Are single women in their 30s doomed to stay single forever?

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Are single women in their 30s doomed to stay single forever?

  • Jamie Koonce

    I was hardly ever single throughout high school, college, and graduate school. It was relatively easy to find men who I found intriguing, and who likewise wanted to get to know me better. Although there were a couple more serious relationships, we eventually went separate ways. Now in my 30s, I’m finding that the dating pool has diminished. It seems as though the men in their 30s are all either married, divorced (with major issues), accidental parents, or totally undesirable romantically (no brain, horribly out of shape, alcoholic, just gross, etc.). And just recently I read this: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/society-and-culture/why-women-lose-the-dating-game-20120421-1xdn0.html. In a nutshell, that article is saying that women in their 30s are out of luck — doomed to grow old alone. Thoughts on this?

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  • Kieran Keshan

    I’ll piss someone off with this reply, but from my point of view I think part of the answer can be found in the first paragraph of this article.

    “He’s 36 years old and is definitely someone who falls into the alpha-male category: excellent job in finance, PhD, high income, six feet two, sporty and very handsome”.

    Wow, even I got excited for a moment, LOL.

    This is the standard society has set, particularly with all of these talk back shows and garbage magazines, filling people’s heads with nonsense. It’s all a big wank job, the big hype, and if you fall short of the hype then anything less is not worthwhile, it’s inferior and unacceptable.

    Australian women have such ridiculously high standards that it doesn’t surprise me that they are stuggling to find a worthwhile partner. Their independent thoughts and emotions have been hijacked, programmed.

    You only have to look at the vomit on T.v  to see what people look up too, the big fairytale, nothing less than a one carat diamond ring and a wedding that costs twenty five thousand with two hundred guests. And if you can’t afford that then you’ll be paying it off for the rest of your life. If a guy Isn’t good looking, doesn’t wear the latest fashion or have a good job, forget it ! People want a show piece, something they can brag about to everyone else, create an image of a perfect life on FB. It’s all status, and it’s all bullshit. It’s not real.

    Look at those repugnant T.v shows, Mummies boy wants a wife, the farmer wants a wife etc, that’s the standard. They even refuse to put ugly people on those house renovations shows. Everyone is pretty and metrosexually dressed for success. People have been programmed on what is acceptable and what isn’t.

    Women in their 30’s aren’t out of luck, they just need to start thinking for themselves, and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks, but I would say the same thing for men too.

     

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      Jamie Koonce

      But in my case, I’m not searching for some mythical “perfect” male who looks like a Calvin Klein model, has a six-figure job, cooks like a 5-star chef, cleans like a boss, and buys me a dozen roses every week. What I’m saying here is that finding someone intriguing to date was really easy during my teens and 20s. However, it’s very tough after 30 — mostly because male age-peers are already married (or divorced, or already with school-age children, brain-dead, or incarcerated). Perhaps it’s because I’m in Arkansas, but it was equally difficult in California. It’s a little frustrating, and the statistics don’t look promising. Women: Did you meet your mate after 30?

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        Martin Brock

        I married a woman in her mid-forties when I was in my late forties. Four years separates us. We were both married previously and both had children in college. Needless to say, I’m a terrific catch!

        I can only advise you to keep an open mind and keep looking. If you want a satisfying, long term relationship or marriage, being 30-something presumably is tougher than being 20-something, and being 40-something won’t be any easier, but it certainly isn’t hopeless.

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      Darryl W Perry

      Dating isn’t easy for us 30-something guys either. You said “the men in their 30s are all either married, divorced (with major issues), accidental parents, or totally undesirable romantically (no brain, horribly out of shape, alcoholic, just gross, etc.).”
      That statement could be applied to a lot of the 30+ women I know. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard women say “all men are sh*t” etc…
      It’s not easy for anyone, because people want to play little mind games with each other. I’m not supposed to let you think I like you, otherwise you won’t like me; I can’t let you think I care, because then you have the power, etc…

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    Anonymous

    Kieran nailed it in my opinion. I don’t think women in their 30’s are doomed to be alone, but they need to throw off society’s stereotypes. I’m 26 and would date a woman in her 30’s. My grandfather was 7 years younger than my grandmother, they were happily married till the end. It really doesn’t surprise me that the divorce rate is over 50% when narcissism, the feminisation of men and the loss of womanhood in favor of party girl is so prevalent in western society.

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    Adam Hoisington

    I don’t think single women in their 30’s (or 40s, or 50s, etc., etc.) are doomed to being alone. But, I do think what Stefan Molyneux point out is true: Men’s sexual value and desirability increases with age, and women’s decrease.

     

    And to preempt the knee-jerk reaction of some: the reasons he gives for this are purely logical and have nothing to do some sort sexism on his part. Basically, men are just as able to produce kids at 60 as they are at 20. Women are not. This alone counts for little, but when you consider that men who are single to their later years may not have kids, their resources are usually quite a lot more significant than when they were twenty. So, the combination of men being just as sexually productive at a later age and their assets only increasing is a pretty influential thing when it comes to pairing up.

     

    Even if you’re not consciously looking for kids and financial security, subconsciously, this is what humans have always been hardwired for. I don’t think that our culture creates these “false” values. I think culture reflects them. It is human nature to be attracted to the fit and successful people of the world. Those are the ones who are most likely to survive and thrive and millions of years worth of evolution into our current form used that as a basis to get here. You get turned on by such men as that 36 year-old, 6’2″ doctorate for the same reason that you salivate when you see a steak (or whatever food it is that gets you) – it’s what the human brain is programmed for by eons of evolution.

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    Zain D

    Let’s try to focus our answers on the question itself.

    In general, the situation in which individuals find themselves changes as they age. As such, if one wishes to become involved with said individuals, ones expectations must also evolve.

    If you’re looking to date individuals in their 30’s it’s important to understand that, on the whole, they will be different from individuals in their 20’s. A lot will be divorced (at least once), have kids from previous relationships, have lost muscle mass, started balding and so on.

    On the other hand, during that extra time, some will have gained more self-knowledge, be more stable financially, and be more self-assured. If you are looking for the same qualities in 30-somethings as you did in 20-somethings you might be out of luck.

    It all comes down to expectations. How do you expect a romantic partner to “be”? What role do you wish him/her to play in your life? What values are you unwilling to compromise?

    Granted, thinking about this might actually diminish your prospects further – but if you look with a laser pointer rather than a flashlight, you may hone in on something worthwhile.

    There are great individuals out there – but the first step to attracting virtuous individuals is to know what you are looking for. If you haven’t already, take a while to think about it. It will pay dividends.

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    Jamie Koonce

    Great insights, everyone! It seems as though it might be easier for women in their 30s to date men in their 20s than their age-peers. This strategy could be a problem for women who partied in their 20s and are starting to show signs of aging.

    I don’t know what most women my age are looking for in a partner, but for me personally there are 3 main criteria:

    1) Intellectually stimulating — Can he lose track of time talking about a subject matter he’s interested in? Can he utilize logic to form his own opinions and debate them with people who disagree? These characteristics are essential.

    2) Commitment to health & fitness — He doesn’t trash his body with a six pack of beer and a Big Mac every night, and instead prefers to keep things healthy with a grass-fed steak, baked sweet potato, and H20. Perhaps he’s a hiking enthusiast, cycler, runner, Crossfitter, or gym rat. Looking like a bodybuilder is not required or desired, but I’m not seeking a couch potato or a mangina.

    3) Has an interesting hobby and/or healthy obsession that he pursues — Perhaps he’s really into 3D printing, robots, restoring old cars, sci-fi novels, history, Austrian economics, genomics, entrepreneurship, real-time strategy games, chess, fencing. Whatever it is, he’s passionate about it and makes time for it.

    Having a bad attitude, being violent or combative, being disrespectful towards my parents, having no sense of humor, having no motivation or drive, or being a vegetarian, statist, or collectivist would all be deal-breakers.

    How about the other women here? Any thoughts?

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      Jared Joseph Shepherd

      I think the three criteria presented are why I struggle to find someone and hence there is a disincentive for men to exhibit these qualities.

      “1) Intellectually stimulating — Can he lose track of time talking about a subject matter he’s interested in? Can he utilize logic to form his own opinions and debate them with people who disagree? These characteristics are essential.”

      I lose track talking about the relation between praxeology and the natural sciences and my ideas concerning unifying the sciences by integrating the natural sciences qua the scientist into praxeology. There seems to be no quicker way to put distance between myself and a girl or most any other human being I encounter in my day to day life. Few people I know wish to discuss logic or debate things in a civil way. Libertarian ethics are very demanding and most people I’ve encountered seem to be put off by the high standards libertarianism demands. No one loves symbolic logic it seems and informal logic just seems to insult most when you point out the logical fallacy in some strongly held belief that a person holds.

      “2) Commitment to health & fitness — He doesn’t trash his body with a six pack of beer and a Big Mac every night, and instead prefers to keep things healthy with a grass-fed steak, baked sweet potato, and H20. Perhaps he’s a hiking enthusiast, cycler, runner, Crossfitter, or gym rat. Looking like a bodybuilder is not required or desired, but I’m not seeking a couch potato or a mangina.”

      When as a guy I scare every girl off with talks of Mises, or Austro-libertarian anarcho-capitalism, or free markets, it’s hard not to eventually start trashing one’s body with beer–okay that one was more of a joke now but probably less so in a couple years, the way things are going.

      “3) Has an interesting hobby and/or healthy obsession that he pursues — Perhaps he’s really into 3D printing, robots, restoring old cars, sci-fi novels, history, Austrian economics, genomics, entrepreneurship, real-time strategy games, chess, fencing. Whatever it is, he’s passionate about it and makes time for it.”

      Healthy obsessions tend to limit a guys exposure to social interaction with new people. I’ve spent a lot of time reading Austrian literature and it’s always alone. (I think Go! has more parallels to libertarianism than chess). That a hobby is interesting probably means its not widely appreciated by masses of people. Being passionate and making time for it means being willing to give up spending lots of time scaring off dates so as to pursue such interests. I don’t go out. I read Austrian economics, science journals, maybe pick up a guitar and regret the times I fail miserably at the dating game when I could be home working on naturalizing the philosophy of science via praxeology. … and genomics means getting back in the lab. I’ve surprisingly never met a girl while running PCR or doing protein BLASTs.

      And as successful as overly-confident possessive emotionally bankrupt macho guys seem to be in courting even free-spirited nerdy girls (who always seem unhappy but committed to their relationship with such guys), such a depressing situation to observer is less desirable to me than going out and even trying anymore. The possibility of making a significant contribution to Austrian literature seems more plausible and is certainly more fun to pursue. I’ve more or less relegated myself to accepting I’m doomed and will die alone but yet might make some useful contribution to the world other than a family or as someone’s partner. It’s a cruel world–especially for libertarians!

      [Maybe someone should make a libertarian dating site to serve an unmet need. One might make a small fortune!]

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    Toni Sopocko

    I met and married my husband the year I turned 30.  He was 28, almost 29.  He was a bit of a muddle, but he was fun, ambitious, and honorable.  In that order.  over the 28 1/2 years we’ve been married, we’ve faced challenges, joys, horrors.  If I’d been looking for specifics in a mate, like a man who liked grass-fed steaks, sweet potatoes, etc, I’d still be alone.

    I think maybe if someone is looking for a life mate, instead of focusing so much on what you want the other person to be, the focus should be on what you have to bring into a relationship.  Look inside.  Be a catch.

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    Jessica Lee

    haha Jamie!  I haven’t been in the dating scene for almost 3 years, I’m a serial monogamist, turning 31 in October, and if this current relationship should fall through my backup plan is to retreat into the woods and become a full blown WITCH 😉  Clap hands together, show empty palms, I’m done. Off on my broom, I’m gone. see ya.

    But it seems, as they say, there are plenty of fish in the sea.. If dating is anything less than dreadful to you, have fun.  I think a lot of people have luck with online dating these days.  Keep an open mind, don’t fake it, and have a good time looking! I always thought speed dating would be hilarious!

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    Dan Rice

    Maybe you should look for Mr. Mom and be the bread maker.

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    Dave Burns

    I met my wife when we were both 35.

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    Jamie Koonce

    @Dan…Not looking for a Mangina or a free paycheck. @Jessica…If only there were anarchist speed dating events in my area. 🙂 @Dave…That’s encouraging!

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    David Hynes

    I don’t think 30’s means forever single. Heck, I’m 26 going on 27 and I feel the perpetually single doom hanging overhead sometimes. Someone else mentioned dating younger men, and I definitely think it’s possible for women in their 30’s to meet men in their 20’s.

    As a guy in his 20’s, these are some of my thoughts about dating a woman in her 30’s. I’ve got nothing against the idea in theory, but in practice there are some challenges. These are just my opinions:

    1. Invariably, they are way more developed in their career. This can be pretty intimidating, since a man’s career tends to matter a lot to women and most men stake their pride in their ability to provide and lead. Even though it makes sense that someone older would be further along in their career, there is a risk of feeling like a dependent rather than a partner. It also means living standards will be different- my hypothetical 30’s partner might be financially comfortable with certain activities that would break the bank for me. This anticipation of failing to keep up / impress can keep a guy from initiating a relationship in the first place. Guys already have to be confident to be winsome in the first place- it’s harder to be confident when the lady is more successful than you.

    2. I want kids, and for women the younger they are the healthier the whole process seems to be. Given how long it would take a relationship to get to the point where kids would be happening (ie marriage), how old will that 30-something lady be by the time we are at that stage? Since she is going to almost certainly be further along in her career, is she willing to interrupt that with a pregnancy? Odds are I would become a stay at home dad (which is fine and even something I think I would like). Is that gender role flip going to be a problem for her?

    3. Baggage- just like you said about men in their 30’s, women in their 30’s (hell, in their twenties for goodness’ sake!) have exes, kids, and all kinds of stuff going on. I guess this isn’t particular to women in their 30’s, except that simply by virtue of having been around longer, they are more likely to have these sorts of problems.

    In summary, if you can conquer 1, 2 and 3, you can definitely win a younger guy, assuming he’s worth a damn in the first place =] .

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    Anonymous

    I have also been more demanding of what I want in a mate as I’ve gotten older. Jamie, looking at your profile I would think dating someone in your field would yield all the surface traits you want in a man and then sorting through the candidates from there for the more deeper qualities you seek. I’ve accepted that the pickier I am the higher probability I will be single for longer periods of time and date less people; are you comfortable with being in that situation? Or do you feel like you are on a countdown?

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    Chip Marce

    In answer to your question: absolutely not!

    That said, the chances of finding a spouse decrease with age. And it’s because as this article somewhat alludes to the market issue: eligible men in their 30’s are a hotter commodity than they might have been in their 20’s and are perfectly happy to use that leverage.  The article alluded to a fairly positive issue that wise and intelligent women can use to their benefit: most of your so-called alpha males are getting most of the attention and frankly the sex .  That leaves a majority of men who are aren’t getting the attention and, let’s be frank, less of the sex.  That’s actually good news for women.  There is a population of less flashy men who are actually probably better mates who through say their later 20’s are not seen as desirable.  Some may see that as trivia.  I would argue it’s a “target rich environment.” I’ll post more later, but why don’t you stew on that for a bit and think about the implications.

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    Jorge Trucco

    Short and simple. “No”. Single women in their 30s are not doomed to stay single forever.

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    Michael Scott

    Single women in their 30s? Try being a 52 year old African-American, Taoist, Anarchist, Journalist with a masters degree in health administration. Just stick a fork in me.

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    Brian Farmer

    If a girl wants a quality guy, she should be the kind of girl quality guys want.  And if a guy wants a quality girl, he should be the kind of guy quality girls want.

     

    I got hurt badly in my early 20’s, and didn’t date for the rest of my 20’s.  By the time I was 30, I started looking again, but by then, all the good girls were gone.  The remaining single girls are overweight, divorced, have kids, mentally unstable, drug or alcohol problems, or otherwise undesirable.  I know it’s a stereotype, but it’s largely accurate.

     

    How do you find someone you are compatible with, when you have a hard time even finding someone that you consider to be relationship material?

     

    The older you get, the picker you are, and the less desirable you become.

     

    I’d rather be lonely than be miserable by being with someone who wasn’t what I wanted.

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    Daniel Seelhorst

    It is also worth considering if where you live is growing. I can’t speak for the largest cities as I’ve never lived in any of them, but my experience at dating in smaller cities and rural areas is that if the place is growing, there is more opportunity to find a desirable date, I presume because people move there seeking economic opportunity and people willing to pack up and move to find a better job are in my mind anyway, more desirable.

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    Liz Jaluague

    No way! I have met enough people who have found great partners in their 30s, 40s, and 50s that I’ve stopped worrying about when I ‘ll find someone I’d like to be in a long-term relationship with. IMO, if I’m going to live to be 80 – and at the rate that medicine and biotech is advancing, probably longer than that – I’m cool with waiting 40 or so years.

    For example, my ex’s parents divorced in their 30’s, and both remarried and had more kids with their new partners. We spent equal amount of time with both sides of the family, and they were extremely happy.  I have other examples of people who didn’t enter a relationship until their 30’s, and another that remarried in their 40s.

    7 or so billion people in the world, all it takes is one! 😀

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    Bruce Faling

    Well, nobody knows for certain what the future holds, but if you find yourself being dissatisfied with your prospective life partners time after time, I would suggest taking a good look the one thing all of those relationships have in common: you. You’re either being completely unrealistic about men in general or you are, perhaps unconsciously, seeking qualities in men that are not congruent with your own needs. Therefore you hold your doom or the lack of it in your own hands. You need to take responsibility for what you take to the relationship, know your personal boundaries, and assert them accordingly. You must be whom you wish to attract or you will continue to attract the wrong people.

    Take care.

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    Michael Andbowinkle

    I will try my best to deviate from racial consideration.

    This happens with more races than others in my observations particularly in Europe, America and Australia. See the common links here? White.

    But aside from that, and from my hint above; assuming the racial and cultural group we are talking about here-I dont see it getting any better for the people in this group.

    So, What I predict is that birth rates will decline dramatically, and marriage will turn into cohabitive-based relationships.  On top of which many females will feel desperate into simply going out with any man to simply have a child so that they can have a, “family.” The man will not be considered as vital anymore, he will be more so considered and used as a sperm donor, and child support daddy.

    The only thing that would turn this around is having strong communities. Probably eliminating going to college all together for couples. This trend you speak of is more prominent in 4 year college types. For some reason 4-year colleges have an effect on this phenomenon you speak of. I did not see that explicitly in the article that you gave us.

    I guess you could view it as, “all work, and “schooling” makes couples dull.” Analogous to “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”   Same thing happens for single in their late 20’s and 30’s.    Its obvious more so among white European peoples.

    Also what I got from the article is that women have a VERY unrealistic view of how a relationship and a man should be. You can blame this on media and pop culture. When men see this, we just dont want to have anything to do with you. Because, we cant please you for anything! We men are never good enough!

    I actually realized this BEFORE I read the article. Women want the whole kit and caboodle, and that is just not realistic. So when the slightest infraction against a man is noticed, the girl dumps the guy. And they wonder WHY they are alone? Duhh!!!  Like I said, “Unrealistic” expectations.

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