Look at how men have set their age preferences on Ok Cupid: As you can see, a man, as he gets older, searches for relatively younger and younger women.
Meanwhile his upper acceptable limit hovers only a token amount above his own age.
As you can see below, the number of online daters peaks at 24, drops sharply at around 30, and then gradually tapers off, as the remaining singletons either find mates or withdraw themselves from contention: The bar chart here shows how the ratio changes over time. In a better world, this would imply that older people don't necessarily have a harder time finding decent mates than younger ones, as the composition of the dating pool holds relatively steady from age to age.
Put another way: a 45 year-old woman shouldn't have a harder time finding a date than a 20 year-old, because the female-to-male ratios at those ages are equal (roughly 11:9).
Of course, we all know that 45 year-olds do have a much harder time, because the male fixation on youth distorts the dating pool.
Ultimately, I'll argue that they would be well-served to expand their search upwards, to women in their thirties and forties.
Because it has been a successful way to introduce previous posts, I wanted to put real faces on this demographic before I delve into a bunch of numbers.
Pictured below are some single users in their mid-thirties or early forties, taken from the first couple pages of my own local match search.
Nothing I'll talk about today pertains necessarily to any one of them, but I wanted to put forward some people to go with the statistical discussion.
As I explained a couple months ago, in Your Looks And Your Inbox the hottest girls are swamped with male attention.
They get 4× the messages as the merely "average" and up to 25× as many as women at the lower end of the spectrum.
Most importantly, their mean reply rate to any but the absolute hottest guys is a paltry 16%. As it is, men between 22 and 30—nearly two-thirds of the male dating pool—focus almost exclusively on women younger than themselves.
I'll be investigating this phenomenon today, with gusto and charts.