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News flash: men really do prefer women in their 20s to women in their 30s

October 28, 2013

Bettina Arndt of the Sydney Morning Herald explains why so many females who spend their 20s hooking up are shocked to find themselves spinsters in their 30s:

Many thought they could put off marriage and families until their 30s, having devoted their 20s to education, establishing careers and playing the field. But was their decade of dating a strategic mistake?

Jamie, a 30-year-old Sydney barrister, thinks so: ”Women labour under the impression they can have it all. They can have the career, this carefree lifestyle and then, at the snap of their fingers, because they are so fabulous, find a man. But if they wait until their 30s they’re competing with women who are much younger and in various ways more attractive.”

The crisis for single women in this age group seeking a mate is very real. Almost one in three women aged 30 to 34 and a quarter of late-30s women do not have a partner, according to the 2006 census statistics. And this is a growing problem. The number of partnerless women in their 30s has almost doubled since 1986.

The challenge is greatest for high-achieving women in their 30s looking for equally successful men. Analysis of 2006 census figures by the Monash University sociologist, Genevieve Heard, reveals that almost one in four of degree-educated women in their 30s will miss out on a man of similar age and educational achievement. There were only 68,000 unattached graduate men in their 30s for 88,000 single graduate women in the same age group.

***

The high expectations of professional women are a big part of the story. Many high-achieving women simply are not interested in Mr Average, says Justin Parfitt, the owner of Australia’s fastest growing speed-dating organisation, Fast Impressions. Parfitt adds: ”They’ve swallowed the L’Oreal line: ‘Because you’re worth it!’ There’s a real sense of entitlement.”

He finds many of his female members are determined to meet only men who are tall, attractive, wealthy and well educated. They want the alpha males. ”Most of the professional women rarely give out ‘yes’ votes to men who aren’t similarly successful,” reports Parfitt, who struggles to attract enough of these successful men to his speed-dating events. Sixty per cent of his members are female. Most are over 30.

During their 20s, women compete for the most highly desirable men, the Mr Bigs. Many will readily share a bed with the sporty, attractive, confident men, while ordinary men miss out

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”It’s wall-to-wall arseholes out there,” reports Penny, a 31-year-old lawyer. She is stunned by how hard it is to meet suitable men willing to commit. ”I’m horrified by the number of gorgeous, independent and successful women my age who can’t meet a decent man.”

Penny acknowledges part of the problem is her own expectations – that her generation of women was brought up wanting too much. ”We were told we were special, we could do anything and the world was our oyster.” And having spent her 20s dating alpha males, she expected them to be still around when she finally decided to get serious.

But these men go fast, many fishing outside their pond. The most attractive, successful men can take their pick from women their own age or from…younger women who are happy to settle early. Almost one in three degree-educated 35-year-old men marries or lives with women aged 30 or under, according to income, housing and marriage surveys by the Bureau of Statistics.

”I can’t believe how many men my age are only interested in younger women,” wails Gail, a 34-year-old advertising executive as she describes her first search through men’s profiles on the RSVP internet dating site. She is shocked to find many mid-30s men have set up their profiles to refuse mail from women their own age.

But try telling young women that their best time to marry is when they’re college-age–that is, during their years of peak physical attractiveness and peak fertility–and you’ll be branded as “arrogant” by the lady professors.

H/T: Alpha Game

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