PS. To Male Guest

February 2, 2012 § 77 Comments

The odd guest blog was something some of you kindly suggested I should do occasionally to lighten the load of my daily habit.  I won’t be doing it too often because it’s cheating a bit and I think the responsibility should fall on me to write the blog, you guys to comment.  But many thanks to our first guest.

Me again tomorrow!

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§ 77 Responses to PS. To Male Guest

  • Elle says:

    Thanks for putting the male guest’s blog online. The advice was good, useful and kindly put. I was intrigued when he said that most of his friends were dating women no more than 5 years younger. Perhaps it’s a UK thing, but for single forty plus men in Ireland, the desired age gap is nearer to 12 years.

    I would much prefer to be truthful about my age online as the man suggests, but I know that no matter how well written my profile and how attractive my photo, if I am too old I will not get any local replies. Indeed, whenever I meet men out and about most initially think I am younger, and some are crestfallen when they find out my real age. Yet they might be 5 or more years older than me!

    It is notable that your male blogger was dating somebody at the start of your blog but is not longer dating anybody. He says that he’s happy being single at the moment. Perhaps being single isn’t such a big deal for men because they know they can dip into the dating market any time and more often than not, find a new partner whenever they feel like it. It’s not like that for most women, more of us seem to want relationships than men.

    Demographics dictate that even if all single men wanted a relationship, not all women would find a partner. When not all single men want a relationship that means there’s even fewer of them out there. It doesn’t add up. And when something doesn’t add up, we need to add or subtract from the equation. But what’s to add or subtract? Do we need a new equation that fits the current demographic better?

    Many thanks for continuing with your blog Plankton, it is a great source of support for me and I hope everyone appreciates it as much.

    • The Plankton says:

      Thank you, Elle. No plans to stop it for a good while yet…I’d be lynched! But in a good way! Px

    • MissM says:

      Very interesting points Elle, especially about the equation simply not adding up. The only other option I can think of is bigamy, where women would perhaps get to have part shares in a guy as opposed to having none at all. Personally I’d rather have none at all than be sharing my man with another woman. It’s probably a bit late now to say we should be breeding more males, even if anyone were crazy enough to agree to that. I guess there is nothing for it but to accept that whether we like it or not a lot of women are simply going to end up alone. I guess that is good news for cats.

      I can see how it would be easier to be single as a male, when it is more about having made a choice, as opposed it being what one is stuck with. We always feel better about any aspect of our lives when we have some control over it.

      A twelve year age gap, sheesh, that is half way into another generation. That is also bad news for the equation, since men generally die earlier anyway they will just leave widowed women who will be young enough to have a few decades of alone-time ahead of them. Really women should be the older half of a couple, that way there is some chance of living out most of old age in togetherness.

      Twelve years is certainly outside my acceptable age range. I guess I’m going to be one of those surplus-to-the-equation single-forever women.

    • zoe says:

      MissBates,

      It seems to me that your 25 or so years of divorce practice have unduly narrowed your views as to the possibilities of relationships between men and women. Not every relationship is about marriage. Not every relationship that is meaningful and loving is about marriage. Not every relationship is about “forever” (not least, as you know, marriage!).

      You say: “I’ve done a lot of prenuptial agreements in my day, and I never think that the 28-year-old model marrying the chubby 56-year-old hedge fund manager would be walking down the aisle with him if he were a postal worker or — case in point — janitor.”

      It is often said that relationships between men and women are an exchange of sex and security. Men want sex: women want financial security. If this is true, the less attractive the man, the more he will have to “pay”. The uglier and older the man, the richer he must be. In this way, MissBates, your example would appear to be a limiting case of a general phenomenon.

      But even if this is true, is it the same when the roles are reversed? There is a tendency to think that if the older man is a “sugar daddy”, the older woman must be a “sugar mummy”. But this is to mistake the dynamics. While there may be exceptions, relationships between older women and younger men are not characterised by an exchange of sex and security. The relative economic independence of the older woman is significant, yes, but its significance lies in the fact that it allows the woman to forge relationships without a view to the economics of the situation; she is not looking for a man to “carry” her. The younger man, in turn, is relieved of the pressures (“drama” is the way it is often put) of having a partner who is seeking financial commitment and babies. While I do not believe this overlap of interests is the only driver, or even the main driver, in these relationships, it is part of the reason for their success. While most do not end in marriage, this does not stop them from having the potential to be satisfying and significant relationships.

      The lack of symmetry should not surprise us. If men, as is often said, are driven by sex, it puts them in a poor position to trade sex for security. It was a life-enhancing discovery for me a while ago to find that no matter how much I wanted my handsome younger lover, he wanted me as much, if not more. It is only those who have signed up to the negative and oh-so-prevalent views of the desirability of older women who will find this surprising.

      My own experience compared to that of my single male friends has shown me that it is much, much easier for an older woman to have a relationship with a younger man than it is for an older man to have a relationship with a younger woman. I know many of you think it ain’t so, but it is. The number of men who are looking for relationships with older women far outnumber the women willing to consider having one. Women have difficulty believing that younger men actually want them. As one young guy said to me the other day: “Just finding older women who like younger men, and are actually open to the possiblity of having a relationship instead of just flirting is a challenge. It can be a frustrating when you find a woman very attractive, and you think she does too, but somehow she doesnt even consider it as a serious thing”.

      My last relationship was with a doctor. The most recent man to ask me out was a hedge fund manager. He, like June’s janitor, is 16 years younger. There is no question of an exchange of sex for security. My small flat, no matter how sunny and desirably located, is of no interest to these men! My first relationship was with someone who was beautiful but had no money. He never expected to be subsidised. Everything was a 50:50 split.

      June is not obliged to marry the janitor. She is not obliged to give him part shares in her flat. Of course, she might not want to have a relationship with a janitor at all. She might only want to consider someone with whom she can discuss Kierkegaard at Le Caprice. That is her business. But it strikes me as a bit sad if the only reason she is unwilling to have an exploratory conversation with him is a knee-jerk suspicion based on unexamined “sugar mummy” myths and dodgy assumptions about the desirability of older women.

  • June says:

    Yes Elle and Miss M agree with your points, if you look at dating websites, the men of your age often look considerably older, and so do many of the younger ones, i compare them with female friends of same age i know, and nearly always the women look younger. When i have plucked up enough courage to contact a younger man, many times ive been told sorry you are too old, and ive thought how dare you, i look a lot younger than you..

    The man of 48 from POF who contacted me has been given the thank you, but no thanks treatment. I was a bit suspicious right from start, as he told me how much younger i looked than my age, flattering, but i thought the age gap seemed a bit big. He gave very little information about himself, and i had to practically drag it out of him. Turns out hes a janitor in a school, works 20 hours a week, and his wages are made up by benefits! . God knows what kind of accommodation he is living in, as i cant see him affording a mortgage on that kind of income. I am not looking for someone rich but i dont think solvent with own house or flat too much to ask,im not really into playing sugar mummy on my pension.at my time of life.

    Of course its easier for men to be single, they know they dont have a sell by date like we do, and even if they wait til over 60, will have plenty of takers, not like us faced with no hopers, whom a younger women wouldnt want, or someone with one foot in grave. I think i will be one of those women too Miss M, do hope dear P you wont as well.

    • leiq says:

      ‘Turns out hes a janitor in a school, works 20 hours a week, and his wages are made up by benefits! . God knows what kind of accommodation he is living in, as i cant see him affording a mortgage on that kind of income’

      June, do you REALLY mean that? I’m gobsmacked that this is a total bar to a relationship for you. OK, if the man is much less intelligent than you, or you’re ill-suited in other ways, fair enough. But to screen someone out for being low-income alone?? Were you expecting to be kept? Presumably you work for a living? Would you apply this test to someone who met all your other critera but just happened to be in a low-income job???????

      • Sarah says:

        Actually, you’d be surprised how many older men there are out there hoping to get a sugar mummy.

        An elderly friend of mine (on a tiny pension) reckoned she must have had ‘meal ticket’ printed across her head the number of dodgy characters who contacted her. She came off the dating site in the end after one turned up for a weekend visit with all his worldly belongings and dug himself in to stay forever with barely a bean to his name. She had to boot him out in the end.

        June’s expectations are not unreasonable, and anyway, it’s her business.

      • June says:

        iieq,

        If you read my reply properly you would see i mentiond I have a pension, a small final salary company one, which i worked damm hard for and a state one. I am paying a mortgage and am certainly not living a life of luxury but i can support myself. I do not need anyone to keep me as you say,am perfectly capable of doing that myself.I have applied for part time employment but obviously my age is against me and ive got nowhere, When i was 48 i was working sometimes 7 days a week, i was surprised someone of that age wants to work so little,ive certainly never claimed benefits, now my pensions mean i get no help at all, i pay for everything and i pay tax.

        How dare you make me sound like a gold digger looking for a rich ,man ,i dont want to be kept, but i certainly do not want to be keeping someone else, would any older women with a mortgage and a pension. I know of many women who have lost their house and money because they trusted some unscrupulous man, i do not intend to be one of them, so please stop making such assumptions and look at life from a realistic point of view. 16 years was far too big an age gap and if he had been a millionaire i would have said same. But getting involved with someone just to prevent lonlieness is not the answer for any plankton, you life could end up worse than before, you could end up homeless and penniless , surely older single women are allowed some standards, we are not that desperate,well im not.

      • Lydia says:

        Very very few men earn anything like I do so income isn’t a major issue but someone on benefits if bottom of the sea plankton stuff not pretty high up the peak of the ice berg. We all marry at our own level. I can accept low pay if he is a leader in his field or has other qualities . He must at least have my accent/class, my educational leverl and be clever. there are no shortage of men like that who seem to want me so my criteria obviously work fine for me. I’ve met all sorts of men actually in reality as I like men and quite open to things but if someone is massively different they wouldn’t fit with the family.

    • The Plankton says:

      I hope not, June, but alas seem to be heading that way! px

      • June says:

        Thanks Sarah , note my reply, a kept women is last thing ill ever become, ive been keeping myself since i was 16, ok i did inherit my share of a family home,which i sold at a loss and needed a mortgage to buy my flat, but my dad left little money, i paid for most of his funeral.

        Yes your friend sadly is like many i know of, i actually know women who have lost their home and are now living in rented accommodation, another a distant relative whose husband died , got involved with a man who was living in a bedsit, doesent work,he moved into house her husband built , she cleans other peoples houses, to make ends meet , her husband would turn in his grave if he knew, he was a hard working builder. Another a college lecturer, who has to live with her sister as she had to sell her house to pay the bloke off she married through not heeding her friends warnings. I have no intention although lonely, ending up like these women..My fellow plankton friend, also with a house and pension were discussing this the other day she feels same. Good grief some people seem to think older single women should accept anything and risk destitution if they are lonely, i imagine a homeless shelter a pretty lonely place!

    • zoe says:

      You can’t have it all ways June. This man does not deserve your exasperation at the inappropriateness of his approach. Do you think a man in his 60s would reject out of hand a woman in her 40s because she worked only 20 hours or week or because she didn’t have her own flat? By all means, reject him if he’s not what you’re looking for. But If you are rejecting younger men on factors that a man would not reject a younger woman, you cannot simultaneously complain as unfair the pairing of the older man and younger woman! The asymmetry in age-pairings of men and women is not some deeply unfair cosmic double-standard perpetrated on older women: it is frequently the result of the choices and prejudices of older women as much as the preferences of men. Rather than endlessly complain, we all owe it to ourselves to recognise how our own choices contribute to the lives we lead.

      • Elle says:

        June, we are living in interesting times and people who formerly had six figure salaries might well be happy to work as a janitor for 20 hours a week. There are thousands of families on benefits these days who wouldn’t have dreamt of such a thing two or three years ago.

    • Jo says:

      June, the 48 year old man who contacted you? (You’ve said many many times, you’d like a younger man and no- one ever contacts you). What was he like AS A PERSON?
      Or did his janitor’s job etc etc wipe him straight out of the picture?
      How do you know ‘what kind of accommodation he is living in’? Or that he wants you to ‘play sugar mummy’? Or that he is a ‘no-hoper’? Or that he would want to move in with you?
      Of course, he may well not have been right for you at all. As a person. But blimey, there was no chance at all with this immediate banishment, based on your reasons. Not even the smallest attempt to find out a bit more about him. There may have been valid reasons why he is doing what he’s doing. He may have turned out to be so much more than his circumstances. Or not. Who knows? But to dismiss him out of hand because of his job etc and your assumptions about his life (not based on any fact) was unfair to him I feel. Poor man.

  • Brigitte says:

    Hi P.,

    I liked the guest blog. Feel free to post one anytime, even once/week (or is that too often?). I always thought you should give yourself the weekends off or at least one day every week. You didn’t even take Christmas or NYD off!

    I think the observations he lists are bang on. I’ve been reading much stuff on the web on male oriented sites and I’m beginning to understand the way they think. I myself am more the straightforward type of gal, but unfortunately, this is not working for me (I hope to be a man in my next life). Although I never chased “hardcore” as he says, I always would let a guy know that I was interested and would suggest going out: “Would you like to see that movie just out?” Sometimes it worked, but mostly it didn’t. I never played hard to get when I was younger (it never appealed to me and I didn’t really know how to do it).

    All in all, a good guest post.

  • Steve says:

    Once again, the myth that all men have a vast choice of women to select from. This is nonsense!

    I see demographics mentioned in the correspondence a great deal, so I tapped ‘UK demographics’ into Wikipedia (not always reliable, I know) and guess what? There are more men than women in the 15-60 group. Only just, but it certainly contradicts the often-quoted theory that we single men spend all day fending off the interest of available women before cherry picking the one that we want.

    Now, I know that statistics can be used to prove/disprove anything, but the point is valid nonetheless and it may just seem that there are bundles of single women among Plankton’s loyal army because you are all spending time with other single women.

    I just cannot prevent myself from commenting when I read ‘being single isn’t such a big deal for men because they know they can dip into the dating market any time’ or ‘Of course its easier for men to be single, they know they dont have a sell by date’.

    This simply isn’t true. How does one ‘dip into’ the dating market? And of course we have a sell by date. What happens if you want to have children?

    I can understand how it might seem that that men have it easy, but honestly, nothing could be further from the truth.

  • rosie says:

    Steve, I can’t speak for anyone else, obviously, but in my own experience (and those of just about every one of my female friends) it really is the men who get to do the choosing at this stage in the game. Of the men I’ve dated, long and short term, not one of them is single and, if and when they were, they barely had time to draw breath before there was another woman hanging off their arm.

    That’s not to say they could have anyone they wanted when they were single and that they’ve never experienced rejection or being dumped, just that it doesn’t happen on the same industrial scale. Again, that’s just my experience so please don’t anyone start shouting!

    As for sell by dates, there’s Frank Skinner, expecting at 55, Paul Weller (53) who’s just popped out twins and John Humphries who gave birth at something like 174, and that’s just off the top of my head. Women’s fertility drops off the edge of a cliff after around 35.

  • rosie says:

    oops, Humphreys.

    • Margaux says:

      I was amused by this quote from Brian Ferry (66) after his marriage to Amanda Sheppard ( 29) :

      “Explaining the age gap in his current relationship, Ferry said: “You never meet people your own age who aren’t married. Unless they are divorcees knocking about, that sort of thing”

      Divorcees ‘knocking about’ ,that kind of thing?

      Knocking about? What ‘kind of thing’ ? ??

      • Margaux says:

        …er……or even ‘sort of thing ‘ ….!!

      • MissM says:

        Seriously? Wtf?? Indeed what is “knocking about” and what is it that divorcees should be doing in his opinion? No doubt he would have had something negative to say about any woman who had never married by his age also, I am getting the feeling he just doesn’t like women his own age.

      • The Plankton says:

        Well said, Margaux. WTF was he saying? Divorcees not people to be considered. Just things. Great. xx

  • Steve says:

    Well, Rosie, I can’t speak for Paul Weller or Frank Skinner and I don’t know if they have other children or are about to become fathers for the first time.

    However, I have wanted children all my life and the right opportunity has never presented itself. Now, at 45, I am faced with accepting that this will never happen, or hoping to find someone of a sensible age who either has no children and is prepared to start or has a family already and wants another one.

    My chances are slim, wouldn’t you say?

    • Elle says:

      Steve, you’re 45? I though you were about 60 the way you were going on. You are hot property and lots of women would snap you up if they got the chance. In Ireland you’d have 26 year olds chasing you! I’m in a social group aimed at the late 30s/early 40s and a 26 year old joined shortly before Christmas. Now every man in the group is chasing her and she’s loving it! They’re ignoring the other women and she’s getting ALL the attention. Not because she’s the prettiest, smartest or has the best personality, it’s because she’s the YOUNGEST! To put it bluntly, she’s young, viable and fertile and most of us aren’t, or we’re quickly coming to the end of our shelf life. She has lots more shelf life left.

      When gently asked why she joined a group of wrinklies that might be a bit fuddy duddy for her she replied that most people her age get drunk and fall over on a night out and that they’re emigrating in droves, particularly the men. Older people are less transient and don’t get drunk and fall over as much.

      Seriously Steve, you would easily find a woman in Ireland young enough to have a family with. I’m sure it’s the same in the UK, where are you looking? Do you have two garden gnomes that turn into Jedi knights when you’re not looking and fight off the women rushing up to your door?

    • MissM says:

      Your chances might be slim but compare them to the chances of a 45 year old woman who may have wanted to have children and never had the opportunity, her chances of a family of her own have evaporated entirely. The numbers are in your favour, while the number of young men approximateIy equals that of women they seem to drop off later (apparently men are more likely to engage in risky behaviours that may result in death) so that by middle age women do outnumber men. I wish you luck and I am confident you will find someone.

    • Jane says:

      Paul has a clutch of older children, Frank I think has none so far. Steve I don’t want to sound like I am slapping you about and telling you to ‘just get on with it’ but unless you look like Quasimoodo or Stig of the dump or have strange dark habits that you are not disclosing here, then I seriously have trouble believing that you cannot find a good woman with whom to have children. Whilst I accept that men may find as difficult to hook up as women, by the very admission of the guest blogger here you (as a man) have the upper hand in as much that men prefer to ‘do the asking’…so get out there and ask away

  • EmGee says:

    Thanks for hosting the guest, Plankton. He seems to me like an average Joe, and while he can’t possibly speak for all men, he seems representative of the majority of guys to me.

    And I don’t think men have it any easier than women when looking for The One. Most of us just don’t have a clue what we want. How can we, if we’ve never had it?

  • EmGee says:

    PS I think it is wrong to say one or the other gets to ‘choose’, we all have choices to make!

  • thirtysomething says:

    I am sticking out my neck for June, who rejected out of hand a janitor who partially lives on benefits… Erm, I would politely decline as well. “What was he like AS A PERSON?” Come now, Jo, we live in the real world where exterior appearances matter because it’s an indicator of what our (interior) values are. For instance, if I eat healthily and exercise five times a week and dress stylishly for my age, I am probably not going to consider dating an unkempt, overweight, chain-smoking sedentary couch potato, am I. Likewise, if June or whoever happens to have gone to university/graduate school, has climbed the corporate ladder a bit, is solvent, smart, ambitious, etc., then more than likely she is not going to have much in common with a janitor who’s on benefits. Sure, he could be that rare Einstein who just happens to have fallen on super hard times but in a few years will win the Nobel Prize for his contribution to science (conducting secret lab experiments in his bedroom when not being the janitor) but is that likely? No.

    • Jo says:

      thirtysomething. Yes, we live in the real world and of course exterior appearances matter. I don’t think anyone would ‘consider dating an unkempt, overweight, chain-smoking, sedentary couch potato’! I seem to remember June saying that ‘an amazing thing had happened’…about him contacting her, that she had liked his photo (that’s an ‘exterior’. No?), plus his profile was interesting. I do know what you’re saying.Really I do. But ‘a graduate who has climbed the corporate ladder a bit, is ambitious etc’ can also be a thoroughly unpleasant total dim-wit. With whom one might have little in common.
      It depends on the character. Doesn’t it?
      I’m probably inviting ire here. Oh god..

      • Jo says:

        Look. Before I’m flogged and accused of forcing June to date ‘the office waste basket emptier’ (!), I was simply wondering about it. Thinking out loud a bit. Maybe being devil’s advocate. T’was just a thought. Ok?
        Easy tigers…..

      • June says:

        Actually Jo his profile wasnt interesting it said very little, i had to drag most information out of him. He kept wanting to know about me, even askimg what part of city i lived in,. but gave very little information about himself. Wouldnt that make yoi suspicious, when he was 16 years younger.

      • MissM says:

        If a man was sixteen years younger that is enough in itself to make me suspicious. But maybe it doesn’t help that in my past experiences they have all thought they were going to get some woman who would be up for some no strings attached sex out of gratitude for access to their youthful bodies. (Is that because it is a male fantasy to have no strings attached sex with someone with a youthful body?) Sure some successful long-term committed relationships may exist where the man is much younger, but we have to admit they are the exception rather than the rule.

      • Jo says:

        June. I was responding to what you actually wrote.
        You wrote that you were ‘suspicious RIGHT FROM THE START’ (I’m not shouting, simply italicising,) ‘as he told me how much younger I looked than my age’.
        This was after writing, ‘when I have plucked up enough courage to contact a younger man, many times I have been told sorry you are too old and I’ve thought how dare you I look a lot younger than you’.
        That’s it.
        But may as well end the subject now. Don’t want to get into an argument about it.
        Goodnight all.

    • MissM says:

      Very good point Thirtysomething, everyone has their standards and they’re not always the same standards as everyone else’s, just as people are not all the same. Recently we had posters saying that they were unable to tolerate someone who didn’t hold their knife and fork in the traditional manner. Personally I think June has a valid point given that she does not want to acquire a “kept man”. Not all people have good intentions and I agree it is better to be a plankton with your own home than end up homeless. If she had taken him in and things had worked out badly leaving June on the street, people would have been quick to say she should have seen it coming.

      • Jo says:

        But where was it indicated that he wanted to be a ‘kept man’?
        This was an assumption. Wasn’t it?

      • MissM says:

        Just to add that I don’t care if a guy doesn’t have two cents to rub together myself. But that is my call to make, no one else gets to say who I should or should not consider as a potential partner, given that it would be me that would have to live with him.

        I’m confident we all know by now there is no such thing as Mr Perfect, and we can’t expect to get more than we ourselves have to offer. I’m pretty sure that every single one of us has had that well and truly put into our heads years ago.

        This is not a direct response to you Jo, by the way, just me rambling on with my own thoughts and thinking out loud, as you say, as well.

      • Jo says:

        You’re right MissM.
        I’m really not advocating telling anyone who they should or should not date. Just that, sometimes – if you had an initial interest – it is (maybe) worth finding out a bit more about them. Rather than nothing at all. That’s it really.

      • Margaux says:

        Fair comment MissM. If June’s alarm bells were ringing for whatever reason then that is her judgement call to make. We all do it based on our own experiences. ( We all do it here too! 😉 )
        I think I, too, would be suspicious if someone was reticent to impart information but wanted to know all about me.

    • Jo says:

      Sorry thirtysomething. Just apropos of this comment you made. That ‘exterior appearances matter, because they are an indicator of what our (interior) values are’. Unless we’re talking about the obvious ‘unkempt, overweight’ etc person you outlined, or some such obvious smelly slob, I disagree.
      Many a high flying beautifully dressed exterior hides the ugliest of interiors and/or values.
      Someone should be presentable. Of course. But we also need to find out more about what a person is actually like, before we condemn them.

      • MissM says:

        Valid point that his wanting to be a kept man was an assumption. My bad. I’m still saying I can understand her reluctance. We are also not privvy to all of June’s life, correspondences, etc and she may well have known more than she writes about here. I am inclined to not want to make assumptions for her either. At the end of the day it is still her call to make, and I don’t see it as my place to judge.

        I agree entirely on the possible disparity on exterior of a person vs interior. Sometimes I even wonder if the more outwardly beautiful people are not those with worse behaviours simply because their good looks have allowed them to get away with more.

      • Jo says:

        I too can understand June’s reluctance MissM. I would be reluctant too.
        I’m not making assumptions about her, I’m only responding to the actual words she wrote. As I said, I am not telling her who she should or should not date. I wouldn’t be so arrogant or rude!
        June wrote that ‘when I have plucked up enough courage to contact a younger man, many times I have been told, sorry you are too old and I’ve thought how dare you I look a lot younger than you’.
        Then when this younger man contacts her, she writes ‘I was suspicious right from the start, as he told me how much younger I looked than my age..’!
        Can’t win really…..

    • June says:

      \\ell thank you 30 something, for your support. and for saying youd reject him too.

      I am not a graduate but i did work for a blue chip company, not in a managerial post but i honestly ;think at my time of life and with a reasonable pension and my own flat i really do need to meet someone who is at least the same as me, and yes i am quite intelligent and smart, fairly well travelled, am very sociable i dont eat junk food, hate smoking, am quite well dressed, take plenty of exercise and can hold my own with most people from varied walks of life, So as you say i am going to want someone similar. And though i am happy with someone a bit younger. 16 years is too big a gap.

      Why is it that any older woman who states there are certain things she wants, in a man even if not very spectacular, is greeted with derision and told she shouldnt be fussy. As you say if you are a smart, intelligent person, well dressed, who hates fast food,doesent smoke, takes regular exercise, has your own property and a reaonable income, you, unless you have taken complete leave of your senses, are not goin g to be attracted to an overweight slob, who smokes, lives on mcdonalds, hasnt got a proper job or income , doesent wash regularly and lives in a bedsit.i just want someone with own property, not a mansion, a flat like mine would do, a reasonable income, job or pension,who is clean, healthy well groomed, can hold an intelligent conversation and is sociable, i dont think that too much too ask do you.

      • Jo says:

        June. Calm down. Please.
        You were not greeted with scorn or derision. Neither were you told you shouldn’t be fussy. No-one has said that you should be attracted to ‘an overweight slob, who smokes, lives on McDonalds, hasn’t a ‘proper’ job or income, doesn’t wash regularly (!!) and lives in a bedsit’.
        That is not what anyone has said. Not in the slightest. Quite the opposite in fact. This is rather extreme I think. Imo.

  • Margaux says:

    Indignant angry June sure makes a difference from sad, miserable June… …attagirl!

    • June says:

      i am not miserable margaux at all, i am known as quite a bubbly person but i get very tired of the assumption that any women who expresses any hope of meeting someone decent, and rejects any man who contacts her is fussy if she says hes not what she wants.

      In my life i have seen too many women taken for a ride, by men, and yes men by women that i know you have to be careful, Being on your own can be crap but also being with the wrong person can be crap, and just being with someone to avoid being alone is not the answer. Too many make that mistake.

  • MissBates says:

    June is in between a rock and hard place, and I don’t envy her. She wants a relationship with a younger man, BUT the cold truth is that when there is a significant age discrepancy (regardless of whether it’s the man or the women who is older) there is some element of the younger person looking for financial security. I’ve done a lot of prenuptial agreements in my day, and I never think that the 28-year-old model marrying the chubby 56-year-old hedge fund manager would be walking down the aisle with him if he were a postal worker or — case in point — janitor.

    Anyway: back to June….She is right to be wary of someone so much younger than she is who is in straitened financial circumstances, particularly when, as we have covered here ad nauseum, men usually are more interested in younger, not older women. This is a man who, because of his financial circumstances, may see June’s relatively comfortable situation as a haven, even if he’s not looking to fleece her. I also think that political correctness can be carried too far: I think that the man who empties my office wastebasket every night seems to be a kindly, hardworking person, but do I want to have dinner with him? Erm . . . no. Because he’s a janitor? Erm . . . yes. There: I’ve said it! I’m a horrible snob and a dreadful person. Now, on the other hand, if an attractive 50-year old teacher of high school English who earns one-fifth of what I do were to come along, I’d snap him up — because we’re both educated and well-read and would have something to talk about — and I wouldn’t care about the discrepancy in our incomes. (Although, referencing today’s male guest blogger, I’d be sh*t out of luck there, too, because the nice school teacher would reject me as a “high-powered woman.”)

    Back to the coal face . . .

    • MissM says:

      Excellent post Miss Bates, as always, and I agree with every point.

    • June says:

      Great stuff Miss Bates, much truth in what youve said,

      You are certainly not a snob, but we have to be realistic, and surely its better to be on your own than just getting together with someone just because you are lonely. That could lead to many more problems and open a hornets nest, Like attracts like Miss B, and we need someone who is on our level so to speak, that isnt being snobbish, its being sensible..

    • Margaux says:

      Perfect summing up MissBates!

  • thirtysomething says:

    Jo – oh, I didn’t realize June had liked his photo nor thought it was amazing that he wrote back… Was just going by her post above. You’re not inviting ire. 😀 I just mean, I think it’s totally legitimate to dismiss someone on basis of them holding a menial labour job, assuming you’re not a cleaner/housekeeper yourself, in which case, that’d make you a hypocrite.

    Agree with MissBates – she said it better than me.

    • June says:

      No didnt like his photo much and he gave little info on his profile, and then he started asking me which part of city i lived in and could we meet. As he was 16 years younger and i finally got him to admit he was partially on benefits my suspicions were raised.i mentioned it to two friends and they said no way june.

      • Jo says:

        June. I distinctly remember your saying positive things about his picture and profile…
        But it doesn’t really matter now anyway. I’m not going to prolong this any further. (Not said in any harsh way.).

  • Jo says:

    Goodnight everyone. Good wishes.

  • rosie says:

    I think if he was Bryan Ferry the 66-year-old janitor and not Bryan Ferry the 66-year-old international rock star he might have a little more difficulty getting a 29-yr-old to marry him!

    Steve, have you been on a dating website recently? They’re heaving with women in their mid to late 30s looking for older men. If not exactly like shooting fish in a barrel, I wouldn’t say your chances were slim at 45.

  • rosie says:

    Oh, and when did we start saying ‘janitor’?

  • June says:

    Ah yes so true Rosie and i thought when the 70 year old Paul McCartney married a 50 year old, well not if hed been a dustman but 29 and 66 with Brian Ferry and new love! it gets worse , But if it had been say Lulu with a 29 year old, everyone would have been making comments, newspapers would be printing pictures of her looking older etc as they do, but with a man no its ok, no comments.and no pictures of wrinkly knees, age spots.etc. .

    So Steve Rosie is right, i think you have hell of lot more chances than a 45 year old women,Ive a very attractive friend of that age and she is terrified of her partner leaving her as she doesent think she would get anyone else, but i cant imagine a ,man being like that, after all i bet you didnt think that when you came out of your relationship.

  • Jane Ferguson says:

    Did anyone else’s computer burst into flames when they’d read through all these comments?

  • zoe says:

    [sorry P, meant to place this at the end here]

    MissBates,

    It seems to me that your 25 or so years of divorce practice have unduly narrowed your views as to the possibilities of relationships between men and women. Not every relationship is about marriage. Not every relationship that is meaningful and loving is about marriage. Not every relationship is about “forever” (not least, as you know, marriage!).

    You say: “I’ve done a lot of prenuptial agreements in my day, and I never think that the 28-year-old model marrying the chubby 56-year-old hedge fund manager would be walking down the aisle with him if he were a postal worker or — case in point — janitor.”

    It is often said that relationships between men and women are an exchange of sex and security. Men want sex: women want financial security. If this is true, the less naturally attractive the man, the more he will have to “pay”. The uglier and older the man, the richer he must be. In this way, MissBates, your example would appear to be a limiting case of a general phenomenon.

    But even if this is true, does it follow when the roles are reversed? There is a tendency to think that if the older man is a “sugar daddy”, the older woman must be a “sugar mummy”. But this is to mistake the dynamics. While there may be exceptions, relationships in general between older women and younger men are not characterised by an exchange of sex and security. The relative economic independence of the older woman is significant, yes, but its significance lies in the fact that it allows an older woman to forge relationships without a view to the economics of the situation; she is not looking for a man to “carry” her. The younger man, in turn, is relieved of the pressures (“drama” is the way it is often put) of having a partner who is seeking financial commitment and babies. While I do not believe this overlap of interests is the only driver, or even the main driver, in these relationships, it is part of the reason for their success. While most do not end in marriage, this does not stop them from having the potential to be satisfying and significant relationships.

    The lack of symmetry should not surprise us. If men, as is often said, are driven by sex, it puts them in a poor position to trade sex for security. It was a life-enhancing discovery for me at the beginning to find that no matter how much I wanted my handsome younger lover, he wanted me as much, if not more. It is only those who have signed up to the negative and oh-so-prevalent views of the desirability of older women who will find this surprising.

    My own experience compared to that of my single male friends has shown me that it is much, much easier for an older woman to have a relationship with a younger man than it is for an older man to have a relationship with a younger woman. I know you all think it ain’t so, but it is. The number of men who are looking for relationships with older women far outnumber the women willing to consider having one. Women have difficulty believing that younger men actually want them. As one young guy said to me the other day: “Just finding older women who like younger men, and are actually open to the possiblity of having a relationship instead of just flirting is a challenge. It can be a frustrating when you find a woman very attractive, and you think she does too, but somehow she doesnt even consider it as a serious thing”

    My last relationship was with a doctor. The most recent man to ask me out was a hedge fund manager. He, like June’s janitor, is 16 years younger. There is no question of an exchange of sex for security. My small flat, no matter how sunny and desirably located, is of no interest to these men! My first relationship was with someone who was beautiful but had no money. But he never expected to be subsidised. Everything was a 50:50 split.

    June is not obliged to marry the janitor. She is not obliged to give him part shares in her flat. Of course, she might not want to have a relationship with a janitor at all. She might only want to consider someone with whom she can discuss Kierkegaard at Le Caprice. That is her business. But it strikes me as a bit sad if the only reason she is unwilling to have an exploratory conversation with him is a knee-jerk suspicion based on unexamined “sugar mummy” myths and dodgy assumptions about the desirability of older women.

  • Margaux says:

    Zoe – fabulously written and I know you are right. When I was in my late 40s I was ardently pursued by a very handsome & very bright 28 year old. I handled it badly -thinking he was taking the piss. So nothing happened. But it could have done.

    Feeling a bit like Mrs Robinson, I thought there must be some more like him but perhaps not quite so young. So I placed an ad online to see who else was out there. I got hundreds of replies. Even after weeding out the impoverished students looking to make money offering ‘services’ and the thrill seekers & nutters, there were many younger men preferring older women. I dated one briefly ( mid 30s) but didn’t pursue it ( too soon after a big break up)

    My most recent relationship was 8 years younger and my longterm ex was 6 years younger.As I have mentioned here to June before, there are even dating sites for younger men / older women. What I am saying is : forget all that cougar or sugarmummy stuff, Zoe is right – they are out there.

    Btw – my 28 year old is now in his mid 30s and still in touch as a friend. He ended up with a girlfriend 11 years older than him. He’s successful now so wasn’t looking for a sugarmummy – he just always preferred older women.

    (PS No, I haven’t dipped a toe in internet dating yet – building up to it!)

    • MissM says:

      Oddly enough I had a relationship of ten years with a man six years my junior, however I consider six years to be rather a insignificant difference in age. If I could date someone six years younger than me now I would still class him as a man close to my age, rather than a younger man.

      Ten years or more is definitely ‘younger man’ territory. I ask myself would I date a man more than ten years older than me, and unless there were some very unusual circumstances that I cannot foresee, the answer is ‘no’. As a result I do wonder at the motives of a guy who would chase a woman more than ten years his senior. Applying my own set of values to other people is possibly a daft thing to do, and will have to accept I could be wrong in doing so. I have yet to experience interest from a guy that much younger who wasn’t just trolling for sex, but then again, guys of all ages will do that.

  • rosie says:

    “The number of men who are looking for relationships with older women far outnumber the women willing to consider having one.”

    If this is true, and I’m not saying it isn’t (just not from where I’m standing!) I think it’s a different proposition if the woman is looking for long-term love rather than a relationship which is, statistically, more than likely to end at some point, whether that’s two or ten years down the line. ‘Till death do us part’ couplings are rare when the woman is significantly older than the man, which could go some way to explaining their reluctance to get into them in the first place.

    I’ve dated younger men, too, and the relationships have never lasted longer than a year, even when I wanted them to. I’m looking for a life partner, not to get dumped again anytime soon and, while I know that nothing is forever and the only certainties in life are death and taxes, I’d be extremely wary of getting involved with someone younger knowing the odds weren’t in my favour.

  • June says:

    I am puzzzled where all these younger men who are looking for older women are, certainly , not in my neck of woods ,like Miss M i would be perfectly happy with someone 6 years younger, even 10 in fact id prefer someone mid 50s. Definitely not 40s though, yes i have many female friends that age, but no i wouldnt want a man that much younger. But although not a full .member, i can look at match.com and every man from 50s to early 60s wants a women normally no older than 55, very rarely 60. So i am wondering where all these men who want an older women are hiding themselves, because i and most , women of my age i know, dont ever meet them. In the social group i sometimes attend, there are many women in mid 50s onwards, but if any 50ish man joins you can bet your life he will be snapped up by the women in their 40s, the older women stay on their own.

  • zoe says:

    “I’m looking for a life partner…I’d be extremely wary of getting involved with someone younger knowing the odds weren’t in my favour.”

    I don’t know the statistics, Rosie, but I imagine you’re right to think that the odds of staying the course with someone younger are longer than with someone your own age.

    But you know what? If you’re set on finding “long-term love” till death us do part, the odds aren’t at all good. Full stop.

    If one in two marriages actually end in divorce, you can bet your bottom dollar that more than one in two are unhappy. Let’s say that 1 in 3 of the marriages that don’t end in divorce are not truly happy (an underestimate I would guess), then overall there would be a 66% chance of ending up unhappy. Not great.

    But the odds are worse than that. Before you get to commit to that relationship which is likely to end up unhappy, you’ve got to find it! Over 40 and looking for a relationship with someone has its challenges. Over 40 and looking for THE ONE who is age-appropriate, has all the characteristics you seek, meeting him at the right time, at the right place, and finding that he too both wants, and is in the position, to make a life long commitment…remember the stats they used to quote about the chances of the never married at 40 and lightning strikes?

    So you’re setting your heart on a situation that you are very unlikely to find and, even if you do, is likely to end up unhappy.

    All fantastically crude stuff, doubtless distorted in crucial ways, and not about you personally at all. But you get my drift.

    So yes, when I start my next relationship, the chances are high that it will not last the course. But the chances are also high that we will have a good time, that it will be emotionally rewarding and that we will both learn something from it. There’s even a chance that it will be so good that it will a very long time. But, if it doesn’t, not only are we likely to remain friends but I will look forward to the day when someone else I really like will come into my life. I think the chances of that are not bad either.

    Don’t get me wrong. I wish you well with your search, Rosie. I really do. And I know my approach is not for everyone. But I am struck in reading this blog how those who are not exclusively looking for a life partner – Lydia, Fi, Caz etc. – seem happier than many others. And I don’t think this is a coincidence.

  • TwinkleToes says:

    Zoe, I couldn’t agree more. My experiences of the past few years bear out your reasoning. Hence why I too have hidden my profile on the dating sites and for now am just enjoying being me.

  • EmGee says:

    A male friend off mine has been with the same woman for over 15 years and she is 10 yeas older. So it is possible, but the odds are pretty low.

  • rosie says:

    Zoe, I think you’ve misunderstood me. When I said I was looking for ‘long-term love’ I meant something more substantial than the measly weeks and months that have been my lot when I’ve dated younger men. That’s why I qualified it with ‘I know that nothing is forever’. I’m not that much of a dreamer to think I’m going to find someone till death do us part when, god forbid, I might live to be 80 or 90. After the rubbish ‘relationships’ (and that really is stretching the term to its outer limits) I’ve had over the past 15 years, a two year stint would seem like a lifetime! And, anyway, either me or my beloved (hah!) or both of us, could get run over by a bus a week after meeting… which is where the ‘only certainties in life are death and taxes’ bit comes in.

    I take my hat off to the older woman who can get a much younger guy to stick around, but in my experience they disappear in a puff of smoke when something younger, hotter or better in the sack comes along and I’m not prepared to go through that heartache again. I can’t just switch it on and off like a tap, however much I might want to. I’ve tried, with – for me – inevitably disastrous consequences. If other people can, and even remain friends and everything’s hunky dory, then fair play to them.

    ‘Lydia, Fi and Caz’,… I don’t think the first one is who she says she is for a minute (I have a mental image of some Walter Mitty character sitting in a grubby council flat on a sink estate in Neasden), the second sounds anything but happy to me and I can’t recall any of Caz’s posts so can’t really comment. But each to their own.

    “Over 40 and looking for a relationship with someone has its challenges”… is the understatement of the century! I think the stats you’re referring to was the article that ran in Time magazine or Newsweek (in the mid 80s when I was young and hot and completely oblivious to the horrors that lay ahead) that claimed a 40-plus woman was more likely to die in a terrorist attack than walk down the aisle. Plus ca friggin’ change!

  • rosie says:

    Am also impressed, Zoe, by your certainty “when I start my next relationship” that you WILL meet someone. Like I said, hats off!

    • Jo says:

      Imo Fi does, genuinely sound happy to me. She’s happy with her choices, even though they might not mirror others’ choices and I’ve always respected her for that. Neither does she strike me as someone who would say she was, if she wasn’t.
      In fact, Fi. Where are you?!
      You seem to have disappeared! I for one miss the – often insightful – comments that you make to P’s blogs.
      Come back Fi!

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