Borrowing a quote by James K. from Dalrock’s to riff on. The context was a 57-year-old divorcee who says there aren’t any decent guys contacting her on the dating sites:
[W]hat she forgets to mention is the quality of the 50-something women who are on the dating market.
S’truth. I don’t check the dating sites much anymore, but when I do, most of the women who show up as having viewed my profile or contacted me are in their 50s. (I’m in my mid-40s, and my profile states clearly that I won’t date anyone over 40, but I guess that doesn’t keep them from looking.) They are, almost without exception, overweight enough for it to be obvious in their thumbnail photo. Most have short hair, which looks terrible on a fat face. Only rarely do I see a slightly attractive one, even in the “If she were 30 years younger” sense.
If you read their profiles, the bitterness jumps off the page at you. They know their prospects have plummeted, whether they’ll admit it or not. They divorced thinking they were going to party for a couple years like those slutty city girls on TV, then settle down with a hunky doctor, or at least an engineer. They might even have had a couple guys in mind: guys they rejected when they were younger.
But since then, they’ve found themselves getting more and more desperate, chasing men instead of being chased, and banging a guy on the first date because they can already see his interest slipping before the burgers arrive. They get zero messages from guys now, except those clearly looking for a quick, no-strings lay. Not even a pump-and-dump, because that implies there was at least the beginning of a relationship to get dumped from — this is just guys saying, “Hey, my balls are full; could you help me out?” They take those once in a while, hope springing eternal; and each time come away more bitter at men for “using” them that way, because that’s better than admitting they chose it with eyes wide open.
Most of them have a grandchild or two, so they’re still playing the “You come second after my kids” game in their profiles. They have jobs they think are important, and drinking friends they think are interesting. So they’re unattractive (even more so than they have to be), bitter, and can promise you’ll be their third or fourth priority at best. And they wonder why guys 20 years younger than them aren’t hitting on them anymore, and why guys 10 years younger aren’t proposing.
I feel for them, really, because there’s very little they can do. Oh, they could try to be more pleasant, but changing your personality is hard enough when you’re young, let alone after 50+ years. Getting in shape isn’t easy either, and there’s only so much tightening up you can do even if you lose the extra weight. They can’t afford to drop the meaningless HR job, because the cash and prizes from divorce don’t go as far as they expected.
I really don’t know what I’d advise a single woman in her 50s, except to concentrate on her family — but in a giving way rather than the usual meddling one. Maybe if she’s feminine in her dress and pleasant in her outlook, and she spends her time as the family caregiver out in public, some 60-something widower or divorced guy will see her and think she’d be nice to have around as he gets older. That should be her target — the guy looking for quiet companionship in his retirement — not guys who go rock climbing on the weekends and are still considering fatherhood.
The only good advice to be had is for the woman who’s still married and starting to feel a little bored, a little frustrated that she never got to live in Paris for a year, a little disenchanted with her husband. Don’t Let That Happen. Make yourself busy, especially with projects that will please your husband. Ask him to assign you a hobby if necessary. Make it your goal to pleasure him sexually every chance you get until he asks you to back off. Find some way to fight the ennui that so often afflicts women with comfortable lives, because the odds that you can do better are vanishingly small. The husband you have now is the best one you can hope for. You can choose to be happy, so do it now, before you find yourself looking back in ten years and wondering how you could have been so stupid.