Are women under 50 less tolerant of men who won’t commit?

          On Life and Love After 50 eNewsletter –  April 16, 2021

by columnist Thomas P Blake

(Today’s eNewsletter has been edited for length and clarity.)

Are women under 50 less tolerant of men who won’t commit?

I received an email this week that made me wonder if women under 50 might be less tolerant than women 60-plus in dating men who state they will never commit to a more serious relationship. The email was written by a woman who requested to be referred to as “M.”

M wrote: “I enjoy reading your column each week in the Dana Point Times even though I’m not over 50 🙂 I just finished reading your advice to Corrine who is afraid her boyfriend might leave her because she expressed the desire for more commitment. 

“I had such a visceral reaction to your advice to her that I am compelled to write you. 

“I’m saddened that you are encouraging this woman to not voice her own needs in the relationship for the sake of her boyfriend’s comfort. And for encouraging her to settle for something sub-optimal because, as you say, ‘there’s no guarantee you would find someone as compatible.’” 

“She’s been with this guy for eight months and she’s in love with him. I think it’s appropriate for her to express her desire to move the relationship to the next level.

“She is looking for a ‘life partner.’ His response “He may not be that life partner for her and now he feels pressure” should tell her a lot. He’s telling her that he does not want the same as she, or at least does not want it with her.

She should take him at his word and get out now if he’s not going to be able to give her what she wants, as difficult as that may be. Sure, he may come around eventually, but he is more likely to do that if she walks away now than if she continues to put her own needs on the back burner to accommodate him. 

“I understand they’re having fun together, but she says she feels insecure in the relationship. That is not a good feeling and that is NOT how one should feel if they are in a loving, respectful relationship.

“I’ve come to learn that being loved means feeling safe and secure, not just when you’re together, but also when you’re apart. She shouldn’t have to be constantly worried that he’s going to leave her. And she certainly shouldn’t be afraid to talk about the future and ask for what she wants out of fear he might leave. That is not loving and no one should settle for that.”

Tom’s response to M: “I appreciate what you say. But a woman less than 50 has not walked in the shoes of a woman 65. There were two reasons I advised her to stay in the relationship, even without a “life partner” commitment from him.

“First, if she bailed out and moved on, I think she would look back in regret, thinking, “Maybe he would have stayed.” She’d go from currently being happy, to sad and questioning her decision. Why do that?

“And second, age might be a factor. She feels it would be difficult to find someone as suitable now that she is 65. The ratio of single women to single men at that age is about 3-or-3.5-to-one. Some women say that not all the men in those numbers are relationship material, making the effective ratio of women to suitable men more like four-to-one. She figures she’d rather be happy now than have to start over again at even worse odds.

“The approximate ratio of single women to single men below age 50 is close to one-to-one. Women younger than 50 have far more men from whom to choose than their older counterparts. If a guy they like won’t commit, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Perhaps this fact triggered M’s “visceral” reaction to what I had written. (Ok, I admit, I looked up “visceral” in the dictionary. It means, “deep feelings.)”

Three weeks ago in this eNewsletter, I published 29 Champ responses to Corrinne’s story, which is the same story that triggered “M’s visceral reaction.” I was curious what percentage of women Champs–who commented on “Should she leave or should she stay”—felt she should leave. It surprised me that 61 percent said she should leave him.

So, to answer today’s article-title question, “Are women under 50 less tolerant of men who won’t commit?” Not by a lot. Women 65 and above have a mind of their own as well.

By the way, when I submitted the column to my newspapers, my editor, a woman under 45, had her own “visceral” reaction: She said: “If I were Corrine, I’d been on the next!” (I think she met the “next” train out of town.)” So, that’s an additional “leave him” comment for women under 50.

After exchanging emails, M wrote: “That ratio at age 65 is certainly depressing! Ha Ha.” I thought about saying, “Yes, see what you have to look forward to!” But, I didn’t.

Part 2 – Champ Terry, aka, “The Funny Plumber,” living near the border of Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) commented, tongue-in-cheek, about having pictures of ex-spouses around the house: “My wife Daeng has no problems with seeing pictures of my three former wives. She thanks them for teaching me how to be a better husband.  I guess it is how we look at things.

Champ Terry and his wife Daeng using local transportation

Author: tpblake

Tom Blake is a newspaper columnist in south Orange County, California. He has published four books. His primary topic is finding love after 50 and beyond, sometimes far beyond, for people 80 and older as well. He also blogs about travel at TravelAfter55.com.

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