Single in the Suburbs: How Match.com sells your wife post marital spinsterhood.

My wife is constantly finding absurd relationship and dating advice columns offered to women and sending them my way.  She finds them whenever she logs into juno.com to check our old spam filled email address, but most of what she finds there is listed on the MSN.com portal as well.   Both sites feature content from match.com.

One column in particular titled Single in the Suburbs by Sara Susannah Katz caught my wife’s attention.  She received a teaser for the column as email in the juno account.  In the column Miss Katz shares all of the gory details of her online dating experience following late life divorce:

Here I am: The 40-something mom of two, living in a tidy Midwestern suburban subdivision and working at the local university—and, at this moment, sitting here in front of my computer, determined to find a date. I’m searching within a 60-mile radius of my zip code for a single guy about my age who doesn’t smoke, is reasonably fit and, preferably, is not living in his mother’s basement.

Sure, I’d like to find the love of my life, my soul mate, my next husband, but I suspect that those goals are a bit too ambitious…

Still, I’m a little apprehensive about all this. I can’t believe I’m about to start dating again, after 23 years with the same guy.

She later reinforces her sense of apprehension with:

I admit it: I’m nervous about dating again. I literally have not kissed another man on the lips in 25 years.

Thus starts our intrepid dater.  Much to her chagrin, the biker bad boy she picks first turns out to be short, old, bald, and doesn’t own a motorcycle.  He drives a Taurus, and only posed for the pictures on his friend’s Harley.  Making things worse, her ex-husband has been tearing up the dating scene:

They’d share accounts of my ex-husband’s escapades, which included dating three out of five waitresses at what used to be our favorite downtown seafood restaurant and a romp in the woods with a history professor at the departmental barbecue.

She tells us that her ex’s current girlfriend is more than 20 years younger than she is.  She dates another guy who is perfect, but he only wants to be friends.  Then she dates a doctor who lives in a nearby town and after a dinner date she agrees to go spend the night at his house.  After a very disappointing date, she decides to have sex with him even though she isn’t attracted to him.  Unfortunately, he realizes he isn’t in the mood after she takes her clothes off.  Ouch.

None of this so far should be particularly surprising to my regular readers.  This fits with the findings of the AARP study on the dating prospects of divorced women in their 40s, and also fits with the real life stories behind Eat Pray Love and How Stella Got Her Groove Back.  It also fits with what I found when I looked into the rosy remarriage rate statistics published around the web.

The story goes on.  And on.  And on.  I don’t see any publishing dates on it but MSN refers to it as a weekly column. With 141 installments!

I didn’t read all 141 installments, but my take of it as I tried to click my way through the seemingly never ending story was the usual divorcée drama.  Ex drama, kids drama, a health scare, drama with the women at work, financial worries, dating horror stories, etc.  I was curious how it turned out though, so I skimmed through the summaries.  Here is how it turns out:

She meets a hunky handyman named Ethan and starts dating him.  Then her husband decides he wants her back.  He confesses that he was an idiot for letting her go, and that all of the other women he dated only convinced him that she is the “sexiest, smartest, most loving person [he has] ever known”.  He eventually begs her to marry him again, only to realize that she has a new life with Ethan and tells her that he is glad she is so happy even though he is miserable that he can’t have her.  She gets laid off from her job and is at risk of losing her home.  Tension builds.  Then Ethan the hunky handyman tells her that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.  After professing his love for her Ethan reveals that despite the fact that he is anti-capitalist and trades handyman work for food, he is secretly a multi-millionaire.  Then she gets a call from a publisher with an offer to write an extremely long and drawn out 141 part column on her experiences dating online after divorce, preserving her status as a strong independent woman.  The end.

Do any of you buy this?  The kicker is, match.com isn’t calling this fiction.  Check the link yourself on match.com’s site, or check out the series on MSN.  You can also find references to the series at MSN under their list of articles on dating.  Moreover, they have a Q&A column (also on MSN) with Miss Katz where they ask her about her experience with online dating.  This is the first item listed under advice > love online:

From her very first date to happily ever after, we’ve followed Sara Susannah Katz through all the twists and turns of being single in the suburbs. Now that her column has come to an end, we asked her to share her insights and advice about online dating.

They have another article where she responds to reader emails:

Merlie, who describes herself as a “displaced housewife,” wrote: “I am Sara’s age and the stories helped me survive through so many nights I cried. Her attempts to enter the dating world mirrored mine. Instead of being sad or frustrated, I knew I could come home and read her articles. All of a sudden, I was laughing at myself and feeling like I wasn’t alone.”

and later:

Many of you felt bolstered by my weekly chronicles. Gigi wrote that she discovered “Single in the Suburbs” while contemplating her own “divorce/renewal/liberation project,” adding, “When I found myself ready to make the bold/scary/crazy dive back into the dating world (especially the online part, which was not around when I got married), I was able to draw so much strength and comfort from a soul sister who was blazing the path.”

It gets better (emphasis mine):

It’s worth noting that, while my story inspired some readers to get divorced, it also convinced others to stay put in their marriages. “Reading this column reminded me how horrible the dating world can be,” wrote Karen. Instead of leaving her husband, she decided to work on her marriage. “We’re still together and happier than ever.”

It would be bad enough if this story is actually true and inspires women to divorce.  It would be unconscionable if it was fiction presented as fact.  Either way, the story presents an extremely unlikely ending given what we know of the actual experience of women dating later in life.  Match.com must know this, since their competitor okcupid is practically begging men to date older women, luring them to date the neglected older women on their site with charts showing older women are more willing to engage in frequent sex, casual sex, blow-jobs and threesomes with other women!

According to the author this series inspired married women to divorce and try their hand at online dating. How many kids will be harmed because mommy read this fantastic story?  How many women have made an irrevocable decision which the AARP study found often leads to a life of celibacy for women, with a surprising number not even receiving hugs from the opposite sex?  It is bad enough that we have ordinary media outlets encouraging women to divorce, but here we have a company selling divorce to married women which is in a position to directly profit from it.

I contacted the match.com media room 24 hours ago to ask if this series is fiction:

Hello,

I write a blog about relationships, including dating after divorce.  I’m writing a post to tell my readers about Sara Susannah Katz’s multi part column “Single in the Suburbs”.  I noticed that she has written a similar series titled “The Devil Wears Dockers”, but that series is flagged as fiction.  Your series appears to be presented as non fiction, including an interview with the author at the end of her experience.  Can you please confirm if your series is fiction or not?

Best regards,

Dalrock

So far I haven’t heard back.  In the meantime, here is what I have been able to find with a little searching.  As I mentioned in the message to the Match.com media room, the author (pen name) later wrote a series very similar to this titled The Devil Wears Dockers.  Unlike Single in the Suburbs, the Dockers series is clearly labeled as fiction: The Devil Wears Dockers is entirely a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Sara Susannah Katz also wrote a novel titled Wife Living Dangerously, which was published outside the US under the name Debra Kent.  According to Debra Kent’s linked in page, she also penned a similar series for Redbook from 1996 – 2005 titled The V Diaries under the name Valerie Ryan, an independently wealthy single mother and a total chaos magnet.

Redbook doesn’t state that The V Diaries series is fictional on their website, even though it does state this for selected other series (one of which is a spin-off from V Diaries).  However, Debra Kent repackaged and expanded on the series publishing it under her own name as a fiction trilogy.

Also, per the linked in bio she does work for a mid-western university and have an employment gap from May 2009 to January 2010, so at first glance that part of the story would seem to match up.  However, the reader comments article included a note from a reader who started reading the story in January 2009:

Adele wrote, “In December 2008 my husband left me unexpectedly. Not more than a month later I stumbled upon this column.

Given that the events in the story are supposed to have happened before the series was published, this doesn’t fit with the story after all.  For understandable reasons, her linked in profile doesn’t confirm or deny the existence of an anti-capitalist secret multi-millionaire hunky handy man who is madly in love with her.

It is theoretically possible that this woman happens to have experienced the same kind of incredible events which she has written before and since as fiction, in the same first person series format.  I can’t prove it one way or another, so I’ll let you be the judge.  I’ll write a follow on post when/if I hear back from match.com.

Note: While researching this I found another very similar serial by the name Single in the Suburbs, ostensibly written by a woman living in Marin county named Nikki Silverstein.  I didn’t see any reference to the series being fictional, and Nikki Silverstein responds to reader comments and also writes current events articles for the paper.

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96 Responses to Single in the Suburbs: How Match.com sells your wife post marital spinsterhood.

  1. slwerner says:

    “How many kids will be harmed because mommy read this fantastic story? How many women have made an irrevocable decision which the AARP study found often leads to a life of celibacy for women, with a surprising number not even receiving hugs from the opposite sex? “

    While no one can say for certain, I think a good bet would be approximately 1000X the number of multi-millionaires posing as down-and-out handymen so as to date older women. Maybe 10,000X – although, technically speaking, any number multiplied by ZERO is going to equal zero.

    [D: Well put.]

  2. Eric says:

    What society needs is more women worth dating; not more dating sites. I don’t feel sorry for these would-be ‘cougars’ since they likely spent most of their youth rejecting decent men in favor of thugs, lowlifes, and deadbeats. The younger ones aren’t worth dating either, since they’re mostly what the Match.com profiles depict, in earlier versions.

    The best thing American men can do, is abandon the American dating scene. It’s a dead end for men.

  3. Doug1 says:

    Fictional ending at least.

    Probably somewhat truthful but fictionalized and dramatized set of dating tales.

    A 40 something alphaish acting bohemian/dropout multimillionaire wants to marry a mid 40s women with two kids? Yeah right.

    The husband having all that alphaish success on the dating market and then wanting to have her back so much after he’s had that, when she finds someone that she wants to go permanent with, and then his begging her to come back to him? When the kids must be adults or near adults in that 23yr marriage? Yeah, right.

  4. Hestia says:

    I admit it: I’m nervous about dating again. I literally have not kissed another man on the lips in 25 years.
    This reminds me of some nutty advice I received shortly before MT and I got married. A recently divorced woman my mother worked with advised me I was making a grave mistake to get married without having “tried out a few men”, something I needed to do in case I was widowed. Nice, eh?

    According to the author this series inspired married women to divorce and try their hand at online dating.
    Funny as I had just the opposite reaction. Reading just your summary of this madness makes me want to dedicate myself all the more to my husband. Truly.

  5. Simon Grey says:

    If it sounds to good to be true…

    Why can’t women simply accept the fact that getting divorce after the age of forty is simply an incredibly stupid and horrible idea? I know accepting this fact is not pleasant at all, but it seems like knowledge wold serve them better than wishful thinking. And buying into these stories is incredibly dangerous. Even if what happened to Ms. Katz is true, what happened to her is the exception, not the rule. No one is well-served by this story, for all it can offer, at most, is slick entertainment value and false hope.

  6. Simon Grey says:

    @Doug1- I smell projection

  7. Anonymous Reader says:

    One of the criticisms made against men using online pornography is that it will create unrealistic expectations for sexual practices, leading to all sorts of problems in marriages or other long term relationships. I’ve read more graphic critiques than that, from women complaining “My boyfriend/husband saw (some sexual practice) on the web and wants me to do that, eeeeww! How could he!”, and there is some merit in this complaint to be sure. However I’m not here to discuss that whole can of worms.

    This series from match.com is clearly pornographic, but in an emotional way. Shall we call it “emo-porn”, or is that label already taken? Consider some married man in his 30’s or 40’s who views professional porn; pneumatic young women doing various sexual acts with muscular young men, or maybe amateur porn, either way let’s suppose he winds up wanting to try some new sexual act with his wife. Or more cynically, he winds up remembering what his wife used to do when they were first married, and wants to start those things again. Either way, one could argue that yes, he now has “unreasonable expectations”.

    But importantly, he still wants sex with his wife. Not with some other woman, with his wife. So ok, the possibility of “unreasonable expectations” could cause disagreement, even argument, maybe hurt feelings, maybe shock and dismay in his wife, etc. and etc. What it is not going to do, is make him want to cheat on her, not per se anyway.

    This emo-porn is clearly a celebration of marriage busting, it is intended to make a woman feel more secure about the idea of breaking her wedding vows. I don’t think that is in the same league as common porn, not at all.

    So this emo-porn is more like a married man viewing porn of 3-ways, or group sex, bestiality, etc. because if he desires that kind of practice badly enough to try it, then there is a very high chance to really do damage to his marriage. But…I dare say that few women who read this kind of stuff would accept my assessment. If for no other reason than emo-porn is all over the web in plain sight, it is not hidden away on porn sites.

    Now I’ll really be blunt. Nobody is asking to have 3-ways posted right out on match.com, or msn.com’s main site, nor sell it in the grocery store checkout line, and with very good reason. But this emo-porn is available everywhere, including in the checkout line. It is everywhere. It is so common, only cranks like Dalrock would even comment on it (well, ok, and cranks like me…).

    So which is more dangerous to marriage today, the stuff that hubby may be downloading to his computer late at night, or the stuff that wifey can read online in public while sipping a latte’ at Starbucks? Which is frowned upon in public, and which is “just an advice column”?

    Which one is more likely to be brought up in any public gathering? Any men out there talking about the latest porn they downloaded after a meeting at work, at the ball game, at the church social? Not many. Any women out there talking about this kind of emo-porn in the same venue? Quite a few, I bet. And there’s the danger, it’s the “everyone’s doing it” syndrome that women are supposed to grow out of in their teens…but not all do.

    PLEASE NOTE
    I’m not saying using any porn is good. I’m certainly not saying anyone should go out and do so. I’m not promoting the use of porn. I’m drawing an approximate parallel between this particular version of “Eat, Betray, Love” (textual porn) and the kind of visual porn that a lot of men nowadays get involved with.

    And I’m saying that this is destructive stuff. It doesn’t compare with “Playboy” or “Penthouse”, it doesn’t compare with a lot of things that are routinely condemned that men do. It’s worse. It’s emotion-driven text that appeals to women’s instincts to do what other women are doing, in a destructive manner.

    But I don’t expect anyone outside of the men’s corner of the web to criticize it, let alone condemn it. Because most people don’t even see what is wrong with it.

  8. JG says:

    A handyman millionaire wanting to marry a middle-aged woman with kids who’s long past her prime? LOL!!! No doubt old middle-aged women will be lining up at divorce court to dump their husbands so they can ‘land’ one of the legions of millionaires online desperately looking for a over-the-hill woman who needs a two-legged ATM.

  9. Brendan says:

    It sounds to me like it probably has a basis in truth, but veers off into fiction quite liberally. The ending in particular sounds completely untrue, as does the begging ex-husband who was doing every girl in town before the divorce was even final. Sounds like a classic “divorce revenge fantasy” from the female perspective, really.

  10. Dalrock says:

    Outstanding comment Anon Reader. You really nailed it.

    The Private Man has a recent blog post by the title Emotional Pornography that touches on the same thing.

  11. Dalrock says:

    @Brendan
    It sounds to me like it probably has a basis in truth, but veers off into fiction quite liberally.

    I think the author understood the reality older women see (I’m guessing she is in her early to mid 50s from her college entry date). Anyone selling divorce & remarriage to women needs to address the stark reality these women see in real life. You need to help them suspend their disbelief. EPL and Stella did this by having the main character find a far better man in an exotic local than they could have found at home. This series achieves the same thing by portraying the same reality they already witness (or experience), but showing how perseverance with online dating eventually leads to a fairy tale ending. Unfortunately, many women are hard wired to buy that particular story. This also has the added bonus of playing into the revenge fantasy as you mentioned.

  12. Dalrock says:

    By the way, the OK Cupid link was originally shared by Augustine DeCarthage in a comment on another post. I don’t see a way to work a H/T in without distracting from the point, so I’m noting it here.

  13. Speaking of emotional pornography and the very recent manosphere’s explosion of interest in that subject, including my own piece and this post here, just last night this happened:

    I had a date with a romance novelist.

    You read that correctly.

    She has written 25 romance novels. She’s now under contract with Harlequin. Yes, that Harlequin, ground central of emotional pornography.

    Me, an MRA and active participant in the manosphere, having a date with a woman who writes romance novels while Roissy’s piece on emotional pornography was still his most recent post. Now, Dalrock hits the subject and quite thoroughly.

    Is this like a anti-porn feminist having a date with an adult video producer?

    Here is another irony:

    I met her through online dating.

    You can’t make this shit up.

  14. “Is this like a anti-porn feminist having a date with an adult video producer?”

    Yes.

  15. sdaedalus says:

    @theprivateman

    so go on, tell us how the date went.

  16. sdaedalus says:

    I see you have details on your blog. I will check it out.

  17. greenlander says:

    Great post, Dalrock.

    [D: Thanks!]

  18. Update… the romance novelist is already showing signs of flaking.

    Oh well, I have a process for online dating – always be corresponding with three in order to arrange a date for one.

  19. Zeligowski says:

    This nutjob gal’s blog simply has to be mostly fiction; the important thing is that women don’t care, and doubtless there are women who will consciously, willfully abandon husbands and destroy families on the basis of this gibberish. Here is where the misalignment with men’s porn use really applies.

    Moreover, the extent to which women immerse themselves in an unhealthy way with such online nonsense is so frightening- emo-porn of the worst kind – that few men have the stomach to ponder it; kudos to Dalrock for making us take a look inside the callow darkness that, with too few exceptions, is the current American’s woman’s soul.

    Since the revolution of the 1960s in divorce laws, millions of women have destroyed their families at the urging of female friends, often married themselves, who encourage them to act out collective misandrist fantasies that have invaded our culture; how sick, and common, this is is frightening.

    The online angle just makes it so much easier and more insidious. Very few women will ask themselves, or even wonder, the obvious “male” question looking at this stuff: “Could this possibly be, you know, TRUE?” THEY.DON’T.CARE. It makes them feel “empowered,” you know all the code-words.

    My appalling ex-wife ran her own blog for some time very much along the lines of Ms Katz’s e-diary, filled with really amazing details about her dating life, everything. She was showing off her girllll power, and she had hundreds of regular readers, including some well-known estrogen-sphere “authors”. She got linked in many places. Unfortunately for her she is also stupid, and got so immersed in the collective female fantasy, encouraged by her many e-friends, that she made threats against me, by name, online.

    Her idiot e-friends added fuel to the fire, putting comments on her blog stating what exactly should be done to me. Which, you may know, is a crime. End of that party. She did not face criminal charges – at my request, no point in putting my BabyMama in jail, not good for the kids – but she faced stiff penalties and is banned from blogging by the court FOR LIFE.

    I can’t call it happy ending, since a lot of damage was done, not to mention her destroying our family in the first place, but there is at least a tiny bit of justice.

    Bottom line: Even hardened MRA guys can barely imagine the collective delusion of most women today, and that sick fantasizing is very much enabled by online antics, even fictional, such as Ms Katz’s fake-out blog. It really is that bad …

  20. Got the message from the romance novelist… some flattery and then a pass on a second date. Moving on.

  21. Solomon II says:

    Any woman who would divorce her husband after reading this crap is doing him a favor – even if she takes half of his stuff. That article should be required reading for all women on their 40th birthday.

  22. Pingback: Match.com responds, and a new pic of the author. | Dalrock

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  26. Anonymous says:

    True story? If so, there’re several bridges in New York City for sale.

  27. Lavazza says:

    A Swedish journalist wrote a break up blog and book with a similar name in 2001, which was more realistic/gritty.

    http://www.swedishbookreview.com/showreview.php?i=9113008803

    Here’s some photos of her and her younger partner in a story about her apartment burning up in 2006 (!).

    http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article363328.ab

    But he is now married to a younger woman.

    http://sv-se.facebook.com/people/Henrik-Kolbjer/563353336

    http://www.facebook.com/caroline.kolbjer

  28. Peter-Andrew:Nolan(c) says:

    Then her husband decides he wants her back. He confesses that he was an idiot for letting her go, and that all of the other women he dated only convinced him that she is the “sexiest, smartest, most loving person [he has] ever known”.

    Um…I call BS.

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  32. raliv says:

    that story is cowdung.

    thanks for exposing this crock of lies, Dalrock

  33. saige says:

    Katz….. Silverstein.

  34. Days of Broken Arrows says:

    Here is an opinion from me, a journalist the real world:

    Sarah Susannah Katz is a literary invention in both name and photo. The writing might have a basis in fact (as most fiction does) but isn’t. If it were, the actual author, Debra Kent, would have penned it under her own name. By using a pseudonym and a photo of a different woman (which it CLEARLY is), Match.com was able to to not have to call it fact or fiction because no such writer really exists.

    Here is a 2007 picture of Debra Kent from Indiana University’s School of Journalism Web site: http://journalism.indiana.edu/news/professionals-share-career-advice/
    This is clearly not the same woman as “Sarah Susannah Katz.”

    Back in 2006, readers on another blog noted inconsistencies in her Match.com story and linked to her (now deleted) Indiana.edu staff profile. See here: http://chrisabraham.com/2006/02/28/is-this-the-real-sarah-susannah-katz/

    As one commenter noticed:
    “Hmm, if SSK is really Debra Kent, I wonder if the blog is truly based on her life. Some of the things she describes as her job duties don’t neccesarily match up to her title at Indiana University. Also, she always talks about her tiny town–Bloomington isn’t exactly small.”

    [D: Good info. Thanks!]

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  37. Gorbachev says:

    My wife and a few of her divorced female friends had similar experiences, but without any happy endings.

    My ex dated some exciting bad boys, most of whom treated her badly; at 37, she’s finding dating difficult. Men to sleep with are easy enough (though not easy); she’s not unattractive. But to compare her and her friends to me and my divorced male friends, …

    One of her friends is a real Kate Bradshaw (?) character – lots of men, and more to the point, lots of stories. She never stops. And yet – half of the stories sound too good to be true. And the actual numbers don’t add up. I mentioned this to someone, and got an interesting response: She actually gets most of her dates online; and she doesn’t usually see anyone past the 3rd-4th date. And recently, all of the guys have been older than 50.

    She’s 39.

    My wife doted on her stories 6-7 years ago. She was always the glamorous girl all around town. Now, there’s a lot less glamor and you can see the difference in th emen she dates.

    My ex-wife is also having a hard time.

    I won’t compare her to my lifestyle – after an initial period of wallowing in severe self-abuse and hermitage, I more or less made up for it in an orgy of excess beyond the imaginings of my plebeian pre-divorce self- but even given that, my more modest recent behavior is in sharp contrast with the experience of the women I know.

    – I’m dating someone 10 years younger than me. She’s the most attractive woman I’ve ever been with (in my opinion, and also more or less objectively). We’ve become a local item in our social circle, or, well, *I* have, for being with her. Other GFs have been, also, 10 years or more younger than me.

    – My male friends are dating women 10 years or more younger than them, or are still married.

    One took a hiatus from marriage when his wife separated. They got back together. Not insignificantly, she “dated” a guy who was this or that, but HE dated a woman 9 years younger than his almost ex-wife and much more attractive. She adored him. After some soul-searching and some admissions by the almost-ex-wife, he agreed to go into counseling and they’re back together. She’s much happier with him now. In other words:
    She got to test the dating market for 43 year-old women. He did, too. They were mature and decided not to ditch their marriage, which had problems, but also had advantages, not least of which were financial and emotional. Her result: Dating for women over about 38 was SHIT. Options were worse, harder to find and negotiating power was zero. ON THE OTHER HAND, HIS options were far better on the dating market than hers were. Not as good as a hot 25 year-old guy; but so much better than his almost ex-wife’s options that in the “new” relationship, he’s basically calling the shots.

    What happened was a re-jigging of the relative sexual market values for each, and a redistribution of power. And the wife managed to save her self-esteem and her situation and – because the guy was a stand-up fellow, more or less – was able to keep her husband and not be thrown to the wolves. The education she got humbled her.

    None of this was said – but it was extremely easy to pick up. It was so obvious it was almost painful. She’s all keen to “reconnect” with her husband now – trips, time spent together, intimate meals together, etc. All of a sudden, her Beta husband is AWESOME.

    – My own marriage died and my ex-wife, with whom I have a reasonably civil relationship, has had a hard time. That said, she’s astounded at my ability to date more attractive and younger women (though she does admit that I talk well and am much more charming than I was 10 years ago, when we were married – an effect, I might add, explicitly, of learning game and getting the right experience).

    Lesson:

    Men’s value can go up, to a point; women’s sexual market value
    ONLY GOES DOWN.

    To a point, men age like houses – they appreciate.
    Women age like cars.

    Some, in excellent condition, can become “classic” cars – a tiny percentage. And then, even, mostly not. They’re kept in garages and trotted out for parades on good days.

    We have to remember this.

    Women should remember it.

  38. Lavazza says:

    Gorbachev: I would still go for the wine-milk allegory. A classic car increases in value by not being used and therefor becoming rare when cars being used break down, plus the car has to have a design that was great from the beginning or that becomes more appreciated later on. Women with good genes and perfect upkeep will still age, whereas a car that is not being used will not.

  39. Gorbachev says:

    @Lazza,

    Yeah, Wine-Cheese is a good analogy. Much better.

    I find myself corrected once again.

  40. terre says:

    A recently divorced woman my mother worked with advised me I was making a grave mistake to get married without having “tried out a few men”, something I needed to do in case I was widowed. Nice, eh?

    I don’t understand the connection between becoming widowed and needing to slut around. Does she mean in the sense that you’d “only” experience one man now that he’s gone? But surely that would be the case whether or not he died? I don’t get it.

  41. Hi Dalrock,
    I am the Single in the Suburbs columnist that you mentioned at the end of your post. For the past five years, I’ve been chronicling my life and sharing all the dirty little secrets of my friends and family. I’m real, in my 40s, live in Marin County -Sausalito to be exact – and I don’t have a hunky boyfriend named Ethan. Sadly, my life is the anti Sex and the City. Single in the Suburbs runs every other week in the Pacific Sun and you can find several years of past articles at http://www.pacificsun.com.
    Best,
    Nikki

    [D: Thanks for the clarification Nikki. Sorry to hear you don't have a secret-multi-millionaire hunky handman who works for food and is madly in love with you. But if it can happen once, it can happen a million times! Best of luck!]

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  46. Lily says:

    Just had a quick scan of the articles and some other links.

    The woman’s husband cheated on her, then left her. She wanted to them to reconcile but gave up on the day his new gf moved into his place. That’s the day she put her wedding picture away.

    Surprised this info didn’t make the comprehensive analysis/write up.

    [D: In which story? Her romance novel? The V. Diaries? Single in the Suburbs? The Devil Wears Dockers? Each story has a slightly different twist. In Suburbs she accuses him of "an emotional affair" which he denies, and she says the divorce was mutual.]

  47. Doug1 says:

    Gorbachev–

    One took a hiatus from marriage when his wife separated. They got back together. Not insignificantly, she “dated” a guy who was this or that, but HE dated a woman 9 years younger than his almost ex-wife and much more attractive. She adored him. After some soul-searching and some admissions by the almost-ex-wife, he agreed to go into counseling and they’re back together. She’s much happier with him now. In other words:

    She got to test the dating market for 43 year-old women. He did, too. They were mature and decided not to ditch their marriage, which had problems, but also had advantages, not least of which were financial and emotional. Her result: Dating for women over about 38 was SHIT. Options were worse, harder to find and negotiating power was zero. ON THE OTHER HAND, HIS options were far better on the dating market than hers were.

    Unless they had young children who aren’t about to leave the nest for college soon, I don’t see why he went back to his ex wife.

    I mean WHAT emotional advantages to him???? He found a 9 years younger and much prettier girl who adored him.

    Since his wife had more or less already pulled the plug on their marriage by separating for an extending time period, and dating other men, I don’t think I’d go back under these circumstances, again unless young children. And then I’d only go back if I got to play some on the side, discreetly.

    I’ll say this. If you reverse the fortunes of the two exp spouses in the dating market, the separating wife in American culture would about never go back to her husband these days. This would probably only occur if the wife was a lot younger 10 years say) than her husband and still hot at say 32 , while he’d put on a paunch etc. and is 42, and hasn’t been hugely successful. Even with young kids it would be a rare day in hell these days when such a separating woman who’s pulling late 30s and early 40s guys much more successful and somewhat more alpha than her husband, would get back with him post separation.

    Men have a much greater sense of duty to remain married than women do these days. Though part of that is the unfair financial and ripping away his kids that a man gets in today’s American family courts.

  48. Gorbachev says:

    @Doug1
    Gorbachev–

    Unless they had young children who aren’t about to leave the nest for college soon, I don’t see why he went back to his ex wife.

    I have no idea, but he was emotionally attached to her. They had older kids.

    I mean WHAT emotional advantages to him???? He found a 9 years younger and much prettier girl who adored him.

    His wife was *VERY* lucky. Very.

    Since his wife had more or less already pulled the plug on their marriage by separating for an extending time period, and dating other men, I don’t think I’d go back under these circumstances, again unless young children. And then I’d only go back if I got to play some on the side, discreetly.

    I wouldn't go back. But he did.

    I’ll say this. If you reverse the fortunes of the two exp spouses in the dating market, the separating wife in American culture would about never go back to her husband these days.

    Absolutely: Women are cold and unsentimental. Lizards, when you get down to it.

    They calculate when they choose men, and by the time they make decisions, they’re already done.

    This would probably only occur if the wife was a lot younger 10 years say) than her husband and still hot at say 32 , while he’d put on a paunch etc. and is 42, and hasn’t been hugely successful. Even with young kids it would be a rare day in hell these days when such a separating woman who’s pulling late 30s and early 40s guys much more successful and somewhat more alpha than her husband, would get back with him post separation.

    Almost never, I’d imagine.

    Men have a much greater sense of duty to remain married than women do these days. Though part of that is the unfair financial and ripping away his kids that a man gets in today’s American family courts.

    The consequences are somewhat more severe for men.

  49. DJ says:

    This most certainly does not jive with the experiences I have seen with my ex, nor one of my friend’s exes. Mine is a washed up 35 year old, single, no kids, who is so desperate to get a man, she agreed to marry an east Indian fella she met online, site unseen, after only exchanging emails for 2 or 3 weeks. It’s nine months later and he still hasn’t shown up.

    My friend’s ex left him and their children to go ride the cock carousel and about a year or so later when she could find no takers for her 37 year old fat arse she tried to get him back – only to be rebuffed as he since moved on and has now married a 10 year younger woman who treats him like gold. It’s 2 years later and she has lost her children, a decent, good looking well paid man, and had to move in with a relative.

    That’s how it works out in real life. Both of them in their mid 30’s being used and discarded.

  50. Eric says:

    DJ:
    Your story is a lot closer to real-life than the hokum palmed off on the public as ‘normal relationships’. This is why decent men are abandoning the dating scene in droves. It’s actually come to the point where being in a relationship is worse for a man than staying single.

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  55. SingleDad says:

    Here is a quote from Nikki’s article she linked above:

    “When last we convened, our wonderful 40-plus couple became engaged and was completely blissful because of it. The diamond in her ring was a bit on the small side, but she graciously overlooked it, as the setting was so lovely.”

    Even the commenters could see the gold digger for what she is. The rest of the article can be paraphrased as:

    I’m a very big time gold digger, and he is frugal and has money in the bank, so I will spend his money until he’s fed up and dumps me. I hope I can get some cool pumps out of it.

  56. SingleDad says:

    I have asked women over 40 why women over 40 date. I know they have little or no sex drive as they are peri-menopausal.

    Her honest answer, same as young women, money.

    So, if your getting used for money, might as well go with the younger model. More attractive, more time on her hands, less baggage, and not as sophisticated a liar as an experienced ex-wife.

  57. Eric says:

    SingleDad;

    One of the things I routinely hear in MRM is that women are out for money and the ‘bigger, better deal.’ I have to admit, quite honestly, that it’s rarely been my experience. Usually, they are on the make for the worst men, not the better ones. This is one reason why being a ‘white knight’ or a ‘gamer’ never works in actual practice. A man is always competing with lower classes of males; never somebody higher.

    Understanding that women in our culture fundamentally hate men is the key to resolving this riddle. They desire men who are inferior to them because it reinforces their sense of superiority and entitlement. Of course, they will have no qualms about fleecing a guy with money, either; since all their relationships with men are premised on expediency and disempowering males.

    After reading something like the Match.com article, common sense alone should tell any reasonable man that he’s dealing with someone incapable of loving or respecting him on any level. The same is true of most women in our culture, young or middle- aged. Men who want a rational, loving, or traditional relationship will only find one outside the anglosphere.

  58. “Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.” Truth can be notoriously MESSY. You are probably right to call “BS” on these fiction writers masquerading as chroniclers of their marital dissolution.

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  60. MartianBachelor says:

    Match.com is bogus? Who knew?

    All online dating sites live and die by the number of women they can get to sign up, so it stands to figure they’d run game on the target population to whatever extent possible. Women are gullible so they’ve been falling for this schtick since it was called The Movie of the Week.

    But people are correct that it points to an underlying belief among many women that men are almost infinitely replaceable. And they say *men* treat *women* like objects… (-which is revealed to be yet another projection)

  61. Leonidas says:

    FYI, this post is showing up as the first entry on page 2 of results for “Single in the Suburbs” now, so whatever change Google made to their algorithm, it isn’t totally killing you.

    [D: Yes, they pulled the change around a week after I made the post about it. Someone pointed it out in a comment on the google censored page. I'm baffled as to what it means.]

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  63. checkers says:

    I suspect the story probably started out a journal of real life, with the intent to remain that way.

    But the real life ending was SO dispiriting and despair-inducing, that they changed the ending to a “Disney” ending, instead.

    And the fictitious ending is just over-the-top enough that it is almost obvious, but not entirely. A read between the lines kind of situation – the actual ending was a nightmare most of the readership is hoping to find a way to escape.

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  75. Dutchess says:

    I stumbled upon this blog per chance seeking something else and I have to admit I am WOW’d. I am a divorced single woman OVER 40, and I am totally thrown back by Singledads comment “I have asked women over 40 why women over 40 date. I know they have little or no sex drive as they are peri-menopausal.

    Her honest answer, same as young women, money.

    So, if your getting used for money, might as well go with the younger model. More attractive, more time on her hands, less baggage, and not as sophisticated a liar as an experienced ex-wife.”
    No sex drive??? Baggage? Who have you been dating? Not all women over 40 are some money hungry, crazed chics with issues.
    There are many women over 40, and I am one who has a fantastic shape, yes, I workout and have for my entire life and it shows. I choose not to have sex with just anyone for, it is my choice. As for the drive, it is very real and very alive. Dont allow yourself to be used for anything including money for at the end of the day, it may be a better choice to be with someone who just likes you. Ask yourself this, is it who you are choosing, or how you are showing up?

  76. Looking Glass says:

    Wow, this post obviously has moved up in the Google rankings. Amazed it still getting comments, even now.

    As for Dutchess, welcome to being around the blog. Stay, read, learn and enjoy! (The original post is 8 months old, so there’s a lot more content since)

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  78. Divorcedaged55anddating says:

    Bitter bloke, are you? Not much! PS I found your blog through Google, so enough with your multiple conspiracy theories.

    Signed: Happily de-married mother of three aged 55 in a full, and I mean full, relationship with a lovely 60-year-old widower I met through a dating website. See, it does happen! Now I dare you to publish this comment.

  79. Divorcedaged55anddating says:

    Even if you’re not bitter personally, there are some real misogynist types on here. Just reading this page leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. I know it takes all sorts to make a world but some people just don’t deserve to air their skewed and insulting views. I sincerely hope Google reinstates its ban.

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  82. So DA55 wants to persuade us all that her situation is the norm? Hmm! Doesn’t want us to stereotype chicks like herself but has to stereotype all the men commenting on this blog. Double standard rules my girl!

  83. Kevin Willis says:

    “Even if you’re not bitter personally, there are some real misogynist types on here.”

    A bit, perhaps, based on the real world experience of some men. There is certainly no shortage of misandry and general man-eating out in the larger world, and one might argue that the nonsense peddled by Single in the Suburbs—that is, divorce fantasy—his at least as man-hating, if covertly, as pornography is misogynist.

    “I know it takes all sorts to make a world but some people just don’t deserve to air their skewed and insulting views. I sincerely hope Google reinstates its ban.”

    Which seems, to me, to be the nastiest thing anybody has said about anything in this thread. But, like you say, it takes all sorts.

  84. Starviolet says:

    This was interesting. Most of the women that I’ve seen divorce in their 40s and 50s got remarried a few years later.

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  86. @Starviolet – that is interesting. I havent seen any of my women friends in late 30’s-50’s remarry. Their baggage emotionally and situation is a bit overwhelming. Not to mention they can easily pick up a single gal in her late thirties who hasnt been married yet).
    It takes a “real man” to take on a woman on another mans kids, co-parenting, and holiday and career limitations due to custody restrictions ( I won’t do it due to co-parenting schizophrenia)
    However, most of the men I know that were divorced by their wives remarried for the sake of their kids and “traded up” imo.

  87. Oh man I just crossed msn today and had a good chuckle. Yahoo is also a terrible “news source”. Nothing of weight is ever discussed but instead alarmist garble about sexual predators and gossip ensues.

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  90. ATC says:

    I’ve read the The Diary of V (so you don’t have to). Very similar plot. Hubby was a professor while wife pined for sexy maintenance guy. They divorce and hubby lives it up. In early 2000s she meets handyman type who survived 9/11 or some such.

    Repentant ex-hubby? Check (6/4/04 episode): “You’re a wonderful woman. And the way I treated you when we were married — well, it was the biggest mistake of my life. I was a different person then. I look back on the man I was and, God, I’m just so ashamed of myself.”

    Works-with-his-hands bf? Check: (3/8/02 episode): “He’s not a manual laborer. He’s a craftsman. And anyway, manual laborers can be smart.”

    Also in Single In the Suburbs, notice the cheesy similarity between Joe Millionaire (whose real name is Evan) and her secret millionaire (“Ethan”).

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  92. sh says:

    The link to Devil Wears Dockers is now dead. I bet all websites maintained by her are too.

  93. Michael says:

    @ Dalrock

    Do you have any online dating stats showing women by age group?

  94. Michael says:

    Just got done searching through Match.com. The populations of self entitled thing something women look like they have exploded in recent years. I’ve never seen so many narcissistically long “what you didn’t know about me” lists and demand in my life. They now have a “what she wants” percentage indicator on the women’s profiles that let’s you know where you stand . Sure enough when I set my height to 6-4 and my income to $150k plus the percentages went to 99% on sheets of profiles – mostly of women in thier thirties.

    They write insane things like “after so many relationships I know myself and what to offer a partner”. I truely think these women have never seen the manosphere. Thier youth ferility and innocence are gone. They would make terrible wives and mothers. Yet they go on and implying what they expect.

  95. Michael says:

    @ Dalrock

    You need an editor man.

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