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Online dating: Why do men write off women in their own age range?

(74 Posts)
labetenoir Thu 01-May-14 20:38:09

I am currently using Guardian Soul Mates but its the same on so many sites. I am 36 but a man my age or even 37 - 40 only wants to date women between 23 and 34 for example.

I just can't work out the logic, its not like women suddenly become hideous at 35. I can imagine a lot of it is ego and self delusion i.e. lots of people men and women often think they are young looking and acting for their age i.e not your average 30 something but who is these days?

It just seems like such a knee jerk reaction to put your age cut off automatically at several years younger than your own. I have read the studies that say how men even if they say they will date women older than them (very rare) they still spend most of their time and energy contacting women at the very youngest end of their range and often even younger ones.

It just pees me off because it seems so dismissive. To be honest I am losing faith in online dating, another article today about the high percent of married people using online dating sites and apps to "shop around" to check out the market ... its so depressing. What happened to love?

chaseface Thu 01-May-14 20:43:18

Because they're testing their market value and seeing if they can pull younger women.

Because they might want kids.

I think a lot of men probably go through a pretty steep learning curve from who they want to contact and who they end up dating.

Minime85 Thu 01-May-14 20:46:26

I do know what u mean but wonder often with those men, they have no children and are looking for someone who would possibly still want to have them/be more likely able to maybe?

Maisie0 Thu 01-May-14 20:48:44

It is not delusional than the fact that they want to relive their lives again and start anew with someone else. But really, live does not work like that and you should meet someone as your peer and go through similar things but take it slowly and take it easy.... A few people realises this and are quite open. I am also using online dating too, and I am not too sure either to be honest. I always preferred to meet people within friendship group. It has been a while since I dated mind. The last two were quite oddly out of my comfort zone and circle of friends. I just went in too blindly I think.

See these men as red flags. Because it means that there are baggages behind them too.

AnyFucker Thu 01-May-14 20:48:48

Isn't it obvious ?

chaseface Thu 01-May-14 20:50:30

Also OP are you contacting these men? On the one hand you'd be within your rights to write them off as shallow douche bags, but you are also free to ignore someone's criteria and get in touch if you think you'd get on otherwise.

labetenoir Thu 01-May-14 20:52:22

Personally I haven't ruled out children but its not essential to me to have them. However the fertility issue is a big deal. I certainly know a lot of women from university who are in my age range or older who were with men all through their 20's and early 30's who wouldn't commit and wouldn't have children and then left their partners for someone younger and got married and had kids pretty quick. In fact it is something of a real pattern for some women in my generation. We were told go to uni, build a career, live a little and then tick tock your biological clock is running out.

Its difficult, many men seem to want the security of a relationship through their 20's and early 30's but then the women says if were are going to have kids we had better have them now, but the guy isn't ready so the relationship ends and the man has a few years of fun dating around before settling down and having kids in his late 30's early 40's and many women are left feeling too old to be the future mother of a mans children and yet perhaps not wanting to settle down with a man in his 50's who has that part of his life behind him.

perhaps things do change as you say with the learning curve!

That is just a fact of life.

Basically, at 42, I might be someone's ideal woman, but the 32 year old version of me would be even better, right? So they think.

Women discriminate on looks, their ideal man is rarely short and fat and bald, for example. Or poor.

Sex economics.

Maisie0 Thu 01-May-14 21:26:55

Or the guy checked out of life too. Which is also bad as well. So it becomes a case of picking up the pieces. But to truthfully honest, men or women, nobody can save you if you do not save yourself.

Until I came onto MN, I never knew or realised how many people are actually settled into not so great relationships to begin with. To me, it is no longer about settling with someone, but still wanting and hoping to make someone as happy as the would for me too. I often get called "deluded", but the truth remains though. If you want to spend the rest of the 30 year or life with somebody, then surely, I should find a similar personality individual and meet their life expectation and also my own limitation too ?

GatoradeMeBitch Thu 01-May-14 23:03:01

FiscalCliff I don't think women discriminate on looks nearly as much as men. There is a lengthy thread in chat I think about women who say they fancy fat men. Plenty of women will say that bald men are sexy. How often do you hear men talking about women's sexy cellulite?

Anyway, when it comes down to it average joe's may fantasise about Scarlett Johanssen, average jane's may lust after Zac Efron - but the average joe's and jane's will ultimately be left choosing from among each other. Most couples are fairly similar in terms of looks and income.

beaglesaresweet Fri 02-May-14 01:05:25

Fiscal, I don't think women are that influenced by size or height or baldness - and much more influenced by a man's personality, intelligence and maybe him being capable in life, not someone weak. Also most women are not perfect themselves. Not many modern intelligent women want a looker of a man who's stupid, or lacks morals, or who's arrogant (and they often are). I'm actively put off by good looks unless the man has humility as a person and is resistant to shallow attention that he may get. BUT I would admit that women do have to like a face (I mean whatever the looks), and a bit of charm doesn't harm either.

daisychain01 Fri 02-May-14 06:01:40

Not every man is shallow enough to just go on looks alone.

Trouble is online dating is a cattle market, a shop window. People browse at the pretty pictures and pick nice looking sweeties. It is so easy, so it can attract people who aren't genuine or who are not really interested in a proper relationship, its just the thrill of the chase. So you stand a high probability of seeing that sort of shallow behaviour. But the genuine ones will be looking for personality first and looks coming a close second.

Optimist1 Fri 02-May-14 07:05:42

I'm older than you, Bete, but have experienced the same when online dating a couple of years ago.

The way I see it, OD is one step removed from meeting people in RL, which means some men are overexcited by the drawing up of a "shopping list". (Would I like a tall one or a short one? Would I like one in her 20s or in her 30s? and so on). If they were at a party or other in-person situation and scoping out potential dates they'd be much more attuned to who was in their league. It could well be that women do the same thing online, but I haven't looked at the profiles of any women so can't comment on that.

kentishgirl Fri 02-May-14 07:10:32

I can see how men who want children will look for a younger partner. It's a bit hard on the women who are now looking to settle down and have a family in their mid/late 30s but you can see how the men think. Maybe it'll take 2 or 3 years or more from meeting to actually having a baby. It's a safer bet to go with the younger women to start with and avoid the whole ticking clock.

But a lot of men in that age group will actually already have children. Or not have them because they don't want them. For these men, choosing only younger women is an ego thing.

When I was OD I used to dismiss them as dickheads and not bother contacting - I consider them beneath me.

Not all men do this. I met OH through OD and his age range was a nice normal few years younger to a few years older than himself. He wasn't the only one.

Optimist worded it better than I did

akaWisey Fri 02-May-14 07:46:27

I agree with Optimist it's much easier to be picky OD than in a RL scenario because so much about the person is missing in a profile, no matter how well written and engaging it is.

I'm in my early 50's and loads of men my age and even a bit older say they want someone in their 40's so I just skip on by…….it's their loss and I bet they're still looking this time next year when the jowls are sagging and the gut's hanging over the belt grin.

Hormonalhell Fri 02-May-14 07:52:24

I changed my profile to 4 years younger, met DP who was 7 years younger but thought was only 3. shock

He was a little peeved at first, more that I lied to him but because he likes me so much he just carried on seeing me. He did say he would never have messaged me had he known my real age.

I changed it purely because I find I get on with younger men and older men can't cope with my sex drive grin

doziedoozie Fri 02-May-14 07:57:07

It might be that you don't see yourself as old as you really are, I'm 59, a 60+ bloke just sounds too like an old fart for me. I prob see myself as 39 49.

avoiretre Fri 02-May-14 07:59:19

I haven't read all the responses, but you may have partly answered your own question. They aren't really that bothered about finding anyone (maybe because they're married), but if a younger woman comes along, they're up for it. It's similar to employers advertising jobs with a whole load of requirements and paying the minimum wage in the vain hope someone might eventually fit the bill.
I'm male by the way.

Surely it would be a helpful thing as those numpties wouldn't appear on your list because they only want to go out with 22 year olds

It's lucky I don't need to OD as I'd be putting in a massive age range, like 28-60 grin

Walkacrossthesand Fri 02-May-14 08:16:56

It's one of the reasons my dalliance with OD was short - at 50, I could see that many of the 50 - 55 year olds' (who were outnumbered by women 2:1 in the first place) 'preferences' were set to 'under 45'. I didn't fancy a 65 year old bloke (not saying I might not IRL, but didn't want to wade through pages of old men) and didn't want to lie about my age, so it was pretty clear - after a couple of dozen ignored messages - that I was wasting my time.

My advice to my daughters is no longer 'successful relationships aren't just about looks, or all the film stars would be happily married' - no, it's 'if you want children, go for it single if necessary, by the time you're 30. I'll support you!'

NotNewButNameChanged Fri 02-May-14 08:17:58

Can I correct your thread title please?

Why do SOME men write off women in their own age range?

Thank you. As you were.

Thing is, we all have preferences one way or another. For whatever reason, some good, some bad. We aren't all the same. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a man of 37 saying he wants to date women between 24 and 37 if he wants. Women don't have to message him or reply to him. I've seen women using online dating who will also only date younger men. That's their prerogative too.

Fairenuff Fri 02-May-14 08:25:14

It all starts with young girls, aged about 15 or 16 dating older boys aged about 17 or 18 because the boys their age are too immature to want to spend time with.

Rebecca2014 Fri 02-May-14 08:36:15

I think it may be best you look for men older than you? 5-10 years.

Spickle Fri 02-May-14 08:40:53

I'm also 50s and noticed men my age wanted to date much younger women, but I ignored these types and most of them are still out there looking! Stick with it though, I finally met my DP who is 4 years younger as well as a few genuine men who were nice guys. I think we all have to be realistic, that includes both men and women, and try to sift through profiles that seem a good fit. For example a guy contacted me who said he was a vegan and would that be a problem, well yes for me it would, so there was no point in a date! Also someone who is sporting a six pack would probably not suit because, while I'm not overweight, I don't enjoy the gym and I think it's important to have some joint interests/hobbies. I wasn't looking for a carbon copy of myself but it's nice to have similar outlooks, interests and from the same era!

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