Where Are All the Cute, Stable, Successful, Funny, Interesting Men?

Where Are All the Cute, Stable, Successful, Funny, Interesting Men?

I hope you don’t find me to sound conceited or picky, but anyway I am hoping you can help me here. I am a 34-year-old single mom with a beautiful one year old daughter from a previous relationship that didn’t work out because my ex BF didn’t want the baby. I have never been married.

I am bothered by the fact that I’ve never been married. I SO desire to get married within the next couple of years or so, but I want it to be with the right person. I wish I was married about 5 years ago or so.  Like virtually all women, I would like to have my “princess day” of getting married before I go completely gray and I look too old. I am also very worried that if I don’t get married soon enough while my baby is young, she will never have a father figure in the picture whom she can comfortably bond with.

I believe I am reasonably attractive and on the “cute” side. I am five feet tall, a little over 100 pounds, and have very long dark hair.  But, to this day I have a hard time finding the right guy. I don’t feel any chemistry when I’m not with a guy I find equally attractive.  Sure, of course personality counts, but I just don’t feel comfortable with kissing a guy whom I don’t find attractive.

To sum things up, over the years I’ve found that the guys who are interested in dating me are either too “geeky” looking and unattractive, too old, or, if they ARE my age and I find them attractive– they don’t seem stable in life and don’t have a good job OR they’re just plain conceited jerks (like my baby’s father). I’m not kidding. I’ve been trying online dating with several different sites, but that hasn’t worked out for me.

Why am I having such a hard time in finding someone who is mutually interested in me whom I find attractive, who holds a steady decent job AND has a decent personality?  I don’t think I’m asking for too much here, or am I? Should I force myself to be in a relationship with someone whom I don’t find terribly attractive and I don’t feel any chemistry with (whom I just don’t want to be “intimate” with?).


Dear Paula,

We covered this recently, but since you speak for a lot of women out there, I wanted to try to tackle your question in a slightly different way.

First of all, I want to validate all of the women who feel just like Paula does. I know it’s not always easy to hear the other side of things – or even consider that there IS another side of things – but we’re here to try to get down to a core truth. This isn’t about right and wrong; this is about effective and ineffective. If your goal is to get married and find a father for your baby, you always have to keep that in mind.

If you want someone stable and kind and attractive and tall and personable and age-appropriate and financially well-off, and you can’t seem to find him? Maybe you need to compromise on SOMETHING.

And I think that’s where the Lori Gottlieb critics went a bit astray. See, if your primary desire is to lead an exciting, passionate life, then, well, you go, girl. But if you want someone stable and kind and attractive and tall and personable and age-appropriate and financially well-off, and you can’t seem to find him? Maybe you need to compromise on SOMETHING. You can transpose the world “settle” for compromise, if you like, but we’re talking about the same thing here: giving up one thing to get something else….

My girlfriend is compromising by dating an opinionated, Jewish atheist who spends way too much time working, talking about ex’s and complaining about all the things wrong in his life. What she gets in return is a guy who is pretty self-aware, always trying to get better, has a good work ethic and excellent family values. She could spend her time lamenting that I’m not athletic enough, cheery enough, or free enough to take vacations at the drop of a hat, but she doesn’t. She has compromised – and, some might say, settled. After all, there are probably some tall, attractive, wealthy, Catholic men looking for a super-cool woman. And yet she chooses me.

I know, Paula, that you feel that you’re talking about something else. You’re talking about men who are old, unattractive, boring, unstable – dealbreakers all. But as I tell my clients, you can be as choosy as you like, as long as you don’t choose yourself out of all your options.

An example from the other side of the aisle:

My rich 56-year-old client wants a hot 35-year-old woman who not only doesn’t want kids, but can pick up and travel on a dime on his private jet. This means she can’t have a serious job, or be too tethered to her friends, and must be willing to move to his area. Oh yeah, and he’s not looking for a trophy – intelligence, class and poise are a must. There’s nothing wrong with what this man wants, but when he factors in:

How few 35 year olds truly want 56 year olds

How few 35 year olds don’t want kids/don’t have kids

How few intelligent women don’t have careers or deep roots in their hometowns

Guess what? There’s virtually NO one left for this guy to choose from. So what do you tell this successful, intelligent, youthful man to do? Say it with me, ladies: COMPROMISE! Go out with an older women. Give a little on the kids thing. Accept the fact that an intelligent woman might have a career and can’t travel spontaneously. This seems REALLY obvious from the outside, but hey, this guy REFUSES to settle. The heart wants what the heart wants. It just seems pretty clear that starting with such a narrow dating pool makes it next to impossible to find someone compatible.

So ask yourself – are you being reasonable with your desires/demands? It’s not my place to say. But play with the percentages and you’ll see. You might think you’re really open, until you realize that 99% of the men in the world DON’T QUALIFY for a first date with you. The charismatic cute guys are emotionally vacant players with money issues, the geeky guys are too bland to be kissable. This is YOUR observation. These are YOUR judgments.

Thus, you have two choices – lower the bar – or steadfastly hold out for that 1% – and hope that coincidentally, that 1% feels that you’re in HIS 1%.

We want everything – and want to give up nothing to get it.

As always, there’s not a right and wrong. But if you really want to be married and find a father figure for your baby, you might have to give up something to get it.

It just seems that no one wants to compromise. We want everything – and want to give up nothing to get it. If you’re a lawyer, refusal to compromise is a terrible negotiating technique. If you’re looking for lasting companionship, it’s probably even worse.


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  1. 121

    I feel the need to defend Paula. Perhaps I am mistaken, but it seems to me that what Paula wants isn’t unreasonable. All Paula said that she wants is a man who is…

    Attractive (she didn’t say a drop dead gorgeous man with six pack abs.) Don’t most of us want a mate we find attractive?

    Employed/successful — (she didn’t say a man with Bill Gates wealth…she didn’t even say six figures. She didn’t even say what type of job. For all we know, she could have meant a successful school teacher, bar tender, whatever. She didn’t say she wanted a rich man. All she said was a decent job.) Again, don’t most of us want a mate who is employed. Being successful and having a steady job does say something positive about a man’s character. It doesn’t just mean a paycheck.

    Fun — she didn’t say that this man has to build his life around making her laugh. I really felt fun meant that she wanted someone whose company she enjoyed. Again, don’t most people here want a mate they enjoy being with? One with whom you can laugh and smile with when you are with them and even when you just think about them? Would people on this blog have felt better if Paula had said she wanted an ugly, unemployed, sourpuss? I think not.

    Plus, for those who said the thought too highly of herself, this woman did not say she was God’s gift to the world. She said she was reasonably attractive on the cute side. I remember a few months ago, I wrote a letter and described myself as average and many people said my problem was that I didn’t have enough self confidence. So, a woman can’t win on this site. If you say you are attractive, you have delusions of grandeur. If you say you are average, you have low self-esteem.

    She also didn’t say she was flat broke and looking for a sugar daddy. For all we know, maybe she wants a man with a job because she supported her boyfriend and wants a man who is willing to pull his weight….not carry her our support her, but be her partner. I don’t know, but I certainly am not assuming that she is a gold digger because nothing in her letter lead me to believe that she is.

    She also said she wanted to have a father figure for her daughter. Is that so horrible? As a woman who grew up without one, I can understand why she would want to have a positive male role model in her daughter’s life. Also, she said her boyfriend didn’t want the baby, and for all we know, as soon as he told her that she split and decided to raise the baby on her own. Why some people have decided to portray this woman as such a selfish, greedy, immature woman with nothing to offer the world, is beyond me. How do we know she has nothing to offer a man? Maybe she is a great cook. Maybe she could make him laugh and feel happy when he’s had a rough day. Maybe she’s the kind of woman who would believe in man going for his dreams and would support him when no one else would. Maybe she’s the kind of woman who would offer to take care of his parents if they were sick and in need. Maybe she is great in bed too. Maybe she’s all of those things or maybe she’s none of them. But I for one feel a lot happier when I think good things about people rather than bad things — but that’s just me.

    I really wish people on this site– and I include myself — could be a little more empathetic and kind to both men and woman who are just trying to find love in a world where it harder and harder to find that connection.

  2. 122

    to Dittohd,

    You wrote, “After all what percentage of women in this country still expect a man to pay for her on dates?”……..I have news for you, according to surveys done at Harvard University, 2/3 of all women are looking for financial stability. The book, “EVolution of Desire” by David Buss, describes it more in detail. And if you still don’t believe that, fly in to L.A., and look up a 70-year old sexologist/therapist/Harvard Grad, and tell her you disagree with her 30 years of research and studies on relationships…..hhmmmmhh..LOL!

  3. 123

    Please educate us some more, dittohd, by citing the exact congressional law you refer to, that makes it harder to contact foreign women. It sounds too bizarre to be true. “Three years ago, Congress passed a law that makes it more cumbersome, more time-consuming, more expensive, and even more dangerous for men to even try to start a conversation with a foreign woman over the internet. Ha! ha!”

    What prompted this law? A vast government conspiracy to prevent men from importing disease and/or unfettered Frenchness into our fair country? Wacky.

    Btw, congrats on 30 years of marriage. Hope your next foreign wife doesn’t want an older man like you just for your money.

    I was actually quite surprised to hear you refer to Asian women in Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, and the Philippines as stronger, independent, rational. Not that I think you’re wrong, but I always have seen those women depicted as shy, demure and obedient.

    Finally I am curious: what college did you go to?

  4. 124

    dittohd –

    another man above your post similarly referred to women as gold-diggers. what made you think my comments were in reference to you?

  5. 125

    Red-staters like dittohd need lovin’ too.

  6. 126

    I am a European woman and have seen American males attempting to woo me and the women of my country. It is quite pathetic.

    Here’s a blanket statement for you (a.k.a. “my truth”): the American men who seek foreign women for companionship are spineless weaklings looking for women they can feel dominant over. Ditto’s appreciation of foreign women as “stronger and more independent” is completely disingenuous. Men like him are not looking for women who aren’t golddiggers. These men are looking for women from poorer situations in life, so whatever little amount the man has will look impressive.

    They’re picking up golddiggers on the cheap, but make no mistake about it – the majority of foreign women willing to marry American men are golddiggers.

    It’s so easy to look like a millionaire to a woman who lives on five dollars a week.

    Too bad your dollar is not so strong anymore. If you think we Euro women can be so easily bought, you are mistaken.

  7. 127

    Hi Hunter,

    >You wrote, After all what percentage of women in this country still expect a man to pay for her on dates? ..I have news for you, according to surveys done at Harvard University, 2/3 of all women are looking for financial stability.

    Good point, although I certainly wouldn’t consider the above to be news. Based on my perceptions, you are no doubt correct that most women are still looking for financial stability. In fact, if I were to estimate the percentage, I would guesstimate it to probably be quite a bit higher. And overseas it’s even higher, I’m sure, than it is here in this country.

    The reason I expect the women of this country to shoulder equal responsibility in dating and not expect us men to routinely pay their way is because the women of this country are no longer expected to stay home and rely on men to support them as things used to be quite a few years ago. This change came about at women’s urging. They now attend and graduate college in much higher numbers than us men. They often make more money than men in the same job coming out of college. They run many of our biggest and smallest companies. They can get almost any job a man can get. They are constantly whining that they want relationships to be 50/50. Is it possible that our divorce statistics are so high, at least in part, because of all the double standards between our men and women these days? Is it possible that every time our women are given another right at our expense as men, it breeds lowered levels of respect of us by our women rather than increased respect, not to mention resentment and discord between us? Ask any woman of this country whether they believe in equal rights for women and I think somewhere near 100% of them would without hesitation say yes. Then ask if they believe in equal rights for men and I bet a large percentage would hesitate. So my next question would have to be, then who should women’s rights be equal to?

    What about foreign women? Yes, I have a double standard here but it’s based on the differing expectations of both sets of women. Foreign women are generally more conservative and most often wholeheartedly embrace their primary responsibilities as a wife and mother. I know. I know. Dirty words in this country. They generally respect their men and their role as a “provider”. They don’t constantly whine for rights and treatment that always ends up taking away from their men in order for they as women to get theirs.

    Because the women of this country insist on the equality that they do, many men now expect them to shoulder equal responsibility right along with those “equal” rights (which in most cases would be found to be superior rights if we evaluated them honestly). Anything less breeds resentment and discord between the sexes. Hence the 50% divorce rate for first marriages and the 2/3’s failure rate for second marriages.

    Equal should mean equal, in my humble opinion. Does anyone really believe that when women are given “equal” rights and then are allowed to pick and choose those equalities as though they’re at a rights and responsibilities buffet, it helps bring the sexes together? Does anyone here think that when women are treated as inferior beings every time a new law is instituted while at the same time the women of this country are shouting that they can do anything a man can do, only better, this helps bring harmony between the two sexes? Is it really necessary to repeatedly reduce the rights of men in order to truly treat the women of this country equally? Not in my opinion.

    I have no trouble paying for every date with foreign women because of their actions, attitudes in life, and the way they treat me in our daily dealings. I wouldn’t for women in this country. I would envision the woman of this country thinking to herself as I pulled out my wallet to pay each bill, Sucker!. And I’d believe her to be right. I believe we should treat women and men based on the way they act. If the women of this country truly want equality, I say give it to them!

    By the way, walk down the street and when you catch a woman’s eye who is walking toward you, smile and say Hi! to her. How many just walk on by in silence because they don’t know you and they’re deathly afraid you might grab them, drag them into the nearest bushes and rape them right then and there? Overseas, at least where I’ve been, a large percentage of the women will actually smile and say Hi! back. What a difference! It almost makes life worth living!

    Does anybody here truly believe that the men of this country are worse and on the whole, more dangerous than the men of all the other countries of the world? Ask any foreign woman what she thinks of us as a group and how she’s heard the men of this country compare with the men of their country as marriage material. I bet you’d be pleasantly surprised.

    Too long? Sorry.

  8. 128

    Eda @ 121: I really like your reasoned and empathic gloss on Paula’s tale. Yes, there really is NO evidence in her story – which is, of course, necessarily brief – to support all the opprobrium that it has elicited. It may be true; it may not: there is NO PROOF, either way. Give the poor lady, as Eda so generously recommends (and as Evan is clearly prepared to do), the benefit of the doubt.

    Amanda: yes, a lot of Britmales do this too. It’s risible – and, as you so rightly put it, “pathetic”. I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis.

    As for me, I am not looking for a husband or ‘provider’. I cannot always pay my way (annual income is now less than $16,000 and no home), but I am prepared to do so where possible. No, I should like a GOOD FRIEND who is capable of becoming a lover and – even, possibly – a companion for the rest of our lives.

    Too much to ask, evidently. Having seen all the comments about women on this – and many other -sites, I have finally realised how much women are hated by so many men. I cannot understand it – in spite of some terrible experinces, I do not tarr all men with the same brush – but the fact that it is the case horrifies me and fills me with dread.

    I give up.

  9. 129
    Evan Marc Katz

    This blog is supposed to be the FUN one with the NICE people, remember?

    Therefore, I hereby call an end to this post. No further comments will be accepted. And no, I’m not kidding.

    Enjoy your weekends. Detox from the negativity. I look forward to answering a new reader question on Monday.


  10. 130
    Evan Marc Katz

    I wasn’t kidding when I said this post is over. I’ve had a handful of people try to prolong this interminable argument, and they’ve all been deleted. So please, save your breath. There are 200 other blog posts on here that deserve your equal attention.


  11. 131

    Wow Vino and TMan!  Sounds a little on the arrogant side to me…..how’s your love life?
    We are all human beings and at times, do not make the right choices in life.  Or think we are at the time and later down the road it sours.  Such as life.  Live and learn.
    Last time I checked it takes two to make a baby AND it’s not always the woman’s responsibility to take care of birth control.  
    I guess you could even say, if a man was “responsible” and didn’t want to MAKE a baby, of course he would have to actually use his head to think, he could take the initiative, ya think?  OR not go down that road to begin with.  
    Funny how’s there’s two sides to life :)  

  12. 132

    she sounds like every single jewish women i know in my city…

  13. 133

    Well, if she hasn’t found her mate by 35, then I guess she might have a problem. At East I don’t think her last bf was that guilty as she puts it. 
     She says she’s in the gorgeous side, but I don’t really find an only “five feet ” women very attractive or any attractive.
    So, she wants a man with extra full package while she doesn’t have even the half package on her side. 
    I say, go be with those you have already been during these 35 years, nobody’s gonna be that fool to take care of your mess, baby doll. 

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