Forty Single 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
I received numerous e-mails following a column printed a few weeks ago called
“Dropping the ball.”
The phrase “a great guy who is still single and
approaching 40 makes me wonder” provoked a lot of single, over-the-hill men to
ask me what I meant.
First, it’s not an insult, and not meant to be
When a friend who is in her late 20s or early 30s goes on a
date with a guy who is 40, it simply leads me to question why someone with more
than 20 years of dating under his belt has not yet found anyone who meets his
I’m especially concerned about 40-year-old bachelors – and
bachelorettes, for that matter – who have not even been in a relationship
serious enough to head in the direction of marriage. Most of the single
40-year-olds I know have either been engaged or lived with someone for many
years; but others have no long-term relationship experience, which is highly
suspect, and rightly so.
I understand that some people have been busy and
invested in their careers. I have sympathy for people who didn’t realize they
were being too picky until it was too late. I empathize with people who simply
weren’t ready until they were over the hill.
But I do question the
person’s willingness to compromise, and his or her compatibility with
Most of the men and women I know who are still single and in
their 40s are beyond stubborn and not willing to change anything in their lives
anymore because they have become too self-sufficient and
Typically these are good traits – but not when taken to such
an extreme. These people are so used to being alone that they can’t seem to
share their lives in order to make a relationship work.
circumstances are such that more women than men fall into this
My just-turned-40 friend Shelley has been living solo for so
long that she has her schedule for every day of the weekend, morning to night,
filled a month in advance. As for the rest, from an early-morning bike ride, to
a 10-hour workday, to a workout afterwards, to dinner and drinks with friends,
to whole weekends away, she is booked solid.
THE ONLY problem is she
hasn’t left any room for dating – probably because she doesn’t want to face the
music (I’m not sure if this is a conscious or subconscious decision).
when she does squeeze a guy into her schedule, she immediately judges him and
puts up a proverbial wall if he doesn’t pick a restaurant, bar or activity she
Shelley is a very strong woman because of her predicament.
She also has very strong (read: negative) opinions and isn’t afraid to share
them, but doesn’t realize she is holding to a double standard when she rejects a
man who does the same thing.
On the other hand, I just met newly engaged
Larry at a fund-raiser. His love story made me smile because he met his fiancée
on a Jewish singles cruise earlier this year.
Larry is a 41-year-old,
good-looking, successful and friendly man and although he had actively dated, he
had yet to even live with a woman until now. Luckily, he was open enough to go
on a singles cruise and didn’t judge the women who had also gotten to the point
in their dating careers where they were willing to be held captive on a cruise
ship with hundreds of other singles.
I was proud of both Larry and his
bride-to-be because most people would be too embarrassed to go on a singles
cruise, rather than seeing it as an opportunity to meet someone who is in
exactly the same situation.
I’m not saying single, Jewish 40-year-olds
should be outcasts or social pariahs or shunned, or anything of the sort.
Everyone deserves to find love or to live whichever lifestyle they wish. Rather,
I’m looking at this from a perspective of J*Date preferences and singles events
Every single – no matter his or her age – needs to be
open-minded, willing and flexible. That includes those in their 20s, divorcees,
widows and, yes, even those who have the bulk of their 30s behind
No relationship – friendship, marriage or other – can succeed
Both participants have to be prepared to meet in the
middle. I know plenty of 30-year-olds who are stuck in their ways; but, luckily
for them, they still have time to learn and adjust before their biological
clocks tick into overdrive.
I truly hope the 40-year-olds can figure it
out before they give up altogether, because it is not a lost cause.