40-Year-Old Men Want to Get Married, Too! (On Not Being the Old Guy In the Club)

I couldn’t be more sympathetic to women  who are struggling in love. You’re burned out with online dating. You’ve wasted years on unavailable and abusive men. You’ve focused  all your attention on work and let years pass. You desire love, family and stability, but are too afraid to open your  heart once again. You believe that all the good ones are taken. You believe your time has passed. You believe it’s not in the cards.

I spend lots of time offering advice to women on how to reframe this negativity and date with confidence and optimism. But what about the men? That was the question asked in this viral New York Times piece about a demographic that no one talks about:

Remove the gender and their complaints sound virtually identical.

Men in their late thirties and early forties who want to settle down and can’t seem to find the right partner.

Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?

Remove the gender and their complaints sound virtually identical.

These men were waiting for the right partner and the right time and may have missed their ideal window of opportunity. Now, they’re forced to make compromises – same as the compromises I routinely ask women to make.

Spend less time working.  “But I have a demanding job that pays too well!”

Go out with someone older.  “But I can’t help what I’m attracted to! But I want time to have two kids!”

Make a greater effort to date. “But I’m tired! I have more  obligations on my time!”

For every realistic excuse out there, there is someone who is ignoring it. These are the people who make love a priority and make smart adjustments to their lives in order to achieve their goals.

The fact is that most of us don’t take actions that are aligned with our goals.


Predictably, there was backlash to these men who’d dare admit that they’re lonely and express regrets. Women, in particular, lashed out at them. “Women have it worse! Women have to compromise more! Now you know what it’s like! You deserve to be alone, you picky, patriarchal narcissists!”

The fact is that most of us don’t take actions that are  aligned with our goals. I lament that I’m 10lbs heavier than last year and I’m still sitting here typing instead of going to the gym. Why? Because it’s comfortable, familiar, and far easier  than doing something.

I hope that all the men and women who want to get married and have families find each other, but I know that’s just a pipe dream. Because the men will complain the women are too old and the women will complain that the men are emotional toddlers.

So who is invariably left standing alone? Those who assume that all members of the opposite gender is the  same and also primary cause of all dating problems.

Your thoughts, below, are always appreciated.