I’m a Single Mom Who Is Ready To Give Up On Men Because They All Want Sex.


I am 34 years old, divorced four years. I was married for ten years, have four beautiful boys under 9 and have a very fulfilling and successful career. My life is happy, but I really would love to share it with someone… but dating when you have FOUR kids is like the Mt Everest of the dating world! It seems almost impossible for men to see past that.

Well, let me clarify: I have no shortage of “dates”. I guess I must be in reasonable shape because NOBODY can guess I’ve even had four kids, or that I’m even 34 (I get asked out by guys in their early 20s- I feel like I should read them a story and tuck them into bed… not GET into bed with them, uh!). I have an outgoing personality and seem to be asked out a lot… we usually go on a few dates, everything is going wonderful… but nobody ever COMMITS. I’m not talking about church bells, but just to an actual relationship.

I am SICK of feeling used. I am sick of being treated like a piece of ass, and treated like I must be desperate because I have kids. I’m tired of guys treating me like I should be grateful if they even stick around for five minutes. Even if I really take my time getting to know someone before we become intimate… it seems that sex is all they continue to want. Don’t hear from him for days, I assume it’s over…then a text with, “hey are you home tonight?” Grrrr.

What? Do I need to be a nun in order to find someone who can actually see a relationship with me? Is it unreasonable that I am hoping someone could take me seriously or see my worth? I’ve been in a terrible relationship before and honestly now, I’d rather be alone than with the wrong guy. I believe I have a lot to offer – I am caring, kind, warm, loyal and intelligent. There is more to me than a MILF.

I am not looking for a father for the boys; they have one. I am not looking for a provider; I provide very well for myself. I just want a friend and a companion and someone who I have chemistry and intellectual compatibility with.

I am seriously at the point of giving up on the whole dating thing… Is it too much of an ask that I could actually meet someone who can see me as a woman, and not just as mother or worse, a bit of bedroom fun? Should I just shelve my desire to find a partner? I know Everest is high, but SOME people get up the damn thing, don’t they?

Ironically- I write Romantic Comedies for a living. I just didn’t think I’d end up stuck in one. :-(

Cristina

Dear Christina,

Before I give you the pep talk you need, let me first acknowledge the painful truths that you’ve eloquently outlined above. I’m sure many other women can relate.

Having four kids under the age of 9 is a huge handicap. I’d try to spin it in a slightly more positive way, but I can’t. As a screenwriter, I don’t know if you live in LA or not, but this is a town where people don’t grow up for a really long time. I got married at 35 and had kids at 37 and 39 and I was ahead of most of my friends. There’s no way that I – or most men who don’t have their shit together – would willingly enter into a relationship with a woman who has so many other responsibilities, the way all moms do.

At risk of making myself look bad, I once dated a single mom of a two-year-old. She was smart, she was sexy, she was financially independent – and she had no time to give to me. At the time, when I was 33, I blamed her for this, thinking that if she liked me more, she’d make a greater effort. In fact, it had nothing to do with me. What I didn’t know then is that kids suck up every second of free time you’ve got, and that you have to work extra hard to create me-time, much less couple-time. Ultimately, all I wanted from that single mom was to hook up, because that’s all I felt she could give me. Whether it’s fair or not is debatable, but that’s how I felt at the time. I’d venture to guess that your sex-oriented guys feel the same way. It’s not you they don’t want; it’s your lifestyle.

You shouldn’t quit because single men your age want sex and more time. You should just find a guy who is looking for a Brady Bunch family, who sees sex as the icing on the cake instead of the cake itself.

Maybe your ex shares custody and gives you weekends off, but I think we can all agree that women with four kids have less available time than women without four kids. And if the greatest gift a woman can give a man is her time, who are men going to gravitate towards – the harried mom who has to manage four lunches, babysitters, soccer practice, and bedtime routines – or the one who is blissfully unencumbered by such essential responsibilities? Put yourself in their shoes and it’s pretty easy to see.

The fact that you’re caring, kind, loyal, warm, and intelligent means that you have a lot going for you and will ultimately make a guy very happy. So instead of giving up on the whole thing – which, as you know – is incredibly shortsighted, given that you have 50 more years on this earth, how about you change focus?

Middle-aged divorced men understand what it’s like to be you. Single guys in their mid-30s who want to have their own biological kids in four years don’t. They want to take spontaneous romantic trips to Vegas, which is something that’s hard to do with four children of your own.

Instead of dating cute 34-year-old single guys who don’t have kids, how about you date cute 43-year-old guys who are in the exact same spot in life, who understand your predicament, who have obligations of their own, and who will be delighted to meet a woman who gets THEM.

You shouldn’t quit because single men your age want sex and more time. You should just find a guy who is looking for a Brady Bunch family, who sees sex as the icing on the cake instead of the cake itself.

I promise you, they’re out there.

Today, I’m giving you my new book, “Believe in Love – 7 Steps to Letting Go of Your Past, Embracing the Present, and Dating with Confidence.” and it’s going to forever change the way you view dating, men, and relationships.

Click here to get your copy now.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    talk to the hand rules

    Hi,
    There are still so many men in Los Angeles that are on their 2nd and 3rd marriages to much younger women and they have kids.  I know because I see what men ask for online.  A lot of men my age over 55, have young children. It is shocking to me.  So I stay away from that for the same reasons that men stay away from women with children.. That said, you are right, there are a few men out there that want to blend a family.  I have read profiles of men I want to contact but am stopped because they state they prefer women with children.
     

  2. 2
    Sophie

    I think it’s a bit unfair to suggest Christina has to change her type just to clinch someone. That is like urging someone to settle which no-one should do. 

    Christina, I am in a similar position although just the one child and it is probably more the resigned vibe you are giving off or maybe you are looking too hard. Focus on other stuff and believe Mr Right, whatever he may look like, will turn up one day even if it’s not till the children have flown the nest. Don’t sacrifice who you are because the guys you’be dated so far don’t have the maturity to handle your situation. A woman would take on a guy with 4 kids and hopefully the world will one day change so that the same is true vice versa. 

     

    1. 2.1
      Chance

      Sophie, 


      How is it unfair to suggest that she considers dating men who are in the same boat as her as opposed to men who don’t have kids?  I’m not quite sure I follow your logic.   I mean, go for the men you want, but anyone who sees dating someone in the same boat as her as settling will likely struggle due to her lack of awareness.

      It seems to be fairly common to see women frustrated about men not wanting a relationship with them because they have kids, but it often appears that these women aren’t considering men that have children as potential partners.  Not saying that is the case here, but it often appears that way. 

      1. 2.1.1
        Chantal

        I’m sorry Sophie, I thought you were advocating the unrealistic approach, but you and I agree.

      2. 2.1.2
        Lia

        If you have spent any time reading this blog, you will realize that Evan doesn’t tell you what you want to hear – he tells you what you need to hear. Whining about how it is “unfair” does not make it untrue. The surest way to end up miserable and alone is to get stuck in how “unfair” it all is. Pointing out how things are unfair and what needs to change so that the dating world can be fair is a ridiculous waste of time. Get over it!!! 
         
        Evan is holding up a mirror so that she can see what her situation looks like from the other side. You are suggesting that she cross her fingers and hope real hard and not change anything that she is doing. There’s a name for doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results, it’s called insanity.
         
        How exactly is opening up to guys that will be more excepting of her situation sacrificing herself and who she is??? And your wise clincher for your argument is “hopefully the world will one day change”? Well that’s useful… NOT!

    2. 2.2
      Chantal

      Sophie, you’re not being realistic.  One kid is not FOUR.  You cannot compare your situation. 
      That said, Her children are not an appendage – but,  SHE chose to have a big family and for whatever reason, got divorced. No, she does not have the same chances that a single woman or one with 1 kids has. It’s time people own up to their choices and stop making believe.

    3. 2.3
      Gina

      I don’t think Evan is suggesting to change her type, but obviously if you keep sticking your finger in the fire and get the same results, doing something different would be a smart idea.  The fact is you have to understand statically what Evan is saying, it’s not all of them but if she is able to make small changes to meet her dating goals that can bring great results. I am a women who is 33, no kids, never married and I can say that I would not take on a man with 4 kids because at the end of the day how on earth could we enjoy a relationship with such different priorities, however, if I had 3 boys of my own yes that is different. There is nothing bad or wrong with a women or man who doesn’t want to date someone with a large amount of kids, you just have to meet the one who is at that stage of the game/ similar life experience and or circumstance and like Evan said most (not all) 34 year old men are not at that stage yet. 

    4. 2.4
      Teena

      That’s not true I would never date or marry a man with multiple small children….as I don’t want to do the lunches, soccer, and other time consumption activities that may be required not to mention he has alimony and child support payments, along with college funding..but the fact that your getting hounded for sex is just a sign of the times…us single women with no kids get the same crap…keep your head up…

  3. 3
    Melissa

    I think Evan is spot on. And to Sophie’s comment, as a single woman with no kids, I wouldn’t take on a man with four kids, so I totally get the letter writer’s dilemma. That said, I would rather date a man with a child; if he’s a good father, it shows that he knows how to take care of and consider someone other than himself. But 4…it is a lot for me as a childless woman to wrap my head around.

    There’s no question about it…Evan is giving a practical tip to help Cristina achieve what she’s looking for. By no means does she have to follow his advice. And by no means does she HAVE to limit herself to what Evan suggests. But what does she have to lose if she begins to include the type of guys that Evan suggests into her searches?

  4. 4
    Jeremy

    Cristina, I will start by wishing you the very best of luck in your search.  You sound like an intelligent person with a lot going for her, and I hope you find what you are looking for.
     
    My perspective on your situation is that, as Evan wrote, you will have a tough time finding what you want with someone your own age (early to mid 30′s), and that your experiences are not unexpected (unfortunately).
     
    Most men in their early to mid 30′s (and even late 30′s) are just beginning to think about settling down, and about “one day” having children.  Part of the fun of that fantasy is finding the right woman to settle down with, getting to know her, building a relationship and having experiences together (with just the 2 of you), and then eventually reaching the point where the decision is made to start a family.  In your particular case, a man who has a relationship with you is immediately getting the whole package all at once.  Very few, if any, childless men in their 30′s want that, even with a woman who is totally amazing in and of herself.  There is just too much responsibility involved, right from the outset (and, again, most men mature into child-rearing responsibility over time and do not want it thrust upon themselves quickly).
     
    I know that you wrote that you don’t want a father for your kids, since they already have one.  But realistically, that’s what any man who has a relationship/marriage with you will be – a father figure for your kids – whether or not they already have a father, and whether or not you provide the lion’s share of the income.  It’s kind of obvious, realistically speaking, and that’s how any man is going to see it.
     
    Having said that, I totally agree with Evan.  Are there men who would see you as you wish to be seen, and value you for the person you are?  YES.  Will these men likely be in their 30′s and childless?  NO.   Your lack of success in finding a quality man is likely related to the type of man you are searching for.

    Best of luck in whichever path you choose.

  5. 5
    Tom10

    @ Sophie #2
    “I think it’s a bit unfair to suggest Christina has to change her type just to clinch someone.”

    It might be unfair, but since when was dating fair? This is something that all of us have to deal with when dating.

    “That is like urging someone to settle which no-one should do.“

    Hmmm…

    “Don’t sacrifice who you are because the guys you’be dated so far don’t have the maturity to handle your situation.”

    Nobody is suggesting that Christina should sacrifice who she is, but if she is not getting the results she wants, wouldn’t it be wise to consider making changes to her approach and her target dating pool?

    “A woman would take on a guy with 4 kids and hopefully the world will one day change so that the same is true vice versa.”

    Well some women might take on a guy with 4 kids, but many wouldn’t. However, hoping for the world to change one day is a futile strategy.

    @ Evan 
    “Instead of dating cute 34-year-old single guys who don’t have kids, how about you date cute 43-year-old guys who are in the exact same spot in life, who understand your predicament, who have obligations of their own, and who will be delighted to meet a woman who gets THEM.”.

    I agree with this 100%. Rightly or wrongly, most young cute single guys will consider single mothers for sex only unfortunately.  Why would they take on such huge responsibility if they could find someone else without that responsibility?

    1. 5.1
      Frimmel

      Rightly or wrongly, most young cute single guys will consider single mothers for sex only unfortunately.  Why would they take on such huge responsibility if they could find someone else without that responsibility?
       
      And those guys would also seek women much more likely to bear them their own biological children. 1 or 2 of another man’s kids is pushing it already. If she’s “done” bearing children then she’s asking a man without children to give up the possibility of his own kids while taking on a lot of responsibility for another man’s kids. And if she’s on good terms with the ex it strongly suggests a “frivorce” making for way to many risks and downsides.

  6. 6
    starthrower68

    I stand with Evan on this one.  I’ve dated guys who don’t have kids but I’m not sure they relate to where I’m at in life.  Remember so that men come and go. But you will always have your kids in your life.

  7. 7
    shellyb

    I think Evan is right in suggesting you consider other types of men to date. I would also suggest just putting any serious dating aside for awhile, like a few years at least. My two kids were 7 and 9 when I got divorced. I put all thoughts of dating and men aside for almost 7 years. I focused on just my own family, raising the boys, building my career, and becoming completely content with being alone. It was the best thing I did for me and my kids. Once I did start dating, I found the selection of men to be so much better. And my family was more ready to bring someone new in, and so was Ii. Good luck to you, if doing is frustrating to you, really consider just pouring out on hold… It should be a sign that you’re not quite as ready as you should be, and maybe your family isn’t either. Dating should be a fun adventure!
     
    And by the way, even though I’m 40, I get hit on and asked out by young 20 something’s regularly…. Unless you’re just looking for seeds, they’re not worth it!!

  8. 8
    Tosha

    I am a 40 year old woman with 4 teenage boys.  I was married for almost 18 years  and we divorced.  I started dating a guy in his 50′s with no kids, never been married, didn’t want to ever be married and was totally selfish. Well, I wanted to be married again.  We dated for 2 years, but then he ended it.  I think it was because I had too many obligations.  Like you, I could take care of myself and my kids, plus their father was apart of their lives.  

    I then met Mr. Right on a blind date. He was 9 years older than I was. He lived 1500 miles away from me and we engaged in a long distance relationship for 1 year.  We are now happily married.  I have 4 kids and he has 2.  Do not give up;  the right man is out there.   He oved to my hometown and we are great and with my 4 kids.  Someone is out there.  Not every man just want sex.

  9. 9
    Chantal

    I have twins who are finally in college.  I got divorced at 37, and did do the dating thing – and have never gotten re-married.
      I’m sorry to say this but why do people jump first and then look afterwards?  4 kids in 10 years and then divorced?  I stopped at my first, and wanted to give it a break – but you just kept them coming.  You can’t have a “do-over” and think things are gonna be great – you brought your 4 kids into the world and they come first, I assume.
    You cannot expect men your age to want to commit to anything more than what you’ve got.  Evan is right – look for someone in their mid to late 40′s in decent shape – also divorced with kids — there are a lot of them out there. The ones who want (more) kids at 50 are Ah’s and steer clear of them.

    1. 9.1
      Victoria

      I imagine she believed that her marriage would last, or else she wouldn’t have had children with that particular man.  Same as you, right?  Or did you know in advance that you and the father of your two kids would someday divorce, and you decided to go ahead and make babies anyway?

      My point is this:  who are you to judge the choices she made?  Are you OK with being similarly judged by other women who chose partners, had children with them, and are still married?  

      Evan’s advice is right on.  You’ll notice he didn’t feel the need to attack her, or speak derisively of her choice to have four children.  Perhaps take a page from his book? 

      1. 9.1.1
        RustyLH

        Victoria, I think she was including herself in the jump before looking crowd. She has a point to an extent. Most men will tell you that in their 20s, most women bypassed very good men to date and marry bad boys. It seems that at this age, women care more about excitement than they do stability.

        I agree however that the tone does not have to be harsh. I agree that this women is going to have it rough and following your example may be her best bet, because I am not sure she is going to be willing to accept that she can’t have it all. Most women seem to bristly at that notion…the notion of having to settle, and so long as she sees it as settling, it won’t be very appealing to her. She will need a paradigm shift…a change from finding the “hot” guys sexy, to finding the stable, unselfish guys as sexy, even of they don’t have the pretty faces and hot bodies.

  10. 10
    SparklingEmerald

    I have to totally agree with EMK.
    My first husband had one child, and I happily filled the role of step mother, and over 30 years later, he (my step son) and I  stay loosely in touch.  But that was ONE child, my first hubby had him about 50% of the time, and he was self employed, only worked about 20 hours a week (and made great money at it) so it wasn’t really much of a burden, in fact, it was a delight.  I adore my step son !  But I think that is rather an exception to the rule, rather than the rule itself.
    However, there is no way I would have ever taken on four !  Especially with the the typical Dad having a typical full time, or overtime job.    Not that I’m unsympathetic, but expecting a man to try and squeeze himself into 5th place or lower in your life . . . . Unrealistic expectation.
    As much as I HATE that I was dumped back into the single life in my mid-fifties, I am glad I wasn’t single when one son was still in my care.  As a mother I would HAVE to put him first, and honestly, I don’t know how I would have tried to fit in dating with one young child, let alone 4.   If my marriage ended when he was still young, I would have just concentrated on being the best mom I could be and wouldn’t have bothered with dating. 

  11. 11
    Anthea

    I too have experienced the after effects of  “trying” to be in a relationship with a man (who recently turned 50) who had 3 teenage kids. When I met him, only the middle daughter lived with him, now his very troubled 15 year old lad lives FT with him as his ex wife booted out her own son onto the streets….

    OMG…. the drama! The issues we faced (I faced) trying to deal with living with an instant and adolescent family under one roof. We were together nearly 4 yaers on and off and even got engaged..BUT his obligations to his children came first and with minimal support from my then partner regarding helping me to manage living with a teenager, eventually became our undoing.

    So the upside for me? Is that I never want to date a man with children! Excessive I know but Ive been put through the wringer and for all my effort, love and support, it meant nothing when your partner continues to puts his kids “wants” before the “needs” of our relationship.  He just didnt “get it”…he just saw me as being jealous of what he did for his kids….I just saw him as trying to buy their love and the money he was throwing at his kids, I was left to have to manage and pay for us to all live together in my house from my wage (he brought no major assets with him other than a couple of cars)…All I ever wanted from him was for both of us to be on the same page….he was too busy defending his spoilt kids to consider me as his equal partner in life. 

    His loss.

    BTW….Im back to dating now BUT Ive got my witts about me now regarding men with kids….I wont not go out with them, but will be really scrutinizing their relationship  as Im sure not all fathers are over indulgent, emotionally guilty parents. We will see!! lol

    There is one guy (online dating) that tells me he works away for 2 weeks and comes home for  2 weeks and has his 3 boys FT during that time….but then tells me he can pop out now and then for a date if he wants to when he is home…..WTF! The message he is telling me is 1) He is too busy for a relationship. 2) I only want to see you on my terms 3) I only want a booty call. NEXT!! lol

  12. 12
    Paula

    Don’t want to sound mean but here’s actual proof that getting married under 25 doesn’t last (as Evan is always pointing the stats for getting married young). Cristina was married at 20, which is ridiculously early. I think she is better off dating men who are in their 40s and are divorced and already have children, like 1 or 2. I think the odds of her finding a man closer to her age that has never been married or has no children and may want them will be more difficult. I just don’t think it will work out. She needs to ‘stick with her own kind’ (i.e. divorced men). I think she shouldn’t give up either but if you want a relationship, it does require some time and energy.

  13. 13
    Sophie

    My issue is with the ‘bucket’ women with children are put into. Tom 10 refers to “most young cute single guys will consider single mothers for sex only unfortunately“. Christina herself uses the term “MILF”. While there is this labelling, men will continue to see females who happen to have a past  as damaged goods. Christina may be mother but she is also an individual and an individual subject to the laws of attraction like anyone else. If she happens to prefer guys younger than her, no amount of telling her to look for someone older is going to change what she really wants and likes. I am totally realistic. Single fathers don’t face the same pressures. That doesn’t mean I have to like it or that I or Christina should have to suppress who we attracted to because maybe, just maybe there are some guys out there that break the mould. As the saying goes: “patience is a virtue; to have it is a must”.  

    1. 13.1
      Treifalicious

      Exactly! What if she just is not attracted to men 10-15 years older than her? Why do people expect women to date and even marry men they aren’t attracted to just to get themselves married? 

      Nobody ever tells men having a hard time finding a serious girlfriend to date older women.

    2. 13.2
      RustyLH

      Sophie, you are 100% right.  But, at the same time, you should do things intelligently, or at least no the risks of your actions and choices.  Sadly, most of us do not put any thought into the risks and consequences of our actions, and then when things turn out badly for us, we act like victims.
      others are correct to point out obvious tends.  Ask yourself, who is likely to have a problem with your children?  A younger guy with no kids?  Or a guy with kids, and I will say younger, same age or older?
      As for patience, you have to take a close look at the what Evan has posted about making your decisions about these things..children, marriage…earlier in life.  Many women start reporting increasing difficulty getting dates once they pass 30, and feel invisible by 50.  In short, in this case, patience is not a virtue.  being diligent about finding a guy who is right for you and your children is a virtue…not acting immature as if the world is your oyster.  you have kids, and are getting older.  You are going to wake up one day and find that the best guys are taken, or no longer interested in you.  The world will no longer be your oyster.  Having no plan is planning to fail.
      You are the one in charge of what you do.  nobody can change that.  You decide who you will date and spend time with.  You decide when YOU wish to pursue something serious with, and whom YOU will pursue it with.
      What you don’t control are the men.  They decide who they will use for sex, and who they will actually fall in love with.  They choose who they will actually marry, so long as the other person also wants it.  They have their own agenda which is not yours.  Time is on their side, not yours.

      1. 13.2.1
        Julia

        Many women start reporting increasing difficulty getting dates once they pass 30, and feel invisible by 50. 

        When I was in my twenties, I had maybe 3 dates a year. When I was 30 and newly single, I could go out with 3 men A WEEK. Women over 30 are not worthless, or unattractive or whatever BS MRA types want to put out. I actually agree with Evan though. As a childless woman, I tried dating single dads, the kind who shared 50% custody. I always came second, I always became resentful and many of them felt they were finished having children. I think there are plenty of single dads in their 30s (I know, I dated them) but I would also push her towards dating a bit older. Not 50 year old men but men in their early-mid 40s.

        1. RustyLH

          Give the MRA crap a rest.  That info you quoted is not my info, that was info I got here.  I do not think 30 something women are worthless, nor do I think 40 or 50 something women are worthless.  That’s victim speak and it’s regurgitated by men wanting to lash out at women.  In another post, I noted that for me, being 50, I do not agree with the notion that a woman’s highest value is at 20, and less at 30, and even less at 40.  For me, it is actually just the opposite.  In fact, at 20 they have no value to me because they simply aren’t relationship material.
          Weirdly, I am getting most of the attention from 20 and 30 somethings.  My preference is an early 40′s Brazilian who owns her own home near Sao Paulo, with a very nice garden.  I find her to be extremely attractive.  Problem is, she prefers to stay there, and since I am in school for the next couple of years, that isn’t going to work short term.
          The 27 year old Brazilian ex-model is the same religion as me.  As a Brazilian Adventist, she has very very strong beliefs about marriage.  So while I am not putting much stock in it, if it did happen, that strong belief would allow me to not worry that she saw it as a short term solution.
          Same for a 37 yo Filipino nurse from Vancouver Canada.  Very strong beliefs regarding marriage.
          Yet my preference is the 41 year old Brazilian who is a devout Protestant Christian, but not a devout Protestant Christian Adventist.  She is, in my opinion, just as attractive as the other two.
          And now, a very cute, single blond that lives on my floor was flirting with me in a major way last night.  We’ve chatted in the lobby and elevators numerous times.  She has become increasingly open and flirty.  I have not asked her age and have not nailed it though when she has sunglasses on, I assumed late 20′s early 30′s.  Without, she looks younger.
          Last night, as I was approaching the building, I rounded the corner a block away from it, and immediately caught site of her with her dog.  She (the dog) was obviously done, but the girl waited for me to walk up to her and we exchanged greetings.  He dog is very shy and timid with everyone.  I made note that I would need to win her love with treats, and quickly detailed doing so with a friends two dogs that did not like anyone.  I told her how he was amused on one hand but kept calling them traitors as they followed me around and loved on me.
          She smiled and told me to bring treats to her apartment and her dog would definitely be a traitor.  OK…this isn’t rocket science.  She’s not looking for free treats for her dog.  She invited me to her apartment.  I’ll be buying dog treats the next time I go to the store.
          Here’s the thing.  Is it flattering to find a young twenty something attracted to me?  Absolutely, and I would expect anyone to feel the same.  But, I am also realistic.  I seriously doubt she would want marriage, or even a LTR.  At most, I would expect her to want a FWB relationship until she finds a more suitable LTR.
          I’m realistic enough to realize that most 20 somethings don’t want to marry  man past mid 30s, and some don’t even want a man more than a few years older than they are.  So I don’t go looking for 20 somethings.  I understand why the 27 and 37 year old Adventists are interested.  Both come from cultures where women regularly  marry, by choice, men 10 to 20 years older.  Also, being Adventists, it is like dating in a small town.  Thus the interest.
          The one that lives on my floor likely sees it as nothing more than a chance for companionship and sexual adventure with an older man to break up this dry spell.
          As for the OP, her problem by her description seems to be her kids, not her age or her looks.  I’ll address that in a post below.
          However, the reality is this.

      2. 13.2.2
        sandra

        Time is on no one`s side, period.  Men or women.  The only older men that do really well dating have lots of money and well-preserved looks.  The rest face the same dilemma as older women.  If the average  woman preferred much older men, they would not need coaxing by EMK or anyone else to consider older men.  Men do not age better.  It is just many  women will overlook appearance in favor of other qualities.  And if the man is much older, it is looks and financial security.  And since most women can at least feed and house themselves,  they expect physical attraction.  Which is why men have to start taking a reality check early on .  I have seen this first hand.
        As for the OP, I think her children come first.  A relationship may be a nice fantasy, but probably not the best idea..

        1. marymary

          Sandra

          one of the 20somethings at work was complaining that  some “old pervs” were hitting on her. I asked how old. She said,  “40s”.

          I’m in my forties, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
           

        2. RustyLH

          I find a lot of truth in this post but I will touch on one thing that I do not agree with, not completely.
          You, like all women seem to wear it as a badge of honor that you care about more things.  It’s not  badge of honor.  You are simply more picky, more critical, etc.. of other things that men are not critical of.  if we were to believe women, the only women getting married would be super models and movie stars, like Jessica Alba.  While we put an emphasis on looks, we don’t actually put any more emphasis on them than women do.  The OKcupid results showed that women are actually more critical of looks, but yes, since they are also critical of other things, they will give guys a chance that they find less attractive than their preference.  This is slowly changing as women become more and more financially independent.  It was the centuries of needing to rely on men for safety and security that caused these other preferences.  That need is disappearing.
          As polyamory becomes more acceptable, I see things changing in a very negative way.  The higher a man’s attractiveness, the more women he will have.  I really don’t think that is going to be an enjoyable society for anyone to live in…not really.   I know I would not want to live in it.  I think it is going to be a very ugly very selfish society.

        3. RustyLH

          @ Sandra
          Well, it is what it is.  There certainly are young women who despise older people.  If you were to be able to be a fly in the wall, you would likely learn that she doesn’t much like older women either, and would think it is equally creepy for a younger man to date an older woman.  She is, however, likely to become a Cougar in her older years, if her attitude remains this way.  She will then get her comeuppance.  While I am sure she will get some young men giving her what she wants, she will also get exactly what she is giving out.  She will ask a young man to dance, or try to flirt with him, and he will make it plain to her that he thinks she is a creepy Cougar.
          She might even go through her best years trying to attract a younger man only to strike out in this endeavor, only t find herself in a position, when she is 40 plus, where the only men serious about dating her are ten years older.  If she were open minded, this won’t bother her, but she doesn’t seem open minded at all.
          However, you could question her about the guy.  Maybe it wasn’t as much his age as he was just an unattractive, greasy character.

        4. Tim

          Actually older women do a lot better in the dating world vs older men.

        5. Lau_ra

          @marymary
          Well don’t get offended, 40somethings, yet to 20somethings you are more of the old people – thats a whole generation apart and parents of 20somethings are most likely just several years older than you are. Some in here say that 20somethings aren’t open enough and rational about their prospects enough – yet why need they be? In that age your choices are multiple, why consider someone twice older? So no need to be so perplexed about what’s been said by that 20something colleague - 40s is not actually old, yet in most cases too old *for someone in their 20s*.

      3. 13.2.3
        Tim

        Most men in the prime of their youth feel invisible to women. And here you are whining that women over 50 feel invisible.    

    3. 13.3
      Tim

      “Single fathers don’t face the same pressures”

      Yeah, single fathers who look better than 90% of men their age and have everything going in life.

      The average looking 35 yr old single mom does way better in the dating world than the average looking 35 yr old single dad.     

      1. 13.3.1
        sandra

        RustyLH,
        I am not sure why you really have it in for a woman the OP`s age who is not interested in significantly older men.  You seem to be absolutely certain  ( from what I can tell ( that if a young woman is not interested in much older men ( let`s say 15+ yrs or so) that she is doomed to couharhood.  I just don`t understand that conclusion.  While age disparate couples do marry, similar aged couples are far more common, and generally the norm.  This insistence you have that women accept MUCH older men or else, is just bizarre.  And I am sorry, but just because a woman does not find MUCH older man attractive, has no correlation that she is repulsed by older women.  None.  It is just a scare tactic on women. 
        BTW, I do think the OP should be more open-minded if she is serious about finding someone for the long-term.  It is her life, of course, but I believe the children come first.

        1. RustyLH

          Sandra,
          What are you talking about?  I don’t think she “MUST” date a much older man.  Maybe you should clean your glasses and reread my posts?  I said that was one option.  What I said in a nutshell is that this women, if we believe her self description, was at one time, a woman who could have had her pick in men.  the new reality for her is that this is no longer the case.  She has four kids.  That makes her less than appealing for the vast majority of men, even men she would have never considered an option.  It has nothing to do with fairness; there is nothing fair about the dating world.  As I said, she has options, but only she can determine if those options are something she is willing to accept.
          I also do not hold the opinion that women MUST accept much older men.  Nor do I hold the opinion that women MUST refuse to date younger men.  The opinion I do hold is that because men DO prefer younger women, and because men are more than willing to enter into sexual relationships with women they would never dream of marrying, that a woman who refuses to date older men, and only date younger men, is playing against the odds.  In short, if 30 yo woman has 3 short term relationships lasting about 3 years each, with younger men more than willing, she could see her 30′s pass her by with no LTR.  If in her 40′s she continues this, she should not be surprised if she is 50 with no LTR.
          I simply agree with Evan that while young, both men and women should get more serious about their LTR priorities.  Too many people act as if they have forever to find the right person.  I think we also agree that it is up to each individual, what they do, but it helps if you are realistic in your choices.  So it is the same for a man.  Going to hold out for a Playboy Playmate?  Don’t be surprised when you are a 60 year-old never-married man.

        2. sandra

          Yes, if a woman only dates younger men, then her prime years will be wasted, no doubt.  I was assuming the OP was interested in men her own age group.  But when someone insists women should consider older men, I assume they mean MUCH older, since a few years older is the norm.   Sorry, I wish there was more specific terminology for “older within a normal range” and ” much older.” 
           

  14. 14
    Brenda

    I wish I could talk to all single parents!   I’ve lived through your situation and my children are now in their 20′s.  My best advice would be to stop dating and focus on giving your undivided attention to your children.  This time is so precious.  Invest in yourself and your kids.  Pursue hobbies you enjoy.  Turn the phones and computers off and read a big thick book together, exercise, bake a pie, and start saving money if at all possible. Your kids are going to be grown and gone in a few very short years, and you may have to support yourself for the rest of your life.    
    There will ALWAYS be single, divorced, widowed people out there – always.  If you spend these years preoccupied with your love life, you’ll regret it.  I know so many men and women who would rather cut their legs off, than be on their own for any period of time.  The ones who desperately feel compelled to be in another relationship, will typically experience a repeat of the same unhealthy situation they had the first, second, third time.
    Do yourself and your kids a favor – focus on showing them how you are a WHOLE person and a WHOLE, in tact family just the way you are.  You are not “broken” or “defective.”  You and your kids will be SO much happier in the long run.  
    Kids are very aware which parent put them first, and which parent made their sex life the top priority.   If both parents love and put the kids first, they will grow up healthier than most of their friends from a two-parent “perfect” home.  Not saying this is you, but forcing kids to share their parent with the current lover is not fair to them.  When the relationship ends, they’re hurt, you’re hurt, and you will NEVER get back that time you lost.  You can be 100% mommy now, and 100% sexy lady after your kids are grown – Believe me, it’s worth the wait.  Plus you’ll be emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, ready to focus on your adult relationships.  
    Someone mentioned the Brady Bunch. In reality, the blended family thing is the worst for kids, especially at middle school age.  The thing about the Brady Bunch is Mike and Carol evidently never had to deal with six custody schedules because their exes were mysteriously missing, and Alice did all the cooking and cleaning.  It’s not reality.
     Who knows, if you put the stress of dating on the back burner, you could meet Mr. Wonderful at the ballgame this weekend!  If he’s truly a gentleman – he will care more about your relationship with your kids than how often you’re available for a late night booty call.  Good guys don’t make booty calls.   Mature men call you when the sun is shining and ask to spend quality time with you, because they truly want to get to know you.   The guy who thinks this is too much effort, is the wrong guy.   The kids shouldn’t be subjected to anyone you aren’t planning to marry – why should their little hearts be dragged through the mud?   Good guys want to help you, not use you.  
    I would also advise staying off dating sites – they’re shallow and toxic.   How sad to rob ourselves of one of the few wonderful pleasures in life – like love at first sight – seeing a knowing twinkle in the eyes, and the sense that you’ve known each other forever.  You don’t get that from thousands of meaningless profile pics.   When you feel a soul spark with someone you meet in person, you aren’t thinking oh, sorry, you’re a year out of my age limit – and it looks like your body type is  “average” – I’m going to have to pass.   Perhaps God is supposed to orchestrate the meeting at the right place and time, when He knows both people are ready for a healthy love.  

    1. 14.1
      starthrower68

      Brenda, here here!  You said it very well!

    2. 14.2
      RustyLH

      I agree with everything you said.  Especially that she actually can date, but raise the bar for the guys.  Be right up front that there will be no sex now or in the near future.  Seriously…she should say that.  A guy asks her out..she should be open and friendly.  Don’t come across as being rude and hard nosed.  Just smile pleasantly and say, “Honestly, I would enjoy going to dinner and a movie, but in all fairness, I want to let you know that I don’t sleep around.  So long as you don’t assume that dates mean sex, I would love to go out with you.”  As *shock* a good man, I would be very pleasantly surprised if a woman said that to me.  What he does or does know about her past relationships is of no consequence.  He must deal with who she is now, not who she was.  If a few dates later, he ties to negotiate it into a sexual relationship, she should simply be firm but pleasant.  If he says, “Don’t you like sex?”  She should say, “I absolutely love sex…I just don’t like it in uncommitted relationships.  No real feeling to it.  Just self gratification.  Sex is so much better when it involves love.  Is sex all you are really after?”  He would likely say no, or in some way try to state that it is just part of a relationship.  This is where she again just hits him with brutal honesty but does so in a pleasant and disarming way.  She does not have to be strong here.  She can be vulnerable.  It actually works better that way.  She simply lets him know that the problem is that guys are all to willing to give the illusion that a relationship is building…take the sex, and then when it starts to actually resemble a real relationship, they disappear.  She can simply say that this is very painful for her and she doesn’t want it anymore.  So she will no longer have sex with a man that is not worth that gift.  Only a man that sees her as worthy of being “his” will get that gift in the future.   She can basically say that the pain of being used outweighs the good feelings that sex brings.  Again, soft, truthful vulnerability is in my opinion the best way to discuss this.  Why?  It forces him to see her as a real person with real emotions, and real vulnerabilities.  In my opinion, only the worst kind of man could still push for sex after she has this talk in this manner.  A true gentleman will seek to be her knight in shining armor, if he cares that much about her, or at a minimum, will not feel good about using her and so he won’t.  He will likely say something to the effect that she is a sweet person but she has too many kids for him.  So the inevitable happens before she invests more of herself by having sex with him.
       
      I am convinced that these days women simply don’t understand how her vulnerability…truthful vulnerability, not manipulative vulnerability, actually brings out the best in men.

      1. 14.2.1
        Kiki

        Rusty,
        What you say sounds very meaningful and it is pretty much along the lines of what Evan preaches on this blog – kindly let the man know that you are not interested in random sex, and it will weed out the players.
        The problem with the letter writes is, in my opinion, not that she runs into players, but that there are objective reasons why men in her desired age group would not want to spend much effort on growing this relationship.  Whichever way she phrases her attitude about nsi sex, there is no way to negotiate with a man to overlook the responsibilities she would have as a single mother of four kids.

      2. 14.2.2
        amanda

        The problem with this approach is that it will also weed out the hot guys that she really wants. She might have to settle for someone average-alright in looks.

        1. JoeK

          Yes, she will have to settle for the men who want HER with her current situation. End of the world – she’ll have to settle for someone who’s not a model! End of the world!
          Why is mentioning the word “settling” so anathematic to women here? Smart people “settle” all the time, for all sorts of things. You don’t get everything you want, ever, why would you expect dating to be any different? Especially if you’re like most of us who don’t have a clue until our thirties or later.
          Thankfully Evan is splashing the cold water on our face to wake us up.

        2. RustyLH

          Amanda,
          Is the guy being “hot” all important?  Women claim that all of these other things are important, and yet as I have always said, for many women, not all, but for many women, it isn’t that looks aren’t just as important as they are for men, but that they simply have even more requirements.  For instance, if the woman is a 9 and she would never consider going below an 8, it doesn’t matter if he has all these other great qualities.  She’s not going to settle for a 6 or 7.  She wants the 8, 9 or 10, who also has all these other great qualities.
          Any “hot guy” who settles for her is giving up far more than she would be giving up if she settles for a not quite so hot guy.  Even the not so hot guy would be giving up a lot.
           

  15. 15
    Kiki

    Cristina,
    It seems that you are very restricted in the free time that you are able to give to a partner. The greatest gift we give to each other, as human beings, in dating and relationship, is our time, and our undivided attention.  If you want to be at home at night, at the time to put your kids to bed, read fairy tales, and give them sweet good night kisses, you simply can not be available to be spending more and more time with a (potential) boyfriend, and have spontaneous magical nights together.
    You probably know that in order to have a full life (balancing family and career etc)  you need to be extremely well organized, and have schedules for everything, including for example for dates two evenings per week.  But that last thing would be very difficult to arrange with someone in the early stages of a relationship, because people prefer to get to know each other little by little and in a spontaneous rather than in a strictly planned manner.
    Evan is right that an older man who already has children and knows first hand about the responsibilities that come with them, can be understanding to your situation, and sympathetic to the need to plan dates in a manner that will kill all spontaneity. However, even older men with children will have little sympathy to your unavailability and to the fact that he and his needs will always come second after your kids. 
    As a personal note, if I were in your situation, I would be rather having uncommitted sex with men in my age group, rather than looking for a SERIOUS relationship with an older man.  I would postpone the serious relationship for when my kids grow up a (older teenage may be?), as there will likely be no shortage of older men at that time either :-).  Just my two cents.

    1. 15.1
      Chance

       I think there would be plenty of older fathers that would be sympathetic to her commitment to her children – certainly more so than a childless 34 Y/O.  

      1. 15.1.1
        Karen

        What if they don’t have the great looks and physique that she requires in men? 

        Its very easy for us women to develop high physical and sexual expectations of men because obtaining sex is so easy for us.. Even mediocre looking women in their late 30′s can easily get hot younger guys in bed. Its a big disappointment when the same kind of guys are no where to be seen when we require a little commitment.  

        1. Julia

          nice try troll “karen” you might want to change your gravatar before pretending to be a woman and spamming about all the sex average old women get from young hot studs.

        2. Anon

          Hi Julia, actually even if he had changed his gravatar a fool could tell this is a man masquerading as a woman. 

          A woman would never admit such an awkward reality in the words he has chosen!  

        3. Tim

          Women seem to have an ego problem with admitting that its easier for them to obtain no strings sex and they don’t need to be that attractive either.

        4. tamara

          @Tim: There’s no ego problem, most of us ladies know that it’s easy for most women–incl unattractive ones–to get NSA sex; since there are some very unfussy men around. (Joke: what’s a sl-t? A woman with the morals of a man, hah)
           
          I think Julia is just annoyed that ‘Karen’ is pretending to be a woman, when he’s clearly a guy. Btw, how come some of u can display avatars??

        5. Jenn

          Tim, what’s so great about being able to attract NSA sex when what we want is a great relationship? I want a man who wants the whole package, not just the wrapping.

        6. RustyLH

          Have you ever noticed Jenn, that people, men included, always want what they don’t have but often don’t appreciate what they do have.  Take a very sexy mother of 4, and she will likely complain that men only want sex from her.  Take a very overweight mother of 4 and she will likely complain that she hasn’t had sex in a very long time, or that she has to go through very long dry spells.

        7. Jenn

          Rusty,
          Thanks for that enlightening viewpoint. I’ll now be sure to remember to fall down on my knees and thank God for the next man who propositions me for a one night stand on OkCupid.

  16. 16
    Jen

    I’m a single mother to 1 and dealt with a lot of the same. I completely understand it though and am now happily hooked to a man 8 years my senior with 2 kids if his own. 

    4 kids?! As much as I understand this dilemma I wouldn’t date something with 4 kids either. There’s just not enough room left for me at that point. I’m not here to satisfy someone else’s needs at the expense of my own, that’s not a relationship.

    To Evan’s point, Cristina is ready to give up, she says. He’s provided her with another option. She doesn’t have to take it but if she still wants a relationship then adjusting her pool of potential suitors is probably a wise choice. If an older man who’s on the same page as her is “settling” then yes, giving up may be a good idea. 

    Evan! Please make these comment boxes more mobile friendly! 

  17. 17
    Karl R

    Sophie said: (#2)
    “I think it’s a bit unfair to suggest Christina has to change her type just to clinch someone.”

     Dating isn’t fair. Therefore, it’s a waste of time complaining about it being unfair. Good advice shows people how to make that unfairness work in their favor.

    Most people (men and women) prefer to date younger. If you’re willing to date older, you can often get someone who is a much better catch than the younger people who are willing to date you.

    Sophie said: (#13)
    “If she happens to prefer guys younger than her, no amount of telling her to look for someone older is going to change what she really wants and likes.”

    When I was dating, I preferred women around my age. But there are a lot of exceptional women who were significantly older/younger. It was also worth dating them, because it opened up additional opportunities.

    Sophie said: (#2)
    “That is like urging someone to settle which no-one should do.”

    Evan and I urge people to compromise, which is something everyone should do.

    Evan wanted a wife who was several years younger than him (and Jewish, and liberal). He ended up marrying someone who was a few years older than him (and Catholic, and conservative). There were trade-offs that accompanied that decision, but he ended up with a great wife because of it.

    I wanted a woman around my age. I ended up dating women who ranged from 11 years younger to 16 years older. I married the woman who is 16 years older, and I ended up with a great wife because of it.

    Sophie said: (#13)
    “I am totally realistic.”

    Evan and I are being more realistic. We’re giving the advice that really worked when we followed it.

    It’s a waste of time to chase people who aren’t interested in you. It’s far more effective to find a great catch among the people who are interested in you.

    Treifalicious asked: (#13.1)
    “What if she just is not attracted to men 10-15 years older than her? Why do people expect women to date and even marry men they aren’t attracted to just to get themselves married? 

    Take a look at the video clip in the URL below:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qETPFyxyfM

    That’s a video of my wife and I dancing. At the time the video was taken, I was 40, my wife was 56. Does my wife look unattractive? Does my wife look 56?

    I’m sure Christina can find an attractive divorcee in his mid-to-late 40s. They exist. She doesn’t have to find the average man that age attractive. She just has to find some that she thinks are attractive.

    Christina said: (original letter)
    “Even if I really take my time getting to know someone before we become intimate… it seems that sex is all they continue to want.

    I don’t know about you, but I was a lot less picky about my sex partners than I was about the women I entered committed relationships with. With a sex partner, I just needed to like her for a day or so. With a girlfriend, I needed to like her for several month or more. With my wife, I need to like her for the rest of our lives.

    Of the people who want sex with you, only a small percentage will want a serious relationship. There’s no point getting frustrated about reality. Dating is hard. Dating with four young kids is harder. If you let yourself get easily frustrated, then your best strategy is to avoid dating.

    1. 17.1
      marymary

      Karl
      love this video and your story

      OP
      there are many attractive men in their 40s , and it’s only about 10 years older, or even less. But try to avoid the ones who are STILL not looking to settle down.  

    2. 17.2
      Kiki

      Karl,
      you and your wife make a very beautiful couple. It would never cross my mind that she is older by you, let alone by 16 years.

  18. 18
    Sunflower

    Depends on what she wants out of life…….a stable, loving relationship with a man who could be a potential step father to her children and life partner for herself, or fun with younger men?  Hmmm, might be nice for a while, but would definitely get old.  Life is full of choices.  I agree with Evan (as pretty much always), she needs to broaden her spectrum and choose older men to date.  A man who has children of his own and knows the terrain.

  19. 19
    Sophie

    Brenda is spot-on and, actually, for the record, I have stopped dating because my priority is my child. This despite a single man 5 years my junior and childless happy to start a long-term relationship with me butw turning him down because the connection wasn’t strong (see Christina: there are exceptions). The other reason I have stopped looking is because, frankly dating is far too full of preconceptions and madness and I am far happier. I actually think online dating has ruined everything as it has led to far more choice and people disposing of people far more readily. Anyway, that’s a debate for another day. 

    Clearly a lot of entrenched views and unconscious bias on this thread so just want to finish off my contribution that has appeared to have exorcised so many by wishing Christina the best of luck in the future and hope that you get the relationship YOU want. 

    1. 19.1
      starthrower68

      I just want to add, for what it’s worth, that if she can juggle dating and raising up good, well-adjusted kids, then I do wish her the best of luck in finding what she’s looking for.  I still agree with Evan that an older guy who has his own kids would probably be a pleasant surprise in terms of being a better match.  Dating as a single parent is not for the faint of heart.  If you like someone but the kids don’t, then the kids are probably going to win that one, at least while they’re young enough and still at home.  I have dated, intermittently, but then I found myself wanting to compartmentalize and keep kids separate from whom I was dating if it got beyond the first date.   I think I felt a sense of guilt that I didn’t feel if I say, hung out with my friends when I wasn’t with the kids.  I have found it a good time in my life to do some of the things I did not do before I became a wife and mother, like go back to school.   I don’t point this out to make the OP feel like she should or shouldn’t date.  Only to tell her that while no, dating is by no means fair, there are different but just as good options worth considering in dating or outside of dating.

  20. 20
    Evan Marc Katz

    Your advice, Sophie, is nothing more than “do what I did”. You stopped dating so the OP should as well. If you read her post, you can tell she doesn’t want to stop dating. She just wants to find a commitment-oriented man. I told her which types of men would be more inclined to commit to her – and it’s not 34-year-old never married types, for the most part. What part of my take do you disagree with? Do you think that – based on what Cristina wrote – she wants to take the next 15 years off of love like Brenda? Or that she might want to find a like-minded family man who happens to also be divorced?

    1. 20.1
      starthrower68

      I will hand it to the OP; she’s got more stamina than I do. I’ve raised 2 good boys who are fine young men, but now have a defiant, rebellious tween I’m raising. She requires every ounce of mental and emotional energy I have and it’s exhausting. And I am pretty sure that there is no man who will go near that drama.

      1. 20.1.1
        RustyLH

        I always advice men to think twice if she has girls.  There are huge risks there for a man outside of the normal drama.

        1. starthrower68

          And Rusty, if he takes your advice, then that’s a win for me.  The most important job I have ever done and will ever do is bringing up members of the next generation.  Men will come and go and without little consequence.  But doing my due diligence as a parent has ramifications for generations.

        2. RustyLH

          I don’t disagree with that either.  Not an easy job bringing up kids.   If your daughter is that much of a handful, imagine the danger to a man if he becomes involved.  Many men have had false accusations made against them. It’s not a pretty picture.

  21. 21
    Sophie

    Your “for the most part” sums up what I am getting at. Yes, the majority of them won’t want to take on a ‘single mom’ with 4 kids but it’s generalising because there are always exceptions to every rule. She may want to widen her net and criteria, I don’t know, I just offer an alternative vision and a bit more hope that her current quest may not be as futile as everyone on here would lead her to believe based on my own experience. 

    I usually agree with your advice and male perspective but this time I felt it was an over-simplification and I wanted Christina to know there were people out there who were facing similar issues. I wasn’t offering advice per se; merely shared understanding and support. That is all. 

  22. 22
    Greg Figueroa

    Evan is right about  giving guys in your situation a look over. Most childless guys prefer the flexibility and attention from childless women. Short term it’s easier to do things without wrangling the logistics of a single mother and long term a lot of these guys don’t want the added responsibility. There’s nothing wrong with being a single mother, the issue, like Evan mentioned, is lifestyles not gelling.

  23. 23
    RustyLH

                         I wanted to give my take on why men aren’t interested in a woman with 4 kids.  At least not the top shelf” guys, nor the next 3 shelves down.
                         OK, take an age appropriate guy for the 34 year old self described MILF in the OP.  As an example let’s go 5 years up and 5 years down.  So guys 29 to 39 are hitting on her and going on dates.  This is due to her looks and her sexual desirability.  But why no long term interest?  Look at it from their side.  If they are attractive men, they have other options.  I have been in that position.  One girl would have 1 to 4 kids, while another would have no kids.
                        OK, so we’ll call them Nokids and Yeskids.  With Nokids I can call up spur of the moment to see if she wants to go do something.  I can drive up on my motorcycle unannounced and say, “want to go for a ride?”  With Yeskids, this is not likely to be an option.  She will need notice, and often, lot’s of it.
     
                      With Nokids, if we decide to spend some time together at her place, we can cook something together, and it’s a good chance I will like what we are cooking.  With Yeskids, the tastes of the kids will dictate what we can cook.  With them being young, it is almost assured that I can’t make anything spicy.  
                        With Nokids, we can eat, and then cuddle romantically and watch TV or a movie, or just turn the lights down and kiss.   With Yeskids, this can only happen once the kids go to bed and are asleep.  Earlier than that and you are constantly interrupted by kids.  Add to that how every woman I did this with will inevitably yell at her kids while we are laying there.  Usually they are getting too loud and so instead of getting up, she just yells loud enough for them to hear, telling them to be quiet.
     
                         And if Nokids and I, go out, it is not very expensive.  About 20 bucks for fast food, 30 more for movie with drinks and or popcorn.  Maybe 40 if we both have both.  Maybe a bit more.  In short, even with a nice restaurant, you can keep the date to about $100 give or take.  Add in 4 boys, with Yeskids, and that goes right out the window.  Plus, with them being so young, what you can watch at the movies is greatly reduced.  If she leaves the children home, it still costs  lot more.  If you want more than a couple of dates a month you are likely going to have to pay the babysitter.  with 4 kids, that’s not going to be cheap.  Having relatives that will gladly watch them for free helps immensely, but it seems this is rare.  For one thing, many times the parents live hours away.  Other times, they are unfit to do this, and others the woman isn’t close with her parents.  In short it’s not always an option. 

                         With Yeskids, holidays such as Christmas are going to be much more expensive, not to mention more birthdays.
                       OK, let’s just face it…with kids, everything is more expensive and less convenient.  Now add in the fact that you will never be #1 in her heart…well…what exactly is the upside for one of these guys who are single with no kids?
                       The bottom line is that for her, her kids are a big part of her life and she loves them immensely.  For him, they interfere with everything, and add cost…a lot of cost, especially when it is 4 kids.
                       In short, if we believe her about her looks, which we should, she went from being a girl who could have her pick of men, to a woman that men don’t want.  Not the that men she wants, and even some she feels she would be settling for.  But, she still has options.  We always do.
     
    #1, She can do nothing differently.  Just keep dating the same types of guys she does presently, and hope that she eventually finds one that will look past her kids.  While she may in fact find some guy who overlooks all of that, the odds are stacked heavily against her.  The upside to this is that in her wait, she is not going without sex.  There are many women like her, but not nearly as good looking, who can’t get guys into bed with them, at least not with any regularity.  There are women in her shoes that have gone years without sex.  But because the sex comes so easily to her, she does not see what she does have.  It in fact becomes a turnoff to her as evidenced by her statement regarding guys calling for a booty call.  Again, i only point that out because there are women who would be happy for even that.  We always appreciate what we don’t have, and don’t appreciate what we do have.
    #2, she can put an emphasis on finding a man who also has kids…preferably one who has joint custody, or full custody.  Not easy to find…but one who has 2 to 4 kids that he sees every other weekend and once a week, plus half the summer, might be a good choice.  He still understands that kids do interrupt your life, and cost money.   Plus, he has also likely dealt with woman who don’t want to deal with his kids.  So he is going to be able to look past the kids.
    #3, Start looking for men significantly older…like 40 to 50.  Preferably a guy who missed out on having kids and regrets it.  Maybe he would even give her the one thing she doesn’t have, if she wants it…a daughter.  Up side is she might be able to find one who is relatively financially stable, which improves the lives of herself and her boys.
    #4, Start dating men significantly less attractive than she is used to.  Or maybe guys that are still attractive in many ways but had some silly deal breaker, like being short.
     
                       The choice is hers.  The odds of finding a great guy by doing what she has been doing are very very very slim, and she knows that…but yes, she might win the lottery/be struck by lightening and have that one in a millions top shelf guy with no kids come along and marry her.  But if you want, I’ll make a wager with you on that happening in the next 5 years.  I’m willing to bet a whole bunch of money on it.  Her best bet is to in some way that is agreeable to her, change what she is looking for.

    1. 23.1
      sandra

      I think RustyLH is right on about the guy who missed out on having a family being a very viable option.  The man will be thrilled to be part of an insta-family.  Only thing is , OP may not find some of these men attractive, they may have other issues, and she just may prefer the occasional fun she can have with men her age.  Older men often have lots of issues, are inflexible, and run away from anything they perceive as “drama” or resembling their failed marriage/s.   But, unlikely things happen, so who knows.  But the older guy who never had kids is a great option if she can find one she clicks with. 

    2. 23.2
      Joe

      I think Rusty nailed it.  As Evan and others always say, the more qualifications you put on who you want to date, the more you’re limiting your dating pool.  And then you need to hope that you’re what they’re looking for!  Simply having a kid (let alone four) makes the pool of men who would want to date you smaller.  I’m sure you could find someone who ticks off all your checkboxes, given enough time, but what if it takes you ten years?  You could have spent the last ten years happily with someone else who ticks off most-but-not-all of your checkboxes.

      1. 23.2.1
        Tim

        Women are supposed to be more selective and unforgiving. There is nothing wrong with that. They’re just different.

        1. RustyLH

          I agree that they are different, but by what arbitrary decree are women supposed to be or allowed to be more selective?  In this country, using the court system, a woman can straight wreck a man so men have just as much right to be selective.  In fact only a fool is not selective.  Nothing…not one single thing can wreck your life like a woman can.  Which is exactly why many men are opting out.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Rusty – I’m starting to tire of this myopia from such a bright guy. “Not one single thing can wreck your life like a woman can” is a statement that can EASILY be flipped to read “Not one single thing can wreck your life like a man can. Which is exactly why so many women are opting out.” In other words, not only are you not helping me out, but you’re not helping yourself out either. Become like the woman you want to date – warm, positive, and optimistic, not bitter, jaded, and one-sided.

        3. RustyLH

          I think most women would agree that marrying the wrong guy could wreck their life.  I do not disagree with that.  I do disagree with the one-sided statement that women are “supposed” to be more selective.  It’s an ignorant mantra that has been spread for too long.  The OKCupid survey was proof of its damage.
          Frankly I think men, while having issues of their own have a healthier attitude about the opposite sex in this regard.  I do agree that women are selective, but i reject the notion that this is good, or somehow their birthright.
          Why it is like this is whole other debate in and of itself starting with Disney movies.  You don’t see shows aimed at boys of some illusive Princess Charming.  Plus add in the biological reproduction aspect of only having one egg per month while men have a near unlimited supply of reproductive material.
          My point is that propagating this notion is not helpful.  If we are to respect this idea that it is their right, then we would then have to respect the right of men to pursue and bed every single they can in his biological calling to father as many children as possible.  I for one, reject that also.

  24. 24
    Tim

    Ah, the age old dilemma of single mothers: Young hot guys only want them for sex.

  25. 25
    Sunflower

    Single mothers need sex too!  Women just need to be wise enough to tell the difference, especially if they want more.

  26. 26
    NASHWC

    LOL! It no longer surprises (now only humors) me to constantly witness the stratospheric entitlement mentality exhibited by women raised within the current Western culture; one which promotes such narcissistic “You can have it all” attitudes from those such as the OP. Today, over 70% of divorces are initiated by woman and I would not doubt that the currently popular ‘men are disposable’ meme has an influence on this, and probably the OP’s as well. I could imagine that (with the encouragement of her gal ‘friends’ whispering to her such things as “You’re too good for him” and “You deserve better”) she convinced herself that a replacement was ‘just around the corner’. Enter reality and she doesn’t like this at all! Therefore, it’s all the guys fault: “All they want is sex”. Well, duh. Welcome to third-wave feminism. You bought into it, ladies; now you own it.
    As a 40-something, childless guy, I am occasionally one of ‘those guys’ the OP complains about but it’s only because my many experiences/relationships with Westernized women (many of them single moms) as a whole has taught me two universal truths: 1) women LOVE and CRAVE attention [mitigates self-esteem issues so many women have], and 2) women with any appreciable SMV will ALWAYS seek out a guy who is better, younger, richer, whatever than her [re: hypergamy] and if she marries him, will likely bail if he ever loses this status, even if only temporarily. So my attitude is: “I didn’t write the ‘new’ rules; I just have to live by them”. It’s ok with me, actually. Lots of fun so far :)
    I seriously doubt the OP will take Evan’s proper advise (after all, he didn’t tell her what she wanted to hear) but instead will continue consulting her Rationalization Hamster … and continue the experiences she has had. Chances are good that, some months or years from now, Evan (or another dating coach) will hear from her again .. and again .. which is quite a lucrative business for guys such as Evan :)

    1. 26.1
      Tim

      Like I said, what is the point of stating the fact over and over again that women are more selective, harsh, and unforgiving on looks, physique, status, confidence, etc ? Its just supposed to be that way. 

      A woman can be mediocre in every aspect but still want and attract men who are way better than her in every aspect.

      If you’re an average/alright guy who doesn’t stand out, then you should find fulfillment in other things, live for self-preservation and do your bit to end this vicious cycle of bringing another average looking young man into this world by not procreating.         

      1. 26.1.1
        RustyLH

        Sorry Tim but you are just wrong, that is all.  While you are right that Western women are “more selective, harsh, and unforgiving on looks, physique, status, confidence, etc ?”   You are wrong that “Its just supposed to be that way.”   There’s a huge difference between something being that way, and it supposed to be that way.
        For instance, a large number of men act like idiot pervs on dating sites…but just because they are that way doesn’t mean they should be that way.
        If women can’t learn to moderate themselves, to learn to be more realistic without whining that they had to “settle,” then they should not be surprised when Western men increasingly reject them.
         
        Here’s a good example.  When I was hanging out on Rory’s blog, there was a woman who was dating two guys.  One was everything she wanted in a man, except one thing.   The other one was better looking but had many personality faults.  Now this is all according to her.  What she couldn’t get past in the first guy was that he didn’t have nice teeth.  not rotting, just not pearly white and straight.  I watched her whine that she just couldn’t win.  If she could have a magic fairy wave a wand, she would have the two men combined so that the great guy would also look great, and have a tooth paste commercial smile.

    2. 26.2
      starthrower68

      Oh dear God not the hampster argument.  Sigh, ok let’s just get all the buzzwords out there now.  Single moms = low sexual market value, little red pill and on and on and on.

      1. 26.2.1
        NASHWC

        Thanks for the assist! :)

        1. starthrower68

          Yes it’s very uplifting and edifying to reduce human beings down to some arbitrary ratings system.  Bucky for you.

  27. 27
    Jenn

    I hate the idea that women are not being realistic if they expect a guy their age to fall in love with them. I know it’s different for the woman in this case because she has children, but I just want to say that I think it sucks that women are expected to compromise on age all the time. What if she genuinely is not attracted to men in their 40s? What happens then? Men don’t seem to be getting told that if they’re not having any luck chasing young girls, they should focus on dating women their own age. It’s almost like they’re allowed to have this immature, Peter Pan I’ll-never-grow-up-therefore-the-women-I’m-attracted-to-won’t-either mentality, while women are told to wise up and change their expectations because no man their age will want them. I do agree that if things don’t seem to be working out for her, she does need to change something. I just don’t think it’s fair that she compromise on dating guys her own age, if that’s what she truly wants. It’s a fact that most men (not all, but most) in their 40s are not as attractive as their 35 year old counterparts. I am 33 and I’m not interested in anyone over 40. While I agree that there are good-looking men in their 40s, many more of them are not. They are usually, but not always, a combination of balding, overweight, graying, hairy in every place other than their head, and wrinkled. Even some guys in their early 40s look like they’ve already been through the wringer. I’m still young and I want to enjoy what’s left of my youth with someone my own age who can keep up with me. I’ll admit that it’s true that there are plenty of guys my age for whom that would not be possible though! I can acknowledge that some 40-something guys are better looking then their 35 year old counterparts, but the fact is that that isn’t very common.

    1. 27.1
      Chance

      Jenn, I can assure you that older men are told all of the time that they shouldn’t be chasing young women, which it generally good advice since it’s usually ineffective to chase someone much younger than you.  The OP is certainly welcome to continue trying to date someone her age.  However, it is going to be much harder to find someone her age that is willing to be with her (given her situation).  There is a big difference between having the right to be attracted to a certain type of person and actually being able to date such a person.

      1. 27.1.1
        Jenn

        Chance, thanks for your input. I guess the point that I was trying to make is that it is unfair that it is considered perfectly acceptable by our current cultural standards for older men to chase after women who are 10+ years their junior. Yet, if a woman in her 30s who has kids wants to date and have a relationship, then the only real option she has is to focus on guys who are ten years older? I find that laughable considering the amount of dating profiles written by men my age who state under the Kids heading that they’d either “prefer not to say”, “probably not”, or “No, I don’t want kids”. Once you’re past your twenties, it seems to me that it’s just as much the guys who need to wise up as the women. Because the reality is that the older they get, the more likely it is that they are going to meet women who already have children. Unless they only want to date girls who could be their daughter, that is.

    2. 27.2
      Julia

      You are 33 and 30 seems too old? My boyfriend will be turning 40 soon, I just turned 33. He looks a hell of a lot better than many men younger than me. If you don’t want them men who’ve been through the wringer, don’t go out with them but you are seriously limiting your dating pool if you refuse to date anyone more than 6 years older than you.

      1. 27.2.1
        Jenn

        Julia, I’ll assume that was a typo – LOL no, 30 is not too old for me. But yes, I’ll be honest: I don’t really want to date guys who are more than 7 years older because a) I usually do not find them physically attractive, as I’ve stated, and b) they re usually not on the same page as me in life as far as wanting marriage and children. For every good-looking, childless, never-married man over the age of 40, there are about 50 who are no longer that attractive who’ve already had all the kids they want, and just got divorced. So while it may seem to you like I’m limiting my options, I’m telling you that those guys don’t even qualify as options for me, so it would make no sense for me to waste my time dating them anyway. It’s not that they aren’t good catches, because they are – for somebody else.

        1. RustyLH

          Nobody says you have to date all of them.  If a woman does decide to include older men in her dating choices, she doesn’t have to date all older men.  She just has the option to date one she finds attractive.  One of those 1 in 50.  I have seen many women do this and then say that it was the best relationship they’ve ever been in.  Actually, women who have been unhappy with their love lives, who make a significant change in some way, tend to be very happy.  I remember seeing a woman on one of those talk shows when this subject came up.  She was a professional woman.  She was having work done on her roof.  The guy doing the work was just a couple of years older, but she admitted that previously she wouldn’t have given him the time of day because he was not a college educated professional.  They struck up a conversation and she couldn’t get him out of her mind so called him back to do more work.  Then they started dating, ended up married and now have kids.  She told the host that for the first time she was happy with her love life.  And, stated that the man is her best friend as well as her husband.  They were past the honeymoon years, also so it is likely that they are still together.
          I think it should be noted that in the fairy tale, the Princess kissed a frog who turned into a prince.  There is a moral to that story.

    3. 27.3
      Tim

      Jenn, How many 35 yr old single dads do you know of who can get hot 22 yr old college girls in bed with ease?

      Women already have it better. Stop complaining.  

    4. 27.4
      NASHWC

      Wherever I read dating column comments, I very often see (presumably women) posters regularly use phrases  such as “women are [constantly] told to [settle] ..”, “women are expected to [compromise on age/looks/whatever] .. “, and “nobody tells men to [do whatever these things women are supposedly told to do]..”, but I have not once read or heard these assertions from any professional/respected media outlet, women’s/lifestyle/’progressive’ magazine, dating coach, dating blog or any other venue; only anonymous internet user comments to an article. And yes, I read allot of material every day. Maybe I missed it. Can someone please, please just point out one definitive source? And I don’t mean an article assertion that has been re-framed or re-interpreted by someone who lacks reading comprehension skills (and I will say that many responses I see to comments demonstrate quite clearly a serious lack of skill in this area, so it’s very likely this will happen to mine).

      On the contrary, what I do often hear and read in media and magazines are direct suggestions to women that they are totally “empowered” to love/date/have sex with whomever they like without shame or consequence, to never ‘settle’ (a.k.a – compromise), and to use whatever sexual assets/powers they possess for personal gain without serious consideration of the consequences to them or to the men they manipulate.  I strongly suspect that this ‘always being pressured’ argument women keep trotting out primarily originates from other women (or that person’s self-esteem or insecurity issues), not men or any media influence. Total ‘straw man’ argument ..

    5. 27.5
      RustyLH

      Jenn, you can hate the idea all you want.  Nobody can tell you who you must date.  However, when those you prefer don’t prefer you…where does that leave you?  A wise old lady once told me to want in one hand and poo in the other and see which one fills up faster.  In short, just because we want something doesn’t mean we will get it.  Life isn’t fair..dating isn’t fair.  You think men need to wise up, but men don’t care what you think.  See, that is the hardest part for every last one of us to learn…we cannot, and will never be able to change the other side.  They will do what they are going to do.  You think men who prefer a woman 10 years younger should wise up but they have other options, even if the majority of American women that age won’t date them.  You can’t change the other side, you can only change what you do.  This may seem unfair but again, nothing about this is fair, ever has been fair or ever will be fair.  You can be angry that men didn’t get Oprah’s memo that men should marry older women, or threw it in the trash, but that isn’t going to get you anywhere.  Here’s the predicament.  Yes, for a long time it was more often the case that man married younger women.  Or more correctly, women their age and younger.  Rarely did a man marry older women, even by a few years.  Well, now women want to do the same.  But men aren’t playing ball, so women throw a tantrum about it.  That tantrum and $1.79 will you you a cup of coffee.  Since both genders want to marry younger, it is a standoff.  The problem is that men are fine not getting married.  So they will win a staring contest over this issue, not to mention that they can and will find other avenues to get what they want.
      My point is simply this.  It does no good to complain what the other side does.  The men of this country aren’t going to read what Jenn says and say, “Well golly gee, she’s right, we should change our ways.”  What they are doing is working for them.  Why would they change?
      You don’t have to marry a man 10 years older than you, but a man your age doesn’t have to marry you either.  But maybe what you want will magically appear in front of you one day.  Happens to other people.  But if it doesn’t, the only person you can blame if you are still single is you…it won’t be anybody else’s fault.  The only person that can change your situation is you.  But change is painful.  Very few people actually want to change.  They want everybody else to change.  But the only one who can change your circumstances is you.

      1. 27.5.1
        starthrower68

        Since I couldn’t respond to your most recent response to me there, I’m going to do it here.  I’m going to guess that you weren’t implying that just because I have a strong-willed daughter, that she would make false accusations against any man I was involved with.  But I will say that sometimes it’s not what we say, but how we say it that might cause someone to misconstrue the meaning, especially on a written forum where we don’t get non-verbal cues.

        1. RustyLH

          I am not saying that she would do anything.  I am saying that for ANY man, with ANY woman who has a daughter, there is risk there whether he acknowledges it or not.  And if she chooses to lash out at him and make a false accusation, his life will be screwed for at least 6 months.  They don’t drop those cases…ever…without letting the maximum amount of time pass, and in the meantime, life is going to be rough.
          I have friends that this happened to, but I will use just one incident, where later the step daughter wrote the man 2 letters of apology, and yet his life is still affected by it.  Once the accusation is leveled, some people will never look at the accused man the same again.  Some people continue to believe that something did happen, and others will reserve judgment with the possibility that something did.  In both cases, they will in some ways treat that man as if he is guilty.
          It’s ugly, and the reason I will not date women with daughters.  Just too much risk.

      2. 27.5.2
        Jenn

        You can keep telling yourself that men have all these options all you want, Rusty. It doesn’t change the fact that most women do not want to date someone who is out of their age range by more than 5-7 years. The reality is that most women want a peer, a partner – someone to grow old with, not someone who will practically be ready for the retirement home by the time their kids graduate from high school. My point in saying that men need to wise up as much as women do, is that guys don’t seem to realize that the longer they stay single, the harder it will be to find women who’ve never been married and don’t have any kids. And don’t think that all you have to do to attract younger women who do fit the “never-married, no kids” criteria is to be fit and financially  successful. Most women share my preference of not wanting to date someone who looks like he could be their father, regardless of how good he looks for his age, and how good of a job he has. I don’t care if a guy is freakin’ Richard Branson, he is not someone I would consider for myself. :)

        1. RustyLH

          Women where?  China?  Most women on the site I use have a preference of men their age to as much as 15 to 20 years on average.  These are not poor dirt farmers, these are college educated women in the fastest growing economy in the world.  How about Brazil?  I also use a site there.  Average preference by women in their 20′s through 40′s is 3 years younger to 12 years older.  Two American men I personally know here in Jacksonville, are married to women 13 years younger.  The Brazilian man I know is married to a Brazilian woman 9 years younger.  Brazil is the #1 economy in South America and #3 in the western hemisphere.  That’s just two of the sites.  As I said, men do have alternatives.  Now, you can get all mad and angry about it, or recognize that it is real and there.  Nothing good ever comes from denying truths that are there. 
          I don’t dispute that women may have a preference for men close to their own age, but the fact is, if that isn’t working for you, what are you going to do?  Wish really hard that it starts working for you?  Or wish really really really hard?
          The good news is that most men prefer women their age and younger.  However, given the choice of 3 women with all things being equal, except age, men will usually choose the younger woman…to a point.  7 to 12 years younger, sure.  15 to 20 years younger…probably not for most men, regardless of what they say.  I also don’t think it is unreasonable to say that the older a woman is, the harder she will have to work to keep him.    While a much younger woman can get by more on her youth and looks, an older woman will have to be sweeter, more forgiving, more patient, more generous, more health conscious, less selfish, etc…  The same holds true for an older man which is probably why people who do get into these relationships as the younger person, often report that it is the best relationship they’ve had.

        2. Jenn

          Rusty,
          You have a very small sample size. I am a woman, who has had many women friends and coworkers over the years. I can tell you for a fact that while it does happen where a woman chooses to date a guy 10+ years older, in many cases women do not want a guy with that much of an age difference. None of the women I have known have ever specifically sought out older men. In fact, most of the women I talk to find it creepy when older guys try to hit on them. You may have seen a few profiles on the Internet where women have specified a wide age range, but that doesn’t mean they really want a guy that much older. I put in my profiles that I’m willing to go up to 40, but that doesn’t mean I specifically want a bunch of 40 year olds contacting me. Ideally, I want guys within 3-5 years of my age range, but to put that in a profile would limit my dating pool too much.

        3. RustyLH

          Jenn, you can spout that until you are blue in the face. I assure your opinion may in fact be the majority, but who cares. I know for a fact that there are many women who PREFER older guys. You don’t have to believe that and in your small corner of the world, the women may think it’s creepy, but that doesn’t matter. If a man prefers younger women, he only needs to find one who will fall in love with him, and I assure you that it DOES happen.

          After all, I can assure you that the hundreds of guys I know thin it’s creepy when a woman 5 years older contacts them, but does that matter? She only needs one guy to fall in love with her. That’s the great thing about finding love…you only need one person to fall in love with you.

          But I assure you that while more women may not want to date or marry older guys, the census information shows that your info is not relevant because over 20% of the women are at a minimum, open to the idea of marrying guys 6 to 10 years older and 10% are open to the guy being 10+ years older.

          What you seem to think is that a bunch of older men chase little girls with a bag of candy like a bunch of pervs. What I can tell you from my experience and most men mirror, is that we do not do the pursuing…the younger girl does. My first wife was 11.5 years younger. I had cut off contact with her while I was stationed in San Diego. I had moved and did not give her my new phone number. After a month, she called my parents and told them that she lost my number and so they gave my new number to her. She chased very hard. Every younger woman I have dated has been the one who chased. And it isn’t rare. So excuse me if your story, entertaining as it is, rings hollow for me and any other man who has experienced the same thing.

          At the same time, I also understand that not all men will be attractive to younger women. I benefit from a face that looks younger than it is. Yes, I know everyone says that but I believe my luck comes from years of working the night shifts in the Navy, not being a sun baby, never doing drugs, going very light on the alcohol, staying in shape, not being a junk food junkie, and being blessed with the youthful skin of my mother as well as facial features from her side of the family that are also symmetrical. I am fully aware that had I taken after my dad’s side, I would not have this luck. Am I a 10? No, and I am more than comfortable with that. I’ll be brave enough to open myself up to your criticism. A picture below. Do I look 49 in this picture?

          http://i1011.photobucket.com/albums/af238/russellhushjr/Me_zpsd7277504.jpg

          You don’t have to believe me…my experiences don’t require anyone to believe. But I wonder…when you and your friends hit 45, maybe 50, will you think it’s creepy for an older person to date or marry a younger person? If you are 50, and a 39 year old man falls in love with you, will you tell him that it would be creepy for you to date him? I’m going to guess no.

        4. Selena

          Brave of you Rusty to put your picture up. But yeah, you do look like you could be on either side of 50. Even more so without the Harley cap I would guess.  I will say, you’ve got great skin – I’m envious.
           
          Karmic, I will also say you DO look younger than 47 – 48? Very cute too! :)

        5. Mimi

          Rusty,

          Men’s testosterone levels drop drastically after 40-45, and so do men’s libido, erection quality, and sexual performance overall (of course, there are huge individual differences). Women who prefer dating much older (45+) guys either don’t care much about sex, or have some other priorities, e.g., financial.

        6. RustyLH

          Selena, thanks for the compliment. As to me looking my age, I don’t have an issue with that because I put it there for you to see so it of course informs your mind and influences. At the same time, I had a beard at that time, which because of the gray influences people’s opinion. I have had many women tell me when I wear it that I should either shave it or color it because it ages me. I tend to shave it off after wearing it for a short time. Think of it as a woman with the most beautiful long hair, then cutting it off. For me it’s the opposite. I just get the urge to grow it, wear it for a while, and then shave it.

          As for whether I look my age, I prefer to go by women I know, and the fact is, many of them, before I informed them of my age, when not wearing the beard, thought I was younger…much younger. More than once I have had women who were 10+ years younger pursue me for relationships, and continued to do so while knowing my age. Some however, were very shocked to learn my age and did not want a relationship with somebody much older, so the chose to no longer desire a relationship. It is those that I feel have the most honest opinion of my appearance. They think I am much younger. I totally understand that a woman who is just being friendly to me might just say I look younger to be nice, so I never put much stock in it. However, when a woman shows serious interest before knowing my age, and then withdraws that interest based on my age, I see it as an honest belief that I do not look my age. They are always very honest that it is my age that has changed their desire for a relationship.

          @ Karmic Yes, you do look good. I must admit though, that I may be a prejudiced judge because I have always been attracted to Asian women, and it is true that many Asian women look younger than their age. Google a Korean girl named Park Chorong. She is the leader of a Kpop group called Apink. Look at the Google image page for her. Note that she joined the group when she was 20, and is now 23, yet in many of her pictures she looks like she could be 12 to 14 years old. Only a few pictures where she is going out of her way to look elegant, such as for the MAMA awards, does she look her age, and even that is still debatable.

          But now the real issue. I have discussed this with many men and they all basically agree that this often the case. Not always the case…often the case…many women feel they must keep a man’s ego in check to the point that they become somewhat insulting, or very stingy with compliments. They believe this is the best way to deal with men. In fact it is the complete opposite and anyone reading and actually learning from Evan would understand that. What is it that Evan teaches a man looks for in a woman. They look for a woman that is visually appealing to them, and a woman that makes him feel good, and feel good about himself. In short, your replies bordered on not understanding this. I expected one of a few types of responses. I think the one I expected most is what I get the most from women I know, which is that the only thing that gives a clue to my age in that picture is the beard. I am told to shave it and I will look ten years younger. And that’s pretty much consistent with what I experience from women.

          Now think about this. It is claimed, and there may be something to it, that some men may in fact be simply trying to date younger women for their ego, to prove to themselves that they still have it. Could it be possible for a woman just 3 or 4 years younger to suddenly appear more appealing to him because she raves to him how great he looks and doesn’t really look his age? Could she, even being much closer to his age, provide what he is looking for? Could that cause him to suddenly become very attracted to him? Food for thought I guess. I would love to see somebody do an experiment like that. Have a group of above average men who prefer younger women have a meet and greet function where there are much younger women, but also women much closer to his own age. Unbeknownst to the men, the ladies would be given instructions. Let the younger girls only show moderate interest while the women close to his age really stroke his ego telling him that he does not look his age. Then let her give him her business card, and see if he gives her a call. I would bet money that most would.

        7. marymary

          May youth forever weave you, his magic around your ways 
          And time the robber leave you, the boy’s heart all your days 

          Martin Stephenson  

        8. Jenn

          Rusty,
          My experience is the opposite of what you describe. I’ve had many friends and coworkers over the years complain that guys on dating sites who contact them are way too old. Far too many guys who are 10, 15, or even 20+ years older than me have contacted me as well. I never said that women don’t fall for or chase much older guys. What I am saying is that yes, in the majority of cases, it is the men who are chasing after the younger women with little bags of candy. When I’m 40, I will likely be most attracted to other 40-somethings. When I’m 50, same thing. That’s how most women are. Their preferences grow with them, whereas men’s preferences skew considerably younger as they age, even if they do still largely stick to their own age range. Don’t believe me? Check out that good ol’ OkCupid study that everyone loves to quote. The data speaks for itself.

        9. RustyLH

          Jenn,
          There is a difference between initiating contact on a dating website and chasing in real life.  However, I do get the online chasing as well.  I won’t bore you with details.  this issue is more complicated than just ages.  Just like Demi Moore can easily date guys in their 20s even though she’s 51, that is not going to be the reality for most 51 year old women.  But even for her, getting one to marry here, or stay married to her is still an entirely different thing.
           
          Also, if I remember right, you are like in your late 20′s or early 30′s and still a virgin, right?  Of course you are going to have the attitude that you have.  But keep in mind, it takes two to Tango  When you are 50, you can prefer a 50 year old guy all you want, but the reality is this…the men who are desirable tend to prefer women at least a little younger.  5 years +/- a few years is a good guide.  And unless they get what they want, most are happy to remain single.  Is that fair?  Fair has nothing to do with it.  It really is a waste of energy to even get mad over.  It is what it is.  There are exceptions to any rule though, and maybe you will be one of the lucky ones to get that exception.  Your best bet is to find a guy now though, when age isn’t as big of a factor, and no matter what, never take the guy for granted.  Call him on his BS when he truly acts up, but at the same time, in all other cases, never let him feel that you take him for granted.  Make yourself irreplaceable by making him #1 in your life and keeping him that.  Let the rest of the world do the tearing down, while you build him back up.  Always let him know you are in his corner.  If, when the world tears him down and you try to build him up, and he lashes out at you…don’t feed into it.  Don’t lash back.  Just let him know that you aren’t going to sit around and let him lash out at yo in his pain.  Remind him that you are the one in his corner and so deserve better, then walk away.  He’ll sulk…feel like crap,  and realize he screwed up, and will find you and apologize.
          The point here, is find a guy your age now while guys are still in the mood to marry women their age.  Then make sure you keep him.  Then when you are 50, he will still be there with you and you won’t have to deal with this mess.   Because I assure you that when you are 50, the 47 to 53 year olds aren’t going to be nearly as smitten with you as you would like…not the ones you want anyway.

        10. Jenn

          Rusty,
          What does having a preference for a man who is my peer age-wise have to do with being a virgin? That would be the case no matter what my sexual standing is. LOL I was not disputing the reality that men are more attracted to younger women. I am very well aware of that (and not angry about it either, just resigned). My point was that while men may always continue to want young women as they age, even though they themselves could be old enough to be the girl’s father, women are different. We do not care if we are not attractive to 20 year old guys, because with few exceptions, women do not want to date guys who are that much younger than themselves. And as it happens, the vast majority tend to wind up with people who are plus or minus 5 years of their age anyway. For all the talk about May-December romances, statistically those are actually few and far between. What bothers me is talk like yours, which suggests “Hey girl, you better hurry up and find a husband fast, ’cause ain’t nobody gonna want you when you’re over 35. And you better make damn sure you’re good to him and do what he says, so he don’t wander off and find a prettier, younger version of you.” That viewpoint is not only insulting to women (who on average, tend to age much better than men do because we do more to maintain our appearance), but it’s insulting to guys to imply that they can just fall out of love at the drop of a hat simply because their women are no longer the young, starry-eyed, innocent girls they once were.

        11. RustyLH

          Jenn, you are full of tired, worn out, debunked cliches.
           
          First, I posted a government census website that showed that in 2012, 23% of marriages had an age difference greater than 5 years.  10.5% greater than 10 years.  So this vast majority of marriages you speak of is hardly a vast majority.  Is it fair to say that more marriages end up with small age gaps?  Sure.  Does that have everything to do with age?  No, because many people meet and fall in  love in high school and college, where most people are within 3 to 5 years age difference.
          Also, you are one woman.  The women you hang out are one small group of women compared to the 150 million women in the U.S. alone.  Your views are not shared by all of them.  Not even a vast majority.  More than not, sure, I will give you that.  But then, I know a lot of girls who did marry guys even less than 1 year age difference who express great sexual interest in some older men.  So as I said, just going by what the average age difference is not conclusive.
           
          Next up is your myth that women age better than men.  Sorry but there is no empirical evidence to support  you belief.  Maybe because you are a woman and do not look at women in a sexual light, you are more forgiving, because the simple fact is most women do not age well either.  I won’t go so far as to say that men age better, even though that is my perception when I look around, but I also understand that since I do not look at men in a sexual light, I might be more critical of women’s looks, since I am judging them on suitability to be a mate…and rejecting the vast majority.
           
          As to having to hurry up and get married by 35.  I don’t think you have to, but as noted, men do prefer younger women.  As has also been noted by many top shelf women here, the top shelf men their age aren’t interested, because they are top shelf, they are finding younger women who unlike you, are interested.  Do you have to throw in the towel once you hit 35?  Hardly.  But even the women here express that it gets harder and harder to find men they desire, who also desire them.
           
          Evan himself has stated over and over that people need to be more serious about finding their mate when they are younger, instead of thinking that they have forever to find the right match.  At some point, you are going to have to stop holding out for Mr. right, show does not exist, and settle find a Mr. Right Now.  I actually do try to not be personally offensive on these boards, but there are many men out there who would love to find a virgin to marry.  Being Christian I assume that you go to church.  The men in church would love to find that, and we have no shortage of churches.  So the question is, why can’t you find love?  The answer for you is the same for all of us.  You are unrealistically picky.  You feel entitled to something you will likely never find.
          I remember that black comedian who does a bunch of movies, can’t think of his name right now.  He was doing a stand up routine and asked women to raise their hand if they felt they were a good woman.  All raised their hand.  Then he said to keep their hand up if they thought it was hard to find a good man.  Most kept their hands up.  Then he asked the men to stand up if they are a good man.  Most did.  He said, “Ladies, it seems you have a problem with perception.”
           
          You are going to keep this image in your head of this perfect man who is going to make you happy, and then one day you might even think you found him, and marry him.  Years down the road you will realize that he is only human with faults, like the rest of us.  I hope you have matured enough to deal with that.

        12. tamara

          Rusty, I agree with u on some stuff, but how many times do u have to tell us that many older men prefer younger women? I know u mean to be helpful, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s less helpful and more potentially hurtful.

          Remember that nasty ex bf I mentioned who showed what a horrible person he is after I refused to marry him or get back with him? He still smses daily, and one thing he likes to say is “You’re getting older, u think many other guys will want u?” 

          It just makes me think a)Yeah I do think i’m a gd enough person that other guys will like me, b) Even if nobody else wanted me, I STILL wouldn’t wanna be with u.

          I think that’s what some other women feel when it comes to significantly older men. (Some women prefer much older men, some are willing to consider a great much older man, but not all women are like that).  Some women will not wanna be with an older man, no matter what, they wanna be with a peer or nobody. U aren’t gonna change their minds, and u aren’t helping them with such comments. Meanwhile your comments end up rubbing it in to women that we’re devalued by some men based on smthg that We Can’t Help. Clearly everyone ages.

        13. RustyLH

          Tamara, First let me say that any man who would say that to you is scum. I never go out of my way to say anything degrading or insulting. That doesn’t mean somebody won’t be offended at what I say.
           
           
          But then, Tamara, many of the women you speak of say some vile stuff themselves. I see a lot of women on her, such as Jenn trying to convince us that all women are creeped out if an older man shows interest. It’s simply not true. We hear that men over 40 are all beer bellied, losers with poor hygiene. We hear that men are weak because they can’t handle a strong modern woman who makes more money than he does. No, we have no problem with money. Most of us have no problem with a woman who is successful, even if she is more successful than us. Actually, it is the woman who typically has problem with that. We have no problem with her being strong, we have a problem with her being obnoxious, or stubborn and poor at compromising. Too many “strong” women have a problem with compromising because they are so afraid of being walked on. They become what they fear. I don’t care if there are some women who refuse to date older men. Be it men just a little outside
           
           
          f the 5 year bubble, or a guy 10+ years. That’s their choice. Choices do have consequences. That is true for all of us. If I insisted on holding out for a woman who is 25 to 35, I would have nobody to blame but myself to blame when I never find anyone. But it would be my right to be stubborn like that.
           
           
          Fortunately for me, I’m not interested in anything so unrealistic. But then, I am confounded that I have had several women in just the last 2 years show extreme interest in marriage, all of them under 30. 3 in Brazil (23, 26), 1 in the Philippines (23), 3 in the U.S. (24 -28), and 2 in China (27-28). I feel like I am in the Twilight Zone. It’s not what I am looking for. I am still talking to the 27 year old Brazilian simply because she has already lived in my area, and is the same religion. Actually attended my church while she lived here, before her divorce.
           
           
          I would give anything for every one of those women to have had an extra 10 to 20 years on them, yet be just like they are. I can tell you this Tamara, Oprah lied. It’s like that letter Evan had where he refused to take an older woman on as a client because she refused to date an older man. She insisted on having a younger man. It was her turn to have fun as she put it. I am not sure that was what he should have done. If all she wanted was fun, I think I would have counseled her to make it clear that all she was after was fun. Not a LTR. I will always tell women to go ahead and chase the young guys if all they are after is fun. It’s a very smart decision if that is all you want. You might even get lucky, and find a younger guy who does want an LTR. Look
           
           
          Tamara, I am a man, and yet I will tell you that most men aren’t worth YOUR time. I couldn’t care less if a woman wants a younger man. However, I am a man, and I know what many of these men say. I’ve seen many men do one night stands, and short term affairs with these older women, and then totally bad mouth them when they are back around the guys. calling them fat, saggy, etc…and those are the nicer things. I’m not a cold hearted person so I never participate in that stuff. I personally find it disgusting.
           
           
          And yet there also great guys like that guy who posted a video of he and his much older wife dancing. So my advice to women who want a younger guy is to become a man in this instance. As Evan said, men look for sex and find love. So go out there, have fun, and don’t worry about it going anywhere. Just keep it in mind that the guy is likely not interested in marriage, and if you do that, you will see the signs with clearer vision, and when you see it, have an eye out for a replacement, then rinse and repeat.
           
           
          Sometimes, they will give very good clues. I recently spoke with a women a bit younger than me who is dating a guy, living with him, and he is 6 years younger. She let slip that he doesn’t want to “define” their relationship by using labels like boyfriend/girlfriend, etc…  Remember the Steve Harvey interview on Oprah where he talked about asking his daughter’s boyfriend what his plan was for his daughter. The boyfriend said, “We just kickin it.” Well that is what that younger guy was doing to that woman. But it’s up to her to wake up and realize it.
           
           
          I will summarize my beliefs on this subject.

          I believe that the majority of men are not interested in marrying a woman more than a year or two older, and the vast majority are not interested in long term when she is older by more than a few years.
          I believe most men are more than OK with short term relationships with women of any age so long as he likes what he sees and likes how she makes him feel.  Long term relationships are a different story.
          I think something has to give.  Most men want a woman their age or younger, and will often go for the younger woman if he can do so, while most women want a man within 5 or 6 years of their age, a man within a few years older to 10 years younger, or a man within a few years younger to 10 years older. (going by preferences I see on American sites).
          I think some men are put off by a woman’s profile when he is within her preferred range, but he is in the upper few years and she is showing a clear preference for younger men.  (My advice…lie.  Make the range equal on both sides and then just ignore the older guys you aren’t interested in.
          I believe that women in the U.S. of all races, have become more open to dating men of other races.
          I believe that men in the U.S. of all races, have become more open to dating women of other races.  This has increasingly opened their mind to women in other countries.
          I think women believe stereotypes about foreign women because it is comforting to do so.
          I think younger women are far more open to dating, and to a lesser extent, marrying older men that some women believe.
          I think the numbers concerning the above lead to that misunderstanding because there are more women who might be open to marrying an older man, but don’t do so because they meet their husband in high school, college, or other activities that filter people by age.  For instance, most churches have Bible school classes before or after the sermon that are segregated into age groups.  Such as college age, 30 and under, 30′s, 40′s, 50+.  In addition, night clubs.  Regardless, the link (2012) I posted in another post showed that the number of people marrying with an age gap of 5+ and 10+ years has doubled in 6 years if Lisa’s 2006 in for is to be trusted.  I do trust it.  The 2012 info stated that nearly 1-4 women marries a man more than 5 years older, an about half of those are 10+.  Finally while I think there are more younger women open to the idea, not enough men keep their appearance up enough to take advantage of it.
          I do think that if you want to date somebody younger, you will be under far more pressure to keep yourself very fit, whether you are a man or woman.
          I also think that if you are older, it is much more likely for your partner to cheat, or leave you for somebody younger and fitter, if you marry somebody younger.  I think men are more likely to be scum in this area so I think the older women bear an unfair burden here.

           
          This now novel length so I’ll write something else at the end of the comments.

        14. tamara

          @Rusty:
          1) Thanks, I’d already realised he’s a terrible person. Btw I wasn’t comparing your comments to my ex’s nasty remark, I was comparing my sentiments towards him to the sentiments that some women have towards much older men. I don’t think women who are so unattracted to older men can reconsider later; if they do, it’ll only be out of desperation to have a partner.
           
          2) Even though I don’t mind dating signif. older guys (I’ve also dated someone a yr younger though), it bothers me that I’ll almost certainly have many yrs alone at the end of my life (if I marry a guy many yrs older). It seems a long way off, but still.
           
          3) Aww pls don’t call men scum, I don’t believe that.
           
          4) Are most men That unconcerned with a woman’s education level or job??I know many don’t care that much (or I would have a hard time, erps!) but doesn’t the fact that many women here have high educ. and a gd income increase their attractiveness to guys, even guys a bit younger than them? (Assuming they look good too) I don’t mean in attracting gold-digging men, I mean in attracting guys who respect her more, who  love her, and who feel lucky to have found an equal. 
           
          I once listened to an episode of Tom Leykiss’ show (ugh he’s gross), he told this middle-aged caller “Men don’t care whether u own your own home, they care about what u look like with your clothes off”. But my older sis is a Cambridge-educated lawyer and when dating her now-husband, she was no conventional beauty–definitely plump with slightly-above-avg features. Her then-bf was a banker (but earned less than her; he’s not some nasty unscrupulous Wall St type though, he’s really gd person) with intelligence and dry British wit. I’m sure he could’ve gotten hotter girls, but her personality, intelligence and career success (even among Cambridge grads and among lawyers, she was exceptionally smart & successful) probably ‘compensated’ for her less-hot appearance. And he really seems to love her, they’re happily married now.
           
          Is this really a rare exception? Or are there a significant percentage of guys who do care alot about intelligence and career of a woman? I believe there are.
           
          5) I wouldn’t say u’re unpopular here; u merely voice less popular views. Just remember tt lots of readers here are women above 35, who I think wanna here the truth, but in a way that doesn’t make them feel lousy. These women are smart and can figure out if they’re willing to date much older guys, and whether it’ll make them happy.
           
          6) On a slightly unrelated note, have most pple given up on soulmates?? Many of the comments here (not yours, specifically) are so..unromantic. They’re about his job, or her looks, or her age, bleah.
           

        15. tamara

          7) Thanks for the summary of your beliefs on what ages men want and what ages women want in their partners. It’s appreciated, really. I read it carefully and will take it into account; the way Sherlock does, I’ll try to store it in my ‘mind palace’ haha. :) I’m just saying some women here don’t wanna read it many times on this blog…

  28. 28
    Malcolm

    I’m just pondering a little bit whether I could ever do what Evan does.
    On the one hand: enough Women perennially don’t get it (about dating not being “fair”, for example) that there would never be a shortage of clients needing to be told what’s really in their own best interest.
    On the other hand: having to tell them and tell them, over and over again, might be more than I myself could handle.
    It’s a good thing we’re all different, right (?)   Evan can do what he does . . . and I’ll do something else less crazy-making.

  29. 29
    Vanessa Furman

    Single Mom of 2, age 31 and I am done having children of my own. I look to date older men for the reason that Evan stated. And it isn’t about settling, it’s about the quality of the lifestyle as a couple you together can provide. Settling would be giving up dreams and passions because you fell less worthy than the best.

  30. 30
    starthrower68

    This topic is launching so many thoughts, being that I am a single parent.  I don’t think we should be quick to condemn or take umbrage with the single folks who don’t want to date someone with kids; I will admit, it used to bother me.  Now, as I have had some life experience, I find that I would rather they just reject me up front.  I don’t want to be put in the position of feeling like I have to choose between my kids or a significant other, or worry that he and the kids will resent each other because I couldn’t make everybody happy.  That doesn’t help anyone.  So to those of you being intentional in not dating someone with kids if you don’t want to be involved with kids, at least on that level, I thank you for doing that.

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