Single Parent (Dating) In The City: Is Age Just A Number?

We all know the sayings: “Age is but a number” and “You are as young as the partner you feel” but is this really the case?

There’s always an assumption that by choosing someone older than you, they will be a more mature, committed partner, and that you get the opposite from a younger guy, so I thought I would test this out by going to two speed dating events with two very different age groups.

I researched local speed dating companies, many of which are extortionate I might add, and came across Classy and Glamorous run by the very down to earth and friendly Mandie.logo-setting1

Mandie is a professional social events organiser, and thankfully does some great low-priced events across the whole of Sussex; They even have a free online dating section on their website for us Sussex people to use. The events include speed dating, coffee and cake nights and even social nights in private clubs where the aim is to meet new friends as well as potential dates.

I chose speed dating, because I tried it a few years ago for charity, and even attended a veggie one recently (even though I’m not veggie!) and found it great fun, and it’s a superb way to practice your dating skills when you have been out of the ‘game’ for a while. And for me personally I don’t get the opportunity to go out often due to childcare issues, so being able to date lots of people in one night is really helpful!

Speed dating is basically a group of single people, whether it be straight or gay, and you all have a number and you start by sitting with the other person with the same number, then working around to the other numbers. You get a few minutes with each person to have your ‘date’ and then you tick people you want to go on a proper date with on your tick sheet. The following day you get emailed with your matches and their contact details and that’s basically it!

The two events I selected were with the age groups 21-35yrs and 30-45yrs.

I’m 29, so am near the end of the scale of the younger group, and the bottom of the older group, so I was intrigued to see how I would be perceived in each group too.

21-35 years eventOnline-dating-2

The majority of the men in this group were at the younger end of the scale, and some met the criteria completely of the ‘lads about town’ who were only looking for one night stands which they politely called ‘fun’. They promptly got a cross on my tick sheet, and I spent the 5 minutes allowing them to talk about how great they are and the nightlife they currently enjoy, which took me back to my clubbing days before Chunk was born, making me both smile and cringe!

There were a couple of slightly odd guys that I struggled to keep conversation going with for those few minutes (and I noticed other girls were having the same problem with them!) and thankfully there were also some sweet guys.

Unfortunately I didn’t really fancy any of the guys, as the sweet ones were more the type I would love as a friend, as I didn’t feel any physical attraction to them. I also felt too OLD really, as they were talking about the courses they were studying, or the travelling they were about to do, whilst I’ve been there and done that and am now a mummy!

So with these feelings, I had more hope for the older dating event, as it was more likely there would be guys there at the same ‘life stage’ as me so there might be more of a chance of finding some chemistry.

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This one started off with a very arrogant guy who was at the older end of the scale and his first question to me was why I was at the event. I thought he was just making conversation about what I was looking for, but as I opened my mouth to answer he carried on, saying when he was my age he “didn’t need speed dating as I could pull all the time”. I realised he was genuinely confused by why I was at this, almost like he felt it was a negative thing to go to a singles night. I would have explained my single parent status had he not gone on to talk about how amazing he was at my age- I cannot stand arrogance, so I shut off from there and just asked about his rather boring online media job and feigned interest to pass the remaining 3 minutes.

There were some good looking and mature guys in this group, but unfortunately for me they were vertically challenged- yes that makes me somewhat shallow, but I already am self-conscious about how I look, so having a guy smaller than me would just add to my already negative feelings about my weight and size!

There were a couple of guys who had stable jobs, looked cute and really listened to what I had to say as opposed to just staring at my cleavage, so this instantly made the night worth it.

I had some lovely, and sometimes deep, chats at this event and even met some lovely ladies who were a similar age to me and I got to chat to in the break.

I made a match at this event which was a nice end to the night, and there have been some text messages since then.

Overall, if you are coming back into the dating world and want a confidence boost, or just fancy having a good night out with your fellow single mates, I would totally recommend speed dating. I would never advise going to it with the hopes of meeting your soul mate, but rather as a chance to meet lots of new people, and to get some dating practice!

With the Classy and Glamorous events, you get free entry into the nightclub afterwards which is a bonus, so there’s even more chance of practising your pulling technique and possibly bagging another date!

When comparing the two events, they were both fun, but I preferred the older group as the content of our chats (apart from arrogant man) were a lot more interesting for me, and there were less men there who were in the stereotypical younger guys ‘casual dating’ mode. The downside to the older guys is that some seemed to highlight how not all older men are mature or wanting to settle down (yes arrogant man again!) but I’m sure there are also plenty of younger guys who are already in the settling down mode, thus showing me yet again that I must never assume anything.

After all as the saying goes, “When you assume, you make an ASS out of U and ME”.

I was kindly given a free ticket to each of these events by Classy and Glamorous for the purpose of this piece. No payment was received and all opinions are honest and my own.


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About Claire Jacobs

Single Parent to 2-year-old Chunk, and in my 'spare' time a Freelance Social Worker, Journalist, Copywriter, Proof reader and Sub-editor. Parent, Lifestyle and Plus Size Fashion Blogger to boot!

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