Monday, August 23, 2010

Partnership Track

Recently I spoke with a girl – in other parts of the country they’d exclusively use the term woman – who is 36 and who told me that she had just hooked up with a 26 year old guy while out east in the Hamptons. She explained to me that she didn’t look 36, though, and that people often mistook her to be in her late 20s. I saw her pictures (she was interested in potentially becoming a client but was still very unsure about whether she needed anyone’s assistance with finding someone and she was very independent and “could be very happy alone”) - and I might give her early 30s. But the fact is that she is 36.

Now some people might say “you go girl” to this modern Ms. Robinson but the question is, where is she going? No doubt that the boy toy is great for a night of "fun" but ultimately it becomes crystal clear that eye candy is not particularly nutritious and you’d probably be better served changing your diet. (Ok, ok, I know it’s very hard to resist the young gun with the washboard abs and boyish smile who pursues you with an urgency that is often lacking with the older guys - an urgency which invariably falls off after a week of texting…).

Indeed, for all her talk about being happily single and having fun, I know this girl/woman will find herself in two or three more summers in the Hamptons sipping drinks at a parking lot on the side of the road thinking “for some reason, this seemed more fun a few years ago...” And then she will be 38 or 39. Not a great place to be for a single woman looking to get married in this very competitive, youth driven city.

What amazes me - or truthfully troubles me - about women in their mid to late 30s/early 40s in New York is that a good number of them are so unaware of the fact that no matter how young they think they look, or how much money they make, or what exclusive events or parties they go to, or how many people they know, or how many guys “hit on” them (but don’t stick around for more), their age is their age – and it is working against them each birthday.

While many NYC women might like to make the analogy that they are like a fine wine, I hate to break it to you, Ladies, most men who are looking to eventually get married and have a family are NOT looking at you that way. It is the unfortunate reality with men that younger is typically better. Why? There is no pressure to get married and have kids immediately with girls in their late 20s/early 30s. Also, naturally, there is less reason to worry that there are going to be fertility problems (yes, anyone who’s informed on this subject knows that men have them too but somehow they always get overlooked). And simply put, men are hardwired from thousands of years of evolution to believe that younger (i.e. more fertile) is simply better. The same way taller is typically more desirable to women when it comes to men – that’s just the way it is.

A guy friend of mine - who is in fact an exceptionally good guy - put it quite well recently. He told me about a date he went on with a woman who demonstrated such a sense of entitlement that he was forced to admit: “If I wanted to deal with this kind of attitude, I might as well date a 28 year old, not some 38 year old spoiled princess. Does she realize at this age, she needs to lose the attitude?” He is now dating a 27 year old (and he is 44).

Just hold on a minute Sunday at Noon Blog, what precisely are you saying?” some readers may be thinking. What does this mean? Women have no value after 35? Women shouldn’t love themselves at any age? Women should settle for losers because they are 38?

I am sure this blog is going to cause ire among a certain group of readers, but let’s get rid of all that nonsense. For starters, I am 37 so, clearly, I do not think that 35+ women have lost their value. But being that I know what the lay of the land is so to speak, I am just going to say it – Ladies, it’s time to wake up. You are not 25 anymore – and you don’t want to be 25 – there was too much drama and insecurity back then and you put up with way too much bs from the wrong guys. So what am I saying? That it’s time to consider acting your age and acting in a way that will get you what you presumably want – a wonderful partner who is your equal and who will love you and appreciate you and want to build a future with you.

Let me elaborate. As many of my readers know, I am an attorney by training and practiced law for ten years before starting my business helping people take control of their love lives. There is a familiar saying in the legal world: if you want people to see you as “partner material,” you need to act like a partner. You need to dress like a partner, think like a partner and act like you are already a partner. The same goes for dating.

If you are looking to meet someone with the potential to be your future husband, you need to be acting like a potential future wife. That means not hooking up with 26 year old boy toys who are not offering you anything other than possibly good sex and an ego boost. That means not getting drunk with your girlfriends anymore until 2 in the morning or drinking too much on your first dates and going home and hooking up. That means accepting a good man despite his “flaws” because he is accepting you despite your age and your “flaws” (whatever they may be). I often hear women who are 35+ rejecting men because they are losing their hair, are not tall enough, have a few extra pounds, etc. I want to say to these women (and sometimes have) do you have cellulite? Do you think men looove wrinkles? I tend to think not. Do you have a perfect ass? A body like a 22 year old? They are accepting you for your imperfections, why can’t you do the same?

So, Ladies, here is a friendly suggestion (please know that while the blog may be blunt, the commentary is conveyed with the most sincere intention to help): why not take a moment to reassess your priorities, start acting your age and start considering the men you are meeting as a potential partner ... you might just find you get treated the same way in return.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall! Ready to meet that special someone - make it happen! Personalized introductions, dating coaching, image consulting and assistance with online profile creation/revisions.


  1. As a 38yr old non-balding, not short, not-out of shape guy, that's been trying to find a woman in NYC for the past 10 years, I completely agree.

  2. Marni, always right! I have been away and missed your blogs... I can't agree more. The only thing I can say in defense of such (unfortunately not unfamiliar to me:) behaviors is that perhaps professed desire for a family and real desire are not the same. One thing is when you are young and relationship or even marriage sometimes just happens and another thing looking for partnership later in life. I know plenty of girls from early to late 30s, to 40s even, who profess their desire for marriage and children, but behave in a totally different way - having relationships going nowhere, not giving chances to anyone not resembling a fairy tale prince etc. I can't say I haven't made these mistakes myself. Eventually they will understand. While things can still "happen" to them, the truth is chances are smaller as you age and fertility is a big issue.
    However, I'm not sure one can force herself to change completely , when there are many reasons why you are who you are. Perhaps having some fun is what you want, it's important to be honest with yourself. Having children is an issue of timing. It's important to consider that. However, one can find a partner later in life, when she is more forgiving and accepting... It's just important to realize and accept constraints and closed options that come with any choice you make.

  3. What an incredible document of the blogger's deep self-loathing. I can only imagine the diagnosis we could draw from these writings! Best of luck to the aforementioned "girl", but it's apparent even from this spiteful description that she doesn't need it or your blessing. Unfortunate your envy has taken such twisted shape instead of directing you towards your own happiness.

  4. Dear Anonymous,

    I’ve only received one mean spirited email in a year and a half of writing, so I guess I should consider myself lucky! Honestly, your comment was so wildly off base it actually caused me to chuckle when I read it.

    I am pretty confident that you are not a psychologist (or at least I hope!) as your comment could not be more empirically wrong. Indeed, it’s actually ironic - anyone who actually knows me would proclaim that I have a very healthy amount of self-love. Unfortunately, Anonymous, I have to dash your hopes that your “diagnosis” of my unhappiness could be right. After ten years of practicing law, I finally have my own business that I love and am dating an incredibly handsome, smart, kind, wonderful man who I absolutely adore so, no, I am not envious of the woman I described in my blog. However, I am going to attribute your response to simply a lack of real knowledge on the subject on which I write.

    On the other hand, what is interesting is that among the over two dozen comments (from both and men and women – and many women in the age group discussed) I have received on the blog in the 24 hours since it was posted (either personal emails to me or posts on Facebook), yours is the lone dissent. Considering the angry reaction the blog caused in YOU, the really interesting question (and “diagnosis”) would lie in why it resonated with you so much …

    Best to you,

  5. Dear Angelica,

    Thanks so much for your insightful comments, as always. You raise two excellent points.

    First, you ask the critical question of whether people really want what they profess to want. If you are acting in the ways I described (yes, you candidly acknowledge it not being unfamiliar to you - nor was it to me, nor is it to most NY women I know at some point in their lives) perhaps you need to ask yourself whether you really are ready to meet someone for a serious, committed relationship (family, kids, etc.), whether you in fact KNOW what you want. And if you do want all that, are you disciplined enough to get what you want? (because there is an element of discipline in not doing things that are fun or feel good in the moment in furtherance of larger goals).

    The next question you raise is equally intriguing. Can these women (and men for that matter) change who they are? If people are happy - then perhaps there is really no need to change anything. But what I see all too often is that women get to a point where they are no longer happy focusing solely on their careers, or doing the party circuit, or engaging in high volume but low connection dating, however they are now in a place in their lives where options are more limited but the urgency to find someone is far more intense.

    Thanks again for your post!

  6. To "August 23, 2010 2:05PM Anonymous:"

    I am not a personal friend of Marni, but judging from her blog - the down-to-Earth attitude she holds, the wisdom and pragmatism in her writing, the humor and wit she offers (not to mention her intellect and professional success)... I would hardly qualify Marni as a person guilty of self-loathing.

    Pictures speak louder than words ever would - and the few photographs Marni has published here at on her business' website show her to be a person glowing with confidence, charm, and goodness. Not to mention INCREDIBLE physical beauty and appeal - something that I noticed more than 20 years ago whenever I saw Marni in the hallways of our high school.

    And by the way, "Anonymous," I'm sure Marni can handle disagreement - you could have offered it with a different angle.

    (BTW, Marni, I know you need nobody to come here and defend you, but your posts are loaded w/ goodness and loveliness, so I thought it was warranted for me to write this in "your defense.")

    - Ex-Syosset Brave, Class of '91

  7. Marni,

    Yet another gem of a post.

    I think, Marni, that this works both ways; in fact, this post reminds me of an earlier one in which you advised your male readership to scale down their expectations, especially regarding a woman's appearance. Men and women are often guilty of lacking honesty and realism.

    I've run into more than a few women in their mid/late 30s who are just not realistic enough. They may still look quite good, but a common complaint that they share is that the men of their age range who actually take an interest in them are shabby-looking. Granted, many men in their late 30s or early 40s will not be as lean, handsome, or attractive as the "the young gun with the washboard abs and boyish smile" you described. But if the given men are decent-looking enough and other important factors are in place (character, values, financial security, career, etc)... why aren't these men "worthy" for these women?

    In fact, a woman who is 38 comes to mind. She's not bad-looking, but nothing great to look at, either. She's exceedingly vain, and laments that the only men who take an interest in her now are men her age or older, and that while some are all right as potential partners, she always takes issue with their aging appearance. And she insists she likes young men. Oddly enough, she admitted that the young, handsome men she likes (men in their early-mid 20s) do not even look her way - and when I suggested that she should be more realistic and tailor her expectations according to reality, she took offense.

    She is also shallow and overbearingly greedy, and ironically, while she has very high standards for men, she's got little to bring to the table other than her barely above-average looks; she's very much a 38-year-old spoiled princess, not unlike the type your 44-year-old friend described and decried.

    Some people, Marni, just do not wish to accept reality. Thankfully, your blog is a great tool to help those who are now willing to adjust their attitudes... facing the harsh and sometimes painful reality that accompanies aging are often the catalyst that forces people to make those adjustments.

    - Ex-Syosset Brave, Class of '91

  8. Dear Ex-Syosset Brave,

    Thank you so much for both of your posts. I really am so lucky to have such loyal, kind readers. And while you are considerate to say that I don't need anyone to "defend" me, I do appreciate your thoughtful reply to the "Anonymous" message (I do have the ability to moderate comments on here but I am not one for censorship!). I truly do want my readers to know (and I'd like to think that most of them get) that my only intention with my writing is to share what I know and help people change their lives for the better -not to put down people or be sanctimonious. So thank you, ex-Brave, for all of your kind words above!

    Regarding your comments about many women - and men -not wanting to accept reality, it is unfortunately so true. The woman you know who is not getting the results she wants but still is not interested in changing her behavior (and is offended by your efforts to help and shed some objective light on the situation) is such a perfect example. It's actually a fascinating study in human psychology.

    However, getting older does not have to mean "settling" but more, as you put it, adjusting one's attitude. Someone recently wrote to me praising a previous blog (Gender Bender) but saying it will likely fall on deaf ears. I do think that some people who are reading have reached a point where they are willing to examine what they are doing, their values, etc. and make positive changes. Anyway, let's hope!

    Thanks for continuing to read and for all your wonderful posts.

    Enjoy the remaining days of summer!

  9. Dear Nasty Anonymous from Aug 23rd @ 2:24pm-

    You must hold a lot of anger and many many years of age- should you have been a 30 yr young Anonymous like Moi :)...and met Marni way back when- perhaps you wouldn't be the angry Anonymous that you are now-

    Get some botox- take a yoga class to relax- pop in some Deepak Chopra and try again my friend-

    It seems that Marni has based this specific blog entry solely on observation and facts-

    *You know - you will only draw in the same energy that you put out into the world- words of wisdom that I live by and staying positive and being receptive and respectful of what each and every individual has to say has always worked for me!


    Happy and Successful 30 yr old Anonymous

  10. Dear Happy and Successful 30 yr old Anonymous,

    Loved your post - made me smile - thanks for reading and commenting!