Thursday, June 10, 2010

Older Wives & Younger Husbands

When I was dating online in my late 40s, I had about 50 "coffee dates" with a variety of men of all ages from 8 different websites over a 14-month period. About 6 months into that 14 months, I began to realize that the men my age or younger were the ones I got along with best. They were more energetic, more likely to have kids around my kids' ages, younger at heart, and more attractive to me physically. And so, when I turned 49, I started specifying in my profile that I was seeking men age 45-50.

Prior to that, I'd been open to dating men 5 years older than me. And I certainly did have long-term relationships with a few. But, when I look back on my 9 years of post-divorce dating, I realize that 7 of the 10 men I dated during those years were younger than me. And the 3 who weren't had differences with me that were significant. (Full disclosure: my first husband was exactly the same age as me, and my current husband is 7 years younger.)

Nowadays, you see a fair amount of media coverage of the "cougar" syndrome--older women dating and marrying younger men. And I wonder why people make such a big deal about it. Age, in my opinion, is just a number. And, if we're honest, most of us will agree that the compatibility between 2 people has a LOT more to do with life experience, values, attitudes, lifestyle factors, maturity level, and philosophies of life than it does with age.

I only personally know 4 other married couples with an age gap of 3 or more years between the younger husband and older wife. Even in the 21st century--with attitudes about men, women, and relationships becoming more progressive every day--there still seems to be a societal stigma against women being older than their husbands. Why else would the word "cougar" be if we ladies are animals on the prowl for young prey. I personally find the term offensive.

I'm wondering what you think. Do you know any younger husband-older wife couples? If so, do they seem well suited? Does their age gap cause any problems? Do you think the man in the relationship was more progressive than most since he was open to dating an older woman? Please drop a note and share your views...especially if you're in such a relationship yourself. I'd love to hear about your experiences!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Online Dating Profiles That Grab Attention

I've been helping women clients write profiles for a long time, and I usually keep them simple--a paragraph describing the woman's personality, values and unique qualities followed by a paragraph describing the kind of man she's most compatible with. Short and sweet...because most men tell me they don't want to read a lot online; they're more interested in a woman's photo, age and geographic proximity.

Men, on the other hand, never seek my help with profile writing...even though I make it known to them that I offer that service to save them time and trouble. Most usually go ahead and write a few sentences about themselves and hope for the best. Because these writeups are often brief, many women clients tell me they wish the guys had written more. I did too when I was dating online.

Now, however, it's come to my attention that a lot of men are taking the time to write more-detailed profiles, and some are getting pretty creative with it too. One 41-year-old Philadelphia man I met recently told me his profile is a descriptive analogy about him as if he were a book. It was clever and funny and, I'm sure, would grab a woman's attention and set him apart as more imaginative than the other guys online. Another man on wrote an amusing essay about the difference between a girl and a "grown woman" and said he preferred the latter. Again, a creative approach bound to distinguish him as an insightful, deep-thinker kind of guy with a good sense of humor.

My question is: are these guys' offbeat profiles more likely than a straightforward profile to impress the women reading them? Will they tell the ladies enough about the guy to entice them to drop him an e-mail? Or will they seem too "over the top" and not "real" enough to get a woman to take an interest and get in touch? I'm guessing that it depends on the woman reading it. But I'd LOVE to hear from both men and women online daters about this.

I'm also wondering if you've noticed that more men write these creative types of profiles than women do. Drop me a line with your observations and insights. Thanks!