The other night I was asked to do a short radio interview on a local Austin station about midlife dating. Anyone who knows me knows I have an awful lot to say on THAT subject. Anyone who knows me also knows I’m an overachiever. So, even though the show was going to be pretty light and fun, I thought I should have a few statistics at hand since I’m supposed to be, ahem, an expert on the subject of all things women and midlife.
Ha, ha, I had no idea! AARP (ouch, it hurts me every time I have to let that acronym into my consciousness) had done a study a few years back on Midlife Singles and it had some pretty amusing and thought provoking things to say that I just have to share. For the record, they are referring to midlife singles as those forty to sixty-nine.
I want to have my cake and eat it too. We singles apparently prize our independence and freedom, but we get vewwy lonely and that sucks. Being Boomers of course we want it all, at the same time and preferably right now.
Hi, my name is Marv. Would you like to have sex? It may not surprise you to learn that 20 percent of men think sex on the first date is acceptable. And, that only 2 percent of women agree. Second date, still only 2 percent of women think that’s cool, but 12 percent of men, apparently ever the optimists, are good to go. It isn’t until they’ve known someone over an extended period that 45 percent of women think it’s acceptable. Wow, women are from Venus and men are from Mars I guess.
But they all have baggage! The number one frustration for those who are actively dating is, drum roll please, dating people with a lot of baggage. Roughly half think that’s a drag. Second most frustrating thing is a close race between people pushing too quickly to get into a serious relationship and people who, dang them, become difficult after the initial dates.
This is a drag. It’s about equal between men and women at 40-ish percent who say the biggest trouble with being single is not having anyone to do stuff with. It’s what comes after that’s interesting. 32 percent of women say it’s being on their own and not having enough money. 24 perent of men say it’s not being in a sexual relationship. Hmmm, that could explain some things.
Hey Baby, heh heh, would you like to come up and see my etchings? 21 percent of men have current or recent dating partners who are five to nine years younger. 14 percent have babes fifteen-plus years younger and 16 percent ten to fourteen years younger. As you might imagine, those categories for women are way low.
These little nuggets pretty much fit with my personal experience. Hey, I’m right there on that first one. I like my independence mucho and it’s dern lonely sometimes even with lots of friends. There isn’t a substitute for a special someone.
That second one was a little off putting although thinking sex on the first date would be an awful lot of fun and actually suggesting it are two completely different things. To their credit, I’ve never had a man ask me to hop in the sack on a first date. Good thing too.
It cracked me up that we’re frustrated that people have baggage and lots get difficult after you’ve known them for a bit. I would bet a dime to a doughnut hole that if asked, most respondents would deny that THEY had more than a teensy bit of baggage or were ever difficult. Uuh, huh, that must be why so many of us have been on Match.com for so long, eh? I found it poignant that so many women apparently find singlehood difficult because of their financial situation. In fact, I’m not sure what to make of that one. Women’s pay still lags behind men’s, I know that. And, women just aren’t as socialized as men in general to focus on making money, we’re supposed to be “nice,” and “nice” and “rich” apparently don’t go together in our minds. What’s up with this, any ideas?
And then, don’t get me started on that last. On Match.com, after I turned fifty, I had a distinctly different experience. And that was men my age asking for women ten to fifteen years younger than themselves. The interesting point in this survey was that both men AND women wanted to date those younger than themselves. It’s just that the women are much less successful. This gives me a slow burn, but I guess I should be asking what’s interesting about a man who thinks a woman fifteen years his junior is an equal match? Oops, sorry, who said anything about EQUAL?
How does this match with your experience? And seriously on that women and finances question … how do you see that?