A 31-year-old friend recently started seeing two guys, let’s refer to them as X and Z. Both are charming, employed and cute – in fact, similar to the point where I can barely tell them apart. The only difference is that X (for Gen X) is a perfectly ripe 35, while Z (for zygote) happens to a barely-hatched 25. You would think that my friend is using Z “for fun” and X for serious dating, da? Nope. Much to everybody’s bewilderment, Baby Z actually courts her and cooks for her and even recently helped her build a bookshelf, while the “better on paper” X routinely benches her, messes with her head and generally drives her loco.
A friend’s wedding was coming up. I asked my friend if she was considering bringing either of them as her date.
“Maybe I’ll ask Z. X would freak out and ghost immediately.” The casual manner in which she said this, as though it is completely habitual for a grown-ass man to come undone at the idea of accompanying a woman he is seeing to a wedding, may have been scarier than the statement itself. It also played into my then-budding theory, which is that men in their thirties are completely undateable.
You see, as a 30-year-old woman living in New York City, I am, technically, surrounded by an infinity of age-appropriate dating options. I should, technically, be seeing one of the hundreds of thousands of 30-something eligible bachelors roaming this city, running down the West Side Highway, dining in Williamsburg, dancing at Casablanca, etc. However, I find said mission virtually f*cking impossible.
To prove my point, let me break them down into segments.
First we have the 30-32 set who can best be compared to puppies who have just been released out of their crates and are now intent on destroying every corner of your apartment. High on their first big bonuses and “adult” apartments, they believe that their entire lives have been leading up to this glorious moment when they get to hook up with half of Montauk and nurse their hangovers with $20 avocado toast. Anybody who dares disrupt this Golden Era stands to pay the consequences. Ok, next.
Now we have the 33-36-year-olds. Considering the 5-year maturity gap between the sexes, this should be my prime target range. They are slightly more seasoned, their interest in going out is waning, their hangovers are getting worse and they are realizing that most of their friends are married with kids. However, they also suffer from severely overinflated egos that come with the knowledge that they are (technically) an in-demand commodity. They start equating themselves to the Willy Wonka tickets of the entire female population, which spikes their standards to Level Unreasonable and causes them to balk at the first sign of “pressure.” Warning: steer clear of trigger words like “parents”, “wedding” or “cute baby” to avoid impromptou ghosting.
Finally there are the 37-40 guys. Here, the confidence (amongst other things) starts slowly deflating but is quickly replaced with something much scarier: complacency. Guys who are still single in their late thirties know they are a little f*cked up, but they are kind of okay with it. They become comfortable in their solitude and slowly stop looking for anything serious, reverting them right back to the 25-year-old dating circuit. In short, they become Eternal Bachelors.
Et voilà, I basically just wiped out an entire generation. I will, however, compensate by giving you a list of who you can date instead:
Twenty-somethings: Apparently they are God’s gift to women, all doe eyes and relentless libidos. As an aunt a 21-year-old, you won’t catch me going near nothin’ born past 1990, ever. But that’s just moi!
Forty-somethings: Could be hot in that Clive Owen-ten-years-ago kind of way, but generally come straddled with more baggage than a Moroccan donkey can haul on its back.
Divorcées: Always a decent option: they were married once, which means they are not scared of commitment. Try to find the child-less ones to avoid ex-wife drama, although (other people’s) kids are cute and knowing what they are like as fathers is helpful. Also, they can change diapers! +10,000 points
Jewish guys: Jewish men face so much family pressure to procreate that they basically end up in the same boat as women. Downside includes a Jewish mother-in-law nagging about grandkids / everything else in life.
Women. Because women are the best, duh!
My dog Chloe. She is single and a great makeout buddy. I would know cause I haven’t had another one in months.
AM I RIGHT? AM I WRONG? LET’S DISCUSS!