March 12, 2010
Issue: 11.03
The New Bachelors

In the past year, I have had three men who are approximately 10 years my junior express an interest in me. Although I certainly find this flattering, I think that there is more than meets the eye in their attraction to me.

Two of the men contacted me through JDate, and I was struck by the similarities in their profiles. One was 45 and the other 43, and neither had ever been married. Unlike men who are at least my age, both were willing to go out with an older woman—much older. Both men stated an age range that went from approximately 15 years their junior to 12 years their senior.

Neither man had “marriage” as a relationship goal. The 45-year-old had “date,” “friend,” and “activity partner” (makes you wonder in which activity he is interested), while the 43-year-old had the same three, but also “long-term relationship,” which, of course, stops just short of marriage.

The other similarity in their profiles, which I don’t get at all, is that, although each described himself as “Reform,” both listed, for his “date preferences,” the full gamut of religious backgrounds, from unaffiliated all the way up to Orthodox (Baal Teshuva). Like some woman who is Orthodox would even consider being with a man who does not have marriage as a goal? But I digress.

Finally, their approach to me was also eerily (and aggravatingly) similar. Both men Hot Listed me and, with both, I had a mutual “click.” Both also contacted me and asked me out, only to ignore my “Yes, I’d enjoy meeting you.” To say that they are ambivalent is an understatement. Nevertheless, putting their mishegoss aside, they apparently had some interest in me.

The third one, from my gym, was a different story altogether. One morning, a few days after he had joined the gym, he walked up to me and told me how much he liked my short hair and how pretty I am. Considering that this 44-year-old man is a former professional basketball player, gorgeous (!), and built like an Adonis, coupled with my gym being known for its beautiful, albeit “surgically-enhanced,” women, his choosing me nearly caused me to drop my dumbbell on my foot.

A few weeks later, we went out to dinner, and I had a wonderful time with him. Perhaps it was a case of “opposites attract,” but he couldn’t be more different from all of my emotionally unavailable, commitment-phobic brainiac former boyfriends . . . or so I thought.

Unlike the other two men, he had been married once for “a little while,” which, in my estimation, is just slightly better than never having been married. However, naïve me, who had never dated a professional athlete (how many professional athletes has any Jewish woman dated?), had no idea how these men think. I soon found out.

Although he would call me every day, he wasn’t very good about setting up times to get together, preferring, I finally figured out, to wait for me to invite him over for . . . When I finally asked him what was going on here, he told me that professional athletes are used to having women throw themselves at them and, as such, have never developed their dating or relationship skills. He was used to his “relationships” just happening.

Further, because he had no interest in getting married again, he had no motivation to develop these skills. He also wondered why, since I was not going to have children, I would even be interested in a committed relationship, let alone marriage.

Well, I am no cougar (a woman who goes after younger men), but my hunch is that my age is part of the reason that these men were attracted to me. I believe that they think that a 53-year-old woman, whose biological clock no longer ticks, will place no pressure on them to get married (or, of course, have children), which is the last thing that they want. Perhaps they felt that they could have a good time with me, without having to make a commitment.

Despite what they (seemingly) have to offer, they really are too young for me. They still need some time to grow up.

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