Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Odd Women Out

I love it when people send me links/suggestions for posts. It’s a big wide interwebz out there and I can’t possibly read all of it (hell, I can’t even keep up with my email). So when people send me ideas for posts, well, I’m in heaven.

Earlier today I got a link from a friend,“Is Online Dating Ruining the Lives of Middle-Aged Women? with her suggestion that it might make a good story idea.

My first inclination, before even reading the post, was to HATE it. First off, I hate the phrase middle-aged. Middle-aged makes me think of my mom and all of her friends sitting around the kitchen table playing poker, chain smoking and bitching about their husbands. But that’s my fucked up childhood.

I know that technically, I am middle-aged. Past 40. Half my life over. But I don’t feel/act middle-aged. Neither do any of my middle-aged friends. I guess what I’m saying is that, IMO, middle-aged is a phrase that feels outdated to me. Like that image of my mom and her friends. Of another era.

Add that to my immediate revulsion to articles that go on about the inherent crappiness of online dating. I’m on the record as pro-online dating and remain that way, even when I’m on a break. PLUS the ridiculous scaremongering of the title, “Ruining the Lives…” Good lord!

But then I read past the first couple of paragraphs (yes, it’s a shame that men in their 40s want to date younger women, leaving 40ish women with no one to play with) and it hit upon a theme I could very much relate to: of a certain finding themselves increasingly isolated (and online dating has nothing to do with).

Women also report losing friends because of the differences between single and attached lives. “As your friends settle down and have kids you can feel quite ostracised,” said Broom. “Last year I had a partner for about nine months or so, and during that time I noticed how I got invited to dinner parties again.

Anyway, I think the post is worth a read.

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15 to “Odd Women Out”

  1. Nikki B says:


    I recently found myself out for drinks with friends, including a 50ish woman who had never been married. It was interesting talking with her. She said she was very happy with her life, she knew why she had never married and didn’t regret it, yet you got the feeling *she* thought she should do something different, or should have. Or should start now as she was missing out. Or something. (I should point out that she had not yet tried online dating, so you’re point that doing so has nothing to do with it is valid).

    Here is this awesome attractive woman, who was making this life for herself (was a teacher, now a yoga instructor after studying in India, contemplating adding Thai massage to her resume) that she loved, having never found someone that was worthy of her. And yet. She felt this drive to find fault with it all.

    Not okay.
    Nikki B recently posted..Oh, Facebook: A T-Bone Update. Or, the dude I would’ve banged sometimes.My Profile

  2. SG – how can you be middle aged if life doesn’t start until you are 50?

  3. Liz says:

    At 41, the thing I miss most of all is having other single female friends my age. I think I would feel much better about my situation (never married, no kids) if I had more female friends in the same boat. I know a handful scattered across the country, but although I live in a hip area of Los Angeles, I know almost none here. My social world has gotten awfully quiet. Sometimes I want to be able to announce an engagement or pregnancy on Facebook because those are the only things that would bring tons of friends out of the woodwork in order to congratulate/ get back in touch with me.

    After 39 or so I also found that online dating doesn’t offer near the possibilities it used to. I’m lucky to get one or two dates out of a month’s subscription (and I have to do the contacting), whereas I used to easily get responses from over half the men I contacted. I also am not interested in dating men over 50, and those are the ones who seem most interested in me.

    On top of everything, I developed an autoimmune disease a couple of years ago, so for guys who are already picky, I now have something “wrong” with me that I could easily be rejected for.

    On the bright side, I often get “hit on” when I go out, so I still seem to do okay in person.

    • Liz says:

      Also, in the Guardian article, I stumbled across this interesting website from one of the commenters:

    • Simone Grant says:

      I feel similarly. I’ve made some great new friends, my age, in the past few years. But they don’t “replace” the friends who’ve disappeared into marriage.

      I do hope your feeling OK/well. Of course, you know, a great guy won’t give a damn about your health issue. At least that’s what I tell myself.

  4. jackie says:

    I’m going to live to 120. You can call me middle-aged when I hit 60. And friends don’t abandon friends, regardless of couple-dom. If you can only be my friend when I’m single you’re not really my friend.


  5. Black Iris says:

    I think the woman in the article thinks she’ll never have sex again because she’s depressed. She just got divorced.

    I think on-line dating may make it harder for older women sometimes. If guys search only for women younger than them, they won’t look at the older women. The women might be perfectly attractive in person, but the guys won’t find that out. I think if you want to date older men, this isn’t a problem, but for many women it could be frustrating.

    Also, I think it’s probably generally harder for moms to date than for other women.

  6. Kelly says:

    This article was interesting, and I like what you pointed out about friends. I find the reverse to be true as well: my single friends are now less inclined to spend time with me because I’m hitched. Even though I still grab cocktails by myself with them. I understand; we are operating in 2 worlds, esp. since I now have stepkids. But I don’t talk only about my husband or skids. I like talking about work, gossip, travel, etc. I’m just saying it would be nice to feel more connected again, instead of like I crossed some great divide.

  7. Lennie Ross says:

    Ahhhh, posts so relevant! I just recently wrote an article called:

    Why I’m Not Married –

    It’s tough being a single older woman who is focused on her career. As always, love your posts Simone :)

    Lennie Ross
    Lennie Ross recently posted..Friend Zone or End Zone?My Profile

  8. Black Iris says:

    For me getting married didn’t affect how much time I spent with single friends. Having kids did. We also moved around that time, but once we had kids we mostly met and hung out with other parents. My perspective as a a parent is that a lot of it is just about schedules and needing to do things kids can do. I think an article from the other side of the issue might be interesting, though.

  9. Charlotte says:

    I also hate the expression “middle aged.” Sounds terribly outdated to me as well, so let’s never use it again, yes?

    Now that that’s out of the way–I think sometimes I don’t feel inclined to hang out with my married/married-with-children friends. And it’s not because I don’t want to spend time with them; I just assume that they’re busy doing couply/family things. I recently was called out for it by a very dear friend. She told me we don’t stop hanging out because she has two children–that she very much needs girl time, too, and it made me rethink things.

    Anyway, I’ll definitely check out this article. Great post, Simone!
    Charlotte recently posted..Insomnia Club: TakenMy Profile

  10. City Girl says:

    You are so not middle aged! 40 is the new 50, right? Reading the previous post and this one reminds me of my Mom and her best friends. They had a beach house in their late 20s-early 30s. Then half of them married, and the other half didn’t. Only two out of six women had children. There were two decades in which the group only socialized together twice a year, but in their 50s, they all reconnected and started taking trips together. I’m not sure what the future will hold for you and your friends, but remember that relationships aren’t linear. xoxo
    City Girl recently posted..IMF (Interesting Male Friend)My Profile