There’s a group of friends I call my “single ladies support group.” We meet every so often for dinner and inevitably the conversation turns to the joys and trials of the single life. It’s great to have friends who understand the weird little issues single girls tend to deal with these days.
One of the main issues we’ve been discussing of late is the prevalence of older men (we’re talking 20+ years older and some older than my parents) who think we’ll be flattered if they hit us. Maybe even hand over our phone numbers. And of course this isn’t George Clooney or even a Colin Firth lookalike. These are guys who definitely look like someone’s grandfather and probably should be pursuing someone nearer their age bracket. Not a 22-year-old who looks about 19 (as one of my friends happens to be). These guys might be interesting but are at totally different points in their lives than we are.
There’s a girl in this group who especially struggles with the unwanted attention. She’s a beautiful girl (inside and out) but these encounters are devastating to her self esteem. Obviously these men wouldn’t talk to her or slip notes onto her desk at work if she didn’t seem sweet. However, it makes her feel pretty crummy and unattractive.
The rest of us can definitely relate. As time goes on the dating pool thins out a bit and so do the men in our age group who take the time to ask us out on dates. These older men are often the only attention we get and rather than feel flattered we feel flawed and pretty damn unpretty. It’s really hard not to let encounters like those infringe on the self esteem. Especially when the age appropriate men appear to be MIA. It’s (damn) frustrating.
The only way I know how to cope is to continue to have conversations like those in my “singles ladies support group.” It helps to talk to others who know quite well what it feels like. I think that’s the best way to realize you’re not crazy, ugly or sending out some geriatric pheromones. And maybe (just maybe) when you pass a mirror now and then look yourself in the eyes and realize you’re not remotely the hag you feel you are.
I have a feeling a couple of the girls in my group just come off as shy and eventually will meet some nice guys their own ages (or close enough that it’s not weird). As for yours truly, the jury is still out. We’ll just say that I am against dating anyone old enough to be my father. It would just be weird and I don’t want my kids to have to explain that it isn’t their grandfather dropping them off at school. I guess I’m just funny that way.