I asked a group of accomplished 50-something single men, many of whom have been looking for the right woman for a long time, how they felt about the “mature” single dating life.
Few thought it was what it was cracked up to be. Most longed to find one true, deep, exciting, and lasting love; some went so far as to say they worked two jobs: one during the day making money, and one at night looking for love. Several said there were times when they thought they had found it, true love, only to be disappointed and disillusioned as the realities of being human emerged and the relationship crumbled.
More from YourTango: How to Be a Great Lover
The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off. --Gloria Steinem
Ahh, the fantasy lover... An enticing mystery that can be fleshed out with their own creativity, a warm being they can make to say, wear and be whatever they desire.
Most men have a dream of their ideal woman. The most common adjective used when citing her qualities is “feminine.” That is: tender, gentle, thin, selfless, loyal, sexy, sensual (but only with him), uncompetitive, thin, soft, charming, beautiful, adoring, thin, patient, smart, fragile, funny, thin, proportionate, nurturing, sensitive, thin, and giving. She should be autonomous in such a way that she won’t be dependent and clinging, an emotional drain. Of course, she shouldn’t be so autonomous or independent that she wouldn’t need him or could possibly do without him because then he would feel insecure. Also, she should have long hair, preferably blonde.
The only thing that seems to change with "maturity" is a re-ordering or re-prioritizing of the adjectives. Did I mention that she should be thin? That hasn’t changed.
Are these men becoming frustrated and exasperated looking for this woman?
Most men have been socially indoctrinated at an early age. Do grown men still believe that true success comes from scoring with a Playboy bunny or a model who may be advertising the car or the speedboat he wants? You bet. Yet movies and television are filled with scenarios in which men repeatedly make bad and sometimes dangerous decisions because they’ve fallen under the spell of a sexy and nubile young woman. Like Pavlov’s dogs, men seem programmed to respond to certain stimuli even when they know it has been laced with rat poison.
More from YourTango: The TRANSITIONAL woman
While the majority of men say that humor, playfulness, and self-confidence are more important to them than appearance in long-term relationships, they admit that what primarily attracts their initial interest is, in fact, a woman’s physical beauty.
Men are visual. It’s not uncommon for older, mature men, caught in the throes of momentary ecstasy, to cast caution aside and pursue their daughter’s best friend rather than the woman next door who could actually be an interesting and loyal partner and a fabulous lover.