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Is it important to have a concept of your dating league?

(55 Posts)
darknessontheedgeoftown Fri 20-Jan-17 10:25:37

So I have recently been doing a bit of dating, mostly but not exclusively OLD. I'm early 40s(M) & for a variety of reasons didn't get the opportunity to do this in my twenties.Couple of relationships in my 30s. Now single. It has struck me that a number of the problems besetting m/f relationship s relate a skewed sense of the individuals relative value in the dating market. I've often read and heard about say 40sthg men delusionally thinking 25 year old women will be interested in them and the hurt and confusion this causes say among the 40sthg women who understandably get upset by this. I don't know what happens when the men realise they should be looking at people their own age. I also think there is a less discussed thing of people often those who have had little romantic success e.g through shyness/lack of opportunity assuming no one will be interested in them and thereby both missing out and causing others they could have had happy relationships with to miss out. Would be interested to hear what you think.

TheNaze73 Fri 20-Jan-17 11:13:53

I don't think there is a straight forward answer here, as all cases will be different. Some men in their 50's, wouldn't dream of dating someone their own age or older, due to reduced libidos with menopause or whatever reason, whilst some wouldn't want the perceived hassle of dating a younger woman who would want children etc. At the end of the day, if Mr mid 50's is consistently chasing Miss mid 20's with no luck, you'd hope he'd have the self awareness to realise.

DustyMaiden Fri 20-Jan-17 11:17:26

I don't value people that way. I would date any age within reason if I liked them.

Bluntness100 Fri 20-Jan-17 11:20:08

Ehrm this confuses me as it focuses solely on age. Plenty of couples have age differences and on line dating is often just trying your luck to see who is interested. Sure if you only go for those out your league you may end up alone, but this is more than age, it's looks, social status etc but even then it's not that simple and relationships work with a variety of differences between couples.

Frankelly66 Fri 20-Jan-17 11:21:51

I know a few couples with the age gap, they met by chance and are very happy. I also know plenty of 40 year old men who use online dating, they don't care about age, or her kids, they literally just want to meet someone who is a kind and fun person. One guy met a woman older than him and she has four kids and he's soooo happy. Have faith! I think with online dating you have to cop some bad before you uncover the good.

darknessontheedgeoftown Fri 20-Jan-17 11:27:27

Frankelly's last post rang true. I suppose this is what I was trying, badly, to get across. There are many people m and f who just want someone nice and kind and aren't looking for the earth. Those that do demand what they can't deliver give all of us a bad name and make it more difficult.

MardyGrave Fri 20-Jan-17 11:33:36

Someone's 'value' as a potential mate is made up of lots of variables. A 40 year old man who is financially stable with an established career is attractive to some/most women.

A gorges male model who's rather dull and boring will get dates but perhaps not relationships.

Basically there's someone for everyone, but the stereotypical 1 to 10 scale of appearance can run concurrently with the scale of humour, income, aspirations and education.

mistermagpie Fri 20-Jan-17 11:34:17

The age thing does tend to be an issue for a lot of the men I know who are OLD. Most are look for a partner in an age bracket which is lower than their own. So a 37 year old I know is looking for women up to the age of 35 etc. I find this a bit short sighted as often you are discounting people the same age as yourself, which seems a bit odd. Also, I am older than DH, not by loads, but if he was using this criteria then we never would have met and we are a great match.

A lot of the people I know in their late 30s and early 40s who are OLD are also looking for people with no children. Again, this might be a bit shortsighted, because in those age groups a lot of people are going to have children and ex-partners floating about, that's just the way it is. Nothing wrong with wanting somebody with no 'baggage' but you are limiting your dating pool considerably.

I guess I think people should be open minded, but OLD is not conducive to that because it encourages you to set criteria which you might not apply in 'real life'.

Holowiwi Fri 20-Jan-17 11:41:44

There are many things that contribute to a persons 'dating league' not just age limit. For example man who is 44 good looking, tall, in great shape, interesting personality and earns well probably wouldn't struggle to get dates with women in their 20s.

HardToDeal Fri 20-Jan-17 11:45:27

For me age is a factor but also looks. When I compare the page of people I've liked to the page of people who've liked me, the gulf in attractiveness is huge! And I would consider myself attractive, I have good profile photos etc. So honestly, a man 15 years older, without any special conversational skills or great wealth (not that that interests me, just as an example of something to offer), and with below average looks...I feel like dude, choose your audience because I'm not it.

Blobby10 Fri 20-Jan-17 11:46:40

As a 47 year old woman, my 'dating' age range is 37-57! The age doesn't bother me but he HAS to be over 6ft 2"! Like Holowiwi said, there are many factors in play here. Every person is so different that one criteria cant fit everyone

Pollyanna9 Fri 20-Jan-17 11:56:38

I agree with you HardToDeal. Maybe it's all those people 'just looking for someone nice and fun' that keep saying they'd like to meet you/us (and I'm 50 so well over the hill but instantaneously 95% are literally of absolutely no interest to me - and sadly, whilst I'm not looking for a former male model, we all do go on appearance and looks whether we'd like to think we do or not, especially when online dating.

If that was all anyone was looking for then you could literally stick an OLD pin in ANY man that approached you and say yes, he's the one for me.

But I don't want to do that and I don't think many people would although as the OP says, that is all the some people want and that's fair enough.

We should also remember that the age you are doesn't reflect your outlook on life, your personal grooming habits, your sense of style, whether you look young or old for your age, whether you have the ability to actually write English properly and in full or not, whether you have some wit and banter or not. You can't glean any of that from the photo or really from the profile half the time.

I've got to say, when I look at guys my age or a couple of years older, they look SO. OLD. and I just am not interested. No, I don't want a toy boy but if you look like a granddad I'm sorry, it's not doing it for me.

So I agree that there is a whole 'league' of gentlemen that just won't do it for me - but I'm grateful to every one who makes contact with me. At least they're having a go.

LoveforPGTipsMonkey Fri 20-Jan-17 11:58:59

I'm much more interested in what people think of 'your league' socially speaking - does it really matter these days? I think age is just a personal preference and there is not much point discussing what people should be attracted to on physical level (which is more related to age).

But how do you know where the boundaries aer for social/career 'league' - I like to be open minded but iot seems that men judge women on their profession/social standing as well - I don't know why that shocks me. I mean not going on personal qualities intelligence, interests) but on actual 'on paper' achievements? I obv don't mean people not going for completely incomparable IQ levels etc.

HardToDeal Fri 20-Jan-17 12:05:08

Pollyanna - I'm 37 but look younger and I agree about guys looking so much older. Actually the ones I'm attracted to tend to be early 30s but as I have two small children I realise that's probably not the best "hunting ground" for me. But yes, some do in all honesty look like they could be my dad, and not in a sexy salt-and-pepper way, but in an they-look-like-my-actual-dad way. And they're not funny to talk to, or do anything interesting, or even tempt me with full sentences written in proper English - so what are they offering? Nothing to me personally.

Frankelly66 Fri 20-Jan-17 12:07:29

I also think the issue with online dating is it is about a criteria to begin with, rather than natural connection. At least you will only match with a man who is keen meeting a woman in his and your age group and be lucky to miss the men who aren't. Just go with a gut instinct and don't look at men as potential boyfriends, who would yo be able to have a nice evening with? If more comes in the end even better. But yes, lots of people are probably missing out not being open minded to start with

HardToDeal Fri 20-Jan-17 12:10:33

Missing out on what, though? I get lots of initial messages, most of which I don't answer because they're either not attractive to me, too far away, or written in text speak or too boring for words. Of those I do answer, if we get past three or four messages I get asked out by them all, pretty much. But I have limited babysitting opportunities so I have to pick carefully who I do go out with! I don't see how my criteria mean I'm missing out at all, in fact I have too many to choose from already, and I'm sure that's true for some of the women men think aren't giving them a chance.

Ellisandra Fri 20-Jan-17 12:12:45

A 40+ man thinking he can date a 25yo is far from delusional.
Just yesterday there was a thread (unrelated to age) posted by a 29yo woman dating a 47yo man.

I can't tell you why it's more acceptable that way round.
- because are generally allowed to do what they want?
- because we see older men as attractive (George Clooney) but not older women
- because the women are less judgemental about age?
- because the younger women are attracted to the financial stability and wealth of the older men?
- because society doesn't judge it the way they do the other way round?

When I was OLD at age 40, I set an age range of 35-50. It was mostly about lifestage. I was looking for a LTR but didn't want a man who might start wanting kids (I personally think there's a big leap from 30 to 35 in both genders, re career, life goals etc). Also didn't want to pair off with someone who would retire decades before me - and, frankly, be statistically likely to die long before me.

I really noticed the number of men my age who put 25-39. I tended to not bother looking at men whose age range stopped lower than their own - I judged them for it.

My 52yo now fiancé's opening line was "so I'm outside your age range but I loved <thing on my profile> so I thought I'd say hi anyway".

Pollyanna9 Fri 20-Jan-17 12:26:38

It sounds like you and I Hardtodeal may be cut from the same cloth!

HardToDeal Fri 20-Jan-17 12:43:07

Ha, I just think "I'm not a charity here! My job in life is not to provide entertainment to poor, hard-done-by dateless men!"

ShatnersWig Fri 20-Jan-17 12:44:43

Hardtodeal and Pollyanna I will say precisely the same thing and I'm a man, so it's good to see this isn't gender specific.

I'm 42 and I've always been regarded as looking a good few years younger than I am. When I was 35, most people on meeting me thought I was late 20s. I've definitely started to look a bit closer to my age over the last year or so.

I've given up dating but I used Tinder and POF and Match on and off for quite a while and was astonished at how the vast majority of women between 37 and 42 looked years older than me. Most of the women aged 45 looked nearer in age to my mum than me! I know we're blessed with good genes in our family but....

Yes of course there is more than looks (my last LTR of 10 years was actually 10 years older than me and looked a couple of years older) but it's looks that attract you in the first place and then you fall for the personality (for most people anyway) and the idea of dating someone who is, say 38 but looks 48 when I'm 42 and look 37 is hard to get your head round.

Pollyanna9 Fri 20-Jan-17 12:45:35

Lol! I know what you mean!

I want them to offer me something that's differentiating, you know?

Whether that's a 'league' or not I'm not sure.

SoleBizzz Fri 20-Jan-17 12:48:51

I wouldn't have dated a man in his forties when I was twenty something. Too old!

LesisMiserable Fri 20-Jan-17 12:50:41

Met my partner when he was 37 and I was 43 on tinder so can only assume he wasnt looking for younger, or he was but I beat them all hands down...yes lets go with that grin

HardToDeal Fri 20-Jan-17 12:53:16

Yeah, if I wanted a run of the mill average guy who brings nothing to the table and generates no spark...well, I'd have stayed married 😳

Shatner, some of it is the photos as well, I'm sure. One guy has shown a fair bit of interest (messaged me, winked at me, keeps looking at my profile), but his photo is of him with his shirt off, and it's just such a giant no, I can't get over it! So many men have awful photos, where you can see them holding up their phone next to their face (ok in a full length mirror pic but as your main photo it makes me think you have no friends), or you can see their sad house behind them, or it's all blurry, or they look like they've just got out of prison...maybe I am missing out by not giving these guys a chance but if they can't sell themselves why should I go rummaging through the bargain bins of dating profiles? Put yourself in the shop window!

HardToDeal Fri 20-Jan-17 12:55:41

And some guys aren't necessarily good looking but their photos show a glint in the eye, a cheeky expression, a genuine fun personality etc that is attractive.

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