Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Passion vs. Companionship Compromise

Sad, but true.  On OK Cupid, after 26, older men are significantly more appealing to same-age singles.
Here's my reply in response to yet another (one of hundreds over the past 5 years of being on online dating sites) missive from a mature lady unhappy with the upper age limit I posted on a dating profile....
Dear X,

Thanks for taking the time to write! 

The problem for single adults is not so much about looks/age so much as it is online dating's shortcomings as an effective tool for meeting others.  It makes it so easy to 'click-delete' on the basis of the 'age box' or the impression (largely false) of how appealing one comes across in a few photos.  My ex of 13 years is now 38 and I left her when she was 32, so I've never matured alongside of a woman I loved who was any older than 32 (much less who I'd had kids with).  Having dated several women in their early 40's, I can admit that both the visual and tactile changes that take place are tough to 'appreciate,' never having gotten used to them gradually over the years. Add to that the fact that human males are pre-programmed to be visual and tactile creatures attracted to females of peak child-bearing health (18-28) and the deck is definitely stacked against mature women, sadly -- despite their more appealing intellectual and emotional maturity/stability.  (And I happen to fall into the 32% of males -- see chart at bottom -- who exclusively date younger women.  My bad!)

What the majority of women out there, who are all first and foremost social and emotional creatures (NOT visual and tactile first, as men are), have such trouble grasping as they age ("But you agreed to 'till death do us part'!!!") is that men's brain wiring does not evolve and become 'age appropriate' over the years the way that women's brain wiring seems to (at ANY age women have the capacity to fall genuinely in love with less-than-Prince-Charming-looking men for other reasons).  The things that men find irresistible in women is the same at 75 as it was at 15.  As their partners age, their ability to 'perform' based upon the visual and tactile stimulation they're presented with diminishes, sadly, but inevitably, and Cialis/Viagra are a real boon due to this issue.  Husbands love their wives as much as ever, but the  frequency and intensity of sex decreases for most.  (Interestingly, recent research has proven that women tend to lose sexual interest in their partners slowly but steadily over the course of a long-term relationship.  This phenomenon is an evolutionary safeguard that helps keep human partnerships stable/happy over the long-term.)

What is enormously frustrating to we men, who recognize we no longer really want girls of 18-28 years of age due to their emotional immaturity, nor even young women of 29-39 due to the differences in our life experience, is the astoundingly high percentage of online profile of newly divorced women of 39-49 (something magical does occur at 50 and women tend to lower their expectations) who state upfront (really, in the first sentence) that "This time around I won't settle for less than Superman in bed and Clark Kent in both our relationship and his with my kids from my first marriage (who mean, of course, EVERYTHING to me!)".  YIKES!  At a time when we men know that their figures are not going to be as stimulating as we'd like (and therefore our performance will be sub-optimal), they are DEMANDING that we find them as 'hot' as they were 10-20 years ago, as well as dealing with their kids! 

How do we bridge this gender-based divide?  Compromise.  Not a simple thing for human males and females to arrive at, but the reality is that mature men are eager to have companionship, but the sexual desire/performance/frequency women came to expect from their partners years ago is not going to be repeated in most cases.  As Lori Gottlieb advocates, "settle for Mr. Good Enough"!  (link to my earlier post) 
Keep 'putting it out there', X, via this odd online tool, but the only way adults can meet effectively is in person, so try to have coffee/drinks as quickly and often as possible and get out there and find ways to circulate.  Online dating should only be one of your socializing tools -- too often we get addicted to it and rely upon it exclusively and non-stop for far too long.  ;-)

Best, Kevin
Check out this blog post for "The Case for Older Women" (click for link).

NOTE TO YOU LADIES NEW TO ONLINE DATING:  There are some lads out there with a distinct predilection for older women (see 17% in chart below) and keep in mind that the vast majority of those males are talking about a FEW years older, not a decade or two.  With a constant source of newly divorced targets via online dating sites, a very small number of these guys have a LOT of sex with a LOT of much older, newly-singled women. 

Notice that I'm not saying 'relationships' with older women, just sex.  They've become VERY good at seduction and if you're into a one-night-stand-ego-boost with these very busy fetishists, go for it!  Just remember that, no matter what they tell you, these no-charge gigolos have been with many, many partners -- insist on protection.

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