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Jan 10

Are you dating down?

Posted on Monday, January 10, 2011 in dating, Men, Relationships, Singles, Women

Sara’s cousin, Claire, was visiting from Austin so the three of us got cozy at the bar at the Buckeye last week.

“So, how’s the midlife dating thing in Austin?” I asked. “Isn’t Austin always on the best place for single women lists?”

Claire laughed. “Well, we supposedly have about 11 guys for every 10 of us, but just having a few more guys around doesn’t mean it’s easier.”  

“Has to be easy for you,” I said. Claire’s not only tall and pretty with a knockout figure, but she’s smart — a gynecologist with her own thriving practice. But at 43, she’s still single.

“Not quite.”

“You’re kidding! Are the men in Austin blind or stupid or both?” I said, but as the words slipped out of mouth, I was reminded of a cruel reality:

Being 40-something is a tough age for a single woman; they’re just too old to be cranking out babies and that eliminates many eligible would-be daddies.

“Yeah, but you’re always meeting guys,” Sara said, sipping her syrah. “You just need to stop dating down.”

“Like every other place, they’re intimidated by successful women. I’d probably have more luck if I were the receptionist at my office.”

And that’s probably true.

The drive that makes a woman successful in her career is often a turn off to guys. As my friend Dan says, a woman’s degrees and ambition are not aphrodisiacs.

Being feminine generally is.

Claire —  successful and feminine — often finds herself attracting men who want to be taken care of in every way, including financially. She doesn’t mind sharing the monetary love, but it does create an imbalance in a relationship that most of us still seem to more comfortable with when it’s the man who’s more successful.

And all those uber-successful men don’t mind dating down because they don’t necessarily want that kind of equality a relationship; it can create power struggles.

It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation for successful women.

Fortunately, I don’t have that problem — I’m not a successful woman! Although perhaps I just have a different definition of what “success” is.

  • Do you date down?
  • And, if you do, what are you really saying about yourself?

Photo © Angelika Bentin –

Jan 3

The best kind of marriage

Posted on Monday, January 3, 2011 in Happiness, Honesty, love, Marriage, Relationships

“It’s disgusting,” Sara said as she walked in my door to join Sean, The Kid and me for a bowl of New Year’s Day hopping John.

“What’s disgusting?”

Hef’s engaged to a 24-year-old. I mean,
c’mon people — what kind of marriage is that?”
she huffed.  

“An honest one,” I countered.

“You must be kidding!”

But, I’m not. Hey, I’m not saying that a 60-year
age difference is a good thing; if I believed that, well, I’d be checking out guys who are waaaay
past 100. But unless I’m missing something about the Hugh Hefner-Crystal Harris wedding to be, it seems like they both know what they’re doing.
Sure, there really can’t be to much in common between an 84-year-old and a 24-year-old. Even if they both love sex, which I’m sure they do. Because, you know, well, because Hef’s 84 — how good can he be, Viagra or not?

Still, I don’t want to get too cynical about their engagement because at least they both know what they’re getting married for and it probably isn’t just “love.” And that’s a lot more than the rest of us can say.

If unrealistic expectations trip up a lot of newlyweds, marrying with very real, clearly defined expectations  isn’t all that bad. And, honestly, I think the lovebirds have it all figured out: Crystal is counting on Hef to give her a certain lifestyle, even if it’s for just a few years, and Hef is counting on her to be the babe on his arm and in
his bed. I can pretty much bet she won’t pack on the pounds once they get hitched.

People get married for all sorts of reasons, and many of them aren’t the “right” reason, whatever “right” means anyway. Who are we to say which is better or worse given that about half end up in divorce, anyway?

  • So, did you marry for the “right” reason (and please define “right”)?
  • And, is a (pending) marriage like Crystal’s and Hef’s more honest than a marriage based on anything else, including “love”?

photo © Francois du Plessis –