After months of putting it off, I recently joined match.com. I feel nervous about the prospect of dating again, irritated that at age 32, I'm apparently "too old" to be dateable, hopeful that I'll find a guy who doesn't flirt with other women in front of me (yes, that did happen to me on a date), and tempted to just give up on finding Mr. Right and stock up on a bunch of ice cream.
Even though it's not quite summer yet and I'm not yet done with school, I figure that now is a good a time as any to start dating again. I decided against okcupid, since there are way too many guys on that site looking for "casual encounters" and "activity partners". (Yes, you can actually specify that that is what you are looking for on okcupid.) Also, fellow blogger Theresa Milstein sent me a video on my thirty-second birthday. It's by someone named Elaine Moran and it's a parody of Taylor Swift's song "22"; this song is called "32" and it basically describes my life (except subtract all the wine she's drinking and replace it with coffee). Even though I loved the video (thanks for sending it to me, Theresa!), it made me realize that I have to be proactive if I want my life to change.
Eharmony was out, because it was too expensive and when I was a member, there were too many guys on that site who didn't include any pictures in their profiles. I'm not completely superficial, but looks do matter to some extent; I don't want to cringe and run in the opposite direction if my date tries to kiss me. I liked chemistry.com, but I decided to try match.com again (I tried it four years ago), partly because a lot of people are on that site. So I figured, why not?
I included several recent pictures of myself in my profile, and I wrote a description of myself in the same way that I write blog posts. That is, I tried to make it sound funny and witty, in the hopes that guys would read it and think, "Wow, she sounds MUCH more interesting than all those other girls who look like swimsuit models. I should e-mail her."
I've only been on the site a couple days, but one thing that really bugs me is the issue of age. I've been contacted by several guys already, but most of them are in their late forties and fifties. I'm willing to date someone who's ten years older, but not older than that; I'd prefer to date someone in his thirties, like me, because then we'd probably have more in common. I'd also like to tell guys that if they're going to lie about their age in their profiles, they probably shouldn't claim to be twenty years younger than they look, because they aren't fooling anyone.
Another thing that bothers me is that a lot of of the guys in their thirties and forties on that site only want to date significantly younger women. I can understand how guys in their twenties prefer to date women who are close to their own age. But I saw a profile of one thirty-five-year old guy who wrote that his ideal match is between the ages of 18-28. So even though I'm only three years younger than him, apparently, I'm still too old for him.
Twenty-eight is the popular cutoff age for a lot of the guys on that site, including the guys in their thirties. What's interesting (and irritating) is that the guys are willing to date women who are twenty years younger than them, but they aren't willing to date women who are two years younger (or older) than them. And to that I say, "Good luck with getting someone that young to date you, because most women in their late teens and early twenties think that anyone over the age of twenty-five is old." (I teach college students, and I remember what it was like to be an eighteen year old girl, so I know that it's true.)
Why is it that so many men want to date younger women? It can't just be because they want to start families, because women in their thirties are still capable of having children. What's more, there are a lot of thirtysomething women, including me, who still want to have families.
There are many women out there who want to date younger men (although often it seems like people are more critical of the women who date younger men than the men who date younger women). But I am not one of them. I think it'd be okay to date someone who was four or five years younger, but I feel like a twenty-two year old guy would be going through all these things that I already experienced a decade ago. I'm not saying it's wrong to want to date someone younger, and there are many successful, loving relationships out there with significant age differences. But I do think it's unfair that no matter what else I have to offer someone, my age is an automatic barrier to many men.
But I'll keep trying, at least for now. I signed up for a three-month membership with match. If this website doesn't work, I'll try plentyoffish.com, which I haven't tried before. I really do want to get married and have children someday, though I didn't put that on my profile. That'd be like taking pictures of myself trying on bridal gowns and posting them in my profile, which would make a lot of guys cringe and run in the opposite direction.
Wish me luck.
What about you? Why do you think some men and women want to date younger people? Have you ever dated anyone who was significantly older/younger?
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