By Tom Blake
Every week, I email a “On Life and Love after 50,” newsletter to approximately 2,000 older singles living across the USA and in several foreign countries. Many of the recipients respond with comments, observations and details of their personal dating experiences and frustrations.
Last week, the responses from single women reminded me of how difficult it is for women age 50 to 90 to meet men.
I share some of these emails today because many Orange County women tell me how difficult it is to meet eligible older men here. Some even ask if they should relocate to improve their chances of finding a mate.
It is important for mature single women to realize that they are victims of a social phenomenon facing the 50+ generation—there just aren’t enough single men to go around. Census statistics show that by age 65, the ratio of single women to men nudges close to three-to-one.
On the second Thursday of each month, there is a meet and greet event for singles over 50 at Tutor and Spunky’s, my Dana Point deli. At the first event in July, single women outnumbered single men by nearly 10-to-one. Women clamored, “Where are the men?”
But more men attended the August event. The ratio of single women to men was 60 percent to 40 percent. I saw three couples leave together.
Orange County women aren’t alone in asking “Where are the men?” This social phenomenon is universal. There is a shortage of older men everywhere.
When Internet dating arrived on the scene, there was optimism that it would bring millions of lonely seniors together. After all, they would be able to reach out from their small cities and towns across state lines to find a perfect match. South OC women could contact North OC men. But with any new technology, the good was joined by the bad—the scammers, jerks, rip offs and people who misrepresent themselves also started using the Internet.
For single women who live in remote areas, the Internet is one of their only ways to locate men. Diane, who resides on the Big Island of Hawaii, said, “I have been on an Internet site and to this day have not found any suitable partners on this island.”
Jackie, 56, Florida, twice married, said, “The men my age are generally looking for someone half my age. And the few men looking for someone my age that I have met, are not interested or able (physically or financially) to do anything other than rent a movie and eat popcorn. And some of them can’t even eat popcorn.”
Lynda, a widow living in New Mexico, said, “The first man I went out with was very nice looking, dressed well, had nice manners and seemed to be successful. As we talked over lunch, he told me he was going to marry me a year from the date. He said in his next breath, ’But, you can never gain an ounce of weight, because I like my women thin.’ That was enough of him.”
Lynda added, “I like to meet someone in person and look into their eyes while they are talking. It’s hard to decipher if someone is for real on the Internet.”
Christina, soon to be 50, Ohio, divorced, said she devoted the last several years of her life to raising her daughters. They are off to college now and it’s time for her to live life for her. But meeting men is difficult. She said, “I have tried dating sites, I don’t go to bars, I live in ‘family town’ USA, so single men here are not in abundance and most of my friends are happily married.”
Gail, a widow of nine years, resides in Bishop, along the eastern slope of the Sierras. She said, “I am still looking, hoping for a good man in my life,” She realizes that by living in Bishop she’ll need to utilize the Internet and Facebook to broaden her reach to meet potential men.
Tricia, Boston area, emailed, “I have been on several dates via Internet dating and it’s the same old thing; several do not look like their pictures. One man looked quite handsome in his picture, carried on engaging conversation and had a wonderful sounding voice but showed up for the date in soiled clothing and a skin condition on his face and arms that had flakes of skin peeling off and falling everywhere. It was so gross. Ugh!”
Antoinette, Texas, wrote, “I have been divorced for 14 years and have gone the internet dating route and have gone out with more men than I care to relay here…I am tired of the search and have decided that I’m as important to love as anyone else and have decided this is something I’m going to put solely in God’s hands. Time is passing, but we can only do the best with what we have.”
Orange County women need to understand that the shortage of eligible men is nationwide, even worldwide. Relocating for the sole purpose of finding a more male-friendly place doesn’t make sense. At least, Orange County is the fifth most populated county in the country. The men are here; we just need to get them to attend singles events.
When single men find out about the outstanding quality of women who attend the 2nd Thursday Meet and Greet, they will put September 13, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., on their calendars. It sure would be nice to see more couples leaving together.