Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why I'm not getting any less single here

We're at a meeting. The guy sitting two down from me is cute. We make eye contact. We say hello. The meeting starts, and I casually sneak a glance down the table. Put your hand where I can see it, I will him. Not that one, the left one. He does. Nothing. Excellent. We pass each other on the way to the kitchen. "Gotta have coffee," he says. "Yes," I agree. Smiles. We break for lunch, and I hear him talking to someone about his wife.

Take this scene, and repeat it over, and over, and over until you're ready to put on your housecoat and go adopt a hundred cats. It's official. There are no cute, single guys my age left. In the world. I'm pretty sure of this, so hear me out. I know, I know... your friend's best friend from college, your husband's co-worker, your grandma's neighbor's lawyer. Everyone loves to count the degrees of separation between them and some great single guy they know. But you know what? I still think it's bullshit.

Here is my theory: I missed the window. I missed that crucial 24-27 window when everyone finds the person they want to eventually settle down with. Coincidentally enough, I too found myself in my most important and most enduring relationship so far between what ages? 24 to 27, of course, almost to the day. And didn't I think I was sitting pretty, then, imagining our future together. And then of course, it all fell apart. Oh shit, I said, and I watched that window closing right before my eyes.

At first I tried denial, and thinking positively. "Boston is a big city," I said. "There are lots of single guys here." And I tried, Internet, really, I tried. You watched me try. Then I said, "Well, Paris is a big city, too." And after six months of trying the best I could do was a very sweet guy who I just couldn't fall in love with. And now I'm here in Mythaca, which could not be called a big city by any stretch of the imagination, but, well, there are lots of grad students here, anyway. Lots of professors and brainy-minded people. And they're all involved in fulfilling, long-term relationships. Isn't that sweet?

Do I even have to mention that my window theory only applies to women? Think about it. If an even remotely attractive and intelligent guy for some reason finds himself single again at 29, just watch how fast he's snatched up.
So why is it that what for him is an asset becomes a liability for a woman of the same age? Because it's the law of supply and demand, people, and an unattached 29-year-old guy is a hot commodity. Meanwhile the market is saturated with women just like me. Intelligent, reasonably attractive women in their late twenties and thirties are a dime a dozen.

You guys usually do a pretty good job of talking me down off the ledge, here, but this time I don't want any part of it. I'm right about this window theory and I know it. Tell me I'm right. Of course, everyone has a story about someone who got married for the first time at 42, or was single her whole life and then boom, she falls in love with the waiter at her 35th birthday party, but as someone in a pretty terrible movie once said, "They are the exception. You are not the exception, you're the rule."

I'm not saying that it's impossible to meet someone after the age of 27, and I'm not saying that no one gets married after 30, because obviously that's not true. But damn, dating is different at 29 than it was at 24.

22 comments:

  1. I think you're just in a funk. As a 29 year old single girl, I see nothing but possibilities (and hot dudes) ahead of me until I find the right one and am ready to settle down. I can't imagine I'd be anything but bored out of my mind if I had met "the one" in that 24-27 range. Oh my god, how boring! Especially because I'm such a different person now than I was then.
    Honestly? I think you just need to move to Los Angeles. I'm up to my elbows in hot single dudes...and even when I'm not, I'm having too much fun to realize it.

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  2. I don't think I've commented before but I have to, sadly, concur. I decided to give online dating a try at age 29, after not being on for a couple years, and it is SUCH a different story this time around. And I'm in Boston, which SHOULD be an easy place to meet people. Maybe you'll have more luck in Mythaca. My friend's roommate's dentist's daughter moved to Mythaca and she... sorry. :)

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  3. OK. While I agree that it's difficult after a certain age (because BELOW a certain age, it's more likely than not that the guys you meet are NOT married yet), I'd like to present myself as evidence that you have NOT missed out on the window of opportunity.

    Want to know how I spent my 20s and 30s? I was building up my career (pfffft!) and being Miss Picky McPicky. And when I say "picky," I mean if I didn't like the guy's name (first or last), I wouldn't go out with him. Seriously? I was deranged.

    Yes, I dated a bunch of guys. No, I didn't see it through -- Miss McPicky always had a reason for this one ending and that one ending and the other one ending. (The end wasn't always my choice but I wholeheartedly concurred!)

    I met "the one" when I was 39. We got married when I was 40. We met on JDate (after meeting many losers), he lived in South Florida, I lived in Montreal (Canada), and we now live -- married -- in Connecticut.

    If anyone thought they missed the window, it was me. But I didn't. And neither have you, kiddo. Trust me.

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  4. 2 Things:

    I'll remind you of this:
    http://joeydevilla.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/singles-map.jpg

    And also, that you are really just going through a post-move (to the ex's hometown!!?!!?!) funk and everything seems worse now. Give yourself time to meet friends (male and female). You've only been there one week, Dah-lin.

    xoxo

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  5. I swear to all that is holy if I hear one more person say to me "It will happen when you least expect it!" I will kill them with my bare hands. (I mean that figuratively of course) I am 32! GASP!! I am divorced! double gasp! I have two small kids! triple gasp and the kiss of death!

    Girl you are preaching to the choir where I am concerned! :-)

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  6. Jamie- Not his hometown, he just lived here a couple years. And yes, the map. You and Georgia are probably right- I've gotta get out of the east coast, stat.

    Everyone else- You make some good points. Thanks for the thoughtful responses.

    Dawn- If you're over 40 in that picture I'll eat my hat.

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  7. Okay, can I just say that I began reading your blog because I was a bored newlywed and was living vicariously through blogs about the single life?

    I am married to a man who fell for me when I first walked into a new school at age 13, but I didn't give him the time of day romantically until we were 22. However if you had told me that I would marry at 23 I would have laughed at you. I wanted to be where you are, dating and taking opportunities worldwide.

    I know, I know, the grass is always greener. But I just wanted to let you know that as much as you want that serious relationship, I envy your lifestyle. I don't want to sound cliche and tell you to enjoy it, but please do!

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  8. Put some wasabi mayo on your hat, babe, it'll go down easier.

    It's part curse, part fabulous luck. I think that photo was from when I was 41 or 42. I've always looked like a kid -- when I was a kid, I looked like an infant -- and I was always told that I'd appreciate it when I got older. I never believed it but I do now. I really do appreciate it now.

    I'm also really short (5' on a great day) and have no hips (so I'm built like a boy from the waist down) -- that helps me look like a kid.

    But that's not the point. The point is you WILL find a great single guy. Why? Because you're an AMAZING girl. And I'm not just saying that, Rachel. You're a catch in every way. You just haven't met the guy yet who realizes that. Sometimes it takes time. You're still young. I know you don't feel like you are, but you are. Don't put the "Old Maid" label on yourself. You've got more than 10 years -- according to my history -- before you're even allowed to think like that.

    xo

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  9. this christmas we are totally going to freeze some of our eggs!

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  10. Hello, I'm leaving a comment for you because you have a great site here - I've really enjoyed reading your posts and your pictures are great !

    Thanks for sharing them and have a lovely weekend

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  11. Ok...everyone is different so I won't tell you how "it will happen for you" or whatever...but I can tell you that I think you are right about most of your theories. The "window". You bet your ass you are right. And the men not seeming to have a window? Right again.

    I can tell you that I met a guy at 35 and moved in after 4 months. I had never lived with a guy but had 2 relationships I just KNEW would lead to marriage (both 3 years long). Anyway...it happened. We married when I was 36. Now it's the "shit I'm getting old I better have kids" thang.

    Anyway, I really do look forward to reading about a few more crazy ass dates you have then becoming a little puky because you are goopy in love.

    I also thinks it's F-ing crazy to get married before the age of 30, so really you are right on time there sister!

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  12. I dont think theres a window anymore especially in big cities everyone seems to be single into their 30's. Just the way it is.

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  13. You are so cute and you write so well.
    Of course, I can't promise you that you'll find the right guy soon but I'm quite sure that many guy would like to be "your guy".
    Besides, 29 is not too old to find the right guy or for anything else.
    Take a look here and cheer up:
    http://www.whatwasdone.com/Age.php?&Age=29
    Good luck!

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  14. You're right, dating is different post 29 years. Looking for the ring on the left finger or deciding whether or not to date a guy with kids. It's tough, but if we're single at this age, so are the men we just got out of a relationship with...

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  15. Many of you women crack me up. Especially the one that got married at 39...let's see if you do have a child and your child also waits till 40 to have a child...you will be 80 when you have your first grandchild. Sad. I bet you will have a toooon of energy to provide to your children and grandchildren lol.

    Let me give you a hard lesson I learned. A career, money, status means nothign unless you have someone special to grow old with.

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  16. Yeah, you missed an important window. But even if your chances of getting married are decreased, they aren't zero. Buy yourself the books about finding a guy later in life and drop your standards. Don't look for Mr. Perfect. My husband is six+ years younger than me, was a college dropout, and working as a bank CSR when I met him. He moved in with me and I supported him for a few years while he finished college and worked part time. People told me he was using me, would leave when he graduated. We got married three years ago, after he graduated and landed a fantastic job. And many of my friends who were overly picky with men are now 40 and still single and childless.

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  17. One more thing: do some self-reflection and think about what you bring to the table. Work on making yourself someone whom a man would want to actually commit to. Think about what you can do-- inside and out-- to make yourself a more appealing marriage prospect.

    Many women focus on what they want from a man without thinking about what they can actually *offer* a man. Can you cook? Do you dress attractively? Are you agreeable and able to compromise? Do you know how to make a man feel good not just physically but mentally and emotionally? If not, start learning.

    I found your blog via a link from a "manosphere" blog on dating and marriage. You might be getting some more commenters from there.

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  18. I personally wonder how many guys she rejected while she was younger and cuter because their car or career was not good enough for her.

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  19. I know for a fact she--I mean, I, the third person thing is throwing me off--has rejected literally dozens of men, for those very reasons! A girl's gotta have standards, amiright? Actually, car and career are just the tip of the iceberg. Parting his hair on the wrong side, not loving his mom enough, loving his mom too much, wearing mismatched socks, failing to come to a full and complete stop, leaving ignorant comments on blogs he's clearly never read. What wouldn't I reject a guy for, really?

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  20. I try to never argue with an idiot...they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience. Women try the same. Since my "women rule,men drool" wife left, I'm averaging 40k a year more in income[from 200k to 240k]. SO any woman who has been hypnotized to believe that [by popular culture] is AUTOMATICALLY gone. My sons are the same way.
    Most seem to only look to see if it's a good deal for THEM.BUT is it a good deal for me? Went on dating sites and stated I am allergic to pets,so there won't be any in my house...amazing how many women value their cat higher than a man...and wonder why they are single. Women who out weigh me and look 10 years older than I do think we should date[look like my mother].
    You [all women,not you in particular]aren't as great as all the girls build you up to be in your hen-fests. WE don't need you to be successful. We are looking for a woman who adds to our life not subtracts and you overvalue sex because in the past teenage boys overvalued it.

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  21. Hello. I'm a cute single guy and we're the same age, as I also graduated high school in 1998.

    I have to say that my desire to ever settle down into marriage is dwindling with every passing month, because things keep getting better for me, as more and more women find me, as you say, a hot commodity. With every passing month, there are newer younger girls being added to the marketplace who are competing with you for my attention.

    You really have only two options:
    1) Lower your standards.
    2) Love cats.

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