What’s dating like in 2018?
A close friend got in touch out of the blue saying she’d left her partner. First I couldn’t believe they weren’t as happy together as I thought but we’d not seen each other for some time and I had no idea they were having problems.
Meeting over lunch in London some time later, she confided in me about a situation that I never anticipated. She opened up about it after I enquired if she’d met someone else. She and her ex partner had been separated for a couple of years and he’d already moved on with a colleague and moved in with them while my friend still lived in the same house she and her ex shared for a long time. Their children were in their upper teens, spending time with friends and quite self sufficient.
Laughing out loud at the suggestion she’d be even remotely keen to start dating people, it was obvious she’d not moved on. “What’s stopping you from seeing other men? You’re attractive with a lot to offer and have a good job. Having a stimulating job and good relationship with your kids shows how caring and fulfilled you are. Both are contributory to a new loving relationship.” Her response infuriated me.
“Don’t you know women over 40 aren’t considered to be of interest to men in the same age range? I’ve not told you this until now. I contacted an introduction agency last year. During the interview the owner informed mature women can’t be choosy. She claimed there are too many of us and less men of a similar age. At first I thought she was joking. It turned out they don’t offer membership options to mature women. Men can express interest in someone’s photo and profile and expect the woman to be available to them. I was informed I’d have to be accommodating if that was the case.”
My friend looked close to tears, her anger at being treated in such a demeaning manner made me even more upset than I felt.
“That’s discriminating against women of a mature age! Without a membership your chance of finding a suitable partner is virtually non existent. I’m surprised you weren’t informed before the interview.”
Looking as if she was about to explode with anger, my friend shook her head. “No. I had no idea until I met their representative. They persuaded me to fill out a questionnaire with all kinds of information of myself, type of man I seek and age range.” “What happened?” I enquired with an incredulous expression on my face.
“Nothing. That was three months ago and only one person received my profile and didn’t bother to get back to them with the view of meeting with me. I wasn’t informed of it until later.”
“That’s so rude! If I were you I’d cancel the agreement! To hell with their so called services. You don’t need them! I’ll introduce you to a friend who just got divorced. The two of you have a lot in common.”
“Such as?” I made a mistake and came to my senses. My life’s perfect without a man. Just because so many women want to find a special someone after the end of a relationship doesn’t mean I do. ”
Sensing that dating was a touchy subject, I stopped talking about it and as time passed we covered many topics which both of us enjoyed discussing. Parting later that day, I couldn’t shake off my feelings of rage that women of a certain age are discriminated against. And that men of a similar age are able to bring a ‘shopping list’ and be introduced to women regardless of age.
As it happens, my friend met a very nice man at a mutual friend’s party a few months later. It was one of those chance meetings no one’s capable of predicting and they were very attracted to each other. Incidentally, he’s quite a lot younger than my friend which makes me even more thrilled!
What about you? Have you experienced a similar situation? In the dating game are women really viewed as objects that are of less interest at a mature age? I look forward to your comments.
Summer’s still in full swing. Make the most of it!