The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

Middle-Aged Women And The Invisibility Factor

I recently read this opinion piece in The Guardian, a UK-based newspaper/website. It was posted in an odd category, “Online dating Mid-life ex-wife” The author of the piece, writing under a pseudonym, bemoans her invisibility to whom she calls “silver foxes”, guys in their fifties who still have it together in terms of looks

Here’s a salient paragraph:

There seems to be a gender imbalance, vis-a-vis the packaging thing. All the women I know are tolerant of middle age showing itself in a chap. We quite like a late flowering, in fact: the silvering, the smile lines, the coming of bodily sturdiness. We read these as signs that life has been lived and enjoyed. We read them as indicators of substance, of being substantial. In general, men don’t seem to grant us the same courtesy, at least not the men I meet online. They are highly focused on the packaging. It’s disheartening.

This is good news for guys in general. This is good news especially for guys who haven’t strapped 30 pounds of stomach fat above the belt line and who also have at least a modicum of charisma. I know personally what weight loss can do. I also know that charisma is a huge part of being attractive to women.

The author of the piece is very unhappy that men in her demographic aren’t looking at her, they look at much younger women. Well, duh.

Here’s another salient paragraph where the author asks a question to a male friend and he responds accurately:

These are just facts. Men like youth. They like long hair. They like colour. They like slender, as well. Sorry. You’re going to have to lose weight and grow your hair and wear red if you want the silver foxes to see you.

The question is, should I be prepared to change?

Change. There’s the ugly word from the whole story. We Manosphere men encourage self- improvement.

Masculine self-improvement is change. Sadly, when a guy has the audacity to recommend a woman lose weight and grow her hair, it’s usually perceived as a threat and the response from a middle-aged woman is often anger. As we get older, so much changes. What we wore and how we looked from our 20s is hugely different. Women get fat, men lose hair. This shit happens. The author of the above article is having a very difficult with recognizing that those silver foxes don’t notice her because of the changes that come with aging. The question for her is, “how many ordinary men have YOU looked at as you are out and about?”

Yeah, thought so. Change is inevitable.

If a woman in her 50s has been good with her body and her mind, she will get noticed. If she eschews those awful, “comfortable” outfits and makes an attempt at dressing herself to look more attractive, she will get some admiring looks. Being comfortable is a terrible and selfish excuse when being in public. I see that in both men and women. It’s revolting. When I want to draw attention to myself, I dress the part. But no fuzzy hats! For a man, it’s simply a matter of dressing one level up from the rest of the guys.

After an interesting Twitter exchange with the author, she made it clear that she doesn’t want my advice. That’s her choice. She also has to understand that her actions have consequences. Being unwilling to change and adapt to her current demographic landscape means she won’t meet her relationship goals.

However, I was rather flattered that she reads my blog and has been for quite some time. Noice! Stella, you’re a peach! You’re flawed and unyielding, but a peach nonetheless. If you weren’t across the pond, I’d have a date with you. Better yet, have The Guardian fund a trip over here to South Florida. The weather must be awful over there right now. We could go to the beach.

[Update: The author of the column blocked my Twitter account. Lulz!]

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40 thoughts on “Middle-Aged Women And The Invisibility Factor

  1. I am shocked how many women neglect the 10-25 year rule: a woman’s best prospects are usually with a man 10-25 years her senior. The older you get, the bigger the age gap. At 55, a man is still just about in his prime: making good money, about to retire, enjoying the last burst of myostatin that lets him grow muscle a little faster. At 55, a woman is far out of her prime. The man could easily get a woman aged 45 to settle with him, possibly one aged 30. The woman needs to look at men at least in their 70s to see what her best long term relationship prospects are.

    • This might be true in many cases, but not the majority, at least right now. Our economy still sucks and a fair number of men either have been laid off, are divorced and paying child support/alimony, are still paying off student loans, or are in average – low pay jobs. For example, my lover and I have been monogamous FwB for a little over 8 years now…I’m currently 30 and he’s 45. His income to debt ratio is far worse than mine because he got utterly screwed in the job market. Point is, if someone is only interested in another person because of their resources or youth, they’re approaching relationships from a shallow angle. Not a good foundation for a strong LTR, honestly.

      (This isn’t saying that, in general, men don’t appreciate youthful women and women don’t care about a man’s earning potential. For the majority this is absolutely true. But these 2 factors can’t be the only traits worth looking at, otherwise men are reduced to wallets and women are just t&a.)

      • Personal observation: Men in their 50s still seem to have more going for them. Especially considering the number of unattached men in their 50s dating women in their 30s and 40s. All things being equal, a 55 year old man can date younger and a 55 year old woman can hardly date men her own age. After all, it’s not like he has to choose between youth and compatibility. There are plenty of high IQ, very educated, very compatible women in their 30s and 40s that are perfectly happy dating a man in his 50s. Not so much when you reverse the genders.

      • Perhaps, but it’s like my lover says:
        “20 year old women: They’re fun to bang…but what do you do with them afterwards?”

        He’s joking a bit, but his message comes down to the fact that too wide an age gap will make for maturity and compatibility issues. A few of the guys I’m friends with who are single and 40+ consistently say that they prefer to date women closer to their own age, otherwise it “feels like babysitting”. I think PM already covered the “why” of 50+ year old women having dating difficulties…an unwillingness to admit they need to change to fit the demographic they’re looking to be with.

      • Hence why most men in their 50s are looking at women out of university. Yes, there will be some immature 25-35 year olds, but if you meet at a book club or horse riding or anywhere particular, you have something in common whatever the age or maturity gap. And maturity at 50 is starting to become as rare as at 20. As evidenced by the prevalence of articles and dating profiles by women in their 50s in denial about their reproductive age and actual prospects. There are clearly enough men in their 50s who are happily unattached or pairing up with younger women that women such as the writer of the article have something to complain about. And if they’re choosing such partnerships, they probably ARE finding young women who are mature, bright and who have something in common with them. In short: men in their 50s are clearly finding younger, prettier, more fertile, smarter, more relatable women without much difficulty; women in their 50s are finding it hard to get a date with a man their own age and bemoaning it on the internet.

      • I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on some of this points.

      • Johnny Doe on said:

        Biology may indeed by shallow, ma’dam, but it’s a game we all have to play.

        My dad’s widow and I were chatting about a similar topic the other day and how my dad wanted no part of her trying to set me up with anyone she knows. As in women make terrible matchmakers, evidenced by her trying to urge me into “older” women. Anyway, what stood out the other evening was how she proclaimed that (for the sake of brevity) that 20-year olds were not mature. Maybe, maybe not. I’ve seen enough chain smoking, section 8 leeching 40-somethings with four kids from three babydaddies that show that “mature” women are not always mature, either.

      • True. Age doesn’t necessarily mean maturity in a woman, but it helps, according to my single friends.

      • I’d also argue that nobody actually has to play either…It’s not a part of the message here at PM’s blog, but singlehood is a very viable way of life. That’s all I’ll say about that though, out of respect for PM and the advice he gives to those who are still playing.

    • “The woman needs to look at men at least in their 70’s……..”

      Yuck. No, just no. Celebacy and cats would be perferred. I’m not in my 50’s, but if I’m still single then, I won’t be dating 25 years older.

      • And that’s how many men in their 50s feel about reentering the 50s dating market. Especially when much younger women are available and often just as smart, educated, experienced or otherwise compatible. The younger you are, the better your chances of finding a partner near your own age. Once most women hit their 50s, its as much game over as it is for 70 year old men.

      • If a guy in his 50’s can date younger, more power to him. I just don’t want his aged out 70 year old rear end. Celebate with cats is better than celebate and nurse maid. I wouldn’t waste my last good years of health , sexuality, and mobility on some dude who didn’t give me the same and is incapable of giving it in his 70’s.

    • Julianne on said:

      I’m wondering where in the world you live???? I have been to two weddings in the last year and a half, both women were 45 (second marriages). Both married men in their forties. I also have a female friend of 58, her fiance is 52. All around me I see people with people their own age. Yesterday I was talking to a couple who met five months ago, both in their late 50s. They met at ballroom dancing. You have some very strange ideas.

      • Second marriages. Probably following a first marriage to someone their own age as well? How did the first marriages work out? And how will these ones last? Boomers are notorious for trying to marry equally and repeatedly failed marriages.

  2. Fact. Men are not going to go for frumpy, overweight, mom-jeans if they can get sexy, youthful, in heels. Fact.

    There are two other things that might be at play with this woman. She’s unhappy, and I’m sure that comes across even if it’s not explicit. She might be trying to date above her level. What is she offering that attractive men her age would find attractive? That’s an honest question, and one that both men and women should answer for themselves. Think about who you want to date and then ask what you think that person would find attractive. Do you measure up? Are there things you could improve?

    Then get on it!

    Perhaps you and I should do a HOA on this topic. Sorry to be so long-winded.

  3. The Twitter comments between the author of the column and me have made it very clear. She will not read my advice and she finds my blog distasteful.

    Her loss.

    • I’ve only read a couple of your blog posts so far, but I haven’t seen anything yet that I would consider distasteful…

      …we can agree to disagree on the whole “nice” guy thing.

      Unfortunately, we live in a culture that seems to glorify victimhood. “I can’t lose weight because I’m big-boned.” People create this insurmountable reason, which is they claim is the source of the problem. Well, boo fucking hoo. That’s bullshit. You’re overweight because you eat too much.

      Personally, I’ve been there. I’ve lost over 55 pounds and I have 40 more to go. Two things I’ll tell you from my experience.

      First, I never, not even at almost 100 pounds overweight, had a problem finding dates, and I didn’t sell it with sex or any of the other lame tactics I see women doing as a way to get men. I think the reason I attracted men even at that size was because of my attitude. I never apologized for my size or blamed my weight for my singlehood. The mere fact that this woman thinks this is the only reason she’s not getting more dates tells me that mentally she’s a victim.

      Second, since I’ve lost 55 pounds, I have many more options. There’s that saying “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

      Become the person you would want to date.

      Suddenly, you’ll get more dates.

      • First off, a tip of the hat for you’re efforts in losing weight. I find that a lot of female friends get a bit pissed when one of their own leaves the Victimhood Fat Camp and starts getting more attention than her former sisters.

        The truth is it’s far easier for women to get dates these days, in a lot of cases all she has to do is show up in a sausage fest venue and pick her best option.

      • Yes, and to your second point, Ronin, that is why I suspect this woman is trying to date out of her league. She’s probably refusing to date men at her level and is instead going for men who won’t give her the time of day. Maybe she thinks she’s a 10, or even an 8, when she’s really a 5. If she’s a 5 trying to get the attention of alpha male 10s, she’s going to be lonely for a long time.

      • Olay Dave on said:

        Women over-rating their SMV is a huge mistake many of them make. The ones I’ve dated seem to rate themselves as of the date they enjoyed the tingles and maybe even romance from that last Alpha who paid attention to them, which in most cases was decades ago.

        Sorry, sweeties, you ain’t even close to that “7” anymore. You hit the Wall hard and now on your best day, presuming you haven’t “clowned -up” (e.g. cut your hair short, colored it bizarrely, use weird shades of lipstick or fingernail polish) you’ll be considered a “5” at best! You will have hit many men’s floor and you can kiss the Alphas good-bye. Oh, and look at your hands; are they “granny hands”? That knocks a full point off even the more attractive women.

        So, the best advice is be realistic and ask a male friend, not your gal-pals, what your SMV truly is.

      • Johnny Doe on said:

        So, the best advice is be realistic and ask a male friend, not your gal-pals, what your SMV truly is.
        ===

        Right. I always chuckled even in the past about guys asking “Ladies only!!!” how to attract women. As if women actually have to do anything more than have a pulse to attract even the thirstiest of guys…

    • “She will not read my advice and she finds my blog distasteful.”

      She’s angered and offended that you’re telling her what she NEEDS to hear, not what she WANTS to hear.
      She’s just another typical spoiled Western female who (by having been born with a vagina) has been over-indulged and able to use her looks and sexuality as both a weapon and a ‘power tool’ against men all of her previous life.
      Now that she has ‘aged out’ of that era of her life when she could ‘get by’ by using her youth and beauty, she has found that having to ‘live life’ like the typical man does ALL of his life, is not at all to her liking.

    • Johnny Doe on said:

      Nothing wrong with this. She’s probably already deepened the gene pool by not bearing a next generation, so why sweat it?

  4. I find the entitlement of women off putting, most of the columns catering to women crying about dating center on how awful it is men don’t love them the way they are. Very few of them dare suggest the stuff one finds in men’s forums, Eg., “hit the gym”, “clean up your diet”, “suit up”, “get rid of the negative things in your life”etc….

    All any of them has to do to put herself ahead of most of her competition is lose weight. It’s disturbing to see so many women with beautiful face that could be on the cover of fashion magazine hauling around an extra 40lbs of fat…

  5. I was talking to a cute blonde college student in a cafe and she was telling me how she was having trouble learning French. She even explained to me how she was currently taking a class for the second time because she couldn’t learn French.

    I had taken a few French classes in college, and had been married to a Parisienne for a while, so I knew a little, and was telling her some mnemonic tricks for memorizing words, and then said that instead of putting pressure on herself, maybe she should treat it as a kind of game, and have fun with it.

    Her response to everything I said, with a sort of rising frustration, was to repeat the same thing over and over: “I just can’t learn French!” Not even the swear words? Did you know the French have an expression for sweaty balls, it’s. . .

    “I just can’t learn French!”

    At first I just chalked it up to another frustrating conversation with a woman. She was young, friendly, intelligent, and yet we were completely talking past each other.

    Thinking about it later I realized what the problem was. I had gotten sucked into one of those verbal gender vortexes where the man completely misinterprets what the woman is communicating for the simple reason that he would never do something that batty.

    She didn’t want to learn French! It was that simple. What made it a particularly female communication, was that at the same time, she wanted credit for having tried ever so hard. She wanted absolution.

    What could you do?

    You tried your best.

    Poor you, you can’t learn French.

    These were the sorts of phrases she wanted from me, and instead I had gone off on weird male tangents about easy and fun ways to learn language. No wonder she was frustrated. She was trying to lay the emotional groundwork for being excused from learning a language, and all I was doing was ruining it.

    I think you see the parallels. Enough with your crazy manthoughts.

    Josh.

  6. This woman is why God invented cats.

  7. You’ve “uncovered” a very typical double standard to talk about this time, PM. The fact that both a man and a woman can be told they need to lose weight/fat, dress more sophisticated, get a more flattering hair style, etc. if they’re over 40 and want to be attractive to the opposite sex…But the man is expected to agree and start working on these changes, but it’s somehow either sexist or cruel when directed at the woman.

    Go figure.

    • While I acknowledge this double standard, and do my part to fight Mommy-bobs and sweatpants among my married girlfriends, you have to realize it’s not belligerent. Lazy, perhaps, even dumb, but not antagonistic.

      Deep down women know that looks matter more than character (for attracting men). Even blue-pill women. Their insecurity about their looks, when they know how important it is, is why they get defensive.

      Imagine the same as a blue-pill male getting defensive about not having a job, and living in his buddies’ basement. If a woman says, “Sorry, the six pack isn’t doing it for me, get a job,” he’ll get more defensive than if she says “Get a haircut,” because deep down he knows that is more important. He knows it’s more valuable, so it’s more of an insult when you tell him he’s failing at it.

      A more realistic example is, if a a man gets told at work that he’s failing to deliver, or that he need to dress better for the office, which do you think he will get more defensive about?

      Generally, the more defensive someone gets about something, the more important I know it is to them. And that’s just a people thing, not a gender thing.

      What do you think, PM?

      • Hmm. Good way of putting it, Meggrz.
        It’s a good way to read someone, in general, if you think about it. If a guy doesn’t get defensive about being in a “dead end” job, but is pissed when you say he’s a poor guitarist? You could probably make a safe bet as to what he gives more of a damn about.

        Also further upholds the fact that I’m gender dysphoric…I’m a female, but get far more defensive if someone questions my work ethic than if they comment about my looks.

  8. My impression is that at this age, many people have less tolerance for any discomfort or annoyance, and they also aren’t that attracted to each other. Men and women both don’t want someone who’s hit the wall or hasn’t got stable economy. Although there is a sex difference in how important looks and jobs are, women’s tolerance for age isn’t infinite, and men will shy away from women who have employment problems for whatever reason. What does everyone else think?

    • Good points, Emma! Truth is, people are just getting a bit worn down from life by the time they’re hitting the middle or “golden” years. They (both men and women) really need to have a little conversation with themselves, “do I even want to date — really?” — because if the answer is yes, they need to work on a little self-improvement which takes honesty and humility.

      I don’t think older men care so much about a woman’s job title and her career status but they don’t want to be some woman’s retirement plan either. I’ve definitely witnessed this in real life; the ladies who never got their financial house in order, either due to underearning, overspending, or refusal to learn about investing for the long term, get dumped.

    • This sounds a little like Josh’s “I can’t learn French” post. This 50s woman may actually not want a man, but writes a flourish piece about how she can’t get a man. It’s easier to say “I can’t find what I’m looking for” than openly admitting “I don’t want anyone.” Perhaps there’s a MAWGTOW (middle-aged women going their own way)>

  9. Pingback: A Request To The Guardian | The Private Man

  10. GattoGrigio on said:

    As a result of this post, I’ve been following this woman’s exploits at the significant risk of being contaminated by the Guardian’s not-so-soft socialist rantings.

    TBH, it’s like watching a slow motion train wreck.

    She continues to hunt for (usually younger) men who give her the tingles. After repeated rejections and a classic pump’n’dump, her latest installment is a classic:

    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jul/18/date-confession-girlfriend-online-dating

    It’s got everything:

    * Red Flag Male (never married 45yo)………………..check!
    *Struggling musician (guitarist in a nowhere band)……………….check!
    *She approached first………………………………………check!
    *Mental health problems (he’s “recovering” from depression)………….check!
    *flat broke (he fitted out his own kitchen. Very badly)…………….check!
    *hung up on his ex who dumped him……………………….check!
    *Says he doesnt really want to meet her, but she persists………..check!
    *He drops the bomb: he’s sleeping around voraciously but it troubles him….check!

    Buuuuuuuut, he’s tall, wears tight black jeans & has deep, soulfull eyes (Ah! The tingles! The tingles!)

    So she STILL wants to meet him for a beer!

    Jesus! I couldn’t make this stuff up!

    I suspect when this series ends she will include this sentence in her last post:
    ” There are truly no good men left out there.”

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