Something I thought about while I was dating, was just how many options I had. Leaving aside the self-esteem issues I had to overcome, once I was through the “who the hell would date me?” stage, I came to realise that I did indeed have options, and that there was no rush to finding someone. This week, while (as I occasionally do) stumbling through the superb dating blog And That’s Why You’re Single, I came across this interesting piece about the disservice that women are doing themselves and inadvertently giving men the upper hand.
Reading it, and slightly related to the last article I published, it made me realise once again that the field has been levelled for online dating to a certain degree, and men are now at an advantage in a way we never would have been before. This may not ring true with men who have had or are having very little luck at the moment, but without too many social pressures to get married for men, coupled with many women hanging on and hanging on to the point they do themselves a disservice in clinging to an unattainable fantasy… sorry, I mean they “won’t settle”… we have all the time in the world.
When a man hits his thirties, generally his value goes up. He probably has a secure job, has passed out of education, is stable, has probably broadened his horizons through travel and other experience and has a lot of qualities that will make him attractive as a person. He is generally happy in himself and can take his time to choose the woman or women he wants to date – he is in no rush for a relationship or for marriage and sees very little benefit to the latter.
Women on the other hand, hit their thirties and realise they may only have a few years left of fertility yet so many carry on as they would have done in their teens and 20s, spurning all comers bar the best looking, richest and tallest. They are all clinging on for the same man: over 6′, with muscles and a high salary. The thing is, those men are not only few and far between that they can pick and choose – they can string them along for as long as they like. This has always been the case but online dating opens it up a lot more and they’ll have even more options than they did before. These men are in demand, are now in greater demand… and they know it. You call these men players, but it is women that enable this behaviour. This is how women are giving those men the upper hand.
So what about the rest of us?
Nothing has really changed though some may find they have a few more options. I was probably lucky that my education level worked in my favour – even though I am not rich – and the fact that my marriage broke down relatively young (mid 30s) . I am probably also lucky that despite now being less than 6 months off of 40, I look younger than my age. Men don’t flatter each other in that way, and we don’t look for compliments about it either, but both male and friends have been surprised in the past that I am not at least five years younger than I am. I’m probably fortunate that I have no children (though not wanting them goes against me).
For most men, the reality is that they will struggle to get dates. Though some undoubtedly are clinging to similar stereotypical fantasies that I accuse women of here (the 25 year old blonde model with skyscraper legs referred to in a previous post), a large number are being rejected by women who are in their age and education range and otherwise in their “league”.
So no, though the playing field is more level than it was before men still do not have the upper hand in dating – those who always had the upper hand will continue to experience that success and may even have a wider pool to choose from. All it means is that the most highly sought after men are even more sought after than they were before.