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Droop Therapy Last night, a man my age (44) asked me if I know any single women in their 20s. He explained he’d be happy to casually date a woman our age, but he’s seeking a relationship with a younger woman because he wants kids. But even beyond the kids issue, I know many women over 40 who rarely get to date. How many guys can you name who date older women, apart from Ashton Kutcher? Why do women always have to date much older men? Until my divorce four years ago, I had no idea age was such an issue for men. Why can’t they see that we older women have our charms, too?

--Mature and Mad

When you see some rich old geezer with some hot young thing, don't kid yourself; the girl isn't going to tell you, "I tremble with longing every time his hair plugs catch a glint of sun bouncing off his walker." Like all women, she’s on evolutionary autopilot, making a beeline for a “provider” -- regardless of whether she even wants kids. Think of it as a form of genetic math: Multiple mansions cancel out multiple chins. What’s a little thing like male pattern baldness when it’s driving around in a Ferrari?

Of course, women who want boyfriends apply Maybelline, not Mercedes. While, in a study I’ve mentioned before, women said they’d rather date an ugly businessman with a Rolex than a handsome man in a Burger King uniform, men overwhelmingly shoved aside the homely businesswoman for the hot hamburger helper. But, don’t blame them, their genes made them do it. Most inconveniently, women lack blinking LED screens on their foreheads indicating their level of genetic fitness, so men evolved to be attracted to youth and other physical characteristics that say “I’m fertile!” and “Your genes and mine – good to go for generations!” Think about it: If men evolved to be attracted to grandmas, and women to men who do bong hits and nap a lot, the human race would’ve died off before it ever got out of the cave.

It used to be that 44-year-old men could only stare after 22-year-old girls while piloting the wife and kids around in the minivan. Now, these guys are divorced, and tooling around in classic convertibles, and hey, it doesn’t hurt to try. Yes, this is depressing, but constantly snarling about it will only give you mouth wrinkles and the aura of a dour headmistress who makes dating feel like detention. There are guys out there who aren’t aspiring daddies, and who don’t want girlfriends for whom discussing current events means talking about what went down at prom. You won’t land them by trying to out-22 the 22-year-olds -- so don’t bother squeezing into a push-up bra if what you’re pushing up is mainly a lot of back fat.

What you might consider is compromising a little -- no, not by scanning the obits for dates, but by rethinking the standard, one-stop shopping approach to love, sex, and lifelong friendship. If you have friends, you have love in your life. If you want sex, you’re a woman -- just tell them where to line up. In other words, maybe you can have it all -- you just can’t have it all in one place. The irony is, by easing up on your demands, you’re more likely to have them met. In the meantime, vacationing with your best friend and hooking up with the cabana boy beats staying home and paying some doctor to inject your butt into your face.

Posted by aalkon at November 21, 2005 12:53 AM

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Why can't this lady go get a young guy to play with? Sheesh, maybe if she did she'd lighten up! Men don't care that they look lame next to a young chick!Get over it!

Posted by: Chrystal at November 29, 2005 10:16 PM

As a single, 47 year old, slightly overweight, not too bad looking, intelligent, doing alright financially, looking the 3rd time for the love of my life, I too, have found the pickins rather slim in my age group. Among white men that is. However if you are white and aren't racist - latinos, blacks, middle eastern and men of mixed ethnicity think of me and my kind as candy. They haven't been poisoned by America's barbie doll standards and 50 years of media brainwashing (well not completely) and they embrace rubinesque older women with refreshing passion. Armed with this delightful information I find that my tastes have changed. White men look like beached baluga whales compared to full thick heads of black hair, tan skin and smoldering dark eyes. Look around ladies, open your mind, you might be surprised.

Posted by: Bobbie at December 4, 2005 11:24 PM

Well, Bobbie - turn about is fair play. Don't be surprised if the more desirable of your "race" are picked off by women of color as well, if you're going to play international because you're not viewed by the men of your own as "candy".

And MM, just because Demi and Ashton are the only public figures doing it doesn't mean you can't be flexible. Ashton is 27. Think 30. Think 32...

Posted by: mil at December 11, 2005 5:51 PM

MM definitely start looking for younger, healthier and more interesting men. commitment isnt all its cracked up to be. young men are the wave of the future and they love women with experience

Posted by: lynn at December 19, 2005 7:35 PM

'Well, Bobbie - turn about is fair play. Don't be surprised if the more desirable of your "race" are picked off by women of color as well, if you're going to play international because you're not viewed by the men of your own as "candy".'

--That sounds a little bitter. She was only giving an option, and keeping an open mind. Maybe more of us should do the same- including you.
I think that if the men of her "race" don't view her as "candy" then she SHOULD find someone who does, and more power to her. To hell with anyone who disagrees. Ever heard the saying: "TO EACH THEIR OWN"?

Posted by: Becky at December 20, 2005 10:38 AM

Just to be clear on the racial 'candy' thing, you might be candy for the same reason white women have always been candy to men of color- it's trophy and prestige. if that's all you're looking for, then go for it- it's really a very similar situation that these 20 something girls are doing. so i'm going with that old tag line of 'don't hate, congradulate'. but i'm aiming higher for myself.

Posted by: Tinka at December 29, 2005 1:59 AM

Hi, I dated a black man who was, let's just say, pretty elevated in the world, so he didn't need my white ass for help. In fact, I'd be out with him, on his arm, and women would try to give him their number. I think, imagine that, the guy dated me because he actually found me interesting and attractive...which is why I went out with him. He's now married to a black woman -- naw, maybe she's Latina? -- anyway, he could have had anybody, black, white, or whatever. A friend of mine, who's white and gay, likes black men. Why? Because he finds them sexually appealing, imagine that. I get sick of this hateful little stereotype, usually perpetuated by women of color, that black men who date white women must be using them as a ladder. Ick. Maybe go to the gym and read a book, and you might do better with the men, black, white and other, instead of blaming the black men for wanting the white ladies for ulterior motives.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at December 29, 2005 8:47 AM

I agree--M&M needs to open her heart and her mind. Los Angeles, where I live--and the world--is teeming with smart, attractive guys of all ages who are ready to tango, break bread, walk on the beach at sunset and more, much more. I am 56 (a bit overweight, no plastic surgery) and I get hit on almost daily by guys from 25-75. This also happens to a friend of mine who lives in Victoria, British Columbia (same age, and rather stout), and we ask ourselves why: we think it is because we are really alive, inside--we read, go online, listen to new music and laugh--a lot. I think M&M needs to ditch her 44 year old male "friend" whose thinking limits her and find a new, more vibrant, bunch of playmates and make playdates and then see what happens. BTW, my husband of 20 years is 11 years younger than I.

Posted by: Molly at December 29, 2005 3:35 PM

I can't believe we're nonthinking victims of our ancestors' evolutionary urges. We all can think rationally and I haven't needed a Neanderthal to bring home a side of bison in centuries. The reality is I'm an independant woman who can take care of herself financially. I didn't choose men based on their salary. I'm not ruled by prehistoric urges that no longer apply in my life. I'm able to think and rationalize about what I need in my life and do what it takes to get it. I don't buy the provider/fertility scam. I think that's just a theory that the old men push since it furthers their worldview.

Posted by: cosmicmojo at January 5, 2006 9:20 AM

Your opinion comes from...your opinion. Mine comes from data. Mine's worth more.

Do you notice a lot of men looking for a woman with a fat ass and a really hot personality?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 5, 2006 3:27 PM

there's just as much data tabluting people's changing criteria in marriage as our culture changes, so there's no need to call my position "mere opinion" and your's the only valid side. Not true at all.

I do know a lot of men who have come to react less to looks and more to brain and personality. They got burned too many times with the fluffy self-obsessed princess types. I was just talking to a platonic pal last night who said he's totally changed his criteria away from looks 'cause he got burned too much and he wished he'd known then what he knows now about going for quality over glitz. Don't we all, though--wish we knew then what we know now.

Posted by: cosmicmojo at January 9, 2006 9:19 AM

Amy, I agree with you on the whole attraction thing, but do you really think it so much "age" , or that maybe women over the age of 30 tend to let themselves go? Its effortless for (most) women in their 20's to look good, but its not impossible to look attractive as you get older Arent there some "hot" women in their 40's, or 50's even who eat right and go to the gym to stay in shape that the same man who was after the 20 year olds may be interested in? Genetics aside, I think older women ARE still capable to get the attention that women in their 20's get, it just takes more effort and the truth is most are not willing to work that hard.

Posted by: Nikki at January 10, 2006 4:27 PM

I think it's a regional taste & supply/demand issue. I'm a 39 yo cute chunky professional white woman living in Dallas, virtually dateless (can't make myself get with domineering losers that make up the bulk of the me-interested in these parts) but with a younger latino hottie for friendship & recreational sex.

I travel to several areas regularly on business. In Seattle & Alaska I have to beat the men off with a stick; I receive moderate interest in Ohio and south Florida; but get no hits whatsoever when I'm in South Carolina!

Last I checked, I'm the same person everywhere I go.

Posted by: lisalisa at January 17, 2006 10:36 AM

Hi I am a almost 50 swm slightly overweight and going bald. I have two falied marriages first cheated the 2ed would not take her meds-told the doc
I am use to 4-6 orgasim 2-3 times a day not just 1 or 2 2-3 times d day; her med'd kept her from screaming at my daughters that they slept with me and thefore hurt her marrage ect. First wife 7 years older 2ed wife1 year younger.
Current Fiencee' met on line speaks five langues funnistest female I know Brillent demands she remains chaste tell marriage but has shown marrage will be fireworks several timnes a day. She is 17 years younger

Lets see she does not hate men
She has a body that was nothing that i am attracted to but after several hours of chats and many hours in bed I want nothing eles but her i am excited all day every day by her

I have dated Very Beautiful females & very homely
thin & very fat
Old & young
They all really liked themselfs were very sensual
enjoyed sex and were funny and happy I will add Honest that a biggy

So if you want a male ask youself theses questions
Do I the the truth?

Will I have sex with him on a regular basis?
I.E several times a week

Do I walk away when my friends bad mouth men?

will I forgive his mistakes and screw him when I am mad and angrey at him?

If you answer yes to all of this you are golden if you answered no you are most likely alone

Posted by: Joe at March 2, 2006 3:44 PM

With a stick? There are better ways to beat off a man, lisalisa. (Sorry, it's late, couldn't resist.)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at March 3, 2006 12:09 AM

"...anyway, he could have had anybody, black, white, or whatever."

Uh, no Amy, he couldn't either. I for one don't date blacks. And no, that doesn't make anyone a "racist." Believe it or not, some people believe in the principle of "kind-after-like-kind." I'll leave that to the synaptically challenged to figure out. I'm white, my husband is white, and so are my children... imagine that -- what a concept! Oh yeah, and I want white grandkids too. Quick call the "racist" cops!!!

Posted by: Bryanna at April 20, 2006 9:39 PM

"...anyway, he could have had anybody, black, white, or whatever."

Uh, no Amy, he couldn't either.

Um, since it's highly unlikely that you know him, perhaps you should stick to speaking for yourself.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 20, 2006 10:09 PM

For the most part I agree with the Goddess's response here, but I must object to her implication that a hot 40-something can't "out" a 20 something if she wants to. I am 41 and I think I could stand up against most 20-somethings no problem. BTW I have no back fat.

Posted by: jerseygirl at June 3, 2006 12:26 PM

Hey gang, I this is just what I have found in my 31 years on this planet. Different races find different body types attractive, we all know this as we have seen the evidence in our everyday lives. When I was in high school I would have given my left nut for a Paris Hilton type….only to meet one and be completely turned off physically. I personally found her to be too small, but then again, fitting part of the stereo type, I’m black. I believe that all women are appealing in some way; they just may not be your personal type. Most men love Pam Anderson, I see why guys like her, I personally don’t find her attractive, but then again, that’s just me. This is something else that I have personally found too, that as we age our idea of what is attractive seems to shift. Where I work there is a wide gap in age between the staff members and it was mentioned to me by our youngest co-worker just out university that what I and my other co-worker who are past 30 find good looking is much different from the late teen to early 20 ‘young-uns’ that he still finds ‘hot’. He also told me that his father, who used to own a nightclub, has been saying the same thing to him for years. ‘That woman is SOO HOT!!’ his dad would say observing an older patron walking around the bar. Then he himself looks and would be nowhere near impressed. That’s just what I have found; I’m not saying its right or wrong, just the results that I have observed thus far in my life. I guess all that I am saying is that we should endeavor to look our best, I’m not asking for my fiancée to resemble a 20 year old, that’s impossible, but I work out and have actually LOST weight since we met, I’m just a little disappointed that she can’t seem to find the time to deal with the 25lbs she gained during that same period.

Posted by: Amax at August 16, 2006 4:55 AM

I’m sorry, me again, I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t add one more point. I have to agree with Amy, one more thing about the gentlemen who owned the bar that I used to work at who had made that earlier statement. They where brothers and they BOTH had MUCH younger girlfriends (they where middle aged, their girlfriends; early to mid 20’s). Amy’s point in practice on both sides as these brothers had quite a bit of money. If you do not fit into Amy’s example, well that’s cool. However, we all know that we are going to find MANY illustrations of Amy’s paradigm everywhere we look, Anna Nicole Smith types, you get the idea. Yes it’s true that some don’t care about age and what not (there was a 42 year old bartender that I would have gone after but when I was available, she was taken and vice versa) but I also understand that I would’ve been the exception, not the rule. We all need to live our lives as we see fit, but to ignore the evidence that is around us is, in my opinion as I see it, foolhardy. I knew that I had to make a certain about of money and not be lazy to meet a woman, and I once dated a woman who was much heavier that I was who knew that white men ignored her because of her size so she only dated black men. You can argue this until you are blue in the face gang; the truth is that we will still see the exact same things tomorrow.

Posted by: Amax at August 16, 2006 7:46 AM

Wrong about different races finding different body types attractive. Men, across cultures, prefer women with a .7 waist-to-hip ratio. That's from the work of Dr. Devendra Singh. And I believe it was David Buss who did the research where he found that men, in a culture, prefer women of a certain weight based on whether food was prevalent or not. In cultures where food is prevalent, it's high status for a man to have a thin woman. In cultures where food is not, fat women are high status. My column and my opinions are not simply my opinions but based on data. There may be anomalies out there, but if you're a woman who wants a man, you're doing yourself a disservice in western culture to be fat.

Moreover, not every man can get a woman as attractive as he'd like. They settle for what they can get.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 16, 2006 9:21 AM

Hi, I'd like to comment on this:
I'm 40, heading into the 41 yr. age bracket; I have found that I still have a wide window of men to date, despite the age issue. I think its because instead of being bitter, I have learned to open the playing field... ie get listed on as many dating sites as I can, let all my friends know I'm single and looking, etc. anything to find opportunities to date. I do understand her hurt however... there are too many people in this world fixated on "the barbie mentality", as a larger woman (5'9, 219) I also know the stigma men place you on for being larger. But again, I find dates. I still have yet to find a long term commited relationship, though. I will say I blame society and evolutionary standards for this, but then again, I'd rather be single than be in an unhappy marriage. Right now I am happily dating a man 17 years older than I-- ok, that probably wasnt going to help her- lol- but he overlooks my weight and I overlook his age, and there is alot of happiness there, and I still date others until someone comes along and pops the question.... hope everyone finds their true "till death do us part" love of their life. --- Melanie

Posted by: Melanie Simms at October 22, 2006 10:23 AM

am here looking for some one to be with .

Posted by: sinken at October 17, 2007 12:42 PM

"will I forgive his mistakes and screw him when I am mad and angrey at him?"

Um, Joe - why would any sane woman do that?

That's not being an attractive woman; that looks more to me like co-dependent enabling.

(Not to speak of the fact that it doesn't look like it matters much to you whether the woman is enjoying herself during sex.)

Although if your idea of a good relationship is "man does what he wants, however destructive, and woman puts up with it" -- then there's really no point in having a discussion about it.

Posted by: rrr at January 6, 2008 4:38 PM

Race is an outdated socially constructed concept. Ethnicity and culture are not. This "like kind" bullshit is uneducated, to say the least, when applied to arbitrary physical characteristics like pigment - and even that can't be exactly defined, because you get into issues of - how white is white enough?

Posted by: Jessica at January 29, 2008 10:35 AM

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