A dating agency boss has revealed that Irish men have unrealistic expectations of their potential matches, and that 75% of male applicants have to be turned away from the site.
Many applicants believe they are suited to a woman 20 years younger than them, because they ‘have land’.
This out-of-date perception is causing problems for the dating agency with them feeling they need to lower expectations early in order to save on disappointment further down the road.
Rena Maycock co-founded intro.ie with her husband Feargal Harrington. They have so far matched over 3,000 couples in Ireland.
However, Maycock decided to go public to warn male applicants that they need a ‘reality check’ when they apply. She told the Irish Independent: “There are guys in their 50s and 60s coming to us looking for a woman 20 years younger and we have to tell them there is absolutely no circumstances that dream is going to happen, but maybe we could look at someone five or 10 years younger.
“Quite a few guys are in competition with their friends. It’s not talked about, but it is at a subconscious level. They want to be seen as successful in all areas of their lives. They have the career, the trappings and they want an attractive young lady on their arm to finish this off. A younger woman is proof they are still young and relevant.
“They want to inspire a little bit of envy in their friends, so their mates can say ‘God, he’s done well for himself, I want what he has’.”
Maycock explained that a 65-year-old farmer had hoped to be paired with a younger woman after seeing a neighbour in his 50s marry a woman in her 30s.
“He thought that was the norm, but we had to tell him that was the exception rather than the rule,” said Ms Maycock.
“He thought because he had land, it would be no problem. But women have their own careers these days, they are very well educated. They are not looking for money. They are looking for companionship and fun and someone who can keep them on their toes.”
The agency has had to turn away 75% of its male applicants recently after they couldn’t understand that they were being unrealistic.
Maycock also explained that the agency gets plenty of males in their late 30s through the door, who have enjoyed living the bachelor life until they realise all their friends have settled down around them.
“Men also have a biological clock. They have spent years enjoying life, partying, going on the skiing holiday with 18 of the lads every year and now all of a sudden they are saying ‘I’ve been invited to seven or eight weddings in the last year and I’ve no wing man to go out with anymore’.
However, these men are also ‘obsessed with age’ according to Maycock: “Generally we find that the age of a woman doesn’t matter until the guy gets past 36 or 37, he gets obsessed with age.
“It’s about trying to get everyone to meet in the middle. But certainly by far the number one problem we have when matching people is ‘great expectations’.”