in her early-to-mid 40s when he can probably date a woman in her early-to-mid 30s.

        That’s the thing: dating takes two interested parties. If one isn’t likely to be interested, saying “That person isn’t likely to be interested” is pretty sound advice. You may not want to hear it, but that doesn’t make it wrong.

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      • BostonRobin Says:

        I find advice about swimming upstream disturbing. Look, we’re not saying that these people with their online demands regarding age are actually getting what they want. It’s just a demand, and the people with the most demands and expectations tend to be disappointed. Go ahead, focus on younger people and deal with that drama. Or people your own age who come right out and say they only date younger because they are “so young at heart.” UGH.

        How about you let go of the demand to date younger and branch out more. Like you might do in the real world. Any signs of youth fixation in a profile is just another red flag!

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      • Sandra Says:

        I think if she is 40, then 38-48 is a reasonable search criteria. While there are always exceptions, younger may be problematic, but recommending 15 yrs older? If that is all a woman of 40 can expect, she will be happier single and dating younger guys for fun. Not that she can`t meet an older man she finds attractive and fall for, but as an over dating prescription, yeah, it`s disturbing.

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        • mindstar Says:

          “…she will be happier single and dating younger guys for fun.” Except if she wants a long term relationship. If she’s fine NOT having one then God bless and good luck to her.

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          • Bree Says:

            Some of us are fine not having one if the alternative is to “concentrate efforts” on men who will be entering the geriatric phase of life long before we will. Like I said, I’ve been single over 10 years already and it is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.

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  21. Mike Says:

    You obviously did little to no research on this article. Look at satistics. Compatable! Everyone knows the sexes are complete opposites. Compatability lol I’m almost 40 and I searched for a somewhat like minded girl for me. I can’t find one in my own city. So I lower my standards. I used to have women propose to me. I’d date a different girl every day. I still occasionally get sexually assaulted by women. I can go into a bar and date who ever I want. Online. Pffff. Bunch of socially inept introverted idiots.

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