Tuesday, 5 January 2010

That cruel game called dating- Part I

in which we had too much red wine and might have generalized a little.

So this single friend of ours was complaining. He said being single in his late thirties was similar to being gay, as people immediately try to set you up.

Oh, I have a gay friend!

So what? Just because you have a gay friend you think we must be destined for each other?

People think if you are approaching 40 and are still single there must be something wrong with you. Whether you had been married before, or have always been single, they just wonder: Hmm...How come? What is going on?

So, over a couple of bottles of red vino, our discussion led us into talking about dating when you are slightly, as I'd say in Russian, overripe.

Well...-he said- You see... It is complicated for someone like me.

First of all, he explained, he did not know where he wanted to live. Having worked and lived in a few fascinating places around the world, he was not sure he wanted to spend the rest of his life in the states.

Therefore, American women are no good. Because, majority of them would want to stay in their home country. Age is also an issue. He prefers younger girls, not just because their bodies are hotter, but because it is pretty scary to date women over 30.

The most dangerous age, he explained, is between 30 and 35. That is the age when girls panic about their clocks ticking and go crazy, desperately searching for husband material, so they could quickly have those babies. The older ones are also scary, he said, even though, some had by then already given up on the idea and are a little more relaxed. Also, with older ones, you more often meet those who had already been there- done that. They had a partner and kids, and now are just having fun. He talked about unhappy relationships and dangers of getting trapped by having children...

As I sat there, my mind captivated by this brutally cynical, yet realistic outlook, I just could not help but imagine, for a brief second, what it would be like for me, in my – can I still say “mid”? – thirties, to be single again.
Being analyzed by single men. The ones who would either assume I am going to be up for quick casual sex just because I had done the whole married thing once already, or that I am desperate to catch a new husband- to pay my bills. The ones who would secretly wonder what might be wrong with me. The ones who prefer younger bodies untouched by childbirth.

An unpleasant chill went through my (slowly but unavoidably) aging body. “Better try to be nicer to Husband”- I told myself.

But why is it that our society is so unfair to women? Because, however hard I argued that night, in this cruel game of dating in your 30+, men are generally better off.

But why should they be?

Why is it assumed that older women are any less physically attractive than older men?

Looks are not as important for women”- my friend suggested.

I laughed. I thought it was quite funny. If you think that women look at Brad Pitt and wonder about his intellect, then trust me, you are wrong. Would women really prefer a baldy with an old saggy bottom- unless, of course!- it is supported by his money? So, if you are an older single male, and not rich, what is it that you think puts you in a better position?What have single men in their late thirties got that makes them anyhow more datable than women of the same age?

But! Let’s stop being so cynical, I say. Because, sometimes things just happen.

Not by analyzing what wicked trap might be set up for you; or who might be right or wrong for whatever reasons. One day, She will just appear in this friend’s life. She might be young or she might be somewhat older. Her arse might not be as tiny and perky as he might ideally wish for. She might be American or Russian. But she will be just right for him, despite of all the things he would normally analyze and scrutinize. I appreciate that with age, we all tend to get a little more cynical. A little more negative. And i just hope that one day, my friend would still find that ability to forget all the logic and simply enjoy falling in love.


  1. Actually, it looks like more men nowadays fall for older women appreciating the fact that older women (and I think mid 30s, even 40s) are more sophisyicated and experienced. In fact I'm the only woman who's younger than my husband in my husband's family where all men married women older than themselves, not much older but still. So your friend is a bit old fashioned (or too middle-eastern minded) if he is interested only in young chicks.

  2. I kind of identify myself with some of your points here: I'm in my late thirties and still single. I guess every aspect in life has a bright side and a dark side. After years of comparing myself to other, I chose to look at the bright side. And you know what? There are a lot of advantages.

  3. I have zero patience for men like that, in their late thirties, forties or even fifties with the laundry list of things that are “so wrong with women”. As my Mom says, “when Fox can’t reach the grapes, it says that grapes are sour”. I know this Russian professah, not altogether unfortunate looking, if not for his awful skinny chicken arms, who once called my gorgeous, tall, smart, sexy American friend who is only 2 years older than him a “senior citizen”. Lets just say he got what was coming to him after that statement & isn’t invited to our house anymore. Years later, he is still “looking” for things that are wrong with each woman he meets (allegedly). I suspect he may in fact be a latent homosexual, who knows.

  4. @Ani- somehow Blogger lost your comment! I hate when that happens. :)

  5. I always thought that after certain point in your life you have to accept that your "perfect" partner might have a baggage as they would have had a life for 40 years or so. However, as i am not very tolerant, it would be hard. When i was about 18, my good friend (a good 20 years older) said to me "if you ever get married, marry an orphan". This was said as a joke while she was moaning about her in-laws, but you know what - i am glad i have not got a mother in law as our relationship would have been tested more. So i don't know if i could tolerate ex-wife, or children. And what i can see from what i have just written - i would be looking for someone close to Mr Perfect and probably stay on my own. x

  6. @Nata:is your Mom's expression based on fable of Mt.Krilov:"Lisa i vinograd"?

  7. There IS something wrong with this guy. He is too picky, to put it midly, or too selfish for a committed relationship. But then again, that would only be wrong if a marriage were considered a "right thing to do." And who said it is? That's just a view predominant in the society that is imposed on men and women alike.

  8. I agree, let's stop being cynical! I have a truly romantic story to share: check out this link http://classicfun.ws/one-lucky-guy-wins-in-lottery-and-finds-the-love-of-his-life/2009/03/31

  9. Riyad: You are back. :) Love the link: I knew there were some romantics left in this world!

  10. @Anonymous: You are correct. She says that a lot :)

  11. Strange that people still think in categories. I know we're all young, middle-aged or, like me, old, but why does that (or other artificial things such as nationality or religion) define us? I think individuals are precious - some of them are total bastards too but they should still be accepted for who they are rather than what they represent.

    Which is not to say that I don't despise men who, despite their protests, still treat women primarily as sex objects. I think your friend might do better if he cleared his mind of all this destructive thinking and started looking around at all the lovely people there still are.