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Irony Alert!: This blog may be a tad contrary.

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February 06, 2010

Comments

Gillian

did you really mean to write "prostrate cancer" up there ... nice slip ...

btw, don't come to sydney for men, the demographers suggest melbourne is more hopeful, and i've seen nothing to disprove it!

Lucy Sussex

I was just reading the reissue of the Lillian Roxon biography. She might have died in 1973, but she didn't see a relationship as necessary to the female existence. And proved it, as a successful Australian rock writer in New York. She was an independent woman, a feminist, with a lot of friends whom she phoned every day. What happened to that sort of attitude? Was it all subsumed by the 'I'm not a feminist'/celebrity football wives? And what's happened to phoning people rather than depersonalized internet communication, I ask? A quote from the book: Lillian was "sexually liberated, a brilliant career person, she didn't need a man. She just seemed to be an extraordinarily productive and professionally fulfilled human being, What better feminist is there than that?"

Pavlov's Cat

My own casual observations also tell me that there are more single men in Melbourne (or at least there were twelve years ago, when I was the same age you are now). But they were, and no doubt still are, single for a reason.

I haven't got all of what I wanted or expected in life either, but fortunately that wasn't a hubby and bubs. And I can't think of a single marriage/partnership I know well, not one, that I can point to and say 'I'd rather be her than me', and that includes the two full-on, licit, public ones I've been half of myself in the misty past. (Or, as a friend once said, 'It's bloody hard work being married to Matthew.') I agree with you about the interesting companion thing, but those blokes all want to marry 25-year-old blondes and have more bubs so they can make up for having neglected the first lot -- a desire that makes one question whether they really are as interesting as one thought.

Most of the people over 40 I know who are mad keen to partner up feel that way because either (a) they are scared (if not incapable) of being on their own, (b) they're sick to death of being inappropriately pitied oddments at Noah's Ark dinner parties, which one really cannot believe people are still holding in the 21st century but there you go, or (c) they've got rom coms confused with documentary realism. So the sought-after but elusive Other becomes a commodity, to which one then attaches a list of specifications. (Black hair, green eyes, GSOH, way with words, kind heart, perfect pitch, mad computer skillz ... somebody stop me.) If this Quest is going to be the torture you make it sound, I think you should definitely pass.

elsewhere

G -- I wouldn't be going anywhere 'for men'; that would be bound to end in tears. And the suburb where you live is supposed to be the worst in the country for meeting men, demographically (tho there is such a thing as a bus). Sydney in general is too pricey and has too arduous lifestyle for me to contemplate after Alice.

LS -- thanks for the tip about the Lilian Roxon book. We're definitely living in more conservative times. I think there may have been some respect for the spinster/single working girl in the past that's been lost, too. Incidentally, I saw a plaque in Kings X commemorating the studio flats built for single working girls so they could be close to the city after WW1, when there were many less men. I'm afraid I'm not really a phone person (being able to text people to meet up with them in Alice because they're nearby suits me well), tho abhor the office thing of emailing someone next door to you rather than visiting.

PC -- on reflection, probably (b) if at all, and the idea of going on orchestrated 'dates' seems like torture and a huge waste of time (tho there is a certain anthropological curiosity to the whole deal plus more potential writing material). I am overly susceptible to other people's opinions/judgements, and have to ask myself if I'm just disappointed by being the social reject, as usual, rather missing out on some humdrum reality I wouldn't have enjoyed.

Ten years ago, the general opinion was that Melb men were better than Sydney ones, because they had manners, could dress themselves, hold conversations, etc. Supposedly, there is still a huge discrepancy between male and female popns in their 30s and 40s in Australia (many more women than men) . I do think there is a new phenomenon of primadonna-ish men in their 30s, fluffing about saying, 'who is worthy to be the mother of my children?/ I can always get a 25 yo when I'm 45,' etc, which is underreported...tho maybe it is the 'lost boys' thing and I'm out of touch. I agree, tho -- some men can be weird about kids: they want the status symbol, not the responsibility. Suspect it's still the same old deal: that men get more out of formal relationships, including 'intimacy', than women.

Suzoz

I was recently helping a 52yo woman friend look thru Guardian Soulmates at men aged 45-55 - of the 10 or so profiles that we took a closer look at, they all specified women aged under 40. Yes I know this is a well-known cultural phenomenon but it's still astonishingly under-analysed and under-critiqued. And I wonder if these men are getting anywhere - ie. is there a corresponding group of women who will respond to ads from men who are a decade older then they are? I don't know many men who are with much younger women, though interestingly, I have several straight woman friends who are with men 5-10 years younger than themselves. But maybe, as usual, my life and friends are not typical.

elsewhere

Yes, I also know an increasing no of women with substantially younger male and female partners.

Maybe the kind of person who frequents online dating sites has certain more trad expectations of inventing the nuclear domicile (or is looking for s&x). I suspect a lot of these people have very idealised notions of themselves and what's possible.

I remember a 50-something student who was also a therapist doing a reading at Gopher based on a series of exchanges she had with a client of same age as her, who went on about how he couldn't date a woman the same age as him but needed the 'youthful muse' in order to create. It was hilarious but grotesque!

I think that things like health and general outlook become more important than chronological age, anyway. A fit 55 yo with interesting interests is always going to be more attractive than someone several years younger without these attributes.

Zoe

All they need is their shit in a pile and a sparkle in their eye.

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