Why (Some) Women Might Consider Settling

Why (Some) Women Might Consider Settling
I got an email from my sister the other day. She was forwarding an article written by Lori Gottlieb for The Atlantic, called “Marry Him – The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough”. Actually, that’s not quite right. In fact, she was forwarding me a link to a gossip site called Jezebel, which was ripping the author for even posing the notion that settling was a reasonable idea. So first I read the criticism, then I read the article, then I read a post-article interview with Gottlieb, and then I watched Gottlieb defend herself on The Today Show.

It was very clear that Gottlieb was onto a hot-button issue. But why was she getting attacked from all angles? Why the seething vitriol at a single mother who suggests that it might be wiser to compromise at age 34 than to continue searching through a thinning talent pool at age 40? It was clear to me that the messenger was being shot for carrying a controversial message. But it wasn’t fully clear why. So I started talking with the very people who were upset about this piece – single women, 35-45. My clients.

They told me that the piece was offensive.

They told me that it speaks more about the author than it does of them.

They told me they were very happy being single and would sooner die alone than settle.

They told me that it’s unfair to single out women for “settling”. What about men?

Now, to be clear, I am very sympathetic to the plight of women looking for love. No, I’m not a woman, which inherently limits my understanding, but I am a dating coach who listens to the fears and complaints of women every single day. You’d be hard pressed to find a man more attuned to the frustrations of single women than I am. Yet from a coldly logical standpoint, I found Gottlieb’s argument virtually unassailable.

She didn’t say settling was ideal. She wasn’t saying that you should “settle” to the point that you’re miserable. She wasn’t saying that you couldn’t possibly be happy alone. She even admits that “talking about settling in a positive light makes people profoundly uncomfortable”. So what was she saying? To paraphrase:

If you DO want that traditional American dream of husband + house + kids who look like you, then your odds of achieving it are greater if you “settle” in your early 30’s.

If you want to have your own biological children with a quality man, your options are considerably greater when you’re 32 than when you’re 42. And if that’s the case, it might behoove you to settle for a “good” guy when you’re younger, rather than hold out for an ideal guy when there are fewer quality options available.

I’m not sure what there is to argue with. I mean, you can make the argument that you’re perfectly happy being single. Great. Stay single. You can make the argument that you’d be suicidal if you were to marry the “wrong” guy. Certainly, you shouldn’t marry under those circumstances. But if you DO want that traditional American dream of husband + house + kids who look like you, then your odds of achieving it are greater if you “settle” in your early 30’s.

Here’s why:…

1) If a tall, dark and handsome 40-year-old man with a six-figure income and great family values is on the hunt for a wife, he is most likely is going to be attracted to someone younger. Wait, don’t shoot! I’ve got an older girlfriend, and have long advocated for the wisdom and experience of thirtysomethings over twentysomethings. But youth and beauty have always been coveted by men, and wishing it away doesn’t change a thing.

2) If a tall, dark and handsome 40-year-old man with a six-figure income and great family values wants to be the biological father to his own children, he is mostly likely going to be searching for someone younger. It makes perfect sense. He doesn’t want to have to rush the relationship, much less get engaged, married, and pregnant in a year. Thus, all things remaining equal, most 40-year-old men with a choice will choose to date a woman younger than 35. It buys them time. Time that 35-40 year-old women don’t have IF they want their own biological children.

If a tall, dark and handsome 40-year-old man with a six-figure income and great family values wants to be the biological father to his own children, he is mostly likely going to be searching for someone younger.

And that’s the caveat that I need to emphasize more than Gottlieb did in her article. If you don’t want children, you’ve got no reason to settle. If you already have children, you’ve got no reason to settle. If you’re fine adopting children, you’ve got no reason to settle. But if you want to have your own kids, you have a far better pool of male applicants at age 30 than you do at age 40. It’s not that it’s impossible. Women in their late 30′s and early 40′s fall in love, get married, and get pregnant all the time. It’s just more difficult, that’s all.

Which is why this should not be taken as a judgment against women over 35. It’s merely an observation about the dating preferences of men. It’s not like women don’t know this. If they weren’t fully aware that men discriminated by age, they wouldn’t be lowering their ages to 29, 34, and 39 on dating sites across America. And what these women have surely realized – what they voice to me on the phone daily – is that the quality of their suitors is abysmal.

Are all the good ones taken? Not quite. But here’s a lot of what you’re going to get as a 40-year-old woman on Match.com: Commitmentphobes. Players. Financially unstable guys. Unattractive guys. Socially awkward guys. Much younger guys. Much older guys. Look in your in-box. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know….

So where are the tall, dark and handsome 40-year-old men with six-figure incomes and great family values? Searching for women 25-35, that’s where. And while some of those 25-35 women are getting married to these guys, many others are holding out for better men –younger, richer, cuter, smarter. Are they wrong for doing so? Hell, no. They’re following their hearts. They know what they’re worth. They WILL. NOT. SETTLE. In the meantime, they focus on their careers, their friends, their travel, and their homes, because that’s more rewarding than the tedious, maddening process that is dating. But occasionally, as these women near 40, things begin to shift. They find themselves lonely at holidays, or fed up with weddings, or feeling a biological pull that can’t be ignored. So, once again, they decide to gamely search for Mr. Right. But who’s left to choose from? Mostly (not exclusively), a parade of the “wrong” men on Match.com.

Given all that, I find it hard to disagree with Gottlieb’s assertion that, for women who want their own kids, it may be a better long-term decision to snap up Mr. Good Enough at 32 than to hope for Mr. Perfect at 42.

It sure ain’t romantic, but it is practical. People hate practical.

It sure ain’t romantic, but it is practical. People hate practical.

You may be reading this and getting upset. Maybe you’re upset at me for my take on this. Maybe you’re upset with Gottlieb for perpetuating the myth that women need men. Maybe you’re upset with men for wanting younger women. But mostly, I think what is most upsetting is that the article challenges our worldview that we can have it all without having to compromise. And the fact that a few people seem to have it all makes it all the more tantalizing. But when the high wears off – and, oh, it does – what do those people have left? Ask any older married couple. They’ll tell you about the virtues that have kept them together for forty years. Friendship. Loyalty. Patience. Values. Compromise.

So why do we single people so arrogantly insist that our elders have got it wrong? And if you’d rather be alone than compromise, why get so upset that other people like Lori Gottlieb have a different point of view?

 

 

 

Click here to read more:

Lori Gottlieb’s Article in the Atlantic: “Marry Him”

Jezebel’s criticism of Gottlieb

Lori Gottlieb defending her article on The Today Show.

 

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Comments:

  1. 91
    Margaret

    I can only say, as a 46-year old, divorced, childless woman who “settled” at age 22: I am so glad I do not suffer from Diaper Bag Syndrome. Around age 35, I realized my heart would not break if I never gave birth. God, how liberating that has been.

    Women who crave babies and are pushing 40 may, indeed, need to settle. As far as I am concerned, I have not found anyone in the 20 years following my divorce that I would want to live with. Even if I didn’t think I could do better than so many of the men available in my age group, I would still choose to be alone rather than wake up to the morning breath and the general day-to-day annoyances of someone I was not passionate about.

    I do find that alot of 60+ year old men are interested in me now, but I am so NOT interested.

    I think Gottlieb was likely a an entitled JAP in her heyday (my apologies to anyone here who is Jewish, including, I suspect, Evan;I am Irish Catholic and we have our own set of annoyances) who had lofty and unrealistic expectations of what a husband should be.

    Me, I know no one is perfect, including myself, but damn, I would like to find someone I am attracted to and passionate about, who has his act together, is kind and funny, and is a strong person. Jeeze…is that too much to ask?

  2. 92
    Selena

    I’m with you Margaret. “Jeeze…is that too much to ask?” I’m also 46. I didn’t “settle” at 22, though I did have a baby at that age, and so was perhaps spared the desperation of having to have ‘someone’ to procreate with in my thirties to early 40′s. I LOVE menopause, very freeing.

    M writes, “Bottom line: A shared life with an imperfect person isn’t settling, it’s maturity.”

    I’ve yet to meet anyone who is perfect. I’m not sure I even know anyone who expects perfection.

    For me the bottom line is: Maturity is not settling for someone with whom you are mismatched, just so you can say you have someone to share your life with.

  3. 93
    Michael Ejercito

    I LOVE menopause, very freeing.

    Menopause is the only 1005 effective method of birth control.

    (Birth control devices can fail, and women who choose abstinence or lesbianism can get raped.)

  4. 94
    hunter

    …see,….that is what makes relationships interesting,…and sometimes fascinating….the differences in opinion, and definitions in words…such as “maturity.”……

  5. 95
    hunter

    to Margaret,

    Have you tried dating 3 men, 3 different times?….It takes some people time to warm up to the opposite sex….

  6. 96
    hunter

    to Jeannie

    …Maturity between 20 year olds?….even some 30 year olds…Maturity?…what is that?…..

  7. 97
    Michael Ejercito

    At the same time, however, I believe that most American weddings occur in a church (or other house of worship). And nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. Obviousy there’s a disconnect.

    The disconnect comes from a lack of loyalty on either party.

  8. 98
    verbosity

    I agree with something M wrote. “Bottom line: A shared life with an imperfect person isn’t settling, it’s maturity.”

    Isn’t it interesting how 100+ years ago people rarely traveled more than 200 miles from their birthplace, yet managed to find mates and spend the remainder of their lives together? Settling? Maturity? Wise? I do not know. Today we can travel the world and the US easily, often living far from our birthplaces. Yet increasingly, we cannot do what our ancestors did pretty successfully.

    I’ve seen the word ‘nurture’ used several times in the context of men being ‘nurtured’ and they somehow fail to respond. Nurture means to nurse or nourish. It also means to train or educate. Many (not all) women like to think they nourish when they really try to train or educate. They are not one and the same. I would also venture to say that to train or educate in this context would usually assume the trainer thinks they are somehow superior to the trainee. Just something to think about regarding characteristics for a successful relationship.

    Trust us, we men know we’re imperfect. We’ve been inculcated with our failings since childhood. Wouldn’t it make sense to celebrate things that ARE positive as the basis for a lasting relationship rather than lamenting we do not measure up to one’s standards (which are ever-changing)?

  9. 99
    Mike Paahana

    b/c those girls no can get better and they r head cases but is good b/c u find dat kine and u can fool aroun with them an they buy u all kine stuff

  10. 100
    Margaret

    Hunter,

    Yes, I generally give a guy three dates minimum to see if chemistry develops, unless he is repulsive or psycho or exhibits some other red flag-type behavior.

    I am not saying there are not quality men in my age group, I am just saying they are hard to find. I am not looking for Brad Pitt, Bill Gates, and Ghandi rolled into one, but I do expect to meet someone who is kind, financially stable (not rich), responsible, doesn’t have a substance abuse problem, and doesn’t live with Mommy. And yes, I expect to be attracted to him. That is somenthing that is entirely subjective;another woman my find my taste abominable.

    If this is too much to ask, God help us and what does it say about American men? I am not asking for anything I myself do not offer.

    I’m sure the guys who post here are great, and Hunter I have enjoyed your posts, so please do not anyone take my comments personally.

    I think there are some great people out there, it is just tough to connect in today’s society.

  11. 101
    Margaret

    Jeannie,

    Actually you framed everything I believe far more articulately than I could. Great post, especially the part about the underpinnings of sexism. We really need to give men more credit than we do. Unfortunately, some women are so desperate for a man and to s*** out a couple of kids that they overlook substandard behavior and treatment.

    I also agree with you about there being many nice men who cannot creat a spark because they do not know how. Truthfully, the players we read about who are only interested in the young, hot chicks are in the minority. Most of the men I meet (that don’t have dealbreakers like living with Mommy or substance abusers, etc.) are decent and sincerely looking for companionship.

    It’s just a matter of connecting with one of these “nice” men and feeling the chemistry. I know many women can compromise on that if he is nice, but I can’t. But then again, I don’t want children(at least not my own), so that puts me in a totally different mindset.

  12. 102
    m

    “Wouldn’t it make sense to celebrate things that ARE positive as the basis for a lasting relationship rather than lamenting we do not measure up to one’s standards (which are ever-changing)?”

    Why, yes, it would.

    That’s why it seems so strange that with regard to that, you NEVER take your own advice.

  13. 103
    verbosity

    M,

    Sweetie, your snarky reply still doesn’t answer my point about the ‘nourishing’ versus ‘training.’ I suspect any marginally rational reader knows where you fall on that line….

  14. 104
    question for paul

    Paul quoted the Bible again, saying: “The bible puts it another way men love your wives, wives respect your husbands (Eph 5:33) – BOTH are unconditional (key women have a harder time with that concept then men do respect should not be something that is earnedit is as unconditional as love) . In short, we are to do certain things as men and women in a relationship and if we do, we’ll be successful.

    Why is there a double standard in the Bible that says women need to respect their husbands but men need only to love their wives?

    When you say respect, does that mean if a woman’s husband is a philanderer, or an alcoholic, or an abuser, a money launderer, a thief, a compulsive gambler…that she STILL needs to respect him? How does that work?

    See, when I think of people I “respect”, I think of people who have done things or have qualities that I hold in some esteem. I can’t unconditionally turn off my ability to NOT respect someone who hasn’t earned my respect any more than I have the ability to stop breathing. People don’t respect by turning a switch on or off in themselves. Respect is a person’s automatic response to someone that has done something to impress them. Do you think, Paul, that women have the ability to MAKE themselves feel respect for a person?

    I find your take on matters fascinating, Paul. Please elaborate.

    And btw, I don’t mean to insult you, but I wonder, when you say:
    “In short, we are to do certain things as men and women in a relationship and if we do, we’ll be successful,” with all seriousness, why hasn’t that worked for you? Have women failed to respect you in the past and is that why your relationships have been unsuccessful til now?

  15. 105
    JerseyGirl

    Well, I don’t know why a man would want to be “settled” for by a woman choosing to be with him anyway.

    I think times have changed and while women might not have as long a shelf life as men, even though both genders age, we by far have more options and a longer shelf life then ever before. And men’s is a little shorter. It has been scientifically proven that with age, men also “decrease” healthwise. A man’s sperm at 20 is much more healthy then a man’s sperm at 40 and could equally be cause for birth defects in a baby just as much as a woman who is 40 having a baby does.

    Also, women have set higher standards on looks then they use to. Women want to be attracted to their partner. Women also don’t need men to support them like they once did, which opens up lots more options for women.

    However, as a 26 year old girl, I have often had older men hit on me and have not been interested at all. Why would I want to date someone in their 40s if someone who is 40 doesn’t even want to date someone in their 40s? There are many young, handsome, successful men my age around too have to settle for a 40 year old guy.

  16. 106
    JuJu

    I once saw this quote by Maureen Dowd that just made me stop in my tracks, as it described a lot of my “relationships” so aptly:
    The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.

    How profound is this? :)

  17. 107
    verbosity

    The following doesn’t apply to all women.

    Maureen Dowd – The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.

    Maureen Dowd – The same genius who gave us “Are Men Necessary?”

    Of course, one could aske the same question in reverse and see if that advances better communication between the sexes…. but I digress.

    JuJu, I do not attempt to skewer you, but I do think your point is off. BTW, my use of the word ‘you’ is not personally directed at JuJu, but in general.

    You do not deserve anything from the opposite sex simply by being a woman, having a vagina & breasts. Conversely, man deserves nothing from women simply because he has a penis & testicles. Same thing for respect. I respect no one, woman or man, simply by virtue of their gender. They have to EARN it. Same thing for what you deserve. You deserve what you earn from the opposite sex in the dating arena. If you aren’t getting what you think you are worth in the dating world, perhaps it is the marketplace’s way of telling you you do not deserve what you think you are worth.

    Consider you own a house. You wish to sell it. So you get a realtor, and put it on the market. It may be priced more than similar homes in the neighborhood, It may be the same or less. No offers come. So you paint a couple of rooms, rearrange furniture, and plant additional flowers in the yard. Still no offers come. So you drop the price 1%. Still no offers come. But you protest “My house is worth X! I’ve paid Y, I’ve painted, landscaped, decorated well” So you ask your realtor for feedback from the few who have toured the home. You are told the yard is too maintenance-intensive, the plumbing needs work, the roof needs work, the appliances are outdated, the yard backs against a big street, the school district isn’t great, there’s no fireplace, some don’t like the paint, and the HVAC system needs revamping.

    You realtor tells you that there could be an offer, but it would be far less than what you think your house is worth, because it needs to take into account these issues with the home.

    Simply put, your home’s value isn’t the same to buyers as what you think it worth. Your expectation, and therefore, paradigm, of its value is therefore unreasonable. See the analogy?

  18. 108
    Margaret

    I am new to this website and must say I truly enjoy the dialogue here, finding it to be of a higher caliber than most “dating” or “singles” sites.

    Some background: married at 22, divorced at 28, very immature, very late bloomer, kind of a free spirit who moved around a lot and did not want to be tied down to a conventional marriage and kids. Didn’t really like myself and feel comfortable with myself until 40…which unfortunatetely is the age at which most of the *quality* men are indeed married, and likely to remain so.

    A couple of things have come to mind. I am 46, divorced, no children, and probably more physically attractive than most women my age. I also earn six figures, am fun , and kind and decent. That said, I don’t kid myself that I can compete with a 25 year-old or even 35 year-old in *many* dating arenas.

    I must qualify this. Much as I think Evan is great, I think his viewpoint is that of someone who lives in LA (I think he also lived in NYC) I have a sister who lives out there (LA) and it is a very, very different world from where I live, Middle America, Cleveland, Ohio. When I look around (and I am very social, plus I meet many doctors, research scientists, movers and shakers in my job)…..I see very few supermodels and studs. Most of the men, and women are *average*, and they are almost always with someone of similar physical attractiveness( and age) In fact, the women I know who are in fulfilling relationships/marriages are *less* attractive than me, i.e., do not have the time due to work, family, child-rearing, housework, etc. to take care of themselves. And I see almost *no* cases where the hubby is exchanging the wife for a younger model. Particularly here in Cleveland, a *lot* of the women, and men, are overweight. It’s those long winters and gray skies, which cause people to seek comfort food.

    I guess what I am trying to say is much depends on where you live and the mores and the mindset. In LA, NYC, even Chicago, yes, the competition is steep. Particularly if you are one who frequents nightclubs or other superficial, highly-charged venues to meet members of the opposite sex. But hey, that’s not me.

    I would be thrilled to meet a man who is financially responsible, fun, and with whom I share an attraction. I don’t even care if he makes as much as me, is short,, balding, a tad overweight. The only thing I will NOT compromise on is smoking. Will not be with a smoker, even if he is JFK JR incarnate and promises to quit.

    I have to say that when I am *truly* being honest with myself, I’d probably like to find a married man who is bored in his marriage, with whom I share a strong passion but no expectations, to see a couple of times a month. There *is* something to be said for not having to share the daily grind with someone. Alas, my Catholic parents did too good a job with me, and I doubt I could get past the moral aspect.

    All of this is long-winded way of sayng, that yes, I am probably choosing to stay single. People are allowed to want what they want, and I would rather be alone than with someone with whom I do not share passion. The thought of having to wake up to Elmer Fudd’s morning breath and washing the skidmarks out of his underwear is just a *bit* too much for me to bear.

    I am really enjoying the discussion here!

  19. 109
    hunter

    to margaret,

    …there are many, many men that don’t know how to create attraction in a woman…..

  20. 110
    Mike

    I’m happily married for 24 years, a man, and I see the issue very diffently. The issue to me isn’t settling or finding your true love. The issue is knowing what you are living for, and how to be happy. A happy person is grateful to his or her spouse for the good they recieve. They are not busy complaining about what they are missing. Glass half full… There is a certain affection and a certain loyalty and then its all about how gratefull you are willing to be for the good you enjoy in life and the good your spouse does for you. Without this, marriage and all relationships and all of life suffers. All I hear from these types of articles is that many Americans are spoiled and unhappy people. No wonder they don’t know how to appreciate a spouse or life itself…

  21. 111
    Mike

    BTW, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have basic compatibility, just that you have to be wise about what is essential and what is just a bonus. My take is that even relationships between essentially compatible people , very often today are destroyed by ingratitude and unhappiness.

  22. 112
    m

    Mike –

    Your advice is wise and profound and clearly comes from the depth of experience. Thank you for it.

    So, as you have proved yourself wise, in the quest for wisdom on relationship issues, I have a question for you. A hypothetical, if you will.

    (And this is NOT SARCASTIC. I would really appreciate a response.)

    Your wife asks you to fix the roof of your shared house, as you have both observed that it needs fixing and that damage and disaster are imminent if the roof isn’t fixed.

    (In previous discussions between the two of you about domestic responsibilities, the two of you have already agreed that roof maintenance is something that falls into your area.)

    You ignore her.

    She asks you again the following weekend.

    You say something along the lines of “I’ll get to it when I get to it.”

    The season is moving along toward winter, so there is an increased probability of damage to the roof — and therefore, to the entire house — because of the added weight of accumulated snow on the roof.

    She says to you the following weekend, in a raised voice, “D**n it, Mike! We agreed that roof maintenance was your responsibility! We agreed weeks ago that the roof needs fixing! It’s going to be winter soon! When are you going to get the roof fixed?!?”

    Is she nagging? “Ungrateful” and “spoiled” for not appreciating the other positive things you bring to the relationship?

    Or is there an alternative explanation — any alternative explanation at all — for her behavior?

  23. 113
    Mike

    m,
    In the case you mention:
    1. I am wrong for neglecting my responsibilities
    2. She is wrong for the way she expressed herself
    3. I am more wrong than she and should man up and do my job without making an issue of the way she expressed herself.
    4. I should just do it already
    5. If this is an unusual occurance for her, she is not a nag. A nag is when she tries to control many many things this way. If she is frequently expressing herself with such hostility, and over inconsequential things, she is a nag.

  24. 114
    vlh

    1. Maybe the 40 year old woman, if she is financially independent and biologically able to do so, should go ahead and have the kid first, & worry about finding Mr. Right later. Not everyone finds love-marriage-kids all in that order. Maybe kid, then love, then marriage. Or maybe marriage-kid-divorce and then love?

    2. Match.com (and other dating sites are just as guilty) needs to change the kids options on their profile form to include “have kids already, but willing to have more with the right partner”. Right now “not sure” is the closest they get on the questionnaire. I can only assume that a man with 1 child already and “not sure” about having more is choosing that option b/c he doesn’t want to preclude having more kids (in case his partner wants one) but he isn’t desperate to reproduce, since he already has at least one of his own. This is also a good category of men for the 35 to 45 group of women to date. 35 to 45 women probably should just skip over the guys who want kids “someday”, as these guys are apparently not wanting kids immediately, and don’t want the pressures of reproducing right away with an older mate who is on borrowed time (reproductively speaking). Really, Match.com and the other sites should come up with more informative options on this section of their questionnaires.

    I’m 39, and a bit ambivalent about having children anyway, so it isn’t a big deal for me. But I can understand the point of view of other women my age who are maybe more interested in having children than I would be. I have to agree with JerseyGirl’s point about men’s sperm being kaput after a while. There is a strong correlation between risk of autism in your kids and the age of the father. Ideally, you should all get yourselves a 25 year old sperm donor, and find someone your own age, or close to it, to love later (unless 25 y/o sperm donor is hot, fun to be with and has his own car and a job…)

    I also have to agree with Margaret, that in the middle part of the country, most men over 35 are very overweight, and much less likely to exercise and diet than the women around here. It’s hard to be attracted to someone who looks like a lump. I’m 39 and am skinny b/c of good genes and, well, I’m also vegetarian and eat lots of vegetables b/c my dad is an obsessive gardener (so I’m always getting free meals that happen to be low in fat). I just can’t see myself with a 240 pound guy, and most guys my age are that weight now.

    Last summer, I was standing in line at the Harry Potter book release party (at a bookstore I won’t name). I saw a guy I thought I knew: it was a guy I went through school with and had not seen since we graduated in 1986. He used to be on the swim team in high school, went to the Olympic trials, and had (if I recall correctly) an athletic scholarship for college. Now, his belly hangs over his belt. That was a BIG shock!!

  25. 115
    Jared Meyer

    Well written. We’re all fighting biology whether or not we realize it. I’m male, nearly 30, and never wanted to have children. However, something compels me to get online and see who’s seen my profile. Biology! I enjoy being alone and don’t need a companion, but it would be nice. Nevertheless, I’m compelled to get back online because it’s convenient. I’m fighting biology and want out of the human race. Nobody comes first!

  26. 116
    pcw

    The basic imbalance is obvious. men can procreate well into their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. Women can’t, biologically speaking. So yes if a man is looking for a wife AND a mother, he is much more likely to pick a younger woman. Those are the facts. The point is for me, been there done that. don’t want anymore kids, don’t want to get married again but would love to have a fun-loving companion. No he doesn’t have to look like Brad Pitt but it would be nice if he was semi attractive. And yes he has to have a job, no freeloaders. so no I am not going to settle anymore. And yes I like being alone. And no I do not lie about my age, it’s 50! I am the exception rather than the rule but I don’t mind being different. I like myself the way I am. If someone else happens to like me the way I am, that’s a bonus.

  27. 117
    Jack

    I have to agree with Evan for the most part regarding his defense to Lor’s article. However, I am 39 with a six-figure income and a former fitness model (which I can still hold up to any 22 year old guy out there). I have to disagree with this comment with regards to what most 40 year old women are going to get in theie dating inbox: “Commitmentphobes. Players. Financially unstable guys. Unattractive guys. Socially awkward guys. Much younger guys. Much older guys”. While this may be the norm, and “us” successful guys around my age do tend to look for women between 25-35, there are those women 40 and over who fit what we are looking for. I do want my own children and consider a 30 year old over a 40 year old being the ideal, however, I met an amazing women several months ago who is now my girlfriend and she is pushing 42. I probably would have never looked at her twice because of her age and my desire to have several children, but opened the door with an open mind and now we most likely will be getting married next year. I do agree with her being older that the dating process has excellerated, but I have dated many younger women and not one could give me the commitment that I needed, nor the love that I was looking for.

    So holding out for someone you fall in love with is so much better than settling for mediocrity. Just ask my girlfriend! And as we grow old together, we will have what is really important: Friendship. Loyalty. Patience. Values. Compromise.

    And hopefully a couple kids!

  28. 118
    Nervous Nellie

    Jack and Markus,

    So, there ARE men like you close to my age :) I am 44 years old. I started seeing a 26-year-old man last September, and this was supposed to be a casual relationship. Recently he wanted to try a full-blown one. He has claimed not to want children, of which he was convinced after I had gotten pregnant (but miscarried after 6 weeks), but one never knows if this issue will pop up.

    I do want to give this a chance, but many on these threads believe that one closer to my own age would be better. So at least there are men out there, closer to my age….who are like you…

  29. 119
    Margaret

    Jack,

    You make a great point. Bottom line, it is not so much whether someone is a “catch” or “trophy”, but whether you *love* them. That is what is worth holding out for.

    Thank God I don’t want kids. I feel that gives me a lot more leeway and means I don’t have to settle. I hope I can find someone around my age (46) who has already done the whole Diaper Bag deal, so won’t be as interested in the women 15-20 years younger. And oh, I am so sick of 60+ year-old men hitting on me.

  30. 120
    JerseyGirl

    In my dating experiences, I am 26, I have met alot of men that feel their own biological clock ticking more then me (30-40 year olds) and seemed to be pushing for that type of stuff more then me. Like Margeret, I am not sure I ever want children and am not overly concerned. I would however like a good guy who I can really love and could really love me.

    Women don’t need men to take care of them anymore so women don’t need to settle for a guy that is in his 40s and past his prime. And both men and women are in their prime in their 20s-30s. And with fathers having to take a more active role in their kid’s life, having an energentic 30 year old man running after children is much more perfered then having a 40 year old man doing it. The only case I can see where a woman would pick an older man is if he is very successful and makes money. Otherwise, why would a woman pick a man that is both past his prime and poor, for the most part.

    And to be honest, a man stuck in a frat boy mentality isn’t attractive to a woman of any age. And while men can procreate well into their 70s….the real question is should the be? I think the answer is no. That isn’t responsible on his part. All around, younger men and women having babies is perfered. And women having more options today, are much more able to pick men based on looks, age and money then any other time in history.

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