(Nick Galifianakis for the Washington Post)
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By Carolyn Hax
Friday, July 11, 2008

Ms. Carolyn:

I am a healthy, reasonably attractive and fit 50-year-old, single gentleman. I am often told I look like a man in his early 40s. I enjoy an excellent job and earn a comfortable income. I rarely date, but when I do, I seem to meet and date younger, attractive women. I have had no success with women near my age, and I have found many to be irritable and malcontents.

This greatly angers and offends my friends' wives, female co-workers, and my sisters and mother. I find I am the recipient of a lot of unsolicited advice and mean-spirited barbs. I expect this is middle-age female angst and jealousy, and I let it roll off me, as do most of the young ladies. I have slowly reduced my circle of friends and family to a select few as I don't need this treatment, nor do I need to explain my tastes in women. What is the best way for a gentleman to handle this behavior?

Older Gentleman Dating Attractive Younger Women

When you find the occasional middle-age woman to be a malcontent, it's probably about her attitude.

When you find the occasional attractive younger woman to be a good match, then it's probably about her suitability.

When the occasional woman gets offended because your date is young and attractive, then it's probably about her issues.

You find middle-age women to be malcontents. You generally prefer younger, attractive women. Your preferences have offended roughly every woman with whom you have professional, social and familial contact. (Do you have any female friends, by the way? Or does your contact with women fall into two categories: romantic, or unavoidable?)

You're entitled to indulge your taste in women, to offend those who disapprove and to avoid those you offend.

You're also free to say you date "rarely" -- then to cite failure with women your age, then to make reference to "most of the young ladies," which together suggest you date plenty, which arguably undercuts claims to success. It is, after all, your yarn to spin.

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