Where have all the good men gone?

Just as the song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” mourns the disappearance of things that are important to us, my gal pal bewailed her experience not finding interesting eligible bachelors. She said, “Where are the dynamic men — like me? Where are the funny men — like me? Where are the adventurous men — like me? Where are the intelligent men — like me?”

Although she is 6 weeks shy of her 50th birthday, her last few beaus have been in their twenties. Men she encountered her own age were unable to keep up with her energetic activities, were stuck in their ways, or had children in tow. She was an entrepreneurial free spirit, spending much of the last year abroad. She wanted someone who would match her zest, curiosity and positive outlook on life. They were not showing up on Match.com.

I joined her lament, as few of the men I’ve met in this adventure have had many of the elements she and I both sought. Although I have met some wonderful treasures, so far no one who I thought was “The One,” although a few had many of the characteristics I was seeking.

My friend decided to join some new online sites focused on her values. She was advised to hang out where like-minds congregated. So she’s attending seminars where she hopes to not only get inspiration and information, but to meet an evenly matched man.

Her tactic is not a new one. It is common advice to attend events and classes where others of similar interests convene. This way you’ll at least enjoy the activity, whether or not you find romance. Of course, if you only like quilting, fashion shows and flower arranging, it will be harder to find a man, although some men do enjoy such activities.

I believe you will find your love match when the time is right. And yes, you have to be out in the world in order to do so. But I don’t think you should necessarily make a point of hanging out in the hardware store, computer shop or monster truck rally to find a guy, unless you like those places anyway.

So, have faith, do what you love to do outside the house, and put a smile on your face. And remember that he’s looking for you, too!


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14 responses to “Where have all the good men gone?”

  1. hooligan Avatar

    Us guys are thinking the same thing though. Finding the right person is a lot harder these days because everyone is so picky.

  2. Jack Avatar

    My first reaction was “Oh, please!!!” but after thinking about it, this seems an accurate observation. I live in a city (DC) where the great women outnumber the even good men by a large degree. I know dozens of wonderful, fun, smart women and don’t know even one man that I would consider matching with any of them. The men, and these are friends mind you, all seem vaguely immature or distracted or insecure plus DC has a very large gay population. I’m not sure why this is or what advice I have to y’all but its a shame. Having a good intimate relationship is important and for too many deserving women, it comes down to supply and demand.

  3. Elena Avatar

    If your friend is successful at attracting younger men, she should stay the course and forget about the old farts. Obviously she’s got more in common and more of a connection with younger guys, so why bemoan the fact that fiftysomething guys aren’t her type? There are plenty of women who would love to be in her position and be a cougar!

  4. Elena Avatar

    Off-topic: By the way DG, have you ever used eHarmony or Chemistry or any of the online dating services that claim to match people based on personality tests? What has your experience been like? Did you get more on-target matches from those kind of services, where the option of choice is kind of taken away from you, than on Match.com or Yahoo Personals? Also, have you ever used Plenty of Fish? It looks very tacky but it generates a ton of traffic. The guy who owns it earns $10 million a year from it thanks primarily to Google ads that he runs on it. Incredible.

  5. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Hi Elena:

    In response to your two postings:

    1) My friend finds the young guys for great physical activities, and they worship her, but they are not as mature as she’d like. And they don’t typically have the financial means to match her lifestyle preferences.

    2) Yes, I’ve tried several dozen sites. The half dozen men I met in person on eHarmony never went beyond a first date. So much for their matching skills! And I’ve met a few from Chemistry. One lasted 3 dates, then went poof. However, my doctor neighbor found her love of 2 years on Chemistry. So maybe i’m just hard to match!

  6. GiGi Avatar

    From your lips to God’s ears!

    But to answer the question about dating sites: eHarmony was awful, but that was years ago. I’ve tried Plenty of Fish — I think it depends on the area you live in…the quality, as a whole, isn’t as good as Match, but there are a few gems in there, too!

    The particular area I live in has a very active social group – dances once a month – no pressure, just general fun get togethers. You can even meet new girlfriends there!

  7. Elena Avatar

    Yeah, I tried eHarmony a few years ago and despite the fact that I was living in New York City at the time, eHarmony could only find two matches for me and neither one lived in New York City!! One was in New Jersey and the other hundreds of miles away in upstate NY. Not surprisingly, I never met either one since the distance was just too great and the email exchanges we had were just blah. I tried eHarmony again a year later and got zero matches. I don’t personally know anyone who has even gotten past a first date with eHarmony.

  8. nysharon Avatar

    1.DG. My sentiments exactly.
    2.I have dated numerous younger men since I became single 4 years ago. I am 51 and look like I am in my late 30’s early 40’s, am petite and outgoing. The term Cougar annoys me because I feel it has a predatory sound. I found that isn’t the case and found that younger men pursued me. It was great in the begining, however, I found that they were mostly in it for the short term “fun” factor. Mostly due to being in a different place in their life. A few have remained good friends but it’s icky when I meet there 20 something new girlfriends.
    3. I live with in 90 miles of NYC and I only had 6 matches. Only one was in his 50’s and my range was 40 to 55. I didn’t bother joining. I think it has to do with the range men put in (younger than them).

  9. Midwestgal Avatar

    I have had this same thought many times. Actually, I have had very good experiences with eHarmony, but I learned you have to be patient. I had a couple of hundred matches, but I was on there off and on for almost 2 years. I found the quality of men to be far superior than Match or even ChristianCafe. I met quite a few, dated one for 6 months and now am in a fantastic relationship with an awesome man. There were quite a few I closed down, many closed me down, but I found that the ones I got all the way through to open communication were pretty good people, just not matches for me. I am a pretty discerning dater, as character is the most important thing for me. I had a friend who was on there, too, but she didn’t have the patience to get through it. She wanted dates and she wanted them now. I think it all depends on what you want.

  10. PreviouslyQueenofE Avatar

    I did eHarmony for a couple of years, and found it pretty unsatisfactory. I had a shortlived relationship with one guy that was so TOTALLY not my match, but I went through with the initial part largely because I believed in the eHarmony thing about matching our personalities – I thought, maybe they found something I didn’t? then had a couple of dates with a guy that I still think was mentally deficient and he had friends help him fill out the questionnaire. Also, the original questionnaire I completed was much more complete than the ‘newer’ questionnaire. I remember it took me hours to finish, when I did the new questionnaire I was disappointed because it was essentially what the ‘matching’ terms were. You could be who you wanted to be, or what you thought would attract women or men, even on eHarmony, not necessarily who you really were.

    The funny thing is that my current beau/SO, with whom I am in a 10 month+ relationship that is solid and has a future – we’re living together quite happily, met organically through work contacts- was also on eHarmony for the same time I was, and it never matched us, despite the fact that he lived about 1/2 mile from me, we’re very similar in our interests, background, and temperaments.

    I think it’s all just karma, when you find the right person, whether you’re on online sites, doing things you love to do, or running into someone at the grocery store. It depends on where you are in your own life. One of the best encounters I ever had was with someone I met at the local government planning office. There was chemistry right off; we ran into each other at the grocery story later and eventually had a very brief relationship but remain friends to this day, six years later. The online thing just opens you up to a larger ‘pool’. I am in a very small pool waay down South, my sister just got divorced and is living in the NYC area and has been on Plenty of Fish and just loved it when she was first on there and getting lots of emails and contacts from the men on there. She’s calmed down a bit and is more discriminating now, but the attention can be heady, especially after a very bad marriage!

  11. Rori Raye Avatar

    Though I am, gratefully, still happily married (it wasn’t always so…) my clients and readers are in this same situation. It’s my experience with so many women that attitude, the way we women talk to a man, and the way our “vibe” comes across from the get-go (from the profile, to the first email exchange , the first phone call…) is everything. And that often, what we’re “putting out” there, in an “energetic” way, is not always congruent with what we want to have with a man.

    In so many ways, we’re letting our command of our lives slop over into command of a relationship, and really great, Masculine Energy men don’t respond to that. They can feel our energy across the ethers, through email, in the sound of our voice – and it pushes them away instead of attracting them.

    There’s a trick to being a powerful woman who uses her power in the service of having a romantic relationship. The mechanics and logistics of dating are all useless without the bottom line ability to be so strong inside that we can be vulnerable, soft, happy, open, warm, and – yes – feminine, on the outside.

    Thank you for this site and this forum, and I look forward to keeping this dialogue open and seeing if we can shake things up out there in our favor…Sincerely, Rori Raye

  12. LuckyatCards Avatar

    My feeling is that most of the healthy people find each other and form the marriages that last. The ones (like me) who find themselves looking again in middle age have some issues. So you have men with issues dating women with issues, and it’s difficult to make a good pairing that lasts.

  13. nysharon Avatar

    At the risk of sounding defensive I am tired of hearing this type of crap from people, especially our SISTERS. I really have no issues except that I am an eternal optimist who stayed in a marriage for 15 years with a man who I thought would someday care about what my needs were. I stayed and stayed until one day I decided after much turmoil that being alone was better than living a lie. The bottom line is that woman lose value in this society as we age. If we are successful and independent it is better. However—why is it seen that we are even less of value (or flawed) when we have no man on our arm?? There are less available people out there who are available in their 40’s than when we were in our 20’s and we all—both men and women have our battle scars by that time and we know WHAT is important to us (unlike when we were younger).
    BTW:What I find most interesting is that the men who approach me and pursue me most often are the Married Ones that are supposed to be happily attached.

  14. NiceGirl51 Avatar

    I’ve been on a couple of web sites and what I find most disappointing. Is the guys on there are not very truthful. Both had pictures that were as others have commented 10yrs. younger than what they really were.
    Very disappointing.. Not that looks are that important but I have to admit
    that if I’m not attracted physically- there is no way the relationship will progress. Not that he has to be an Adonis but, there has to be something about him that catches my eye.
    Then, there was this guy I thought I totally clicked with on many levels.
    At the time I contacted him on Yahoo, he lived in Omaha and I thought It would be OK. By the time he figured out I was firting with him. He was relocating back to MI. We continued to e-mail. He told me that there was a good possibility that he would have a job in KC. We planned to meet in neutral territory, after a month of emailing. To see if there would be any “chemistry”. I am so glad I didn’t meet him. Something told me that it wasn’t a good idea. The job never materalized. His life was in such a state of “flux”. Learned a very valuable lesson. Stay clear. Turned out that he wasn’t as put together as he said he was.