Let's face it- most of the "rules” for dating from the preceding decades have been thrown out the window. They're about as up-to-date as leisure suits and 8-tracks. Some rules simply faded away, while others rode the coattails of broader societal changes over time. One such stereotype was that men wanted to date women younger than themselves, and women wanted to date men older than themselves. The likely cause for this trend stemmed from women wanting to date men who were mature and financially stable, while men sought women who were unquestionably more fertile.

Things, however, are changing. We are now living in an era where a woman is on the cusp (potentially) of becoming the President of the United States, (a feat already accomplished in Canada). An era where many women are putting off marriage and motherhood in order to build a career and attain financial stability for themselves. An era where being a stay at home dad is no longer a punchline but more often a practicality. It goes without saying that peoples' attitudes have shifted in accordance to these changes.

One of the most enlightening things I discovered when I began working in the professional matchmaking field was to what extent these stereotypes have shifted. I imagined that upon meeting with members to discuss their dating preferences and parameters I would invariably run into the stereotypical attitudes. This was generally not the case, however. Gone is the stigma of an older woman dating a younger man, and vice versa. Most single people were more interested in meeting someone with whom they shared similar lifestyles, energy, goals and values, rather than someone who was of a specific age. For most of these members, I learned that, "age was a state of mind". Both our female and male clients were open to meeting potential matches who were several years younger or older than themselves. What they were seeking above all was a genuine connection, with a partner that was emotionally available and open to a great relationship.

-MS, IJL Coordinator

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