Award-winning journalist Vicki Larson, in her recently-published article The Surprising Reason Why Older Single Men Don’t Find Older Single Women Desirable, addresses a perceived gender difference in dating preferences among 60+ singles.
Last year, two of her single female friends in their 60s welcomed their first grandchild. She describes her companions as intelligent, attractive, lively, humorous, compassionate, accomplished, financially secure, and independent but insists one that only one is ‘dateable.’
One of the grandparents doesn’t see her granddaughter often be she has a full-time job and lives over 2,000 miles away. The other grandparent is retired and lives close driving distance to her grandson, allowing her to look after him twice a week and give the parents some much-needed respite.
All other things beings equal, guess which grandmother is more desirable to men?
Answer: The woman who lives far away from her grandchild.
Social scientist Lauren E. Harris looked at how family caregiving responsibilities affect the desirability of single men and women aged 60-83 in the dating market. Her research, titled “Older adults on the dating market: The role of family caregiving responsibilities,” suggests that it has a large impact on their prospects.
Generally, 60+ men seem to be less attracted to women of the same age who are heavily involved in taking care of adult children or grandchildren.
Conversely, single women placed more emphasis on finding someone their own age who had a strong family bond as they considered this to be indicative of being family-oriented and having good morals and values.
The prevailing thought is that men believe women prioritize their grandchildren over any romantic relationships, which discouraged them from seeking out a relationship with those women.
In the study, one 65-year-old man who was interested in dating a woman he works with lamented:
“She’s another one of these women who is so involved with their children and grandchildren. I don’t understand that. … That’s how you’re gonna find happiness? Being very instrumental in being grandmom?”