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Furthermore, the cache of being a “player” now lasts longer than ever before, as some boomer men harness online dating to stroke their egos, maximizing the quantity, if not quality, of relationships.
“A lot of online guys are looking to say ‘I went out with 15 people, how cool am I?’” Weinberger said. “Now, it’s much more anonymous so you can date a lot.”
And men’s upper hand in dating only magnifies with age. Joysa Winter, JDate’s “Matchmaker Rabbi” advice columnist and veteran of the Jewish baby boomer singles scene, explained that the greatest dating challenge for heterosexual women is that so many men seek mates 10 to 15 years younger.
“As long as women buy into the myth that ‘older men are more mature’ and men buy into the laughable belief that they ‘can’t help’ the fact they are ‘more attracted’ to younger women, we will continue to have the dating double standards that we have now,” she told the Forward by email.
Dating becomes even more limited when singles live in the suburbs with kids to care for and no other parent to count on. This March, four divorced mothers sat around a beautifully set kitchen table in Westchester, N.Y., drinking white wine and eating Italian takeout.
They laughed and dished about dating, but familial responsibilities were always at the forefront: Each had her cell phone out to instantly field texts or calls from her children.
Like the singles at HurryDate’s speed-dating event, these women only agreed to be identified by pseudonyms for this article, for the sake of their own privacy as well as that of their children. Their requests for anonymity reflect the difficulties and stigmas of dating while parenting.
“You’re not mobile, like how you are in your 20s. You have so many more restrictions with children,” said Kate, a mother of two in her 50s. “When you’re first starting out, if you have a relationship with a guy and he gets a job in California, you move.”
Once kids are involved, dating can become a logistical nightmare. Not only do singles need to plan dates around their children’s schedules, but they must decide whether or when to introduce their kids to their dates. Still, these four women felt that entering the dating world in their 40s and 50s with their so-called “baggage” helped to sharpen their priorities.