In fact, talk to virtually any single woman over 40 in Southwest Florida and you’ll hear a similar story: multiple women for every man, unresponsive online matches, a shallow dating pool, and, of the relatively few dateable men around, poor manners and an understanding they are a hot commodity.
“They feel like they don’t really need to put any work in,” says Catherine Clarkson*, a 58-year-old divorcée who’s lived in Naples since 2010.
“So, it was our first date and their second.” And while that seems to suggest the women of Southwest Florida should lower their expectations, the opposite is true. If you don’t have time to call me, you don’t have time for a relationship,” she says.
Now they’re at a place in their lives where they recognize they need a man who can keep up with them—both emotionally and financially.
For some, if guys don’t have the wherewithal, there’s a serious hesitation to even bother. “Some of these men have split their fortunes—sometimes multiple times,” Simmons says with an understanding tone.
“He said, ‘Not really.’ After being pushed, he came back with, ‘Well, Easter Island.’ ‘Well, that’s interesting,’ I said. I never left the airport.’ “It turned out he was only interested in becoming part of the top 5 percent of a frequent flier top-tier program. Just flew from place to place building points,” Ottenstein adds.
“I actually went out with him a total of three times because I thought I was missing something.
The same can be said for Stephanie Rogers*, a 50-year-old philanthropist who’s been divorced for several years and struggles to find local men of any caliber who hold her interest. So the truth is we don’t really know just how many single men there really are in Southwest Florida—could be hundreds of thousands or, as Clarkson says, “there are 15.” But even if the lack of actual single men isn’t a problem, the lack of “qualified” men certainly is.
Let’s face it: Many single women in this area are in a financially secure place; they’ve either made money on their own, been left it by a deceased spouse, or married well and divorced better.
They were enjoying a lovely first date, finished dinner and decided to keep the night going with drinks at a nearby bar.
Within minutes another woman came up to her date to say “hi” and introduced herself to Schantz.
(Insert gasp here.) “Age is a challenge, and I don’t know why,” Simmons says. Are they broken from former relationships and think that if they go younger they’re going to have better success? When you’ve been married for 30 years, that happens.