Am I being oversensitive?
June 2, 2011 12:35 PM Subscribe
Do people (especially men) tend to assume that a newly single woman of >45 must be desperate for a new partner, or am I misinterpreting normal conversational gambits?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (32 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am a recently uncoupled (though never married) woman over 45, with a fairly active social life of my own. I think I handled the breakup of my four-year relationship well. I had not dated at all for several years before I met my former partner, and am in no hurry to return to dating. I really do not believe I am conflicted on this point.
So why is it that, when I meet partnered men socially and they realize that I am single, many seem to mention their unavailability as early and often as possible? True, not every last person does this, and some are less emphatic about it than others, but that leaves numerous instances in recent months where I've actually felt embarrassed for and by my interlocutor's nearly context-free repetition of references to a spouse or girlfriend. I am not a flirtatious sort and do not believe I am emitting social cues that would elicit such behavior. Thus far I've let such interactions go without comment, but I'm getting a little annoyed.
Is there a notion, whether consciously held or not, that single straight women Of A Certain Age are likely to be desperate or predatory, and that it is wise for men to establish firm boundaries at the outset so as to avert unwanted interest?