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‘I have a friend in her late 30s who lives with, and has children by, a man in his mid-60s.He is paunchy with grey chest hair and not especially rich.They have certainly proved a talking point among my single women friends.‘I almost wept when I read her blog about going to a wonderful party hoping to meet someone,’ my friend Ruthie explained. You know you are being unrealistic and that it won’t happen — yet when it doesn’t, you can’t help being disappointed.’Ruthie is 47 and one of the most attractive women — of any age — that I know.He plucked her from a surfeit of willing women, watching him like vultures before my friend “got” him.’This may be the case in some circles, but is it generally true?Never married, she has a son James, now 13, by a man she parted from before her son was born.
‘I always had boyfriends when I was younger and assumed I would again after James was born,’ she says. These chats were fun — and sometimes quite flirty — but if I ever suggested we meet, the men would often back off, saying they were not looking for a relationship.’A dozen or so dates followed over the years, none of them quite right.When she last registered with an online dating site she was 44 — and few men made contact.The woman, who is divorced but says she would love to be married again, describes herself as being ‘on the wrong side of 45 with a brace of kids’ and bewails her place in ‘relationship no-man’s land’, condemned to be alone for the rest of her days.Her outpourings, which convey with unflinching honesty the huge difficulties older women can face finding a man, have caused quite a stir on women’s internet chat forums.
I was surprised afterwards when he didn’t get in touch. It turned out he’d seen some other women when he saw me and gone on to have brief relationships with them.When those relationships failed, he came back to me and I just felt, “He’ll be off again”, so I didn’t pursue it.’Official statistics reveal that among those aged 45 to 64 there are equal numbers of men and women living alone, it is only in the 65 and over age group that the lone women outnumber men — and that’s easily explained by the fact that men die younger. ‘A man can pick from a wider pool of women — his age and under, by several decades,’ The Plankton writes.