Age-Old Dilemma (Where Are All the Men?)
Dating is always difficult, but this thirty-seven-year-old Charlottean says it’s become damn near impossible. The former investment banker (we promised not to disclose her name, but she’s hot—trust us), who had a close call with The Bachelor and was a finalist with a $50,000 matchmaker, shares what it’s really like out there
When I actually go out on a date, it’s either a blind date or someone I’ve met when I go out to bars with my girlfriends on the weekends. I met one guy at the Y. Even the ones that my friends have set me up with have gone bust.
I went out with one guy and over the course of dinner it came up that I was thirty-six (at the time). He said, “Hell, if I knew you were thirty-six I would never have asked you out.” And I said, “Well, how old are you?” and he said, “I’m thirty-five, and I just like younger women.”
We went on three dates after that, but he kept dropping comments like, “Oh, do you need your walker?”
The guy I met at the Y was twenty-eight. We went to dinner at P. F. Chang’s, and he asked how old I was. I said, “I’m thirty-six.” Then he said, “This is my real-life Ashton-and-Demi story. I can’t wait to tell all my friends.” After he stood me up the next Saturday night, I called him to see what happened. He said, “It’s just too much. You’re just too old.”
I don’t know who these guys are dating. My two single girlfriends are gorgeous, and we end up doing things together all weekend long because we don’t get asked out. When you go to any bar, whether it’s Cans or someplace downtown or wherever, there are always droves of men together but no one on a date. No one is walking hand in hand. There’s just none of that. Is it that men don’t want to date anymore? Is dating extinct? Or do we just not have the channels to meet people who are likeminded? That’s my dilemma right now.
I have a best friend in New York City, and it’s the same thing there. She’s gorgeous. Her girlfriends are all gorgeous, successful, have their own money, can hit a tee shot like Annika Sorenstam, and they sit at home. Men our age do not want to date same-age people. It’s insane.
A friend of a friend wrote a book called Straight Up and Dirty. In her research she discovered that there are a half million more women in our age bracket than men. So all these women are vying for this small little pool of men that are left. These men are like, “Hey, if you don’t want to get coffee at the Starbucks on East Boulevard, there’s ten women deep that will gladly accept a text message as an invite.” No one talks anymore. It’s all texting.
I want to date. I want to date a guy who looks at me and is thrilled that we have a great time together. We can laugh and go out and just have so much in common and want the same things. Sure, I want to get married one day and have children, but do I have this pulsating clock in my stomach that’s going, “You’ve got to do it. You’ve got to do it”? No.
Remember the TV show The Bachelor with the doctor? One girl was like, “My eggs are rotting. My time clock is ticking, and I’m just ready to just throw myself over a bridge because I don’t have a man.” I think that so many men think that women in their thirties think like that, when the reality is no, we just want to go to dinner. We want to go out and have fun.
My sister, who is ten years older than me, was so pissed when she saw the rotten-egg lady that she wrote The Bachelor about me, saying they needed to portray women of this age bracket correctly. So the casting agent called me and asked me to be on the show. I said no because I didn’t want to be Monday-morning water-cooler chat.
I went on one date with someone I met online. It was horrible. He said he was thirty-six and he was actually fifty-two. His picture was twenty years old. So I got there and he said, “Well, that was the best picture I had,” and I said, “You’re totally lying. This is not you.” I snuck out the back of the restaurant.
I saw the New York City matchmaker, Janis Spindel, on 60 Minutes and was really intrigued by what she had to say. My friends and my mom were like, “Are you sure you want to call this woman?” To me it was just another avenue, because everything I was doing here wasn’t working. I contacted her over a year ago, and she said if something came up in Charlotte, she’d call me.
About five months ago she sent an e-mail saying she had someone for me. She said, “He’s a great guy, attractive, successful, high-profile, very wealthy. He’s paying me $50,000 to find him a mate. I think you’ll really connect with him.” Because he was paying so much she had to go through the full search. Twenty-two hundred women applied for this bachelor, and I was one of his top picks. We didn’t have any chemistry. He’s a great guy—very sweet, very successful—just not my guy.
You just have to have a positive attitude, because if you don’t you’ll become old and bitter. Maybe I’m meant to be an auntie or the “plus one” for the rest of my life, but I’m not going to let it upset me or get me down. It’s just tiring. Honestly, I love my life. I have great friends. I’m active. I do lots of things. I’m successful. But would I like to go out and dress up on a Saturday night and have dinner? Absolutely.
My idea of a perfect date in Charlotte would be for someone to actually pick me up when they say they’re going to pick me up. I love the chivalry of a guy coming to the door, opening the car door, all that kind of old-fashioned stuff. Then going out for a casual dinner, great conversation, great bottle of wine, and just learning about each other and seeing if it’s something that can move forward. By that I mean going out on a second date.