This article is written as an open response to an article about dating over forty by Sandy Weiner, although it can be read as an editorial of its own.
In her recent article about dating over 40, Sandy Weiner wrote:
Let’s analyze the results:
1. Single women over 40 are struggling to find someone they’re attracted to, a man who doesn’t play games and doesn’t just want sex or a casual hookup.
This deserves an entire essay. Make that several.
“Men who don’t play games.” Ok, that’s a problem. There are sufficient men with, let’s just say, crummy attitudes, and it does spoil things for the decent men. I don’t have a clue as to how to deal with that.
I do have a possible suggestion: Wouldn’t it be nice if women could establish a dating approval board? Men would submit to some type of examination and be certified as a good possible date. Maybe it could be named WOMAN: Women’s Male Assessment Network.
Of course, on signing up we men would be required to grant permission to publish our rating for all to see, or at least all members of WOMAN. There might be a 0 to 5 rating scale. I would sign up and pay an exam fee. Background checks? Go for it, here is my info: <not yet>.
Hmm, I really like that idea. I hereby claim copyright to it. But that is only to ensure that it gets started right. Write me with a good plan, and guarantee me to be the first one evaluated and I’ll sign that right over to you. (I’m holding my breath here.)
2. Single women over 40 want to know why older men seem to only like women half their age. –
From my perspective, that only works for men with big bank accounts. I do OK, but will never get into that category.
3. Women are tired of men who are still in love with (or hateful towards) their exes. They want men who take responsibility for their share in a failed relationship.
I have changed my thoughts for the second draft of this. That is a problem. I suspect this goes both ways. But maybe it should be thought of as a critical clue. First, why did those hard feelings develop? Do you really want a boy/girl friend that would even engage in those knock down drag out arguments? When that kind of anger is first broached it is time for one or both of the couple to recognize that and stop the argument. My experience says that if you stop shouting and just listen for a bit, the energy level of the argument falls dramatically. If your partner keeps on ranting, then either quietly endure it for a while or say: This is not working, please excuse me while I go for a walk and calm down.
When it comes to that kind of an argument, it really does not matter who is right or wrong. It only matters that they would stay engaged in that kind of an emotional match.
4. Some women are insecure about their bodies and think men only want a certain body type.
This depends on your perspective.
In general I can really sympathize with that one, and I think it goes both ways. There are some number of men that want and think they deserve to have a hot fashion model for a girl friend. Most of those are deluded. As such, they will not make anyone a good life partner. Another good clue to look elsewhere.
There are also an increasingly large number of people that carry too much weight. There is a lot, make that a huge amount of talk about being happy with your body type whatever it is. That ignores the fact that the extra weight is a major difficulty for the body. Regardless of what shape you are in, the extra weight is bad for you in more ways than can be enumerated here.
On that count, I will agree with the men and women that ask for a body type similar to theirs. It is unreasonable to ask for a body type that is significantly different from yours.
And yes, I do say that from a fairly fit perspective. I do put in the hours every week to stay that way, and yes, it does take several hours every week. So I close out this point with: Guilty as charged! I insist on someone with a body type that is close to mine.
5. Some women have a long list of requirements like a high level of education, multi-national travel, and mastery of multiple languages.
Just looked that up, 8% of people in the U.S. have a Master’s degree. That is narrowing things down a bit too much. When I graduated with my Bachelor’s the advisor recommended that I go for a Master’s. I did not see that it would make any significance so declined. As I look back, that was a good decision. Sometimes I regret not knowing another language, but I am not a world traveler and it would have been wasted effort.
I do prefer someone that has earned her Bachelor’s. There just seems to be something about people that have gone to the effort to be educated and knowledgeable about the world. It does take a certain amount of perseverance. It took me some 14 years, but I made it. Please take note that I did write “prefer” and not require.
6. Some women think they’re geographically undesirable.
That is a much bigger problem than Ms. Weiner admits to. I am in a small city, getting somewhat close to retirement, really like my job, and the dating pool here is miniscule. And no, I really don’t want a long distance relationship. Airline dating is out of the question. I do refer Ms. Weiner to climate change and the fuel required to fly anywhere. Driving 200 plus miles every weekend is not climate friendly. That is a major problem for this man.
I do want to know that when I get home, you will be there or you will soon be there. I want the comfort of being with you, not thinking about you many miles distant. That is not a jealousy or fear factor, it’s my desire for your presence, physically and emotionally.
In her closing Ms. Weiner writes:
You do need to drop your list of unrealistic requirements that have nothing to do with love.
Good Point! Women, and men, that have a significant list of requirements are not serious about developing a relationship. There is no perfect match for anyone. Every relationship requires significant effort on both sides. It may be that the tighter the relationship the more effort is required. I suggest that in those tight relationships, the effort just does not seem like effort. It just seems like living nicely with a partner you truly respect.
Here is my list:
Please be somewhere close to me in age. Much younger just will not work out.
Please be currently physically active and in reasonable shape. Somewhere around the middle of the BMI is a good starting point. There is flexibility there.
Please be reasonably well educated. Bachelor’s is nice but not required.
Is that list to onerous? Is it too much to ask for?
Now to directly answer the main question:
What’s your biggest problem in dating?
Getting a date!
Simple enough? Ok, it’s a bit too simple. So simple that it cannot really be answered. I am aware of that. Still, it is my biggest problem. I am open to suggestions.
The second biggest problem: Getting a response to my winks, nods, and hello messages. They disappear into the void, never to solicit a return. I hope that this essay shows that I can write well and understand what does and does not belong in a hello message on a dating site. Still, any response to my greetings is the exception. Yes, I have read Ms. Weiner’s advice on writing those messages and was in line with her concepts before that reading. Cutesy sayings do not work for me, just an honest statement about how I like your profile and would like to meet you. I am a computer guy, really deep into computers. But I don’t want a long drawn out text message email relationship. I want to meet you in person. Is that too much to ask for?
Flickr: Photo – Sue Clark/”Courtship”