Dating for women over 40. The panic and pleasure of online dating as a woman in her 40s.



Dating for women over 40

Dating for women over 40

There was the ex who brutally dumped me but wouldn't stop emailing me for months, whose presence at dorky work gatherings made me dizzy; the sociopathic film critic whose shoulder I virtually cried on; the go-nowhere first dates; and the great, wide swaths of time spent single, usually pining after some unavailable director or writer who'd relish my attention and nothing else. And lots of therapy. There were a few things that sent me into a panic about turning 40, but the biggest — looming larger than the golden ring of a book deal or a staff job or, like, finally going back to yoga — was what it meant for me to still be single and actively looking for a partner at that age.

Not so much even that I was single, but that I cared and what that implied. It just felt really basic, to be frank. There are plenty of things I simply do not give a single solitary fuck about when it comes to what women my age are supposed to be doing.

So why did this one detail bother me? If you're not familiar with the exciting world of online dating, sites and apps let you set search parameters that range from location to body type to education and, yes, age range. Just as there are movies on Netflix you might never stumble across in your bleary-eyed scrolling, there are plenty of people you might never see through some whim of programming code.

Moreover, there's the human factor; it's much easier to reject someone arbitrarily than it is to make an exception. Those exceptions take effort, and online dating is like Amazon Prime for sex. If it weren't for the algorithms, I could meet all of these people IRL and they wouldn't know I was 40 unless I showed them my birth certificate — ah, the very idea made me irate.

How dare they reject me before I could reject them! I've had dating profiles on and off for years. Whether they were the ancient Nerve. Eventually, I'd get fed up with the banality of it all, hide my profile or delete the app. It has generally been rote and fruitless, with occasional flurries of excitement, but for someone who makes their living with words, I've had a weirdly difficult time wooing dudes with them. Still, the day after I turned 40, I decided to fire up an old profile and see what happened.

I'd taken a break from dating after a quick but hot liaison with a punk I'd met at a Damned concert petered out, but I wanted to, you know, put the vibes out there into the universe. As I waded through OkCupid's endless questions and block of text, I imagined the countless men of New York City setting their age filters to 35 or, gasp, 39, and I wondered if it was true that anyone who didn't accept me as I am isn't worth knowing.

It never occurred to me in a serious way before this to lie about my age, even when I hit 30 or In the context of dating, those ages felt a lot less damning than 40; they felt a lot more viable. As ambivalent as I am about having my own children, there's something haunting about that scene from My Cousin Vinny where Marisa Tomei stomps her foot about her biological clock ticking.

My clock didn't begin ticking louder when I turned 40, but the echo of her boots on the floor did. Before now, the single men I wanted to date weren't interested in nubile twenty-somethings — at least not exclusively — and even in my mid-thirties competition from younger women didn't concern me.

I had time, and if someone wanted to get up in my grill about having kids eventually, well, my mom had me when she was 38 and I turned out mostly okay.

But now I'm encountering divorcees and mid-life crises and men who themselves lie about their ages and cheekily confess, "Haha, just hoping you'd be so charmed by the time you clicked that it wouldn't matter!

My friend Chelsea G. Summers, who is 54, is firmly in favor of skimming a few years off one's age, though always coming correct with current photos. Like me, she straddles the digital divide; we remember a time before DOS, but not a lot of dating without the accompanying click and beep of a modem. I had about a year-long run of being semi-seduced by men to have them hightail it, like scared little bunnies.

It was making me feel like crap, so I went to Europe, specifically Stockholm, and immediately got laid. Luckily, OKCupid's data is much more optimistic than my friend Chelsea. Data scientist Dale Markowitz wrote via email, "When it comes to receiving quality messages on OkCupid that is, first messages that turn into conversations , there is no penalty to being 40 or over.

In fact, the proportion of men to women on OkCupid grows with age; women over 40 get on average more messages than women under 40, and have the pick of the litter, so to speak. Michael, a gorgeous musician who used to bartend at my local watering hole, is one such sensitive younger dude; he's an old hand at online dating whose sexploits have singed the eyebrows right off my face, but he's also articulate, smart and funny.

You might recognize him from being quoted at length in Vanity Fair's "Tinder and the Dawn of the 'Dating Apocalypse'" story, which makes him an expert of sorts. Michael also prefers older women though I assume he wouldn't kick a younger woman out of his bed for eating crackers. My current girlfriend is four years older than me, but I definitely see her as my equal.

When I was younger, I saw the girls and the guys, for that matter my age to be kids, which I was too. Older women were how I escaped that feeling.

They were like 'Would you consider a guy below your age range? Like they think I know shit about sex? And can teach their useless baby bodies what to do? There has been no shortage of men under 39 sending me messages and little "likes" through the ether. And while they're not all necessarily piquing my interest, they're also not the horrible fuckboys whose janky messages and blurry cock shots you see screenshotted on Tumblr and Instagram.

Then there are the men I've met online who are actually my age, chronologically and emotionally, who seem to click with my weirdness in all the right ways. Some are people whose social circles overlapped with mine but whom I'd never have otherwise met; whose emails wake me up at 5 a. Some are delightful surprises because sometimes it's about being at the right place at the right time when you're the right age.

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Dating Men Over 40 - 5 Tips



Dating for women over 40

There was the ex who brutally dumped me but wouldn't stop emailing me for months, whose presence at dorky work gatherings made me dizzy; the sociopathic film critic whose shoulder I virtually cried on; the go-nowhere first dates; and the great, wide swaths of time spent single, usually pining after some unavailable director or writer who'd relish my attention and nothing else.

And lots of therapy. There were a few things that sent me into a panic about turning 40, but the biggest — looming larger than the golden ring of a book deal or a staff job or, like, finally going back to yoga — was what it meant for me to still be single and actively looking for a partner at that age. Not so much even that I was single, but that I cared and what that implied. It just felt really basic, to be frank. There are plenty of things I simply do not give a single solitary fuck about when it comes to what women my age are supposed to be doing.

So why did this one detail bother me? If you're not familiar with the exciting world of online dating, sites and apps let you set search parameters that range from location to body type to education and, yes, age range. Just as there are movies on Netflix you might never stumble across in your bleary-eyed scrolling, there are plenty of people you might never see through some whim of programming code.

Moreover, there's the human factor; it's much easier to reject someone arbitrarily than it is to make an exception. Those exceptions take effort, and online dating is like Amazon Prime for sex.

If it weren't for the algorithms, I could meet all of these people IRL and they wouldn't know I was 40 unless I showed them my birth certificate — ah, the very idea made me irate. How dare they reject me before I could reject them! I've had dating profiles on and off for years. Whether they were the ancient Nerve. Eventually, I'd get fed up with the banality of it all, hide my profile or delete the app. It has generally been rote and fruitless, with occasional flurries of excitement, but for someone who makes their living with words, I've had a weirdly difficult time wooing dudes with them.

Still, the day after I turned 40, I decided to fire up an old profile and see what happened. I'd taken a break from dating after a quick but hot liaison with a punk I'd met at a Damned concert petered out, but I wanted to, you know, put the vibes out there into the universe.

As I waded through OkCupid's endless questions and block of text, I imagined the countless men of New York City setting their age filters to 35 or, gasp, 39, and I wondered if it was true that anyone who didn't accept me as I am isn't worth knowing. It never occurred to me in a serious way before this to lie about my age, even when I hit 30 or In the context of dating, those ages felt a lot less damning than 40; they felt a lot more viable.

As ambivalent as I am about having my own children, there's something haunting about that scene from My Cousin Vinny where Marisa Tomei stomps her foot about her biological clock ticking. My clock didn't begin ticking louder when I turned 40, but the echo of her boots on the floor did. Before now, the single men I wanted to date weren't interested in nubile twenty-somethings — at least not exclusively — and even in my mid-thirties competition from younger women didn't concern me.

I had time, and if someone wanted to get up in my grill about having kids eventually, well, my mom had me when she was 38 and I turned out mostly okay. But now I'm encountering divorcees and mid-life crises and men who themselves lie about their ages and cheekily confess, "Haha, just hoping you'd be so charmed by the time you clicked that it wouldn't matter!

My friend Chelsea G. Summers, who is 54, is firmly in favor of skimming a few years off one's age, though always coming correct with current photos. Like me, she straddles the digital divide; we remember a time before DOS, but not a lot of dating without the accompanying click and beep of a modem. I had about a year-long run of being semi-seduced by men to have them hightail it, like scared little bunnies.

It was making me feel like crap, so I went to Europe, specifically Stockholm, and immediately got laid. Luckily, OKCupid's data is much more optimistic than my friend Chelsea. Data scientist Dale Markowitz wrote via email, "When it comes to receiving quality messages on OkCupid that is, first messages that turn into conversations , there is no penalty to being 40 or over.

In fact, the proportion of men to women on OkCupid grows with age; women over 40 get on average more messages than women under 40, and have the pick of the litter, so to speak. Michael, a gorgeous musician who used to bartend at my local watering hole, is one such sensitive younger dude; he's an old hand at online dating whose sexploits have singed the eyebrows right off my face, but he's also articulate, smart and funny.

You might recognize him from being quoted at length in Vanity Fair's "Tinder and the Dawn of the 'Dating Apocalypse'" story, which makes him an expert of sorts. Michael also prefers older women though I assume he wouldn't kick a younger woman out of his bed for eating crackers.

My current girlfriend is four years older than me, but I definitely see her as my equal. When I was younger, I saw the girls and the guys, for that matter my age to be kids, which I was too. Older women were how I escaped that feeling. They were like 'Would you consider a guy below your age range? Like they think I know shit about sex? And can teach their useless baby bodies what to do? There has been no shortage of men under 39 sending me messages and little "likes" through the ether.

And while they're not all necessarily piquing my interest, they're also not the horrible fuckboys whose janky messages and blurry cock shots you see screenshotted on Tumblr and Instagram. Then there are the men I've met online who are actually my age, chronologically and emotionally, who seem to click with my weirdness in all the right ways.

Some are people whose social circles overlapped with mine but whom I'd never have otherwise met; whose emails wake me up at 5 a. Some are delightful surprises because sometimes it's about being at the right place at the right time when you're the right age.

Dating for women over 40

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4 Comments

  1. I learned how key it is to not take things personally and just try to have fun with the process. They still held the outdated belief that the man should make the first move, so they sat around waiting to be contacted. No wonder everyone looks amazing!

  2. Michael, a gorgeous musician who used to bartend at my local watering hole, is one such sensitive younger dude; he's an old hand at online dating whose sexploits have singed the eyebrows right off my face, but he's also articulate, smart and funny. If it weren't for the algorithms, I could meet all of these people IRL and they wouldn't know I was 40 unless I showed them my birth certificate — ah, the very idea made me irate.

  3. As ambivalent as I am about having my own children, there's something haunting about that scene from My Cousin Vinny where Marisa Tomei stomps her foot about her biological clock ticking. Some are delightful surprises because sometimes it's about being at the right place at the right time when you're the right age.

  4. Like me, she straddles the digital divide; we remember a time before DOS, but not a lot of dating without the accompanying click and beep of a modem.

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