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The anonymous woman, whose blog is called The Plankton, is not alone in believing that there are problems specific to being a single woman in middle age. A survey this month found eight out of 10 women over 50 think they have become invisible to men. Seven out of 10 women in the study felt overlooked by the fashion industry, while three-quarters of women in their 60s believed they had lost their identity by being labelled as a "mum".

Women and men are living longer and fitter lives; the average age at which we divorce is rising — 41 now for women and 43 for men — and the number of single parents is projected to rise to 1. There is a new demographic of confident and experienced women, at their sexual peak as far as science is concerned, who would like to find a partner. But life, friendship and love for the single woman in her mids and beyond has its own particular complications and sorrows.

Susan Quilliam, a relationships expert and agony aunt, said that some women were suffering "terribly". They are also much more in a rush to get into a new relationship and are much less likely to give someone a second chance, which may seem callous but they are much more likely to fall in love quickly. For men, it's a case of you fulfil the criteria, let's buy the double duvet.

Online dating leaves middle-aged women in 'single wilderness'

It's a shame men aim for the younger age range because women of 45 and 55 are arguably much more sexually mature and able to give a lot more pleasure than, say, a woman of The author of the Plankton blog sums up the emotional aftermath of her divorce in bleak fashion: I am already in a wilderness — maybe [facing] my time again, over 40 years, it's possible, but with no one. She points to a passage in the book Intimacy by Hanif Kureshi, when his narrator briefly considers the fate of the woman he is leaving: She will, unfortunately, become the recipient of sympathy.

At dinner parties divorced men will be placed next to her.

But according to many singles, even getting invited to the dinner party can be tricky when people tend to socialise with other couples as they get older and settled into marriages and parenthood. Katie Sheppard, the director of relationships at Match. Its research shows that dating is, especially for divorced women, fraught with complication, anxiety and worry. Looking for second-time love when children are a first priority is a challenge. Nicola Lamond, Netmums spokeswoman and mother, said: Single parents describe themselves as lonely, isolated, vulnerable and worthless.

There is a real sense their world has shrunk. Trying to meet people in bars and clubs can feel like a younger person's game, especially when you need a single friend and a babysitter to get there.

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Why is it such a struggle for single women over 45 to meet a soulmate?

Susan Broom is a bubbly woman with a ready laugh who is 48, single, and has now given up actively looking for a man, certainly online, and is not afraid to admit that she does feel the sadness of that. I prefer men of my own age. But a lot of those men my age are only looking at women in their 20s or 30s.

Because of its 'anything is possible', 'sweet-shop' appeal, online dating just encourages men to cherry-pick their ideal — usually younger — mate.


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  • Which is depressing if you're a woman of a certain age. Studies across all cultures and nations have shown a consistent trend for men to have younger partners.

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    As the only straight woman within reach, I soon became the de facto dating consultant for my male friends, despite my waning expertise. But what I soon realized was that sometimes the best way to date is to go off script.

    We had more important things to worry about, like the alarming decay rate of our attractiveness. If we graduated without a future husband in tow, the men in our class would forgo us for younger, dumber women.

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    She advised we start the search as early into college as possible. Um, I thought, petting my two-years-younger boyfriend. I almost forgot about the Princeton Mom until last month, when international headlines went nuts over the new French president elect and his wife. Brigitte Trogneux met Emmanuel Macron when he was 15 and she was his year-old drama teacher, already married with three kids. It appears this age gap is largely driven by dudes.

    Why is it such a struggle for single women over 45 to meet a soulmate? | Daily Mail Online

    The older men get, the younger the women they message relative to their own age. Women, on the other hand, message and respond most often to men about their own age. Once they reach 35, women actually respond more often to younger guys. But because men are usually the conversation starters, the older-man-younger-woman paradigm prevails.

    Alright, so maybe OkCupid en masse follows dating age conventions, but what about those women who want to flip the norm on its head? How difficult is it for them to date a younger man? What I found was kind of surprising. When men message women, women tend to respond most often to men around their own ages. A year-old woman will have better luck messaging a year-old man than a year-old one, according to the data.