Cry me a river….

Posted: December 8, 2011 in Online Dating, Personal
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If you’ve been following my personal posts you may remember I have been trying online dating for the last few months. One thing that I have heard repeatedly from men is that too many of the women online aren’t honest. They aren’t honest about their appearance, about what they want in a relationship and about themselves in general. I don’t doubt that is the case. And the same can be said for many men on the dating websites too. Unfortunately the Internet makes lying easier and the likelihood that you’ll be caught in it, a bit less likely. The psychological detachment of typing into a faceless and non-judgmental device of a computer has a lot to do with this (I wrote an academic paper on this in relation to Hacking and Ethics which I presented at a conference several years ago).

Then there are stories like this one from Good Morning America. This woman gets as many first dates as she can to take her out to dinner and save on her grocery bill. Yes, you read that right.

Note how slender and attractive she is. She could get dates in person easily enough but being online she can expand the dating pool exponentially. And there’s nothing wrong with that….it was one of the main reasons I joined a dating site. The dating pool that I had traditionally used was minuscule, particularly since I can’t stand noisy, crowded dance clubs and am bored to tears sitting around drinking in bars trying to display my wares to advantage so as to attract men. I would literally rather be at home cleaning out the drains instead.

This woman also doesn’t have to worry about the quality of her dates since her goal is to get free food. She can email thousands of men because even if their profile reads like the Unabomber’s Manifesto, if he can pay for dinner and it’s in a public location, what’s the worst that could happen? She doesn’t get scintillating dinner conversation? She might not stay for dessert?   She doesn’t have to worry about age limitations to any great degree either (unless of course she wants to avoid having dinner with someone who has to gum their food to death–no offense to the toothless among us but I would guess that most 25 year old women wouldn’t care for that sort of thing).  .

Another reason she is able to do this so successfully is because she is young (25) and the men that will contact her of their own accord (regardless of whether she contacted them) will range in age from probably around 21 all the way up into their 60’s. The opposite is not true for men. A 25 year old man would likely only get approached by women from 21 up to maybe as old as 35.  99.99% of the time if a woman older than 35 approached a younger man (aka, the Cougar), he will not respond.   Why?  Because in our society men are generally grossed out by older women, but the opposite is not true for women.  So men usually seek younger women and often will not even consider women their own age. Guys who are just looking to get laid don’t care if she immature, but guys looking for long term relationships need to get real. In this I have to say that older men are just begging to be used by this type of woman. Guys want a woman who looks like a 25 year old but has the maturity of a 35 or older woman. Good luck with that!!! So fellas if you’re dating women who are 10 or more years younger than you, really, really take your time getting to know her and see how mature she is. Because if she isn’t mature and successful in her career, odds are she is looking at your wallet, not the quality of your character, not your face, nor anything else for that matter. I’m sorry that’s the way it is, but that’s the reality.

Another reason that she is able to do this because she is slender and in good shape. About 90% of men on dating sites list as one of their highest priorities someone who is physically active and regularly engages in sports or exercise. I think they do this because they believe it will mean that the woman is more likely to be slender and more likely to stay slender as they age. Which is, in general, true. Well, at 25 most women are similarly active or at least naturally in shape. As I’ve mentioned before I was thin, athletic and active throughout my 20’s. That all came to a screeching halt once I got married at 32 and had kids at 33. This is important to online dating and why men are so vulnerable to being used as this women illustrates so well.

Older women tend to be divorced and are more likely to have kids.  The typical routine for a divorced mother is incredibly hectic, even more so than the married mother1.   Maintaining the excercise routine of her youth2 is impossible but all the more needed because her metabolism is slowing down.  If she wants to be “active” she has to sacrifice other things, things that are far too important to sacrifice. What does she sacrifice that she isn’t already doing at breakneck speed and at a bare minimum level of quality? Can she commute any faster? No. Can she sleep less. Sure if you don’t mind her going psychotic after a week or two due to lack of sufficient sleep and she’s probably already pretty close to it now. Does she sacrifice cleaning the house? Yes, potentially. But the time spent on that still isn’t enough time to work out and most of it is already being ignored until the weekend anyway3.  Plus most men don’t want to date a woman with a messy house. I wouldn’t want to date a guy with messy house to be honest. Does she pay for a personal trainer to come to her home? Yes, if she has money to do that….which would mean a woman wealthy enough not to work in the first place,  and then she no longer fits the type of average older woman that I am talking about.  One caveat to all this money. If a woman is very rich, she pretty much has her pick of men, even younger men. But the funny thing is, a wealthy woman ends up facing some of the same problems that the average man already faces.

Let me speak plainly. 90% of men in online dating sites want someone slender and healthy and over half of the people are divorced with children. Most of the children end up with their mom’s the majority of the time. So most online divorced women have their kids the majority of the time. So these mothers are just as busy as before if not more so, and they also have significantly less income4. So how do these women stay healthy and active enough to attract men their own age that have all kinds of free time (generally speaking here of course, some dad’s have a lot more custody than others).

Some women are naturally thin and will continue to be so, but that’s actually pretty rare. For the rest of us, weight gained from childbirth (because very few women lose every pound of it), stress, a complete lack of time to engage in self-care prevents us from engaging in that “active” lifestyle.  They’re too busy sacrificing themselves, at least temporarily until the kids are older, and, as a result, they aren’t going to be even considered by 90% of men. Men literally will not even look at a profile of a woman who does not list herself as slender, about average, or athletic and toned.  That’s why a lot of older women lie about their body type, otherwise no one would ever talk them.

Quite frankly, I think the guys are losing out.  Because of all the reasons I’ve indicated just now, its an unfair requirement for divorced women in their 30’s and 40’s with kids to expect them to have the time to engage in sports or work out enough to compete with a single 25 year old woman. It’s not that they don’t want to be active, they often simply don’t have the time or money5. If they do engage in sports and work out alot, they are probably spending little to no time with their kids and are probably pretty damn selfish. This sounds harsh but it’s true. I don’t know of any woman with kids under the age of 12 that doesn’t agree with me on this point.

So these 90% of men are filtering down to a much smaller percentage of women, into which category this young lady, and many more like her, fit. While the young lady in this video is completely in the wrong to take advantage of men (who are often seeking REAL relationships), I have little sympathy for men who fail to consider anything beyond women who meet that “younger, slender, active” profile. If you go looking for a Blue Tang in shark infested waters, odds are you’re gonna catch a shark.

Change your dating criteria and look for reasonable attractiveness, quality of character and age appropriate women instead. You CAN find someone who you can love and who will love you in return. If you just can’t change your dating criteria as suggested then accept you’re likely to get some sharks who will use you and you’re probably going to end up being alone–the odds are essentially not in your favor. It’s not that young women who look like her AND have good character don’t exist. They do, but they’re rare and they’re either already taken or not ready for a long term relationship that a mature man ultimately wants. You may consider it and then decide you just can’t fall in love with an age appropriate woman who doesn’t look like a model and isn’t an “active” person, and that’s fine.  Dating women that you aren’t attracted to  isn’t the answer either.   Just don’t be surprised if you fail to find love and keep getting taken advantage of and most importantly, quit bitching about it.

Notes:

1. Once I was married, and this is pretty typical of most marriages today but not all, I was the one that took care of the kids the majority of the time regardless of my professional career. I actually begged to be a stay at home mother for my daughter’s sake who started having serious behavioral problems around 16 months of age. My husband absolutely refused saying we needed the second income. So in addition to the normal hectic schedule I had to deal with her very disturbing behavior which lasted another two years.

Let me describe a typical day as a married woman with a child comparing my day with my husband’s. He got up early, had a leisurely healthy breakfast, went to the gym and spent about 2 hours working out, came home and showered, commuted an hour and a half to work, worked an 8 to 10 hour day, commuted home for an hour and a half, joined us for dinner, and then he would either spend time with our child or spend time doing whatever he wanted to do. Usually this meant playing video games (this was actually his most common activity), watching TV, or reading a book.

He might, if encouraged to do so skip those activities and partially take care of the bedtime ritual with our child. Our daughter’s routine included a nightly bath, reading about 3 short books, then lights off and my singing to her or talking to her. At first I did bedtime every night but I finally put my foot down and demanded that he share some of the responsibilities of child rearing. Of course the singing part my husband didn’t do and the talking, well he didn’t do that either. This often meant my daughter got up because her routine was not the same and I ended up putting her back to bed again. After he put her to bed or did whatever else he wanted, he would go to sleep.

My day was a bit different. I woke up early with my child, got her ready for daycare/school, fed her breakfast and then if I was lucky I would get to grab something to eat that was small and portable on the way out the door (most of which wasn’t really healthy). The process of getting a child “out the door” sounds so simple but it really, really isn’t even for the most well behaved child. Adding to the complication I would have to remember to take along a million different things, some of which required preparation the night before (homework, money or supplies for special projects or trips, notes to and from the teacher, medicine she might need, extra clothes, etc, etc) AND not forget all the stuff I might need.

Driving her to daycare took about 30 minutes but getting her “in the door” of the daycare/school, again not easy (signing her in, getting her to her classroom, settling her down and making sure a teacher/sitter knows she’s there and needs supervision, the clingy goodbye that takes 10 minutes, etc). That process could take 15 minutes up to 30 minutes. Then I commuted an hour and a half or more to work. At work I would try to cram 9 to 10 hours of work into a 7 hour day by working through lunch, eating at my desk something delivered or bought to go (so I would have to run out and spend half my lunch hour getting that). Again, most of it not healthy. Then I would usually leave work running to my car because I would have an hour and half drive to pick up my daughter before the daycare/school closed. If I left work too late and picked her up after closing, they would charge me extra. Again, picking one’s child is not an easy nor quick task, but it is easier than the drop off. If there was grocery shopping to be done, I would try to do it then on the way home.

More often my daughter was starving and needed to be taken directly home to be fed dinner. I would cook dinner, feed her and just as she was getting done, my husband would arrive. He would eat and if my daughter could be distracted in some fashion I might get to eat with him. Most of the time I would not get to eat and it would be time to start getting her ready for bed. Once I had her in bed and sleeping, then I would have to deal with all the things that needed to be done before tomorrow. I would do any work I brought home with me, laundry and ironing clothes for myself and her, cleaning up any messes, opening the mail and paying bills, etc, etc. and also try to eat something if I didn’t get to earlier. Again, not healthy because I’m running all over the house trying to get other stuff done. This part of my day would often be interrupted because my daughter would wake up and have to be put back into bed, sometimes repeatedly. Once all that was done I would stagger into the bedroom to find my husband in bed reading himself to sleep or already asleep. During the night my sleep was interrupted by my daughter’s nightmares, requests for water, etc. He rarely got up with her. I would wake up exhausted and have to do it all over agin.

Do you see the difference? Most of the married women with children that I know say their lives are very, very similar.

2. When I was single I spent at least an hour to 2 hours 7 days a week at the gym and/or playing sports or doing some kind of activity like hiking, rock climbing, bike riding, etc.

3. And don’t tell me she can go for a walk with her kid…In the rain, the snow, the extreme heat of summer….yeah that works if the weather cooperates which it often doesn’t…plus if the weather works, is it right to wake your kid up even earlier or keep them up later so you can get a walk in? Have you ever seen how miserable sleep deprived children are? She could always leaver her alone at home while she walks around the block (which no sane woman would EVER do with a child under 12 anyway!).

4. Every study about the economic effects of divorce have found that on average a woman’s income will go down and a man’s will go up after a divorce. Likewise, a woman’s expenses will go up and her husband’s expenses will go down. In short, men come out of divorces financially in better shape EVEN WITH CHILD SUPPORT and ALIMONY figured in. Furthermore, alimony is a lot less likely now than 10 to 20 years ago because most women work. After a divorce it’s not uncommon to see the woman even take on second jobs, which is something I have had to do.

5. I personally miss playing tennis, soccer, softball. I miss going rock climbing, hiking, bike riding, canyoneering, traveling to other countries. I would give my eyeteeth to be able to work out every day at the gym. I do have a gym membership but taking my son to their daycare makes me feel horribly guilty–because every night I get two hours between work and bedtime to be with him and giving him to yet a stranger for those two hours is just not right. Furthermore my custody arrangements for my daughter and my son are complicated (as are most custody arrangements). This means that a typical divorcd mother has little free time to themselves and working out only every other weekend is pretty much pointless. I do try to take that time to do active things but there are also a million other things I want to do and have to do, when the kids aren’t around.

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