While I have yet to be able to consider a guy in his twenties, I stopped ignoring the men in their mid-thirties.
If a 34-year-old wants to meet for a drink, and he’s not awkward or crude in his messages, I’ll meet him. Same goes for the man in his early fifties that I once considered “too old.” What’s the harm? Here’s what I noticed once I stopped caring about meeting other people’s expectation: I started getting more dates.
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At 38, I selected maybe as my answer about wanting to start a family. My profile views included very, very few peeks from men between 37 and 47 in New York City.
I was the Belle of The Ball for men in the suburbs, though.
It wasn’t some magical potion or love spell that I chanted that made this happen. If I didn’t get any replies to my messages, I didn’t dwell. Being able to sit back and let things unfold naturally sans some stopwatch over my head allowed me to really see people for who they were. I was enjoying myself, which is really what dating is all about.
I channeled my dating energies toward the men who did want me. If I saw someone cute whose profile was snappy, I emailed them and said, “You should have messaged me. If they requested more pictures or asked probing questions, I declined. There were no voices in my head warning me that a particular relationship might not lead to commitment or marriage. Everything doesn’t have to lead to happily ever after.
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I also didn’t want to pursue men that I thought I was supposed to want.
By 42, I had started to become quite comfortable with the idea that it may end up being just me for the foreseeable future. With those two things off the table, I realized that there was no reason for me not to take advantage of my options.
Normally I wouldn’t consider dating someone that young, but the big four zero was looming and I had decided that I wanted to have a date on my birthday. I went from getting two to three responses for every 10 messages I sent out to maybe one.
I was also well aware of the single woman to single man ratio in Manhattan. Most of the men in their late thirties to mid-forties were looking for a partner with whom they could have children. I didn’t see the point in leading someone to believe I would give them something they wanted knowing I wouldn’t. I literally fell off the island of Manhattan as far as OK Cupid was concerned.
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