Ever since Violet (Co-founder of Lunch Actually) launched her book recently, there has been a mini furore about the “unmatchability” of single women over the age of 35 years old. I have had phone and email enquiries from women with regard to this, as well as reporter from Wo Bao calling in to ask whether there has been a marked increase in the number of female members over 35 years old over these few years, and whether they are harder to match. My answers are: No, there has not been a marked increase, and yes they are harder to match.
Our conversation moved on to why women above 35 years are harder to match, and how do we handle them etc….Frankly, The Dating Loft does not have an official age limit, most of our members are aged mid 20s to their mid 40s (for men mostly). Every agency has their “own house rules”, and because women above 35 are really harder to match, it is no wonder many have stopped at matching for women past a certain age….
We are not trying to blow our own trumpet or trying to say that we are better than others, but we have never reject a member outright before meeting them in person. We believe everyone has a chance at happiness and would like to meet the person and understand the person better before making a judgement call on their suitability. After all, I have met young ladies in their 20s whom I though were in their late 30s, and I have met babelicious women in their early 40s whose skin condition and figure would put most younger women (including me) to shame.
But why are the older women harder to match? Apart from the more obvious reasons of the biological clock ticking (Men loved to use this as an excuse when refusing to meet a woman in her mid 30s – “She will be a high risk mum” or “I prefer to have more couple time together before starting a family.”), many older (not all) single women I had met had channelled their formidable energies into building up their careers or businesses and thus are financially independent/rich….and along the way turned into demanding, domineering and controlling copies of their former selves. Because they had achieved so much by themselves, they expected more out of their potential partners. Their potential partners (even if it is just a date) have to “earn more than them, and/or have higher qualifications, and of course preferably be taller than them, and a host of other admirable qualities….” They only focused on what they want, what they expect, and forgot to ask themselves are they what MEN wants? I particularly remembered profiling a dowdy divorcee with 2 kids in her early 40s, who worked as a personal assistant to the CEO, an American expat in a MNC. She is adamantly looking for someone “preferably CEO or director level, in his 40s with annual income of at least 500K, be at least 1.8m tall and slim….” I was shaking my head during the profile and wondered in my heart what she was thinking?
We need to accept the simple fact that most if not all men are VISUAL. And realistic and practical as well. And SIMPLE. And they usually improved with age. AGE is a huge thing for local men. 80% probably prefers not to date/marry anyone older than them if given a choice. And asking them to meet a dowdy, divorcee in her early 40s with kids, who looked her age (or worse) on a blind date is impossible, even if they themselves are balding, paunchy, divorced with kids, and in their 40s too. So do we blame men for being looks/age-fixated? Or can we hold a mirror to ourselves and honestly ask ourselves this question: “In all honesty, would we DATE ourselves?”
On the other hand, I am glad that the younger generation (those in the 20s) seems to be taking a more open approach towards formalised dating channels such as joining dating agencies or events, as there has been a steady increase in their numbers here at The Dating Loft and Getthemdates. I observed that the younger members (mid 20s to late 20s) who joined us are usually more focused and goal-oriented. They came because they want to achieve certain milestones such as getting married by age 28, or having a family at age 30 etc…. Some of them may not have a relationship before and hence wants to get started before they get too old, which is great! I have always been a firm believer in making things happen, instead of waiting passively for things to happen!