Why You’re Still Single – in 2336 Words

Read this. Read every word of it.

Noted blogger, Moxie, has written a powerful message to women in their late 30′s: take responsibility for your life.

I’d be inclined to publish highlights but that wouldn’t do this piece its proper justice.

So here, in its entirety, I offer you a very challenging post about women, written by a very intelligent woman. Feel free to post whether you agree or disagree with her assessment.

And while I might nitpick with a line or two, on the whole, I think Moxie knocked it out of the park.

Name: Betty | Location: New York , NY |Question: I am not sure if you have asked/answered this question before but I was wondering if you had any advice where a single woman in her late thirties could meet marriage/family minded men who are around my age? I have never been interested in dating men much older than me (frankly I don’t have a single girlfriend, married or single, who is so inclined). However, I have noticed over the past 5 years that the men who approach me have been getting exponentially older (seriously, I was recently contacted online by a 70 year old man – older than my father). I really want a relationship similar to all those in my family and social circle have – no more than a 2-3 year age difference. Do I really have to give this up? Am I going to have to settle for a man 10-20 years older than me and have a lackluster sex/love life? That just seems abnormal to me. Surely there must be men who come from a similar background (i.e. that spouses should be from the same generation so that the relationship will succeed for the long term). Any thoughts would be appreciated.

No, you don’t have to give that up. It’s just going to require more effort on your part. It’s also going to require that you ask yourself why, at 38, you’re still single. But we’ll get to that in a bit.

First, learn to accept the reality that a 38-40 year old marriage minded man is going to want someone a good 5-7 years younger than him if he wants kids. Maybe 10 years if he’s in his early 40′s. A 40-45 year old man who’s not interested in having children is going to want a woman who isn’t dead set on having kids. Most will assume that a 38 year old woman will want kids. And soon. The age we are at (35-40) is probably the toughest of all. In a man’s mind, we’re on the cusp between wanting kids and not wanting kids. A lot of men make this assumption on their own without ever asking us. Why? They have more options than we do and don’t have to ask us.

Online dating for women 35-45 is a joke. Do not rely on online dating in any way. I know exactly what you’re talking about in regards to being contacted by people you would never in a million years consider dating. The unkempt, unpolished guys. The husky, balding guys. The sleazy guys. The guys who wink or e-mail me within minutes of logging on. They’re contacting me because they think “She’s 38 and using online dating so she must be somewhat anxious or desperate and will give me a second glance.” If they’re not thinking that way, then they are men so lacking in self-awareness that you wouldn’t want to date them anyway. Of course, one or two of them are genuinely nice guys whom you might share a connection, but guilt by association screws them.

I was having a conversation with Evan Marc Katz recently. If you don’t know who he is, he’s a well known dating/relationship expert that started E-Cyrano, an online dating profile writing company. He’s also written a book called “Why You’re Still Single.” We talked about how frustrating it is for women (and I’m sure men) to only get contacted by people that they would never in a million years consider dating. Evan tried to tell me that women should just delete those e-mails and not give them a second though. I agreed with that, but also told him that the reason why hearing from only those people is frustrating is that it makes you wonder what it is about you that is attracting only these people. It also serves as a reminder of what’s out there and…as I’ve said before….as you get older it becomes slim pickins. Having a reminder of those slim pickins in your in box every day isn’t fun and can condition someone to believe that there truly is ” no one” out there for them. What else is disheartening is for every one good date you might have, you end up having 3-5 awful ones. For 1 person that meets your expectations there are 3-5 that don’t. And, if you meet those “ones” online, then it’s very likely that they are someone else’s “one great date” as well due to the whole “kid in a candy store” mentality that online dating encourages. So use online dating in conjunction with 2-3 other ways to meet someone. But do not make it your only means of networking. Take a home improvement class or a cooking class or a writing class. Got to Barnes & Noble. Go to the gym. Join a special interest group. Definitely take advantage of the stand bys but add some new ones, too. Move outside your comfort zone. Singles/social networking events are great but, like online dating, you shouldn’t rely on them to meet new people. Go to a few, like two or three, then try something different. Switch it up or do all these things in conjunction with each other. And always take advantage of every opportunity. Really work on being approachable in any situation. Walk with your head up, make eye contact, smile….be it at the deli, on the subway, at church…where ever. You have to be open to meeting someone at all times, not just in situations designed to encourage socializing. It’s very easy to become closed off, especially living in a big city. Don’t let that happen.

You’ll also have to throw away a lot of those silly criteria that we tend to apply to future mates.

Not interested in dating someone divorced? Get over it. We’re in our late 30′s. Many of the people in our age range are divorced.

Don’t want someone with kids? Again, let that slide a bit, since many singles our age are divorced.

Ladies – Stop going to bars to meet guys. Just forget it. Guys in bars are looking for the 25-32 year old gal. Or they’re looking for desperate women who will be easy to get in to bed. Got to bars to socialize, to hang out, to de-stress. But don’t go to a bar with the specific intent of meeting a man. Especially if you’re over 35.

Ladies – Stop going out in groups of 3 or more single friends. Men aren’t crazy about approaching a group of women. The fear of rejection is bad enough when contemplating your approach of just one woman. But three?

Choose who you socialize with carefully. If you and a friend are both burnt on the dating scene, then hang out with someone who is in a relationship or who is married. As much as you think that you can hide your frustration or disillusionment when you’re out, you can’t. It comes out in off the cuff comments, facial expressions and the tone in your voice. Surround yourself with positivity as much as you can so that their attitude rubs off on you. Nothing turns someone off faster than bitterness.

Learn when to walk away. Staying in a situation too long only to end up not getting/not being asked for a number or being rejected will only weaken your ego/self-esteem. Read the signs, pay attention to how the other person reacts to you. If you have to ask yourself , “Are they interested?” then they’re probably not. Stop trying to make them interested in you.

Ask yourself the tough questions. 38 and still single? Too focused on your career? Dating the wrong people? Ignoring issues that are getting in the way of being happy and secure? There’s a reason why you’re 38 and single. Figure it out and deal with it. Are you batting out of your league? Insisting on going for people that you think you deserve but who have no interest in you? Negative? There is a reason and it’s more than “I’m just picky” or “I’ve been too busy to date.” I haven’t met one person over the age of 35 who’s still single who wasn’t that way for a serious reason. And it’s usually one of these: We want it all right now. We want to know where we stand. We want to know what’s what right now. We aren’t willing to sit back and allow things to unfold at a natural pace. We assume that if someone doesn’t feel the same way we do when we do then they aren’t right for us. We grow resentful of those people who do have an easier time meeting someone and that resentment morphs in to bitterness and negativity. All of that stuff comes from a place of fear. A fear that we will never meet anyone, that we will end up alone. A fear that we will be hurt or left or abandoned or that we won’t be in control of the situation. If you continue to feed in to that fear you will end up alone. Or, worse, you’ll settle.

Sometimes you just have to keep your mouth shut and listen. This one has a double meaning. The first refers to people who, when they meet someone new, brag or challenge people instead of saying something truly of value and listening. Learn the difference between selling yourself and pimping yourself out. Then, take a breath, close your mouth and listen. Ask more questions but don’t interview someone. If you pay close enough attention to what someone says then you’ll have plenty of things to ask. But if you’re listening just to recognize a buzzword that will allow you to go off on a tangent, expect that person to walk away pretty quickly. Also listen to the “voices” that come from within. Voices that come in the form of feelings and reactions. What are you really feeling? 9 times out of 10, it’s fear. So many times I’ve met men that were really great and I dismissed them. I convinced myself that I wasn’t attracted to them but really I was just afraid. “They’re way too serious for me” I thought. “They’re too anxious for a girlfriend.” Looking back, there was nothing wrong with them. The problem was with me. I was scared. Scared they would find out I wasn’t as together as they were. Scared they’d leave me first. Scared that they would figure out who I really was. I wanted everything laid out for me. I wanted to know what to expect and when. I didn’t want to feel that anxiety over whether they’d call or what their lack of response meant. All of that is rooted in fear.

Face the realities head on & Become as self-aware as possible. Being over 35 and living in Manhattan (or any other major metropolitan city) is tough. Most women I encounter who are over 35 and single (and by single I mean “never married”) are single because they are completely unaware of the impression they make (anxious/self-righteous/negative/entitled) or because they are still sticking to that same laundry list of criteria that they wrote and laminated at 25. After a certain point, it’s time to get realistic. You’re competing with women younger, possibly thinner and probably making just as much money as you are and are equally successful. Either step up or move on to another league. And by step up I mean do the work you need to do to compete. That could be simply reorganizing priorities to dropping 10 pounds to going in to therapy to taking up yoga to learn how to relax. Is there something about you physically or personality-wise that might be turning men off? Because that might be it. Ask friends for a brutally honest assessment. Better yet, ask someone who isn’t that close to you. You’re more likely to get the truth. Forewarned is forearmed. Those who know that something is coming are better prepared to face it than those who do not know.

Would it be so bad to take a look at guys that maybe aren’t, at first glance, your “type?” Or are you one of those women who thinks that, by doing so, you’d be “settling?”

Get an attitude adjustment. People who tell themselves that there is “no one” out there for them or who focus on how they don’t have someone will continue to have bad luck in the love department. You literally have to stop yourself from saying things like “Every women/man” is this or that. You have to de-program yourself from thinking negatively. You’re basically setting yourself up to fail when you focus on what you don’t have or on people that aren’t interested in you. (Remember the other suggestion I made up thread – Learn when to walk away.) The more focus you put on what you are lacking, the more power you give to that idea and the more prevalent it becomes. It’s about thinking “as if.” In January, I joined Dating Dummy’s Blog Wide Workout group. I cut out pictures of Jessica Biehl and hung them over my desk on my bulletin board. Every day, I look at those pictures every morning and am reminded of what is possible. That motivates me to go to the gym. I also hung pictures of my ideal guys – Edward Norton and & Matthew Rhys. Then, and I can’t believe I’m admitting to this but fuck it, I planned my wedding down to the last detail. I got pricing from the hotel for the open bar and food, wrote the guest list (only 50 people from my side, immediate family only and friends from high school/college/life) called the church I sometimes go to and booked a tentative date, (last weekend of April, 2008) and called my uncle and told him to save the date. Crazy? Maybe. But I’m now almost 20 pounds lighter and my sex/love life has taken a positive turn in the last two months. (Of course, it’s still in the early stages.) Every press mention my business has received has been clipped and hung on my bulletin board. I made a slide show of my affirmations, using pictures of everything from the type of body I want to have to piles of money to a clip of someone reading their credit rating to the new apartment I want to have. I view it every morning and every night. (Go to www.RockYou.com to make your own slide show.) My business has tripled in the past 6 months. The money flows in and, like with most businesses, flows right back out. But it’s there and the amount deposited into my business account gets larger each month. It’s all about changing your thought process. Tell yourself that it will happen and it will happen. But counting the reasons why fate is against you and you’re creating a big wall that will be very hard to scale.

You have the ability to change your life and have the things you want. It all starts with you. You just have to truly want to change it. Stop focusing on what doesn’t work and start focusing on what does work.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Vicki

    Online dating for 35+ y/o women can work (kind of sort of, if online dating ever works, which so far it hasn’t really, for me, and I’ve been doing it since I turned 30), you just have to adjust your strategy a little bit.
    1. Old guys will contact you if you don’t specifically alter your age range to weed them out. I now actually title my match.com ad with “seeking younger man” and set my age range from 18 to 38. Would I actually date an 18 y/o? I don’t know. But, most of the guys who contact me now are in their early 30s. Success!
    2. You have to log on every day. this keeps your profile at the top of search lists when guys get online to browse. It shows you are still looking. If you left your ad up 3 months ago and haven’t logged in since, they might assume you are no longer interested, already seeing someone, or maybe they just didn’t make it that far down the search list (you might no be on page one any more). You want to be at the top of page 1! (I have to admit, I don’t do this as religiously as I should, however.)

    1. 1.1
      Buff Stud

      I saw somewhere that nearly 40% of dating site surfers are married men… Sad.
       

  2. 2
    *yawn*

    Nice pep talk. But no, just no. I’m 32. I’m less than average looking, so I know I don’t stand a chance, even though I make (made, so over the endless primping) the best of what I got. I’ve been used for target practice, and settled for, and thrown away when the chemical high wore off. I’ve followed this kind of yawnesome advice for 16 years now. And I’m bored of it. Why waste my time and emotional resources hoping (because aside from being our best that’s all we can really do, right?) a man will deign to fall head over heels with a “wretch” like me in order to grant me children? (Are women even allowed to say we want children any more? Or are we so far removed from sex that we forget that pleasure is not its sole purpose? Men love women and women love babies? Every non-Western culture in the world acknowledges that, but should I wash my mouth out?) Anyway, I’ve decided to adopt. Adios boys, I’m pouring my love into the deserving.

    1. 2.1
      Lady

      I am glad you posted this. I have been starting to think the same way about pouring my love into a child rather than a man and am thinking of adopting. I don’t buy all the losing weight, fix your appearance for men business. I am slim and attractive and have had relationship after relationship but most have cheated, some have hit me and i have also been taken for a ride financially. Why should I blame myself for this?  What attitude adjustment should I make? Its not worth it. I have a lot of love to give and I think there is a child who will deserve me more than a man.
       

      1. 2.1.1
        bob

        Oh please you must have been dating the bad boys and crying when they do the obvious thing they do best, how many nice guys did you friend zone too many to count I figure, unless you are full of it and not slim and attractive as you claim please do the world a favor and stay celibate 

        1. Really

          You mean nice guys like you, Bob? Yeah, your snippy remarks make you sound really “nice.”

      2. 2.1.2
        john

        You really attract the wrong men if you are getting hit and cheated on.   a real man will not do that, also a real man can see a wacked out women from a far.  it sounds like you have issues and your issues are attracting undesirable men.  step back and take a look at yourself before damning a whole gender.

      3. 2.1.3
        useless

        I dated a girl like you. A girl who had been mistreated and abused and used for money. I thought she learned that lesson and would know when she was treated right and not used by a guy. She wanted kids as did I and everything was going good then she crushed my soul. I used to look at my prior failed relationships as if they were not my fault and had given up on women. After I dated her I realized that it wasn’t women but myself that I should’ve given up on. She made me feel worthless and I will never be the same. There is a reason I’m in my 30′s and single and that reason is me. I’m not relationship material. I was content with my self before we dated but now I wished I never knew her at all. Life doesn’t seem worth living now. Nothing motivates now and I have her to thank for showing me how I really am. I had very little self confidence to begin with now it has bottomed out.

  3. 3
    Karl R

    *yawn* said: (#3)
    “Im less than average looking, so I know I dont stand a chance,”

    Instead of being a pessimist, you might want to start being a realist.

    Look around you at all the married people. There are a lot of them that are below average looking. There are a lot of them that are unattractive. There are quite a few that are even revoltingly ugly. And they found someone to marry. It’s obviously possible for them, so it should be possible for you to.

    “Why waste my time and emotional resources hoping … a man will deign to fall head over heels with a wretch like me in order to grant me children?”

    So you see men as a means to an end? I wouldn’t want to be used like a sperm donor, and I’m guessing that a lot of other men feel the same way. Perhaps that’s one of the things getting in your way.

    Since children are your main goal, I’d say you’re pursuing the right choice by adopting.

    But if you ever decide to try dating men again, you might want to reread what Moxie wrote about “Get an attitude adjustment”. I wouldn’t date a woman with your attitude even if she was drop-dead gorgeous. (Okay, I might date her once if she was gorgeous, but I’d probably end up trying to escape by the end of the date.)

  4. 4
    Jennifer

    I love this article. The adivce (from most people’s bigest isue being fear to being more positive than negative) is right on. Great advice that, if you truly subscribe to it, works.

  5. 5
    A-L

    This certainly makes for interesting reading. But I have two questions:

    1) At what point do you start thinking that the problem of why you’re not married yet isn’t due to life circumstances, meeting the right person, etc but rather due to some problem with yourself? The article says that by the time one is 35 they’ve already hit this mark, but how much earlier is that point?

    2) Does the same thing hold true for people who haven’t had a long-term relationship (nonmarriage)? Say, if you haven’t had a long-term significant other by the age of 20 or 25 or 30 or… then the problem is with you, not with various circumstances? And at what age is that?

    1. 5.1
      lucka

      Relevant points.
      To your No. 1 – the circumstances certainly play role. A person working in a company consisting of 3000 people will probably have a slightly higher chance to meet an opposite sex. On the other hand, freelancing significantly lowers this chance, unless it is compensated in his/her free time activities.  I think the critical moment arrives when most of our friends are getting married. Than we start to ask what is wrong with us. Usually nothing. We tend to overlook the big picture. Those couples didn’t miraculously met each other on the shore covered with sunset, didn’t feel in love like never before etc. They had built their relationship for years and some of them arrived to conclusion to get married.
      Which leads me to the No. 2 – I am an attractive, intelligent woman, 34 y/o. What I can say about myself that I was too picky, to unwilling to settle for something less. I wanted an equal partner in every aspect. Isn’t this attitude natural? I dare to say it is. I turned down few interesting offers with potential of good quality relationship and I regret it. Because I was afraid of commitment, of losing my freedom, of everything what relationship brings. Just recently I have started to feel being ready and it is only due to maturing and working on myself.
      But back to your point. We should also consider the quality of the marriages. Doesn’t every second end up in a divorce? Thus I recommend, don’t give up your expectations which I’d call natural, do the best you can about yourself in every aspect, be positive and who knows…Let’s hope for the best. 

  6. 6
    Kenley

    What if the reason that a woman isn’t married by 38 is because she just hasn’t met the man she wants to spend her life with? Why does it have to be that there are a host of things wrong with her that she must fix? Frankly, given the high divorce rate in this country, I think there are lots of people getting married who shouldn’t.

    1. 6.1
      Agnes

      Well said Kenley, thank u for those words, it can be as simple as that.  

    2. 6.2
      L

      Thank you for stating this! I am a 36-year-old  attractive female who has spent most of my summers traveling, learning languages and singing/acting with men who are usually gay. I also invest a lot of time in meeting straight and available men, but I will not settle for someone who is not right. I am positive. It will happen.

    3. 6.3
      Mee

      Ride on!!

  7. 7
    Karl R

    Kenley asked: (#7)
    “What if the reason that a woman isnt married by 38 is because she just hasnt met the man she wants to spend her life with? Why does it have to be that there are a host of things wrong with her that she must fix?”

    Let’s assume that someone starts trying to meet their significant other sometime between the ages of 18 and 22. That means they’ve had 16 to 20 years to look for Mr/Mrs Right. Even if they wait until 30, that’s still 8 years.

    Do you really think you can apply yourself to a goal for 20 years (or even 8 years) without making progress?

    And if you “just haven’t met” the right person, that may explain the problem. Sitting around waiting for Mr/Mrs Right to fall into your lap is hardly an effective dating strategy. If you’re not actively trying to accomplish your goal, you probably won’t reach it.

    Benjamin Franklin said, “Insanity is trying the same thing over and over again … and expecting different results.” If someone has been dating for an extended period of time without getting results, it’s likely that their methods need to be changed.

    A-L asked: (#6)
    “At what point do you start thinking that the problem of why youre not married yet isnt due to life circumstances, meeting the right person, etc but rather due to some problem with yourself?”

    Who cares?

    Let me turn this around. Do you think that you will find your future spouse faster if you take Moxie’s advice? (And her advice is largely common sense.)

    I can expand my dating pool by dating divorcees and single parents. I can expand it by limiting my “must-haves” list to the bare essentials. I can expand my dating pool by getting out and being active with different groups.

    If I understand the kind of impression I make, I can change it to attract more (or better) people. I’ll make a better impression if I’m an optimist. I’ll make a better impression if I’m a good listener. I’ll make a better impression if I’m confident.

    I’m going to follow sensible dating advice regardless of whether my single status is due to my flaws or due to other circumstances.

    1. 7.1
      Kay

      Be careful Karl. Changing for a positive attitude is good but don’t compromise too much that makes you sounds desperate and don’t even know who you are anymore. You make it seems you are changing for a positive outcome but the way you always bashing others’ idea and thought isn’t very convincing. You seems somewhat angry in you tone. Why? You can’t force others to digest an article the same way you do. Or are you just trying to force yourself to think like that and scare that others’ comments gets in your way and mess you up? Seems like you are really lost. Hey why don’t you just relax, be who you are and maybe you will be happier and eventually find your love ones? Just saying.

  8. 8
    Michael

    The important thing is to measure up to other people.

    If you know so many people whom you went to high school or college with, who are married or have kids, does this not mean you should get married so you can measure up to them?

    1. 8.1
      laurie

      I agree. Why do we have to put souch pressure on ourselves to be involved with someone.

  9. 9
    Michael


    I can expand my dating pool by dating divorcees and single parents.

    Why would you want to date a divorcee? Or a single parent? (Assuming that you are not either.)

    1. 9.1
      TheThinker

      What in the world is wrong with a divorcee? Or a single parent for that matter? In America where either spouse can file for a divorce for no reason at all, I think it’s silly to write divorcees off without even getting to know them.
      And, while my first choice would never be a divorcee or a single parent, there are so many exceptions that I cannot begin to list here.
      Please let’s stop making sweeping statements that have no basis.

      1. 9.1.1
        TK

        “What in the world is wrong with a divorcee?” Because 60% of those who get remarried redivorce.
        “Or a single parent for that matter?” Because who wants to look at the bastard reminder that someone else nutted in your wife while you fork out your hard earned money to take care of them.

  10. 10
    starthrower68

    Wow. On the one hand I can see what Moxie is saying. But I guess if one is going to work on herself, the reason behind the motivation should be examined first. I would submit that personal growth is best done for one’s own self and if the right person comes along as a result of that, then fabulous. But if she invests in herself for the sole purpose of attracting the right guy, then I wonder about that approach. If you look at dating as a numbers game, the way Moxie and Evan describe it, then I’d rather invest the time and emotional energy into myself for myself. I’m not saying that a person shouldn’t be open to meeting the right one, but put yourself first, and let them figure out how fabulous you are. If they don’t, that is not yours to deal with.

  11. 11
    Kenley

    Karl R,

    I don’t believe I ever suggested that women should just wait for a man to fall in their laps. Nor did I suggest that they should keep doing the same thing over and over. I didn’t even suggest that women should ignore sensible dating advice. I only questioned Moxie’s assertion that every woman (and she said every) who is 38 years old and has never married is a significantly flawed human being. I’m just a little tired of women being told that they’ve got all these horrible flaws that they have to fix. Plus, I’m tired of this notion that people who manage to get married are somehow better than people who don’t — that’s just baloney. I actually think a lot of people get divorced because there’s a lot of deception about who people really are and what they really want. Once they get into the marriage and reveal their true nature, the relationship falls apart. I’d rather wait 100 years to find someone who loves me just as I am — flaws and all than to turn myself into someone I’m not so I can get married at 25; divorced at 35 with two broken-hearted kids and an angry, bitter ex husband.

    1. 11.1
      Lizette

      Well said.  Kudos!

  12. 12
    A-L

    My post was not meant to indicate that you need to “keep up with the Jones’” as it were, as if all of your friends or high school classmates are married then you should be as well. It’s more of an indication that more introspection and self-examination may be in order.

    For instance, if you say you want to lose weight and are trying to lose weight but you’ve only lost five pounds over the course of a year, then you realize that it may be time to take stock and reassess what you’re doing and what changes might need to be made to be more effective. Losing five pounds over a year isn’t where one wants to be after dieting for a year, but if one has lost fifty pounds, then even if you’re not where you want to be, you’re still doing well.

    In the same way one tries to evaluate one’s dating life and seeing if additional self-examination needs to take place, or if one is within the range of what is expected. It could easily be something like I was in school until my mid to late twenties and then was working eighty hours a week at my job when I started, but now I’ve cut back and things are normal. Changes may not necessarily need to be made, but some assessment should take place to see if there’s something that may/should be changed.

    Not everyone wants to be seeing someone seriously or wants to get married. But if that’s a goal, then one shouldn’t be afraid of working toward it. Of course, I’m tired, it’s late, and it’s quite possible this makes no sense. But it’s my attempt to clarify my earlier questions.

  13. 13
    Michael

    In the same way one tries to evaluate one’s dating life and seeing if additional self-examination needs to take place, or if one is within the range of what is expected. It could easily be something like I was in school until my mid to late twenties and then was working eighty hours a week at my job when I started, but now I’ve cut back and things are normal. Changes may not necessarily need to be made, but some assessment should take place to see if there’s something that may/should be changed.
    The best way to do something successfully is to emulate people who succeeded. This then becomes an issue of how to effectively emulate other people.

  14. 14
    Karl R

    Kenley said: (#12)
    “I dont believe I ever suggested that women should just wait for a man to fall in their laps.”
    “I only questioned Moxies assertion that every woman (and she said every) who is 38 years old and has never married is a significantly flawed human being.”

    If you show me where Moxie asserted that every woman who is 38 years old and has never been married is a significantly flawed human being, then I’ll show you how I drew those inferences from your post.

    Michael said: (#10)
    “Why would you want to date a divorcee? Or a single parent? (Assuming that you are not either.)”
    Michael said: (in another thread)
    “If a woman is divorced, then she is, by definition , not perfect.”

    If a woman exists, except within my fantasies, she is, by definition, not perfect.

    I’m single (never married) and have no interest in having kids, but I’ve met some truly wonderful women who were either divorced and/or had kids. The latter is less appealing to me (since I don’t want to be a parent), but I’m reaching the age where some of my peers have children that are grown and gone.

    Your comment about a “perfect” woman reminds me of a joke. Two men were talking to each other…

    Man #1: “Why do you look so down?”
    Man #2: “I just met the perfect woman.”
    Man #1: “That’s terrific! But why would that make you sad?”
    Man #2: “She was looking for the perfect man.”

  15. 15
    Kenley

    Karl R,

    Moxie wrote “I haven’t met one single person over the age of
    35 who’s still single and wasn’t that way for a serious reason.”
    I interpreted that statement in the context of her article as a
    suggestion that those people are flawed.

  16. 16
    Karl R

    Kenley, (#16)

    A serious reason could imply a seriously flawed dating strategy or a seriously flawed expectation.

    I’m around the age that Moxie’s talking about, and I’m still single. Why? I put no effort into dating for years. I’d call that a serious reason … but it hardly made me a flawed individual.

    I had to change my priorities, my effort, my socializing and a number of other things.

    Your initial response to Moxie was:
    “What if the reason that a woman isnt married by 38 is because she just hasnt met the man she wants to spend her life with?”

    Do you really think anyone (man or woman) who has been putting some effort into dating and using an effective strategy can go 20 years without meeting someone who would be a wonderful spouse?

    At that point, I’d say the logical reasons are that they’re waiting for someone to just fall into their laps or they actually are a seriously flawed individual.

    1. 16.1
      Kay

      Karl, there are many other aspects to this. Do you really think someone spend his/her straight 20 years to find love? Don’t you think there are other things we have to do in life too, during that 20 years? You make it sound like it’s the only job someone has been doing for 20 years and not being successful because of lacking of effort. Let me tell you what, it’s not like saving money in the bank. You can accuse somebody of lacking effort if they can’t save up enough money to buy a house after 20 years. But you are talking about love here. It’s fate and destiny. You are wrong for putting a time time frame in finding one. There are people that has been dating around for years and still couldn’t find the right one. Even celebrities. As a matter of fact most of them are still single at very old age. Do you think they also were just sitting around waiting for someone to fall into their laps? Please

  17. 17
    Kenley

    Karl R,

    I’m going to relay a story that a friend told me about Michael Jordan which I’m sure won’t change your opinion, but it might give you something to think about.

    Before MJ retired the first time, he just could not tolerate players who weren’t playing as well as he thought they should. He got angry with them and accused them of not applying themselves or not being disciplined or not just trying hard enough or wanting it badly enough to reach greatness (not MJ level of greatness, of course, just mortal level of greatness.) Well, when he left basketball and played minor league baseball, he gained a whole new perspective because no matter how hard he tried, no matter how much of the MJ mental and physical discipline and hard work he applied to baseball, he simply was not a good player. When he returned to basketball, he was a much more understanding guy because he now knew from personal experience that trying hard and doing all the right things, doesn’t always equal success.

    So, what’s my point? My point is that yes indeed there are some women who are following sensible dating strategies and still have not found a wonderful spouse. They aren’t lazy; they aren’t doing the same things over and over, and they aren’t flawed. Just because things fell into place for you once you put your mind to it and started to use effective dating strategies, doesn’t mean that the same thing happens for others. Sometimes doing everything right, even for a long time, doesn’t equal success, especially when success involves love.

  18. 18
    *yawn*

    Karl R, I am a realist: I’m cutting my losses and pouring my heart into children, as I’ve always wanted to, instead of continuing to waste (more of) my years dreaming about them. If I meet a man fantastic, if I don’t, I’ll be doing some good for the world and my heart. I don’t actually believe it’s *sane* to continue putting myself out there to be used and abused in the world of online dating, but of course I’ll go about my backpacking holidays, volunteering, art classes, marathon training and decent career (compacent, moi?) with an open mind to whom I might meet.

    But I’m not a hot commodity, I’m depreciating, and the trend for men wanting Real Women (TM) is so 1995 – I realise that, and I don’t think that’s pessimistic, I think it’s deeply, deeply disturbing but honest! My original points were over-the-top in order to get attention, and since it worked…

    Sure women can settle, and many of us do or would like to, but what’s an average-looking woman to do in a (Western) world where even the majority of uneducated, ugly, fat, socially inept, spiritually bankrupt, uncultured, unworldly men think they deserve a “hot” woman? Believe me I’ve tried dating these guys (thank you, Sir, for asking me if you can practice your negging technique on me!) and they’re so deluded, and so obviously on the lookout for “the next best thing”, that it’s humiliating, degrading, and depressing.

    As for not wanting to be a “sperm donor”, don’t you realise that women size men up as daddy potential the moment they set eyes on them unless they’re just a fling? C’mon. Or is the biological urge to have children only permitted to arise within the social constructs of a committed relationship (oh, hang on) despite that it’s every bit as strong as the urge to have sex? Why do women ultimately want to marry? Because society tells us we “have” to in order to have children, duh. (Hint: the race is on to marry before 30.)

    Also, yes, I do think that someone who has been using the same dating strategies for 20 years can make a wonderful spouse. I’ve had two live in relationships, the first one was 5 years, and the second one was 4 years. Both ended when the men left to find younger women, but I guess in your mind that makes me damaged goods.

    Women can follow all the dating strategies they like, but it doesn’t change the fact that the majority of guys in the Western world feel entitled (ugh) to overlook (or use) women who aren’t physically “attractive” as opposed to their more “beautiful” sisters. Or that so much dating “advice” for men and women is combative, instead of co-operative (insult her men; be a b*tch, girls!) It’s great for capitalism, but not so great for gender relations. Ditto the fact that temptation is encouraged for both sexes, and in our faces, everywhere.

    I believe that many, many “average looking” women who are NOW in their thirties and forties are going to miss out on mates in the next decade, not through being flawed, but through being alive in a time when the pendulum of “sexual liberation” has swung too far the other way, and I think it’s an absolute shame.

    1. 18.1
      Dina Strange

      Absolutely love your response….great comment overall. So very true.

  19. 19
    Karl R

    *yawn* said: (#19)
    “dont you realise that women size men up as daddy potential the moment they set eyes on them unless theyre just a fling?”
    “Why do women ultimately want to marry? Because society tells us we have to in order to have children, duh.”

    Really? A couple of my friends got married last year. They’re in their 50s. Their kids (from previous marriages) are grown and gone. They have no interest in having more kids. They were cohabiting for a couple years before the wedding and they weren’t keeping it a secret, so morality and social pressure clearly weren’t a concern.

    If your reasoning is correct, what possible reason did they have to get married?

    “I do think that someone who has been using the same dating strategies for 20 years can make a wonderful spouse.”

    If someone continues to use the same dating strategies for 20 years, they will continue to have the same degree of dating success (or complete lack thereof).

    If those dating strategies are keeping them from getting married, than its completely irrelevant whether they’d make a wonderful spouse. Nobody will ever know.

    “Ive had two live in relationships, … but I guess in your mind that makes me damaged goods.”

    Are you mistaking me for Michael? I’ve dated several wonderful women who were divorcees.

    However, you come across as being pessimistic, bitter and blaming men and society for your current circumstances. So for those reasons, you come across to me as being damaged goods.

    I doubt that’s much concern to you. I’m clearly not what you’re interested in, so my opinion shouldn’t count for much. But it’s possible that other men get the same impression.

    “I believe that many, many average looking women who are NOW in their thirties and forties are going to miss out on mates in the next decade,”
    “whats an average-looking woman to do”

    I spent this weekend at a convention that primarily appealed to “geeks”. Men outnumbered women 3 to 1 (maybe 4 to 1). The average woman there was below average in appearance. The vast majority of the women there were married or in long-term relationships. Most of the time, their husband/boyfriend was better looking, financially stable, etc. (In a couple cases, the man & woman were about equal in attractiveness.)

    If the odds are so heavily stacked against “average” women, how did all these “below average” geeky women succeed?

    1. 19.1
      Kay

      Answer you own questions Karl. I believe you are old enough to answer those as you were trying to challenge others. Don’t you realize you are very shallow and full of it? 

    2. 19.2
      Ren

      I attend “geek” conventions and see the exact same thing: unattractive women with husbands and boyfriends.  I’m above average in looks, being referred to as “beautiful” or “gorgeous” by both sexes all the time. I still don’t have a man.  And yes I’ve been looking for almost 20 years, and no, online dating didn’t work for me either during that time, so I stopped doing it. 

      I think with the geek girls it could simply be matter of having an interest and being involved in an activity that involve lots of men at a young age. The problem is that too many women participate in activities that involve other women or gay men. I am also of a certain age, divorced and a single parent and I didn’t figure this out until later in life.  

      I’ve dated “within the basics,” not having an unrealistic list of expectations. I have no height restrictions, I don’t demand a guy must make a certain income (as long as he’s employed and responsible with what he has), I don’t care what kind of car a man drives, and I date across color lines. I’ve dated men who are also divorced and/or single dads, and they were no more interested in a serious relationship than the single, childless men I’ve dated.  The only men who have actually tried to date me have all been married, and I don’t mess with married men at all. 

      Some people will just never find anyone and that’s the way it is.  

  20. 20
    Sayanta

    To Yawn-

    I noticed you put an emphasis on “Western” in your post. Have you found Eastern men to be different? If so- why not go for them instead of just giving up on men?

  21. 21
    A-L

    Yawn,

    You can probably care less about my opinion, but as some of the others posters have mentioned, you sound bitter. And this is coming from an average looking woman.

    I will back you up about guys’ preference for the beautiful, model-looking women. Then again, most women would prefer a George Clooney clone to a Chris Farley one. I think that as guys mature and become more interested in a serious relationship, though, that their emphasis on outward appearance decreases and they look more towards the inner qualities that matter most in a long-term relationship. And the guys who are more interested in a serious relationship are the guys you want to be attracting anyway.

  22. 22
    Kenley

    A-L,

    I think that when men are young, they want a beautiful woman who is great in bed, and the inside doesn’t much matter. As men age, they still want the beautiful woman who is great in bed, but now they want her to be beautiful on the inside as well! So, unlike you, I personally see no evidence that looks matter less to men as they age. In my experience, very few older men are willing to date a woman they don’t find physically attractive while I know many women who will date a guy that don’t find attractive with the hope that he turns out to be a great guy. Moreover, I rarely see unattractive women coupled with attractive men, but I see the opposite quite a bit.

  23. 23
    Sayanta

    I’m going to be honest- Yawn’s whole post has me confused. I went to a large state university- and you really saw ALL kinds of couples there. I saw less-than-average looking women with good-looking men, and vice versa. I saw couples matched in terms of attractiveness. I saw models who never got dates, and models who had three dates a night. I know everyone believes otherwise, but I think the whole men want models thing is some strange myth that has no root in how people behave in reality.

    I really don’t want to come off as having an ego trip here, but just to prove a point- I’ve never modeled, but I’ve been asked to, or told I should LOTs of times, and yet I’ve never exactly had guys beating at my door. Same with one of my good friends who looks like Winnie from the Wonder Years. How do you explain that? We’re both friendly people. Our acquaintances who’re great people, but average in the looks department have married great guys.

    Yawn- I think it’s funny you keep mentioning Western men- I can tell you that Indian men are a LOT more picky when it comes to women’s appearances than American males are. It’s disgusting- I’ve heard of Indian guys rejecting girls because she had a mole or left cheek or something stupid like that.

    Two kinda offbeat stories-

    You all know who Cleopatra is, I assume. I’ve read her history, and her great physical beauty is a myth, and this is supported by recent archaeological finds. It was her power, wit, and brains that charmed men. And this was in BC days!

    And, this is a bit more sobering, but I was reading the story of a woman born with some syndrome that severely deforms the face. Even though a lot of people (myself included) would become a withdrawn hermit when faced with something like that, this woman manages to have a positive attitude, a good career, and a boyfriend who’s above average looking! I just put that in here as an extreme example to show that it’s what you radiate that you get back.

  24. 24
    Karl R

    Kenley said: (#23)
    “very few older men are willing to date a woman they dont find physically attractive”

    That’s true … up to a point. I still want to date women that I find attractive, but my tastes have expanded. I now find more women attractive than I did when I was younger. I’m also more likely to focus on a woman’s best (physical) features and ignore her worst (physical) features.

    Looks may not matter substantially less as I’ve grown older, but I can see how my broader tastes could easily be mistaken for that.

  25. 25
    A-L

    Well, regardless of how it’s phrased, I agree that guys are more open-minded about what they find beautiful (or attractive, etc, at least in their willingness to date). But I think the same thing holds true for girls. Many women may have originally wanted a tanned man who was 6′ plus with an athletic build and a full head of dark hair hair. As they’ve aged, however, they’re more open-minded about a guy with something of a pudge, or who’s losing his hair, or who isn’t going to be giving Shaquille O’Neal a run for his money, or who’s so pasty that he burns if he even looks at the sun. As people mature (which usually comes with age) they start looking at the more important things, though there still needs to be some level of attraction.

  26. 26
    Sayanta

    Case in point- at age 18, I ONLY was interested in guys who looked like Bob Dylan circa 1965. They had to have raspy voices and play guitar, too. And unlike Dylan, they couldn’t be less than 5’10.

    Needless to say, I’ve lost all these requirements at age 30. The curly fro thing would still be nice, though.

  27. 27
    cIL

    *yawn*.
    I’m 34 and long ago I also quite with the love stuff… except for the baby part. In my case, men were only half of the decision. I grew up with abusive parents who were not very gentle to me. Nobody knew anything since I felt ashamed and guilty of what my parents were doing. So, no love there. The love I could give as a daughter was throwed in the floor and smashed. Neither one of my parents wanted it.

    When I first liked a boy, he pretty much rejected me… and it kept happening. Sooner I was the one to help my friends to get guys… I was the one they always saw as a friend and nothing more. I was the one who was heard Your friend is beautiful. Could you introduce us?

    When I finally kissed a guy, he did so because he was gay and wanted to hide it. Another one told me that he would not date me because I was a virgin. Believe me… it was not out of some respect for me! Imagine how much hurt to know that I was not good even for sex? And finally the last one used me to made an ex jealous so she would go back to him, which she did. Can you believed that he wanted to get married with me? I still feel bad when I think that if I had accepted his proposal, he would have dumped one week later! Id be the laugh of my street for a while! Again the love I had to give was throwed away.

    I end up involved with this last guy again after I tried to kill myself. My mother did something that made think life was not worth anymore…. besides I was really tired of dealing with her… Anyway, I went for the lover thing, well it was better then have nothing at all… besides I lost my virginity. We stayed together for 5 years, and then he dumped me without even say good-bye. He just took off, disappeared. You know the irony about it: he was a really nice guy, he was supportive, and a lot more exactly the guy I wanted for me and exactly the one I could not have. When he changed was horrible. It was as if he was abducted by some alien and someone different came back. Summary: I’ve never found a single (as one and also as without a girl attached to him) guy interested in me.

    I’m ugly… yeah… I. am. ugly. I’m being very realistic about it. I like myself a lot, and I have good qualities, being smart and funny my favorite, but that doesn’t mean I can’t see in the mirror!

    Besides it, many of my male friends told me. This is one of the good things about having male friends. When I was 18 and could not have a date, a boyfriend or even a kiss, I asked my girl friends why, what they thought, but they never told nothing… except the “you will find someone. Everything happens in the right time”… maybe because they did not wanted to hurt me. It was the male friends who told me that part of it was because I was ugly, even I had back there a really nice body. So, I started to learn to enjoy being the friend… the cupid for other couples.

    Eight years ago, when my lover left my life, I finally closed the shop for good… got tired of being rejected and people not wanting what I had to offer. Stopped losing my time looking for something that would never come and got content with the life I had.

    My life gave a 360. I don’t blame my looks only. There is something seriously wrong with me, I can say from my bad luck with love… of any kind up to now, but I won’t die from it. I may not have had a man, but I have a nice house and will buy my own car this mouth, I have good friends and a lovely cat. I hope I’ll spent my 35 birthday carrying my first child also… thank God we don’t need the active participation of man to have a baby anymore! I just hope he/she would not also reject me. Ive always thought that a woman can be broken down in three parts: daughter, woman and mother. As I said, I was not very successful in the first two, so I hope Ill be in the last one, because I know I can be a wonderful mother. Again the irony reappear, since I dont know if Ill be able to conceive because I have myoma. If not, Ill be finally alone, as my life pointed out a lot. I dont want to adopt, because I want to do at least one thing the same way any other women in this world do. If I cannot than its ok.

    Besides, I’m not ashamed to say that I developed some kind of phobia to love and men. Every time my eyes check up a man, I just tell myself he would not pay attention to me, and life goes on as safe as always. My brain learned to relate love with pain… and pain is something I avoid like the plague. I dont hate them, I have a lot of male friends, but that is all.

    My advice for women is read the signs! Life always points out things! If I had accepted mine Id have had less pain and more joy in life. It is good to find someone that can be with you, but if you cannot dont keep dreaming about it and wasting time. Go do something productive with your life. If you did not find someone before 30 (or even 25), it is because it was mean to be that way. Babies can still be made, with or without a male participant, and there is many things we can do being single we cannot as a married girl.

  28. 28
    Candace

    Are you serious? Your advice sounds insane to me. You treat women who are 38 and still single as if they posses some kind of serious character flaw. Being a 22 year old female, who’s still unsure whether I want the married with children life or not, I find your article to be incredibly offensive in so many ways. Think about this in a society where most people are divorced is it really that horrible of a thing to be 38 and single? You guys treat marriage like it will take you out of misery and suddlenly make you happy, look around you. Yes there are a lot of married people out there, but can you tell if their really happy? If the man is secretly looking for the next young hotter thing, and the woman is horribly depressed because she feels she no longer has a purpose in life because she had to give it up for marriage and kids. To me being 38 and single doesn’t sound that bad, it doesn’t mean it’s the end for women, it doesn’t mean they become fat and ugly. Making a lifestyle out of eating right and exercising does wonders to prevent the aging process, believe it or not there are hot 38 year olds out there. I really believe deep down inside that everything happens for a reason, if you do end up getting married and having kids well that happened for a reason. And if you didn’t that’s okay too. Maybe your meant to throw yourself into so much work that you’re going to be the person that finds a cure for cancer. But really think about this you only live once, is it really worth it to spend that one time depressing over something that hasn’t happened, or is it worth it to channel all that in to living to the fullest each and every single day and fullfilling your purpose in life?

  29. 29
    jason

    I am a guy and i just simply don’t care. I have had a bad habit of picking the wrong ones & have received strange behaviour from women even though i am a professional in a highly desirable position in the motion picture and television industry. I am just focusing on my career and saying the hell with all this goofy relationship stuff and dealing with pompous women..forget it. i don’t have time or desire to mess around with substandard women who will only serve to make me miserable. perhaps there is a good one out there, but if I go around worrying about it & looking for it I may never find it. If I don’t I may not either, but ya know what. I could really care less either way I am fie with being me & just having fun doing my thing.

  30. 30
    lovelorn

    Gosh, I can’t believe I am where I am at right now, 42 never married, no kids, one very long term relattionship that was partly long distance.  I didn’t have much luck before I met the long timer and I didn’t have much luck after.  I dated, fooled around, had guys look my way on many occasions  young, cute, not cute, and I’m not bad looking, smart, can carry on intellectually stimulating conversations.  I think my problem has been wrong place, wrong time, wrong man.   It’s turned into a cosmic thing for me.  i feel like the universe is screaming at me – saying sorry kid – love and family are just not in your stars.  i’m starting to think i was an axe murderer in a past life to endure so many disappointment in the area i’ve yearned for my whole life – love, marriage, family.  i’ve  done EVERYTHING to meet someone - every online dating site, friends of friends, people at work, setups, church, social gathering meetups, bars, clubs, fun classes.  and to kick me when I’m down i was recently rejected by one guy after one date and he was way below my standards – shorter than me in heels, smaller than me, not educated.  that did it.  i crawled up into a ball and my spirt died.  people tell me all the time how attractive i am.  young guys are even attracted to me.  i mean like 15 to 20 years younger – of course they are not suitable.  i just don’t get it.   I am exceedinly depressed but try not to think about it and for the most part put on a happy face s  no one really knows the slow death occurring on the inside intermixed with bouts of happiness b/c i really do love life i just want someone to share it with.  somebody, please help.  oh and i am also devoutly religiious and prayed innumberable times.  other prays get answred in a snap. this one remains a mystery.  you see – it’s a cosmic thing – my forlorn-liness has transcended teh physical realm.  it’s in the hands of the metaphysical right now – or so I am convinced. 

    1. 30.1
      Tara

      I guess we can’t put an age on it.  Im not sure if all those others that did the kids and marriage thing are truly happy. Dont loose faith sometimes the greatest things do come to those who wait. I will pray for you that your knight comes :) I hope mine comes too and just so you know your not the only one feeling this way.

    2. 30.2
      Hannah

      Hey Lovelorn. Why not give one of those younger guys a try? X

    3. 30.3
      Lizette

      You are not alone, I feel your frustration.  Reading your post was like reading my own post.

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