Most of the time, I answer dating and relationship dilemmas from women. But I got a question recently from a man in his late 40's who couldn't understand why younger women weren't giving him a chance. Even though he's older, more worldly, more financially successful, etc, he laments that he has more to offer than men 10-15 years younger and should be given the opportunity to win the hearts of women in their early 30's. Poor guy. People can always complain that the opposite sex is unrealistic and unfair. You may even be right. But it doesn’t change that people want what they want. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It just IS. So let's break this age thing down in a way that make it all crystal clear: From 25-34, men play around a lot. Why? Because they can. They have a lot of dating options, they’re building their careers, and there isn’t a clear urgency to settle down. Once a guy crosses 35, however, he (theoretically) tends to get more serious. Alas, the women with whom he wants to get serious are 27-34. Dating a woman in this age range gives men time to court, fall in love, travel together, move in, get engaged, and enjoy a few years of childless marriage before starting a family. The problem is that many women from 27-34 are independent professionals just like their male peers. They, too, have a lot of dating options, are busy building their careers, and don’t have a clear urgency to settle down. Until she hits 35. Theoretically, this is when she starts to get more serious about finding love. This is also when all the problems start Because 35-40-year-old men who are ready to settle down still want to have time before becoming father. Thus, their target market remains women, 27-34 – who may not be ready to settle down quite yet. These women still have money to make, places to travel and oats to sow. The 35-40-year-old women who ARE ready for marriage, unfortunately, are roundly ignored by the men they desire – their 35-40-year-old male peers. These women are youthful and find themselves far more attracted to men in their 30’s than men their 40’s. Which brings us to the original man who wrote to me complaining about how 47-year-old men don't get a fair shake. He said he was looking for a woman in her mid-30’s, which is fine...in theory. But if none of them are open to dating a guy born in the early 60's, he probably has to adjust and hope to snag a woman in her late 30’s to early 40’s. Men often think that they can get younger women, no matter how old they are. Not true. In fact, only 7% of all marriages are between a man and a woman with over a 10-year age gap.
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