Tracy was 27 when I first met her playing co-ed softball in 2003. She always wore her skin-tight Lululemon shorts and all the guys would stare as she jutted her butt out in a proper stance every time she was at bat. One game, she managed to get on base four times in a row. She was good! Tracy was a blend of German Puerto Rican ancestry and the guys just loved her, just like how every guy loves Jessica Alba.
After every game, the guys would swarm Tracy to try and get her attention. We’d always go to some bar afterward, and Tracy got all the free drinks and appetizers she wanted. It was evident that the rest of the girls were annoyed with all the attention Tracy was getting. Unfortunately, for them, they weren’t as attractive, so the guys really didn’t care. Shallow right?
Despite all her good looks, Tracy had one big problem. She lacked self-esteem. Whenever someone would complement her, instead of simply saying “thank you” and complement the person back, Tracy would look down to the ground and shy away. Sometimes, she’d simply ignore him. Her silence often was construed as being bitchy unfortunately. It takes forever for her to open up, but when you finally get to know her more, you realize she’s a nice but incredibly dull person.
A LITTLE BIT OF BACKGROUND
Tracy was a system administrator at a large insurance company where she made a respectable $85,000 a year. She’s been living with her same roommate from college since 2000 in a cozy two bedroom, one bathroom apartment for $1,800 a month – an absolute bargain in San Francisco.
Tracy and I kept in touch for several years until we just stopped communicating at one point in early 2008. I moved on with my life, and I assumed she did as well. It’s sad how we lose touch with acquaintances over time. But, that’s what happens when life gets in the way. Maintaining relationships takes effort!
One afternoon, I ran into Tracy on my bus ride back from work. I was surprised because almost 4 years had passed since we last spoke. We started living up old times and I asked her what she was up to. Surely, at 35 years old, she was seeing someone or was married by now I presumptuously thought to myself. Instead, she was still single and living in the same cozy apartment with her same roommate, who so happens to also be 35 and single.
We rode the bus to an area where we could get a drink and catch up for more than our 20 minute bus ride would allow. Somewhat embarrassed, Tracy told me that she hadn’t been on a date in one year after she broke up with her ex-boyfriend. “We were good friends for 5 years until we decided to start dating. That lasted 6 months and now we don’t even talk,” Tracy lamented.
“I felt that once I turned 30, my life was over. Good looking guys slowly stopped talking to me and I can’t figure it out whether it’s because of my age, or because I can’t carry my own in a conversation,” Tracy went on to say. “Really old and gross guys who could be my father’s age would start chatting me up. I hated it.”
Tracy still looked good, but I could tell she had definitely aged quite a bit from our days playing softball together. She wore heavy make up to conceal her wrinkles, which simply made her look even older. “You look great Tracy!” I told her, trying to cheer her up. She oozed an insecurity that would deflate the most helium-infused balloon. Even Bobo the Clown wouldn’t be able to cheer her up. Her low sense of self-worth somehow made her unattractive.
LIVING BEYOND 30 AND CURSING YOUNGER WOMEN
I don’t know what it’s like to be single in my 30s, but I’d have to imagine that as a guy with a job living in a big city like San Francisco, it could be pretty fun. Yet with Tracy, she hates every minute of her 30s. She curses the city and her misfortune. She also curses 27 year old girls for taking all the good-looking, available men. Isn’t it ironic that she was that same girl 8 years ago who was despised?
“When I was 27, I got all the attention. I could have practically any guy I wanted. I took my youth for granted because everybody always treated nicely. I felt special and that’s all I’ve ever known. I know that I’m not unattractive, yet I don’t know why I don’t have more self-confidence. Now that I’m older, I have more self-confidence but I have less of a selection. Do I really have to go out with guys in their late-40s and 50s to find someone now?” Tracy asked.
I empathize with Tracy because guys seem to have more selection the older we get while women have less. At the same time, women always seem to prefer dating men that are the same age or older. I remember my female friends in their 20s always look down upon guys their age or younger because they “weren’t mature enough”. Men, on the other hand are more open to dating younger and older women. As men age, we naturally have more of a selection because our pool gets bigger. Just imagine, when we are 100, we can date everyone!
A SMALL WINDOW
According to Tracy, there really seems to only be a short 5-7 year window for a woman to find an ideal man before her opportunity fades. Tracy says she and her friends out of college wanted to experience the world, work on their careers and not be tied down by anything or anyone. They knew they could have the pick of the litter, and only when they turned 27 did they think about settling down. What they didn’t realize was that their beauty would fade, and if they didn’t find someone by the time they were 30, it became exponentially harder to find their Prince Charming since he had already moved on to someone else, and maybe a younger someone, who is much more open to settling down.
With each year that passes, Tracy feels more and more lost. She used to joke about being a “Panther” in her 20s, locking down any man she wants with a simple demure look. At 35, she admits she’s now a “Cougar”, stalking her weak, older, less in shape victims. Tracy hasn’t lost hope she will one day meet the man of her dreams. She just now realizes that she should have had more confidence and taken advantage of her good looks while she was younger. Tracy is financially secure and has a good career, but she would give it all up to be young again and in love.
Readers, is life over for single women in their 30s like Tracy believes? Why do attractive women sometimes have a very difficult time finding a soul-mate? Do attractive people have a false sense of security? Have you ever treated someone differently because they were more attractive?
Adele’s song “Someone Like You” sums up this post perfectly.
Radio Version with a higher voice range