Thursday, May 24, 2012

Age Is Sometimes More Than A Number. (Anne)


First of all, congratulations to Stella!
I’ve been in a slump. I lack the words to describe what work has been like for me this past month, other than to say this: this month has once again proven to me that fiction is a sorry replacement for real life. I cannot imagine someone creating the situations I’ve endured recently.
And as for the dating, well, it’s not happening. Several reasons for that…
  1. I live in the middle of nowhere. 
  2. Still struggling with memories of the boy. Just the other night he popped into my dream, and as I started to wake up and realize it was a dream and not reality, I willed myself back to sleep so I wouldn’t have to remember what it felt like not talking to him. Grrr.
  3. I am back in the online dating world, which for me means the only men expressing interest in me are 13-18 years older than me.
It is this last point I’d like to address today...and I’ll admit it: I. Am. Ageist.
I’m not yet 40 (though it’s barreling toward me, and fast) and if a man has grandchildren, I’m having a really tough time giving him a second look. Vanity, yes. Shallow, absolutely. But I simply am not ready to be “grandpa’s special friend” or “Nana.” Again, I’M NOT EVEN 40 YET.
And occasionally I like to rail about LDS men wanting young and fresh BYU grads (or not even grads...one profile I read noted in his desired mate: college sophomore), but as I had dinner with a friend last week, a friend who is not LDS, and we caught up on life, I realized this is not just an LDS phenomenon. Between the two of us we knew three men my age, each dating girls between 20 and 23. 
So what is it about younger girls? Is it the biological imperative to “sow oats” in more fertile places? Is it the lack of baggage that often accompanies younger girls? Is it that their bodies haven’t given way to gravity yet? Is it a “Peter Pan” mentality of the men my age?
I’m really not intending to sound shrill or accusatory, just genuinely curious: am I the only not-yet-40-year-old being pursued by the 50-65 year-old crowd? And am I being too picky in not returning their advances? Or should I embrace the grandmother moniker at 39?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

First of all, I don't think you are being too picky. there is something creepy about a guy who will only date women half his age. I also agree that this isn't juts an LDS phenomenon--I hear a lot of women complaining LDS men are too picky and want someone younger, thinner, hotter, etc...but there are lots of guys outside the church doing the same thing. A lot of people are searching for a spouse that they can "show off" in some way. Women do it too--many are looking for someone with a "hot" career or something they can use as a status symbol.

I also hear a lot that there is a problem of single women in the church being unable to find suitable spouses, but that is a problem outside the church as well. I have lots of non-LDS friends from high school who are still not married in their 30s and not close to being married, even if they want to be. They just can't find someone compatable to settle down with. A women told me that once she hit 30 (again, non-LDS) that her dating choices and quality went way way down. So dating in general gets much harder as you get older, whether you are LDS or not. Great post!

Scully said...

You are not being picky - settling down with someone who is already a grandfather means a certain kind of life and if that isn't the life you want you shouldn't be pursuing it. Being happy and confident in your life choices trumps being married. I can't imagine how awful it must be to be unhappily married (I regularly call to mind Hugh Laurie's character in the 1995 Sense & Sensibility when I start wilting under someone telling me I'm too picky). Don't sell yourself short and don't feel you have to settle. That way lies madness and misery.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with your being 'ageist' as you term it. If something won't make you happy, there's no need to apologize for it - in the long run, you'd both be unhappy, defeating the whole purpose.

Speaking as a man, the preference for younger women is rooted in ALL the reasons you've stated, and the fact that men tend to be on average 7 years behind women in emotional maturity.

Don't worry about being 'too picky', but also don't give up - you'll find someone who's right for you and vice versa.

Dan from Divorced Mormon Dad said...

Reading age bias posts like this really frustrate me.
I'm a 31 year old guy who is still dealing with the difficulties of being abandoned by a spouse, and divorced at age 30. My divorce was finalized just days before my 31st birthday.
"Too old" for YSA, I tried the mid-singles scene... but as a young man wishing to start a family, I really had difficulty relating to divorced women in their mid to late 30's and 40's talking about the struggles of balancing a career and dating, while raising "children" between the ages of 14-25. Frankly I had a lot more in common with the 20-something "children" the 40+ crowd was discussing than anyone over the age of 35 in attendance.
I really tried, over a period of several months I went on dates with no less than 30 women between the ages of 27-35... I was always running into a brick wall of independence, judgment, baggage, and false expectations.
There was the 32 year old doctor who never had time to date, then complained I didn't pay attention to her.
There was the 29 year old HR manager with 2 children out of wedlock that assumed I must not take marriage seriously as a divorcee.
The 34 year old virgin who felt that she "deserved someone pure" after living so many years of her life chaste. I guess my Temple Marriage, as a virgin to a virgin, somehow had made me "dirty and tainted".
The puzzling episode when the 27 year old grad student said it felt "weird" dating someone who was "so old" he couldn't come to the "normal" singles ward.
Ah yes, let's not forget the shy, but cute, 30 year old who "surprised" me by inviting her parents on our second date, only to have her father ask me if I was "serious" about her.
There was always something... it was wearing!
Finally I gave up, crashed a YSA dance with friends, and promptly asked out the most attractive young girl I could find. She was 20 years old. Our dates were fun, she was always excited to see me, there was no judgment, no ageism, nothing about me reminded her of some loser ex. She was normal, her parents were normal. It was just like I remembered dating before my divorce. If she had not transferred to school out of state, I would probably still be dating her.
I'm single again now, I'm not "Peter Pan" and I don't want to "sow oats," but should I really be expected to continue punishing myself on the altar of "picky older girls' privilege" when attractive, fun, and FAR less difficult young women find me more suitable as a mate than my own contemporaries?
You might look at me and think I am a tool for dating someone a decade younger than myself, but what brought me here? Ladies, you reap what you sow.

Anonymous said...

Ugh! Thank you! Though I'm beginning to think this is more of a locality thing. I've jumped around a lot and have noticed certain areas are more like this than others. At BYU, certainly. Now I live in Texas and while I'm not sure if this is the case with the LDS men, I know I haven't been hit on by any non-LDS men younger than 15 years older than me. I'm fully grossed out and bitter.

But at the same time I've lived in New Mexico and California and have had only good experiences, age-difference-wise. Guys, don't be disgusting. There's no bigger loss of respect than the trophy wife.

Anonymous said...

It's not just LDS people so don't let that get you down. Curious about why you're looking for just an LDS guy? I'm not an LDS but am a Christian woman who seems to be around more people of the LDS faith, which is just fine. Great people just a different faith base. I'm older 53 but very active and very fit. I just want to find someone to love and go out and experience everything that life offers. And you think you're getting hit on by older men?! It's tough but keep the faith that God will bring you to the right guy at the right time!

Leslie said...

@Dan where do you live, because I'm a 38 year old woman with no kids and no baggage manwise, so basically I'm a somewhat older twenty something. I'd go out with you if you're in my area :)

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about it, just pray, then go out and look. People are out there your age and with the same ideas in mind, you just haven't found them yet. Lots of good people are in the same situation you're in.
Somebody once told me that we never find the good one's because our eyes are always set on the bad ones.

I'd like to say, that you're not old and you don't have to be a gramma. 39 is nothing, believe me. if you don't have arthritis in both hands, are walking funny or have to visit the doctor every 3 weeks, I don't see any problems there.

This is coming from a man who's 24.
I'm a Mormon as well, not yet wed and for the longest time I've been telling myself. you're old, it's hopeless, marriage is now an enigma. I told someone my story and he laughed. You're only 24? you're a baby. What the hell are you worried about?

So pray about it, he's out there. Probably too chicken shit to say hi to you!

MISS mINDIE said...

so true

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