Way back in the mid-1980s, Newsweek published a story that had single women quaking in their power suits. Drawing on the work of three Ivy League researchers, the story suggested that women over forty had a greater chance of being killed by a terrorist than of finding a husband.
Later, of course, the story and its claims were found to be completely flawed and Newsweek, after the twentieth anniversary of the piece, even retracted it. Nonetheless, the image of the middle-aged, unloved divorcee continues to persist and seemingly legitimate publications continue to rehash it. The latest to do so: The New York Times.
In their version of the story, entitled "In Her 50s, Looking For Love," Dr. Francesca Adler-Baeder of the National Stepfamily Resource Center at Auburn University claims that, "Among the divorced, the least marriageable in our society are older women, highly educated who make a good salary. Studies show men tend to marry down — someone slightly younger, less educated, making less money. Women in their fifties literally don't have visible pool of eligible men around them." Watch: How To Stop Worrying About Your Biological Clock
It sounds pretty ominous, doesn't it? But if you're middle aged and single and female and reading this, there's no need to enlist in a nunnery (or anti-terrorism task force) just yet. As it so happens, women over fifty have a far better chance of getting remarried than of dying in a terrorist attack.
In fact, the same New York Times story that suggests there's no "visible pool of eligible men" for women over fifty happens to follow a 57-year-old woman who comes across plenty of men the same way most other American tends to nowadays: on the internet. In other words, men are still visible to women over fifty, if they just look at a computer screen. 5 Online Dating Tips for Divorced Moms
Also, according to 2001 census data, 41 percent of divorced women over fifty remarry. And while, admittedly, that's not nearly as high as the statistics for divorced men over fifty (58 percent of them remarry), it's not anything to sneeze at either.
Finally, isn't it possible (probable, even) that a lot of women over fifty who are divorced don't WANT to be remarried? We think so.
And we think it's time that women over a certain age stop being told that things are so dire for them. There are far worse things than making it to fifty and being given the opportunity to re-emerge on the dating scene—things like actually being killed by a terrorist, for example. Life After Infidelity And Widowhood