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Helen Smith

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May 30, 2012 - 5:34 am

A reader sent me an interesting article from the Daily Mail about why older men have a hard time finding love again. The author, Liz Hodgkinson, is a woman, of course. Men unfortunately, rarely write about relationships from their perspective. I wish they would. Anyway, the author “explores” why older men are no longer interested in a relationship with a woman and talks about psychiatrist Dennis Friedman’s new book The Lonely Hearts Club:

Dr Friedman tells the stories of about a dozen men between 50 and 80 — all but one divorced, widowed or never married — who are composites of his former patients, and investigates why there’s such a cavernous gulf between them and their female peers. He wants to explore why, despite the fact that more of us than ever before are finding ourselves single later in life, we are incapable of pairing up with each other.
Friedman’s male characters are discontented and disorientated, wondering where they have gone wrong, and whether they can put things right. Above all, they agonise over whether they will ever again be able to find happiness in an intimate relationship.
They may be partly fictional, but they certainly ring bells with me; they are all examples of the kind of standard issue, unattractive older men I come across all the time.

Later on, the author of the piece gives us a glimpse of the real reason she and possibly her cohorts have no man:

At the moment, I have three rather persistent admirers — one is a friend of my late partner and I met the other two through mutual friends — but there is no rapport or chemistry between us.
When I asked one of them what he had to offer me, he replied: ‘Well, nothing really.’

A commenter to this article, Jim, summed it up nicely:

If you’re immediately asking men “what have you got to offer me”, don’t be surprised if you’re alone.
- Jim, Abroad, 30/5/2012 11:58

Amen.

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.
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