If I’m a Great Woman, Why Haven’t I Met Anyone Else Great?

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Wow. Where do I start? I’m 42, and have never been married, and I guess that I have been dating idiots, or men who are not even dating material for the last 10 years. People always ask me why I am still single, I get all the popular comments, like “Oh, that’s a shame, still single at your age”. It’s ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with me, I’m athletic, been told I am attractive, outgoing, and I enjoy sports, and all sorts of out door activities, and have a great circle of friends, so why after all this time have I not met anyone? My last serious relationship was back in college! I’ve dated on and off for a few months to a year, only to have things crash and burn for one reason or another. What am I doing wrong? I’ve tried the online dating, only to become seriously jaded by it all. I do have an open mind, and have even considered meeting and dating guys I normally would not. But nothing ever comes from it. Do I give up? I’m tired of friends telling me that when I least expect it, I will meet someone great, well, I have not been expecting it, and it never came. What now? 🙁

Lauren

Dear Lauren,

I’m reminded of a story that Rich Gosse, the founder of AmericanSingles, once shared with me. It was an amazing response to how he dealt with skeptical press inquiries about his new business model.

“What kind of loser (I’m paraphrasing here) would go to an online dating site to meet someone?” the press would ask.

To which Rich would reply: ‘Well, there are a number of people out there who are socially awkward. There are a number of people who are somewhat weak and needy. There are a number of people who are so desperate for companionship that they’d do anything to avoid being alone. I call these people ‘married people’.”

I thought that was a brilliant answer. After all, there’s no special skill for getting married. Buy a ring, take a vow, and you’re married. It’s why I’ve never once worried about my qualifications to give dating advice. I don’t suddenly get smarter if I propose to my girlfriend. And if she dumped me, I wouldn’t suddenly get dumber.

All of this is me saying that there’s nothing wrong with being single. …Despite the title of my second book, Why You’re Still Single: Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised To Get Mad, being single is a fine state of affairs. I’ve been that way for 35 years and frankly, I’m a little anxious about getting married.

That said, most single people (including myself) DO want to get married. Which is why questions like Why You’re Still Single and “Why He Isn’t That Into Me” are supremely relevant. And since the age-old answers like “I’m picky,” “I just haven’t met the right guy,” and “Men suck” aren’t leading us to a desired conclusion, everything I write is designed to create a greater level of self-awareness in how we are complicit in our own fates.

Shining the light on myself, I’ve definitely been too picky at times. I’ve been difficult and argumentative at other times. I’ve been in dire financial and career straits at other times. Not surprisingly, now that my career as a dating coach is in order and my head is on straight, I’m more open to giving and receiving love.

So what’s your blind spot? I couldn’t tell you, but I know there’s something there that you’re not seeing. Read this post from a few months back and you’ll hear yourself, Lauren. It’s from another amazing 42-year-old woman, who can’t fathom why she hasn’t put it all together. You seem to be more self-aware, in that you’re claiming to have an open mind about dating. So that’s a start.

But I think the greatest thing keeping single people single is that they don’t truly make an effort to change things. They say they do, but they don’t really DO anything about pursuing love.

Think about dating as a job hunt. This is the core metaphor driving my first book, and a guiding principle of my friend Rachel Greenwald’s book as well. When we’re unemployed, we do everything in our power to find work. Yet when we’re single, we sort of hope things will work out. You said it yourself. “It’ll happen when I least expect it.” No! It’ll happen when you create it. So what are you doing to create it?

Are you telling your friends to set you up with single eligible guys?

Are you going to singles events — parties, trips, cruises — or at least doing activities that have single men in attendance?

Are you taking online dating as seriously as you could be?

Have you gotten a new photo?

Have you a one-of-a-kind essay?

Have you signed up for a six-month subscription on a big dating site?

Have you been searching for and initiating contact with men?

Have you been giving men second chances on dates?

Have you considered hiring a matchmaker or a dating coach?

If you’re not doing all of these things, you’re not doing enough. Yes, it’s great when the universe provides a cute, attractive, successful, intuitive, funny, kind, emotionally available man at your doorstep. But since this hasn’t happened in 42 years, what makes you think it’s gonna start now?

Listen, I don’t know you from Adam, which is why any advice I can give you is a bit scattershot. But I can tell you this:

Happiness studies have shown that happy people are the ones whose goals and actions are aligned. So if a guy is a people person, but works as a security guard by himself for eight hours a night, it should come as no surprise that he’s not all that happy.

So ask yourself: are your goals and your actions aligned?

Your goal: You want to be married.

Your actions thus far: ???

If love is truly more important than anything else in the world, maybe you should start living your life like it. Take action and change can happen. Otherwise, it’s just a lot of magical thinking.

If you want to know how to take action, you can reach me here.

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Comments:

  1. 41
    wyandanch

    Hi Evan,
    Please solve this mystery for me. Whenever I am at a party or at a bar, the men seem really attracted to the asian women? Why is that? They don’t sem that much more attractive than the rest of us. Yet the guys almost drool over them. What is their secret?

    1. 41.1
      Pablo

      Asian women are femenine and submissive. Mystery solved.

      1. 41.1.1
        Pablo2

        Not submissive: they know how to maintain a man happy.   Believe me, submissive they are not, but they will make you feel as the MAN in the relationship.

  2. 42
    Illinoisgirl

    Ok, here is my take on things.

    I am a woman in her 40’s who is the same weight and size as I was when I graduated from high school. Actually I am in better shape now. I have no kids and have been divorced once. My friends tell me I look really good, and most people guess my age about five to ten years younger than I am. But for the last six years or so, since I turned 40, I have noticed that the single men my age have all started to date women young enough to be my daughter, if they looked half way decent themselves. Men my age in So Cal are by and large chasing 25-30 year olds, and it doesn’t matter what they look like or what their religion is. I am a Christian and trust me the Christian men are just as guilty in this regard as non-Christian men. Let’s be honest. There is a major mid life crisis that goes on with men of a certain age, and they by and large do this. .

  3. 43
    JB

    First off to “Wyandanch”. SOME white men are very attracted to Asian women. I, on the other hand find MOST if not all Asian women to be err…not “my type” to put it nicely. I have a buddy, (both of us in our 40’s) who because his first wife was Asian and his children are obviously 1/2 Asian dates only Asian women. That’s what he’s attracted to. I, and plenty of other men AM NOT. As David D says “Attraction Is Not A Choice” Noone can force someone to be attracted to someone else.

    As for “Illinoisgirl” I live in Illinois and I’m 47 and I don’t know ANY man my age who CAN or DOES date anyone young enough to be your daughters’s age. And I know lots of men ….lol Actually I take that back. I know 1 guy who’s 40 and looks 27 who pulls it off. You wouldn’t want to date him anyway. He’s a “player’s player”

    I date women within 5 to 10 yrs of my age 99% of the time. Only once did I go that young. It was just for fun for a few dates. We had nothing in common and she was very inexperienced. Believe me ALL twenty somethings AREN’T more attractive than ALL 40 somethings. Not to mention the turn on of experience & mature conversation ! …LOL

  4. 44
    hunter

    to illinoisgirl,

    …most younger women haven’t been jaded….

  5. 45
    yuki chin

    JB –

    I don’t quite understand why you would have to “err… put it “nicely” that Asian women aren’t your type. Of course people are led by their tastes to whatever attracts them. But what is the not-so-nice alternative view that you implied there? Do you have negative feelings about Asian women that you were coyly alluding to? And if you truly wanted to be nice, why did you have to mention that you were being nice at all?

    Congratulations. If you wanted to direct a thinly veiled insult at Asian women, your mission was accomplished.

    Yuuk

  6. 46
    Oldergal

    I know it is discouraging to look for love, but it can be found! I found the love of my life after age 50. However, as Evan says, it can take a lot of work. Waiting for it just to happen probably won’t work. As Thomas Jefferson said, “the harder I work the luckier I get”…so if you work hard, love may find you…or maybe you’ll be really lucky and it’ll just find you without hard work – but that wasn’t my experience. I worked for over 10 years to find the love of my life. It was worth it. But I did make a lot of effort – many, many dates – a few disasterous relationships – had my heart broken a few times and broke a few, too. But I met some really interesting people, learned a lot about myself and life and all in all, I’m grateful for the experience. (though hopefully, won’t ever repeat it!) I used online dating, a dating coach (Evan and another), had therapy to understand myself and make it through and cultivated my friendships and family relationships. I am also a single mom and ran a business – I’ve been busy. Life hasn’t ever been boring. Lonely at times in the past, but I’ll not die thinking I never lived!

    So, hang in there. Keep on the websites – take your name on and off as “new” people get more responses. Write a good profile – have a nice picture taken. Enjoy the process and have a good support system. It is all worth it. Get saavy about dating – if someone isn’t interested and doesn’t call, move on. If he’s underemployed or not too intelligent – and you are – move on. It isn’t you – there are a lot of people in the world and only a few you’d spend your life with. I also ran background checks on someone I dated more than a couple times to be sure they were who they said they were. (I’ve had very intelligent friends who had very bad experiences in that way. )I never got burned in that sense but I was careful, too. I worked hard not to get bitter or too down about the process, although at times, I felt that way. I exercised and meditated to keep my attitude right.

    I “interviewed” carefully – paid attention to their friends and family members. I hire people in my business so I used some of the same techniques. Does that sound unromantic – maybe, but this is THE most important position in my life. Why wouldn’t I be careful and saavy in the process?

    Why am I still on this website at all? I stay in touch with Evan since he helped me a lot, and want to support others from time to time.

  7. 47
    verbosity

    Illinoisgirl, the subject of 40-ish men going after younger women is more fully discussed in “Where are All the Emotionally Available, Mentally Healthy Men?” also on this site. I’d refer you to that thread for a full discussion.

    However, I’ll summarize my perspective for you, one which I think many men also share. Here it is (much of it copied from my previous posts):

    One must realize that in the age brackets we discuss here (40+) most of the men (and women) have been through at least one divorce, long-term relationship, or other similar trauma. Of the divorces (btw, the divorce rate in Scottsdale, where I am, is approximately 70%), 70% of them are initiated by the women (can be independently verified – ; there’s also a book at Amazon that indicates women initiate 91% based upon research). I am going to assume for sake of argument that the numbers are similar for non-marriage relationships also. What I’m getting at is that, in all likelihood (70%), a man had his marriage or most significant relationship ended by a woman. I’m not getting into questions of blame – that’s another discussion. Simply, she initiated the breakup the vast majority of the time.

    So, men in the 40+ age range are more likely to be cautious in committing their hearts, minds, and assets to a relationship. Many older men, likely having gone through a divorce (and by proxy, a split of a long term relationship) they likly did not initiate, are understandably reluctant to get into another relationship. To ignore this reality is foolish.

    Here is man’s perspective. Men like younger women. They are usually more fun, usually physically more attractive, less likely to have shrew-like harpie tendencies (you can argue this point, but assume it happens more often than not). After the aforementioned divorce or ended long term relationship, most men I have talked to just want something simple and to have fun. They often see their 20’s and 30’s as a waste of their youth and fun time due to their previously mentioned divorce, LTR. Now in their 40’s they prefer younger, simpler women. Simpler doesn’t mean being with a robot.

    Another point – ladies would be well-served to quit worrying about a man’s income, and assets so much. This is its own separate subject, but every time I or my friends meet a woman, the inquiry is always about my occupation, neighborhood, car, where I vacation, indirectly inquiring about my income. This is treated on other parts of this site, but it should be mentioned here. I bring this up to make the point that men have no qualms going for younger women, since all women, younger and older, look at him and his wallet. This is a generalization, but an accurate one.

    Also, this is very non-PC, but so what? Men can afford to go after younger women also. Not monetarily speaking, but in this way – Men, as we age, generally get more distinguished and attractive (presuming we don’t go completely to pot) to a wider range of women older & younger. Our options increase. Women simply do not (The ‘cougar’ concept is based upon one night stands, BTW, not longer term relationships). Women’s options therefore reduce as men’s options increase. This is not an easy concept to swallow, but it is accurate.

    This sounds cynical, but I think this situation (where men’s options increase while women’s decrease) is a main reason why women have harder timelines about dating and marriage, not necessarily the biological clock. They only have so long to attract the maximum number of men…Just a thought.

  8. 48
    JB

    Sorry Yuki, I didn’t mean it to be derogatory or an insult to you or Asian women. The terms “put it nicely” and “not my type”. Saying someone is “not my type” is an obviously nicer way of saying “I”, meaning me personally don’t find that person or in this case Asian women attractive to ME. Do you consider those “negative feelings” ?
    If I would of said “I”, on the other hand find most if not all Asian women to be unattractive TO ME” that’s not derogatory or insulting no more than you saying large overweight bald Caucasian men aren’t “err..to put it nicely ” “YOUR type” meaning not attractive to you.
    I guess saying you don’t find someone or a group of people whether it’s “race” or “weight” or “height” attractive can obviously be considered negative not positive but it was’nt meant to be insulting,derogatory or racist. There is a difference.

    Case in point… I prefer blonde,blue eyed women that aren’t obese that’s what I’M attracted to. So obviously most Asian, African American and a hell of a lot of Caucasian Brunette women aren’t my type. I don’t consider that an insult to any of them. I might of just singled out Asian women in my post because that’s what wyandanch asked about. Again sorry if you misunderstood me.
    On a different note I have an Asian friend Nancy who won’t date Asian men because they’re not HER type !…LOL

  9. 49
    wanderer

    I was just curious on a link I found on another site and just wanted to see what people would write about someone being over 40 and dating this day and time. I am not ready to date as I am in the process of divorcing my present husband ( girlfriends and children with the girlfriend tend to piss wives like me off ) but when we have all this nastiness past and the divorce is done and over with I will more than likely date again. It will be strange for me I am sure because being with someone for 28 years and going back into dating again this day and time is going to be a culture shock for me. I am an attractive 46 year old woman and have been told I look 35. I have three children and the youngest child is still at home she is 15. For the time being I am putting my youngest child first as she needs stability in her life as her dad has not tried to see her for over a year, its his choice not to as I have not tried to prevent him from seeing her. Time heals all wounds and I am giving myself and my children time to heal from this. When my 15 year old is comfortable with it if the right guy comes along I may date some but my kids come first and any guy that comes into my life will have to accept my children and my sisters/mom as family is very important in my life.

  10. 50
    Michael Ejercito

    The nicest men all seem to already have someone in their life. The ones who do find the courage to ask me out are all either wanting a night stand, no strings attached sex, or have an affair.

    While an affair would be out of the question for me, no strings attached sex is a perfectly acceptable way to fill in the gaps.

  11. 51
    Michael Ejercito

    Here is man’s perspective. Men like younger women. They are usually more fun, usually physically more attractive, less likely to have shrew-like harpie tendencies (you can argue this point, but assume it happens more often than not). After the aforementioned divorce or ended long term relationship, most men I have talked to just want something simple and to have fun. They often see their 20’s and 30’s as a waste of their youth and fun time due to their previously mentioned divorce, LTR. Now in their 40’s they prefer younger, simpler women. Simpler doesn’t mean being with a robot.

    What proportion of younger women would be willing to date an older, divorced man?

  12. 52
    Michael Ejercito

    I, on the other hand find MOST if not all Asian women to be err…not “my type” to put it nicely

    I have met women who said that men were not their type.

  13. 53
    verbosity

    Michael Ejercito wrote, “What proportion of younger women would be willing to date an older, divorced man?”

    Answer – Lots, particularly when he’s paying.

    1. 53.1
      Not fooling me

      I just have to say, I’ve grown up with my husband. We have both gone through fat stages and skinny stages, and now we are 38 & 40.
      hey, I get that younger women are prettier, have smoother skin, lush hair, whiter teeth, fuller boobs, etc.  
      but I look damn good for any woman’s age. and I can say the same about men. I dont understand the whole men get better looking with age thing.   Maybe some men do, like some women do, but I see guys my age and guys 20-30 years younger and I’ve gotta say I’m still going to look at the younger guy for “eye candy” over the men my age any day.  
      We won’t discuss your yellowing teeth, bad breath, sagging man boobs, wrinkly bottoms, droopy balls, back hair, ear hair, nose hair, and funky feet. And if you’ve imbibed alcoholic beverages or smoked Tobacco,   (drugs?), you’re red faces, yellowing whites of your eyes, mishapen noses, large pores, oily skin, gross teeth and gums, wrinkled faces, necks, arms, and hands, etc are not attractive in the least (not EVEN for a one night stand).  
      Or maybe we will. Sorry, verbose but someone needs to take you down a peg. You can pay for those beautiful young girls attention and more for awhile but they are also lusting after the beautiful young men with their smooth skin, white teeth, luscious hair, full lips, muscular, toned, firm asses, ect.

      1. 53.1.1
        DaveInLA

        Ummm…. NotFoolingMe, you are only fooling yourself.   Women do not lust for men in the same way men lust for women and they never have.   When was the last time you saw a woman masturbating over a naked guy the way men do over  women?   You are totally clueless.  

  14. 54
    Selena

    But maybe not Verbosity if they have their choice among younger, handsomer, never-been-married men who are also paying!

  15. 55
    verbosity

    My point exactly, Selena….For women, it’s usually about what they gain economically. Such women should be avoided and shunned by rational men.

  16. 56
    question for verbosity

    How can you tell the difference between those women who are sincere and the ones who should be avoided because they’re too preoccupied with what they stand to gain economically?

  17. 57
    verbosity

    question,

    You can tell the differences by watching WHAT they do. When a bill comes to they insist on paying? Do they do the half-assed purse reach? Do they just sit there like Cleopatra while you take care of it? Does she want to go to every high-end restaurant and club in town? With you paying? Does she talk about the trips her ex took her on to Europe/anyplace else? What does she do for work? What is her plan of advancement? If non, be careful. Is she a secretary that knows all high end clubs, restaurants and vacation spots? If she earns good $ (same or more than you) and never offers or insists on paying, you have a good indicator.

    By the way, these questions apply equally for both sexes. I do not understand why, if women can do the same jobs as, and earn the same (if not more than – see Warren Farrell), that either sex should pay the other for their companionship, which is really what we are talking about. I think it’s because those who insist on the inequality (men pay system, all else being equal), don’t like the logical conclusion, that conclusion being tacit prostitution, at least in part. I mean payment for companionship, not necessarily sex. I think this answers women’s oft-repeated complaint that men don’t care about them as people. My answer is that if you insist on being paid for your company, you devalue yourself as a person and cannot reasonably expect someone to therefore care more about you as a person.

    1. 57.1
      SMH

      Lol@verbosity..You are the true defender of ‘The Perv’ ( older guys dating younger women)..So much so, you may be giving yourself away hahaha! Anyhoo, who cares? If an older man wants to date a significantly younger woman, we all know who’s picking up the check..There’s no other point in dating a significantly older man? Sex? HA!! I for one dont care if a man dates younger women. Many think I’m still in my twenties, but i’m not..but I dont hate..You make comments further making these women feel worse, by saying us men get more distinguished..Y’all women just turn into cougars and something about one night stands..lolol You revel in a woman feeling insecure by being one-sided..Ok but you were wrong..Cougars and Pervs both get used but they usually enjoy it…So its not any more pleasant being an old man than an old woman…LIES YOU TELL!! Lmao! Question..do u even like women?? Hmm

      1. 57.1.1
        Scooter

        Pardon me, but why is an older man dating a younger woman deemed a “perv”?   Sounds like your jibe, which is obviously meant to discredit whilst having no logical backbone, is borne from sour grapes.. which brings me to my next point..

        If you really look like you’re in your twenties, then why hate?

        Not all older men or women get “used”.

        The notion of a woman’s market value going down with age, while a man’s goes up, indeed holds true for too many reasons to write.   However, it deals with gender norms, pay (specifically in the STEM fields), and hard-wired preferences on what a man finds attractive, coupled with innate physiological differences.

        Question.. do you hate men?

  18. 58
    M

    To Susan re 1: Now THAT is a thoughtful, impressive post. I am a man but I feel like I could have written much of it. I feel much the same way. Kudos to you Susan for writing that and I hope things  get better.

    The only quibble I find is that I don’t know why it would be a million times harder, or any harder, for a woman to ask a man out. But a reader is hardly ever going to agree with  every single thing in a long post.          

  19. 59
    E

    A lot of single women need to quit being so specific with their “requirements” when they are looking for a guy. The more specific “requirements” women make makes it that much harder on women or nearly impossible because men will run away from you. Men aren’t “robots”, were not just some piece of metal or just something that comes out of a vending machine. Women must open their minds up and have a broad, very “general” “requirements” such as limiting yourselves to such selective opportunities like under no circumstances he must be 6′ ++ tall, he must be this and this and do this, have this “perfect” conversation, do this and meet this and that. No wonder your always single, every guy no matter his height will run from you because you have this super strict “requirements and think the square peg is somehow going to fit in a round circle even when your parents and now married friends tell you it so doesn’t work to have such strict “requirements”. When women open their minds and have the very “general” requirements like (he might be this height or he might be an inch, two or three shorter, but she’s not going to limit herself that he “must” be this and that”).

  20. 60
    Jackie

    I am 28 yrs. old and still have not had success in having a serious and long term relationship beyond 1 and 1/2 years with a guy. I also currently cannot find anyone who is serious about calling me or going on dates, they all turn out to be players and jerks.
    In response to your article questions: (Are you telling your friends to set you up with single eligible guys?
    Are you going to singles events — parties, trips, cruises — or at least doing activities that have single men in attendance?
    Are you taking online dating as seriously as you could be?
    Have you  gotten a new photo?
    Have you a one-of-a-kind essay?
    Have you signed up for a  six-month subscription on a big dating site?
    Have you been searching for and initiating contact with men?
    Have you been giving men second chances on dates?
    Have you considered hiring a matchmaker or a  https://www.evanmarckatz.com/coaching/?)
    The answer is a resounding yes on my end to every question with exception to having friends set me up, that’s not  something  I have as an option nor would I condone if it was. However, I have repeatedly made efforts above and beyond to find love and nothing has ever come of it and I am sick of it. I want clear answers as to what the issue is and how to fix it. I want to know what the men are going to have to do on their end as well to earn the  privilege  of taking me out on a date and having a relationship with me.  

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