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I met with a beautiful, young female divorcee recently. Yes, believe it or not, even they need online dating help.
I was asking her about her experiences so far and she began telling me about the “super creepy” guy that messaged her.
He was a man in his 40s (she’s in her 30s) and his message told her how beautiful she was and how he would love to take her out.
I was a bit perplexed. It wasn’t the kind of message I would have advised my male clients to send her, but it still didn’t warrant her disgust and a label of creepy.
Nor did the age difference concern me. At a certain point, adults reach a maturity and a gap in years becomes less relevant to compatibility.
But she was disgusted by this man who had contacted her through Match.com, and when she could tell I was still confused as to why, she pointed to a little number under his profile picture.
The little number was the starting age of women he was interested in hearing from.
That little number was of the “barely legal to buy a lotto ticket” variety — 18.
She pointed and yelled, “Look at this! He likes 18-year-old girls! What kind of creep is that?!”
A laugh escaped my lips. Another male was in the room and he and I chimed in unison, “He’s a MAN!”
I’m pretty sure since the dawn of humans men have loved younger women – not always to date or marry but certainly to look at and appreciate.
This is no surprise, and of course this isn’t a rule for all men. I understand.
But having worked enough with men who are online dating, I understand this man’s mindset when he chose that age for his prospective matches:
“Well, if an 18-year-old is willing to date me, I’d certainly be open to seeing if there is a connection.”
He is choosing a number based on the hope it could come true for him. He would not cancel on that opportunity, so why not?
“Choosing an age range doesn’t limit
your search and contact options.”
One of the things I advise my clients, man or woman, isn’t to just fill out your dating profile with what you want, but think about your audience and how they interpret what you put into your profile.
Believe it or not, age range is something women often look to for help in determining the quality of the man and his intent.
Believe it or not, men miss out on meeting women within a reasonable deviation of their own age because these women are, like my young divorcee, turned off by their interest in much younger women.
The advice I give my male clients is to keep their age range reasonable for their age and stage in life.
A 40-year-old man can chose an age of about 25 as the low end of his range.
And he may say to me, “But, Gina, I’m 40 and all my friends are in their 20s, so when people meet me, they think I’m in my low 30s.”
That’s all fine and good, but this is online dating, where every detail is written in black and white and in your face.
You’re still a man in your 40s, 50s, 60s+ and you need to understand how age is perceived in the online medium.
The purpose of selecting a smaller age window is so you don’t alienate the women of the ages who are more likely to actually go out with you.
But what if a man still likes 18-year-olds?
Choosing an age range to put in your online dating profile doesn’t limit your search and contact options.
That means nothing is stopping you from reaching out to 18- to 24-year-olds who strike your interest.
Nor will it stop those rare 18- to 24-year-olds who are looking for their sugar papa from contacting older men.
(Men, I have to warn you. Beware of hookers and opportunists. If it seems too good to be true, remember to think with your upstairs head and not your downstairs one.)
We are just optimizing your chances of getting actual dates.
Men, have you made any of these mistakes in your online dating profile? Ladies, what have you seen from men online that creeped you out?
Photo source: lsattraction.com.