How Come Everyone I Want to Meet Online Isn’t Interested in Me?

A blonde young woman with an old man

I haven’t found a solution for this. How does a 56 year old man find a good younger woman that would be interested in marriage and willing to have children by him? She would need to be 36 to 38. Most good sites line me up with the 50 year olds and most 36 year olds tend to think I’m a dirty old man.   I know that such a person exists but can’t find a good avenue to find her. I am fairly well to do and well educated.


Thank you, Dale, for acknowledging a few very common truths from the world of online dating.

You’re a successful older man who wants to date a woman significantly younger than him.

Websites generally attempt to pair singles with matches who are demographically similar.

Most 36-year-old women think you’re a dirty old man.

Now you’re going to get the same song and dance as every other guy who has written to complain about women on the Internet. I’m going to put you in HER shoes.

So let’s say you’re a 36-year-old woman, entering the prime of your life. You’re done with the bar scene and you’re very much interested in settling down to have a family of your own. How do you set your search criteria? Well, if you’re born in 1971, you’re part of Generation X. You went to high school in the 80’s. Your friends are buying their first houses and having their first kids. You probably want something that looks similar. So you search for men 35-45. Yeah, 45 is a little old, you say, but you want to be open-minded. Maybe he’ll still be vigorous enough to keep up with your active lifestyle.

And then you, the 36-year-old woman, post your profile, and what happens? You get BOMBARDED by emails from fifty and sixty something Baby Boomers looking to trade up in the world. You double check your profile to see if there’s something you wrote that’s attracting these older men. You remove that reference to Steely Dan. You cut how you want to travel in style. Yet these men keep on writing — talking about how they’re young for their age, how they’d love to have children, how they have everything in life except a good younger woman.

If you’re 36, you’re pretty darned confused by these emails. By the time you have your first child, you’ll be 38 or 39. Which will make him, what? 58 or 59? By the time the kid is in high school, Dad will be 74! That’s not the kind of life you imagined for yourself or your children. So you politely decline. Or, to keep things simple, you ignore. And ignore. And ignore. It doesn’t stop older men from writing, but at least you don’t have to explain yourself to a man who doesn’t want to hear your perfectly valid explanation.

Understand, Dale, there is nothing wrong with you being attracted to a fertile and youthful woman in her 30’s. Really. I’m not judging you. But you must understand that any woman you desire online has choices. Lots and lots of choices.

She can go out with a cute, successful man who is 35. Or 40. Or 45. Or 50. Are you getting the idea? This does not mean that you’re not a great guy with a ton to give and the purest intentions. It’s that you’re failing to recognize what most younger women want. A peer. A partner. Not a father figure. You’re still wrapped up in what YOU want.

Needless to say, this goes for ALL people who are dating online. … We want what WE want, even if what we want is unrealistic. We’re all so dazzled by looks and youth that we pass up amazing people who are a much better fit. Who are you going to have more in common with? The woman who graduated high school in the same year as you? Or the woman who could be your daughter?

“I can’t help what I’m attracted to,” say all of my clients — both male and female. And hey, I don’t blame them. I do know, however, that as long as they close their minds to dating people who are age-appropriate, they’re really going to struggle with online dating.

I know you were looking for advice, Dale, so I don’t want to leave you without it. As I see it, you have three options. One, sign up with one of those successful men/younger women sites. At least you know that a woman on MillionaireMatch might be more willing to sacrifice youth for security.

Next, since you can’t convince someone to date an older man, stop trying. To find out who IS interested, try’s Reverse Match. Instead of searching through hundreds of thirtysomething women who wouldn’t give you a second look, Reverse Match shows you who IS open to dating a 56-year-old man. There’ll be fewer numbers, but at least you won’t be wasting your time.

Finally, I implore you to give older women a shot. There are a lot of amazing ones out there and they are criminally underappreciated.

Let’s just hope that they don’t discriminate against men their own age.


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  1. 21


    I happen to agree with you, and respect what you say on this matter. I simply seek to point out what I see as the context within which many men make act in the dating arena.

    i think your outlook is healthy. Too bad people of both sexes do not share it….

  2. 22

    Just to add another mix to this discussion. I would add just one question. Dose a young vibrant woman want to spend her youth (the best years of her life) looking after young children and one old man? Regardless of money power or position. Or is that older men are looking for someone to not only make them feel young again but look after them in their old age? What about the young women’s youth. Her time is now and she must spend it wisely, as she too will be old one day. What then? Will she be looking for a younger man to make her feel good? We have or have had our time and how spend it is our responsibility. Trying to snatch another persons youth in order to try and regain your own really works and it is each persons responsibility to deal wisely with their now. That’s all you have.

  3. 23

    Any time you have statistics, you still have to remember that whatever percentage does or doesn’t serve to make, or back up, your point is still only a percentage of the men, women, or people actually polled. And then it is used as an average. So saying 74% of women polled said they would marry for money means that 74% of the women polled would do this. Not that 74% of all the women in the world would do so. It is a high number in that study. It could still be that it is that high at large, too. But I can unequivocally state honestly and with feeling, that I am not in that number – as in no one polled me on this subject either as part of this group or in a mass, world study somehow – or even a major nationwide study. And I don’t have any women I call friends or that I respect who would marry for money either. Of this, I am absolutely certain. I am not trying to prove someone wrong who says women are only seeing men as wallets, just trying to be seen as an individual as these men are wanting women to see them as, while rather emphatically asserting that women as a whole don’t and generalizing that women are gold diggers or opportunists. I’ve seen women like that and heard about them, and watched them take advantage of both men in bars, men they were dating, and women they were hanging out with, letting them pick up the tab, expecting to be ferried around, etc. But I don’t condone what they do and they are not my friends from the moment I see that they take advantage of others.

  4. 24

    I do not cite any stats as justification for men choosing girls their daughter’s age or anything like that. Rather, I do it in part to answer the question of why there seems to be a dearth of good, available men in the 40 & up range….I wouldn’t call it a cause-and-effect point (cause -women want $, effect – men choose younger girls). I think it’s more of a chicken-and-egg situation.

    1. 24.1

      The problem is that older men are divorcing in greater number and they are all going after the very small group of women interested in dating a man more than a few years older.
      Older men were raised on endless media stories about how 40+ women couldn’t find a partner because older men had a big dating pool to draw from and married significantly younger women. Most of these studies were based on census data from the 1980s. The landscape has changed dramatically since then.
      The odds of older men remarrying (45+) are about the same as a woman’s. Only 30% of these men ever remarry (don’t know stats on non-marrieds). Most divorces are initiated by women and the majority say they will never remarry while men are more open to it. Significantly younger women (more than 5yrs younger) are usually not interested and most women their own age are reluctant to remarry. I don’t think the odds are quite what older men expect.

  5. 25

    I dont want $$. I want a good looking, healthy guy. I dont want my father, or to be wanted because of my youth/looks. the whole thing just grosses me out.

  6. 26

    What an interesting and enlightening parcel of advice-and-posts: Dale should surely derive much benefit.

    I’d simply like to add my conjecture (aside from agreeing with J’s post on the credibility of statistics – 100% and with no margin of error): isn’t the problem itself due to the framework or structure in which it exists – ie Internet dating?

    A friend of mine characterised male contributors to one of the most popular sites in UK for professionals/educated/liberal types as “either married men, or younger men looking for older women.” And, yup, this turned out to be fair comment by and large. [He also offered some withering translations of commonly-used terms, e.g. ‘very attractive’ or ‘curvaceous’ = fat. I’d add: ‘tactile’ = groper; ‘eccentric/amusing/unusual’ = boring wanker (‘jerkoff’)!] And nobody reads the … FP(rofile)!

    When I tried this method, all the men I ‘met’ online were either liars or had stratospheric expectations and demands – or, horror of horrors, both! And I think both practices are encouraged by the nature of this form of meeting people, with its standalone structure and box-ticking format. If you were to meet a potential date at a dinner party, then you’d have some means of checking his or her ‘story’, wouldn’t you? Also, if you sit down and set out your demands in this detailed, almost-entirely materialistic and rather superficial fashion, then you’re hardly going to set the overall bar low, are you? In addition, it gives a lonely and frustrated man an entirely spurious sense of power – and we all know what power does, don’t we …? Not least, the Internet is a predominantly visual medium, meaning that people tend to approach it both rather passively – and hyper-critically (casting a cold eye on it – just think about how you are when watching, e.g. news on television).

    Internet dating’s very time-consuming, as well. Perhaps Dale might be better advised to invest in one of those private – duly registered and authorised – matchmakers.

    As for the dreaded financial considerations, well I’ve always paid my way to speak personally (even re-mortgaged my property to pay off my then-spouse’s debts. Bad move: marriage + property market duly went into freefall!). But the lack of protocols/rules/etiquette makes the whole dating thing very confusing for everyone. A Basque friend in his late 40s (from Spanish side of Euskadi) put it very well: “On the first date, I pay because I have invited her. After that, then we share – according, of course, to what we can afford.” I can’t see anything wrong in that reasoning.

    But what the hell do I know?! Good luck to Dale, anyway. I think Evan has hit nearly all the relevant nails neatly and concisely on the head in this case. And, yes, nearly all younger women are liable to be repelled by a much-older suitor who regards them as brood mares. And rightly so.


  7. 27
    Hadley Paige

    to J: “Any time you have statistics, you still have to remember that whatever percentage does or doesn’t serve to make, or back up, your point is still only a percentage of the men, women, or people actually polled. And then it is used as an average. So saying 74% of women polled said they would marry for money means that 74% of the women polled would do this. Not that 74% of all the women in the world would do so.

    1026(or something very close to this number if my memory serves me correctly) — That, according to received wisdom in the world of statistics is the magic number. If you take in a truly representative cross section of persons in your survey (no small challenge), and they tell the truth, that is the minimum number of people you need to be statistically representative of the population (the population the statistician is attempting to describe) as a whole. Taking the same poll w a million people should produce the same result predictively. I don’t understand that mathematically (I’m no expert) or viscerally but apparently that is the case.

    Note: The fact that some posters to this column say that they and all their friends don’t match the statistics, whatever they may be, attempts to suggest of imply that the statistic stated is wrong. This is an incorrect inference.

  8. 28

    Hey and thanks for the figures, Hadley. I wasn’t aware of the number that is needed to make something a correct statistic. Not being sarcastic, truly. Just never have been a numbers person. Probably why I became a writer. I am not meaning to say that the statistics are wrong. Or at least, I don’t think I was. I just think they are correct for the people who participated and don’t feel they truly represent all people everywhere BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT. I do sometimes feel like some of the posters state things in a manner which makes it sound as if what they are saying is true about all women – not just the ones they have come across or the ones that that 70% covers – as far as the percentage of women who see a man for his wallet. And yeah, that does kinda put my panties in a wad, or as Mattie might say – my knickers in a twist ; ) I guess I should say that I am not in that 70% who do. That would probably be a more accurate way of stating it. If there were a statistic out there that said 70% of all men are jerkoffs, and I were quoting it as fact because 70% of the men in a study of 1046 of them studied just happened to be such, I think a lot of men would probably object to that too. And feel it wasn’t representative of the population at large just because it was true of those polled. I will also cop to making a “C” in Statistics even with a tutor – despite making very good grades otherwise. So maybe I just don’t get statistics. I get discouraged when I find people making generalizations or stereotypes because it seems to hurt both the person who does that and the rest of us out there IF it makes it so we are all seen less as an individual and for who WE are – and given a fair shake/chance – and as more of a number and a “negative” one at that. Meaning of course, if the generalizations and stereotypes are not good or positive. Sorry I am not stating this very well – rough couple of weeks financial and stress-wise and not looking promising for the next couple months in terms of me being able to make my own situation better.

  9. 29

    Hello, more food for thought from everybody, which comes as no surprise on this site. Although I have to say that Evan and MrsVee are top of my personal polls.

    Just a quick word to J – I’m a writer (hack/journo), too. I’m also struggling – and, irony of ironies, am a financial specialist! Nonetheless, my knickers remain resolutely un-knotted … there is only so much discomfort I am prepared to tolerate, after all, and I believe firmly in showing my undergarments who is boss at all times.

    Seriously though, I sympathise fully with your predicament, hope it’s strictly temporary and will improve very soon.

    Best wishes and good luck,


  10. 30

    ….common practice all over europe,… the younger man with a mature woman. Women don’t have to be the “good” girl, ’till the right man comes along……just do whatever you want to do gracefully…..’cause men are watching…

  11. 31

    to dale,

    …your younger bride is out there,….just, try and stay away from the “sexy” women…….

  12. 32

    Just a reply to Mattie –

    Hey there, Mattie – I am in agreement with you, I too place Evan and Mrs. Vee at the top of my personal polls. Though I would place you and your sage, and well-worded thoughtful and thought out advice, up there as well.

    I appreciate the shout out and the well wishes. Very much so.

    I am sorry to hear that you too are struggling – though I think that just goes with the territory of being a writer or any kind of artist at times. Doesn’t make it any easier – just expected : ) Are you a financial specialist in terms of your journo position, or is it a separate occupation for you?

    In any case, if your what you write is anything like what you post, then your pieces are as edifying as they are edifying as they are entertaining.

    Your comments about your knickers not being in twist were the bees knees, to be sure. Didn’t mean to imply that yours might be ; ) – just borrowing a British term. But I absolutely adored your response, nonetheless.

    I suppose it is ironic that I am trying to pen romance novels and still find myself struggling in the dating department. Thank god for so many learning and research opportunities of all kinds, including this blog.

    I have a Journalism degree and a Baking & Pastry Arts degree (have worked in fields utilizing each), but am currently working for a Brand Invention and Reinvention firm (and have for the last 10 years), working also to start a business editing and writing Personal Legacy Letters/Ethical Wills and/or Memoirs in addition to writing novels. And may also go to school soon for Medical Transcription as it is a much needed service that pays pretty well if one is quite proficient and prolific and the better I can listen and assimilate info and the faster I can type will serve me well with both the books and my fledgeling business.

    Consulting is a business that inherently has a lot of ebbs in flows in terms of the work available, the need for consultants, and the money that is up for grabs in terms of branding projects.

    Has been a down time for a bit.

    Staying afloat and getting ahead is definitely trying right now, but am hopeful that I can do whatever I must for a better and brighter future. Not just financially, but in many aspects of my life. Have learned a great deal about people, relationships, writing, business, what I have to give and what I want out of life. Now just going about putting it into practice.

    Thank you for the encouragement, Mattie.

    All the best and good luck to you as well,


  13. 33

    J – thank you so much for your kind words, and for telling me what you’re up to. What a very interesting combination of skills you have, and are obviously acquiring even more: may they all combine to make you richly-deserved riches!

    Evan and everyone else: please forgive a direct post off-subject. Please! Sorry.

    Most of what I write professionally is complete cobblers, frankly. Thankfully, none of it matters a tinker’s damn – especially since nobody else in financial journalism seems to know what they’re on about, either!

    Yes, this is one good reason I find Evan and all you posters so refreshing: basically, you’re all concerned with truth -honesty, sincerity, reality – and maintain a respectful, collegial standard of debate while moving towards more personal discoveries.

    Many moons ago, I worked in market research and I got so bored I used to make up, er, a certain proportion of the raw data. Since when I do not trust surveys of any kind. (Although my crime paid, as the boss sussed me and promptly booted me into copywriting – thereby allowing far more scope for my, er, imagination!)

    Used to be senior comms management in FTSE company; ex-director of ag agency; ex-corporate comms consultant. Survived redundancy x 2, followed by critical illness; but ageism can’t be overcome. Now, among other things (when I can get ’em), I write on b2l (‘buy-to-let’ – residential property investment market). Although the property market is heading inexorably for the plughole.

    So am currently contemplating returning to France (career began in Paris) to teach persons francais how to gub the s*** out of persons anglophones in ‘le business’. Not much of a challenge, given fact that the PFs, deigning to put in a mere 2/3 of the manhours of their British equivalents, yet manage to be TWICE as productive as ‘les rosbifs’ …

    Hope I am not speaking out of turn, here – but in UK there is a Romantic Novelists’ Association – is there US equivalent? I believe our lot runs courses or may be able to provide advice, moral support, etc. Publishers Mills & Boon specialise in this sphere, and have detailed guidelines for prospective authors (they apparently pay relatively generously, too). Also check out websites of Elizabeth Chadwick and Katie Fforde; these might be helpful or encouraging …? Although I’m sure you must have your own, impeccable research resources at hand.

    Best of luck, bon courage – and keep going: in the film ‘Throw Momma from the Train’ (aw, sweet …!), the writer-characters’ battle cry = ‘Remember: writers write – always!’

    I suppose the same applies to the search for love.

    Mattie xx

  14. 34

    Mattie – to step into your conversation here….

    There is a US equivalent of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association, it’s called the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and there is a website that can direct aspiring novelists to various local groups who could help them along the way.

  15. 35

    Hey Mattie and Shari (Shari – thanks for letting us know about RWA)-

    Thank you so much Mattie for the kind words and for the encouragement and info! Going to keep this shorter than I normally would since is still on a personal topic.

    Shari is right – about RWA, of which I am a member. And I belong to GRW (Georgia Romance Writers), a local chapter of RWA in GA. Fabulous group of very diverse and successful author – many of whom are on the NY Times Bestseller List and/or have had their novels made into movies and such. Also a bunch of really great “unpubs” to date. They sponsor the Maggie Awards, and M&M Conference and we have workshops, speakers, etc.

    Thank you again for sharing. I enjoyed getting to know you a bit better as well as gaining some more interesting, and valuable, perspective.

    Best of luck to you – if you go back to France, or wherever you land and whatever you do!

    Ciao for now,

  16. 36
    Geek Dating

    Hey just be yourself and the right person will come along.

  17. 37
    Jim Peters

    The solution to your problem is you need to stop trying to date western (especially native-English speaking) women. There are millions and millions of 18-23 year old beautiful women that would kill to date a man like you. Except they live in Ukraine, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Mexico, etc.

    1. 37.1

      in response to that:

      Or, they are after your green card.

      1. 37.1.1

        Adele, the ‘green card’ argument is well worn out .. surprised you didn’t use the ‘mail order bride’ phrase too.  Frankly, a  woman looking for a ‘green card’  has a much, much lower impact on a man vs. the westernized women demanding half of all (his) assets when the divorce arrives. From a risk impact perspective, I’ll take the ‘green card’ over the alternative any day. BTW, American male/foreign (non-Westernized)  female divorce rates are about 40% lower than those where both are American.   It’s a cultural thing ..

  18. 38

    Year after year I saw this one woman put up her profile on this one site (which I visited pretty much once a year =), or even less often), who kept saying how much she’d like to become a mother. She was in her early 40’s and obese, like, 280 lb at least (there was a picture). Would Dale consider someone like that?

  19. 39

    Thank God someone FINALLY said this. Everyone is so afraid to speak the truth about this situation because they are afraid of hurting the older man’s feelings. What about the older women who are offended by him, as well as the younger women who are offended that someone that age would even think that he was worthy of them? There are 93 million single people running around this country right now. This is the reason why; women, whether they are 22, 32 or even 52, all want to date a man close to their age, (4 to 5 years younger or 5 to 7 years older). Men all want to date a woman 10 to 15 or even 20 years younger. God forbid they should find someone 10 to 20 years younger interested in them. Because when they do, they will have likely hooked up with a woman who is after them strictly for their money and as soon as she has it, will leave them broke and heart-broke. Or the other alternative might be that he will find a woman who is actually LOOKING for a father figure. A woman who wants to have sex with her father is a wack job from the get-go. Not to mention the sexual imcompatibility of a younger woman-older man combination.
    Well said Evan!

  20. 40

    Sabina, on Post #39

    You speak the truth. My wingman, dates attractive women 20 years younger, only because, of his good looks, that he can do that. He was married for 5 years, widowed, and has been dating the rest of his life,(he is now late 50’s) only because, pretty, young women continue to go out with him………I try and stay close, just to catch the crumbs off his dinner table……hhhhmmmhh….LOL!…….women do say he is a nice guy….

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