under Single Life
In the last 6 weeks, at least 9 of my friends have gotten married. They’re all 23 or younger. For me, it’s a bit freaky seeing my peers making such serious commitments. Sometimes I barely feel like an adult. I don’t think any of these marriages are doomed by any means. I just can’t possibly see myself in that situation at this point in my life. I’m always moving, I’m still finishing school, and I haven’t had a relationship with serious long-term potential.
According to an article I read, college-educated women who get married after 25 only have a 20% divorce rate, as compared to the national divorce rate of greater than 50%. I’m not sure how legitimate the study is, but it makes me feel better about thinking I’m too immature to make major life decisions at age 22.
If you are feeling family or peer pressure to get a significant other, get married, or have children, remember you are NOT alone. These things don’t just happen overnight, and they certainly aren’t things to jump into lightly. My philosophy is “compare and despair.” If I thought I should be getting married at this age too, I might despair in being single by comparison. My advice? Celebrate your life for what it is now. Don’t worry too much about being single or unmarried. If you worry too much about meeting benchmarks and attaining labels, you may miss out on enjoying the journey.
They say that age is just a number. Well, whoever “they” is has clearly not been on many dates. There was a time when I was really frustrated dating guys in their 20s. None of them seem to have the attention span to keep a girlfriend. So I decided to give dating older guys a shot. And then I realized that they were just a little too old for me, a little too figured out. I would hear myself complain about it and I sounded like the Goldilocks of men’s ages. This one’s too old. This one’s too young. Does anyone have markers so I can make a sign saying, “Wanted: JUST RIGHT”?
I’ve even developed a test to measure a guy’s age to his maturity level. It started when I was on a sixth date with someone who was almost 9 years older than me. I liked everything about him. He was nice, smart, hard working, and our families had a lot in common, but I couldn’t put my finger on one thing. What did he do for fun? I finally asked him this very question and he without missing a beat goes, “I don’t really know.” How does a person not know what they do for fun? Seriously. And then I asked THE question. The most important question for me to determine just how much one can let loose, not give a damn, and just enjoy life.
Me: Okay… but when was the last time you had like a fun drunk karaoke night?
Him: (long, long pause) 1998.
Me: That was the last time you really had fun like that?
Him: (shrug) Yeah.
Do I even need to tell you that this was the last date? It wasn’t the karaoke thing that was the deal-breaker. It was the fact that it had been 14 years(!) since he had a let-your-hair-down-Facebook-picture-worthy night. FOURTEEN years! Titanic was still in theaters the last time he had fun. Britney Spears was still a virgin. There was no such thing as an iPhone. I had a Tama-freakin-gatchi. I mean, this was a long, long time ago. When was my last fun drunk karaoke night? Two weeks ago to the day. But I have fun nights where I find myself smiling as if I have a hanger stuck in my mouth pretty often. And that’s a requirement for any guy I date. I instantly knew it was time to reel in the gap and date guys closer to my own age, even if they might not be as ready for a relationship as I am. I want to find someone to grow up with, not grow into. That poor guy though. He will never know that he was just one Livin’ On a Prayer away from a Total Eclipse of The Heart.
When it comes to what people ask for in their ideal prospective partners, the age cutoff dates are fairly predictable. With many women in their mid 40s, for example, the day he turns 50 or maybe 55, it’s all over. If she’d met him the day before he turned 50 or 55, it would have been a whole other story. But the milk carton freshness date is what it is. Those middle years or years that end with zeros are killers. I understand; that’s when the warranties run out and it’s tough ordering new parts.
More women seem to be opening it up to considerably younger than they are, while extending the upper limit to only a couple of years beyond their own “freshness dates.” If men can, why not women, I suppose?
One thing to keep in mind, ladies: The expiration dates shouldn’t apply to those of us hermetically sealed in our apartments. In our air-tight containers, we’re liable to stay fresh forever.
I have been approached on JDate by much younger men and it confuses me. I am widowed and, for me, the comfort of being with a widower makes wonderful sense so I’m sad to see that some of these men are this much younger than I and with a loss already. There is someone that I feel a connection with at this time and I’m nervous that he neglected to see my age. Is this younger man/older woman (Ashton and Demi) becoming trendier? I’m battling grey hairs and wrinkles!
Dear May-December Romance,
There is no way that age can be ignored on JDate, so believe me this guy knows EXACTLY how old you are and he likes it! Age is one of the first things people look at and next to location it’s probably the most utilized tool to separate your prospects. It sounds like you’re a hot widow that looks young for her age and is doing a great job battling the gray hairs and wrinkles! Your youthful appeal is probably also emanating from the inside out, so enjoy the attention and be open to the possibility of falling in love with a younger man!
Look good, feel good or feel good, look good? For some people looking good does make them feel good about themselves, for others they need to feel good in order to look good.
We all hear about beauty coming from the inside, and that’s all fine and dandy, but let’s be honest: When you’re single and dating you need to look good on the outside because sometimes your first impression is the only one you’re going to get. So yes, feeling good on the inside is going to emanate through and make you more attractive but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put forth some effort into looking good on the outside as well. Be the full package.
That means you need to take care of yourself. If you’re past the age of 40 and still single, or are single again after a divorce, then think about going to a spa to get some treatments. Dye your hair, get a facial, manicure and pedicure, try a facial injectible, have an aesthetician do your makeup, get a personal shopper to dress you and so on. By looking good on the outside, you’ll feel good on the inside and that will have a direct effect on your dating life. Many of these techniques will work no matter your age; just because you’re in your 20’s doesn’t mean you look as good as you could or should.
It’s not about being judgmental or superficial, it’s about being realistic. Think about that feeling you get when you walk out of a salon with a fresh haircut… now do what it takes to have that feeling all the time!
I was dating this guy long distance who I met on JDate. He thought I was 3 years younger and when I told him my true age he said I lied and abruptly broke up with me. He said he cannot handle a lie because he had been lied to before. We had only seen each other twice over about 4 or so months when he came to town for two weekends but he said that I lied for too long. He said that if I would have told him the truth anytime beforehand he would have been okay with it. What happened?
Dear Lying About Your Age,
I’ve gotten so many emails from people asking if it’s okay to lie about your age so that you’re not blocked out by someone’s age preference. And if you decide to do so, when should you ‘fess up? I’m not going to endorse lying, but if you’re going to do so then you need to admit your real age right away when you meet. It’s not fair to let someone get to know you and like you when you’ve misrepresented yourself. It’s simple — when you first meet someone, exchange pleasantries and then stop the conversation and come clean. Let them know your motivation was pure and that if they’re not cool with it you understand but that you hope your connection is strong enough to continue the date.
As for the guy you already went out with, write him an email. Take your time writing it, make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors to distract him from your message and explain what happened. Let him know how much you like him and that you thought you had already told him about your real age. Apologize and ask him to forgive you based on the connection you created. Since some time has passed, it will allow him to calm down about the whole ordeal and he can read your reasoning at his pace, and he may change his mind. But he may not. It can’t hurt to try.
I am turning 39 next week and am feeling increasingly depressed about it. It seems men only want to date women up to around age 32, judging by the profiles I have read. One went so far as to confirm why: He wants kids. Ugh. I recently dated a guy who was several years younger than I, and he had serious concerns about my ability to have children, and I felt pressured about having a timeline. These concerns were discussed at only 7 weeks into our relationship, which he admitted was off to a pretty great start with this little exception. What am I supposed to do? I’m a great person! I wasn’t expecting to be single at 39, but it happened.
Dear 39 & Out of Time,
I don’t think most women your age expect to still be single, but this generation is seeing people marrying older and older and starting their families in their 40s. Are you as open minded as you’re asking men to be? Meaning — are you open to dating and marrying an older man? If you’re dating men several years younger then make sure you’re also dating men several years olde; be an equal opportunity dater.
I don’t think 7 weeks in is so early to be discussing children. By 2 months in you should know if the relationship is moving forward or not. If the guy really liked you it wouldn’t have mattered about your ability to bear children. It’s well documented that it’s more difficult to get pregnant after 35 so any educated man is going to be curious as to your desire to have children — not that you have any control over your ability to do so. That said, if a man in his early 30’s is so concerned than why is he even bothering you to begin with?
Concentrate on meeting who you can online and then try going to some JDate events so you can meet people in person where you won’t get systematically eliminated based on your age before you even meet.
I just read your post “Never Been Married” from January 19 about your friend who met a 40 year old who has never been married or come close to it.
Characterizing those of us who are in our 40s and haven’t married yet as “over the hill” and “too picky until it was too late” is just so biased. There is no age limit or restriction for when people get married. And just because the majority of people do it in their 20s and 30s, doesn’t make the rest of us wrong or abnormal.
Thank you for your email! I completely agree that there’s no age limit and that not having been married by your 40th birthday doesn’t make you abnormal. My concern is when someone reaches the age of 40 and hasn’t been in a serious, long-term relationship. There is someone (or more than one someone) for everyone and some people just meet them later in life. I believe that every relationship throughout your life helps shape the person you are, so it’s imperative to have both made a commitment and have had your heart broken by the age of 40.
My JDating® friend Miriam just met a guy who is approaching 40 and has never been in a serious, long-term relationship that was headed for marriage. I found it highly suspect that someone with so many years of dating under his belt had never been engaged, or lived with someone. I understand that some people were busy and invested in their career. I have sympathy for people who didn’t realize they were being too picky until it was too late. I have empathy for people who simply weren’t ready until they were over the hill.
But I question the person’s willingness to compromise and be compatible with others. Most of the men and women I know who are still single and in their 40s are beyond stubborn and not willing to change anything in their life anymore because they have become too self-sufficient and independent. They are so used to being alone that they can’t seem to share their life in order to make a relationship work.
Every single – no matter their age – needs to be open-minded, willing and flexible. There is not one relationship – friendship, marriage or otherwise – that is successful without compromising. Both participants have to be prepared to meet in the middle. I know plenty of 30-year-olds who are just as stuck in their ways, but luckily for them they still have time to learn and adjust before their biological clock starts ticking in overdrive.
I am 70 years young, full of pep and in excellent health. I feel like I’m 40! But that seems to limit my dating partners. The people I’ve noticed on JDate are old enough to be my mother and I’m not looking for that. I was 12 years older than my wife until she passed away but I don’t know if I will ever have any chance of meeting someone 12 years younger at this point.
Dear Pep in my Step,
I believe age is a state of mind and that is what obviously keeps you young at heart. That said, I don’t think it’s fair to judge a book by its cover. Some of the women your age may be just as young at heart as you are but you need to give them a chance in order to figure that out. At the same time, I think it’s quite realistic for you to have an age range preference as young as 55 and as high as 75. Your active lifestyle needs to be expressed obviously yet eloquently in your profile — you don’t want to come off as egotistical but you also want to be clear that you want someone just as active as you are. An active older gentleman such as you is a hot commodity, and I don’t think you’ll have any problems. Just be open to giving women a chance no matter how old they are or how old they look. Good Luck!