About this time every year, for whatever reason (summer is my cuffing season? I feel like I deserve a little birthday strange?), I find myself back online for a couple of weeks. I never last very long — if you have ever tried online dating you will understand why.
So, I reinstalled the app but this time I wasn’t getting any matches. I guess that is not that surprising. I am almost the dreaded 40. My time is about to expire. Who wants to match with that? Even I was swiping left on guys my age (and older) who didn’t have kids but were interested in having them one day. I know my place in society.
Still. No matches? I wasn’t even getting any likes. This was just hurtful. So, I rearranged some photos, changed some answers on some of the questions and then had a look at my settings. I had two deal breakers: he has to be over six feet tall and he has to be between the ages of 35 and 45.
Oh, okay, I see the problem. I slid the deal-breaker button on the age option and hit save.
Then I forgot all about it for a couple of days. Until one evening when I was procrastinating practicing French, I decided to open the dating app.
Hovering about the heart and the words “likes you” was the number seven.
That's right. Seven guys liked me. I assumed these seven guys would all be in their 50s and steeled myself for this. Sarah, I said, it is okay. There are a lot of attractive men in their 50s who are leading healthy and active lifestyles. And, you are about to be 40, so 50 isn’t that old. According to men’s magazines, these guys can date women in their early 30s without appearing creepy, so I should feel honored that they are settling for someone my age.
Now, imagine my surprise when the seven matches were all under the age of 30. Twenty-eight, actually. One was even under the age of 20 but I dismissed him as probably only liking me hoping I would buy him beer.
I know I have discussed 20-somethings being attracted to me in the past but I always assumed (even if I never said it out loud) that they were hitting on me because they thought I was much younger (#humblebrag #isthathumble #blessed) but on dating apps my age is right there, for all the world to see. And it is my actual age — nlike some dudes who post an age but then explain in their bio that they are actually older.
So, now I think young guys having a thing for older women might be the latest trend. And while I am a little sad this means they don’t think I look the same age as them, I do think I am ready to embrace my cougar status.
For the next week or so, that is.