Dating – a White Man's Lament

When it comes to dating, a white, middle-aged male living in South Africa is quite royally screwed (to put it both bluntly and mildly). This realisation dawned on me more frequently as I grew older.

Some are going to hate me and even want to crucify me for what I am about to tell you, especially maybe the females reading this. But this is not an attack on any specific group or race or gender. I'm purely going to point out to you why many (if not most) older white men living in this country have little to zero chance of ever finding a meaningful relationship, let alone a soul mate.

Rather look at my explanation in the context of our country's demographics and society. I will try and make my point through the use of figures, although mostly very rough and not exactly very scientific estimates.

Of course one has to look at each person's personal circumstances, background, personality traits, interests, subjective views, how and where they grew up and all kinds of other factors when it comes to what they are looking for in a potential partner.

This is mostly referring to my OWN background, subjective views and experiences.

When looking for or choosing a partner, one will mostly and almost naturally look towards your own cultural group. And by that I do not purely mean race, but having something in common on a cultural level in general. So not necessarily just Afrikaans or English ladies, but “Western” ladies in general. This can include Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch or even Argentinian and Uruguayan women for example.

In South Africa we have a total of only around 4,5 million or 8% to 9% of the entire population who are considered white. And they are spread all over the country. Of that number around 50% are female, leaving us with roughly 2,25 million. And of them very roughly only 30% are within my age-group i.e. say 35 to 45 years of age (give or take a few years).

We are left with 675,000 women. Of these women in this age group, between 60% and 70% are married or living with a partner. Let's average it to 65%. Which now leaves us with around 35% being “single” - that is only 236,000 possible dates in the entire South Africa and spread across the country.

Now that we have a base to work from, let us start the deductions:

We have to have at least SOMETHING in common right? For my own personal deductions I will have to deduct alcoholics (a major problem in fact), drug and prescription medicine addicts, religious fanatics (another large chunk), lesbians (obviously), plain psychos and other mental instabilities, prostitutes, gold diggers, women with STDs, those with criminal records and so on. There are a 100 other things which can be either included or excluded according to each individual's own needs or likes and dislikes.

Of course I have no statistical figures available for that but let us give them the benefit of the doubt and subtract ONLY 50% from the total (although I believe that figure to be much higher to be honest just based on religious zealousness or alcoholism alone). We are now at a grand total of 118,000.

What about “natural selection” as I call it? It is a know fact for example that the intelligent want to date the intelligent, the dof the dof, homely the homely and attractive the attractive. Even the short and the short and the tall and the tall. The rich and the rich and the poor and the poor. Drinkers and drinkers and smokers and smokers. Atheists and atheists, agnostics and agnostics, Christians and Christians. This list is extremely long in fact.

What about common interests? Does she even like sports? The outdoors? Reading? Writing? Pets? Politics? What about enjoying sex or not? What if I were to deduct compulsive shoppers, those who are irresponsible with money, those who watch soapies all day, those who hate men, those who support hunting of lions, those who are complete materialists? What about the physically and terminally ill? What about the severely handicapped? And nothing against them, but will it be your natural first choice?

And of course my own personality traits, looks, education, history, politics and ambitions etc etc will again matter to the prospective lady right? I might be a "bad boy" with a temper and high sex-drive? Cancelling me again from her own personal list.

Let us deduct another 50% as a very rough estimate, which leaves us with around 59,000 “available” ladies scattered all over the country.

Then finally, at my ripe age of 44, there are very very few women who do not have children already. I have found that many of these single ladies are in fact actually more looking for some form of security than looking for actual love. Their children will always come first and your relationship will always be secondary. In contrast to young lovers where love is everything and children come later.

What about an ex husband or lover always being in the picture because of the children? How complicated is that and how much stress will that place on a relationship? Imagine the ex coming over for weekends to visit or pick up the kids? What about their fights regarding maintenance? What about his personal jealousy knowing his ex wife has a new man in her life? What about the kids and what they think of you? Are you intruding on hallowed ground and seen as trying to replace their daddy?

This is becoming very complicated indeed.

So I will again be very generous and deduct only 50% from our original 59,000 ladies which now leaves us with 30,000 (probably much less) in the entire South Africa. The chances of finding a female in that age group who never had children is pretty much zero. Just as you will not find a virgin. But some may have kids who are already leaving home and becoming independent, or some may not have an ex in the picture at all – thus this generous figure.

That total of 30,000 barely fills half a stadium. Representing a percentage of the country's total population so small that my calculator does not want to meaningfully calculate it for me – somewhere around 0,001% - And they are scattered all over the country. So I will make another rough estimate of maybe 30 available and possibly “compatible” ladies in my entire city where I live (based on my city's demographics).

Now – how to find those 30 ladies amongst roughly 4 million people? That needle in a haystack? The enormous void we call the internet?

Most people meet their dates either through socialising with friends or through those at their place of employment. Remember that I am not referring to the youth who has the added bonus of university or college to boost their social lives. My friends are all married and so are their friends, which leaves me with a blank there. I work from home so I do not have a social life in terms of my job. Another blank.

This leaves me with the internet and dating sites – a long and wild shot. Which I actually tried at some stage and unfortunately the results were disappointing. I actually met one lady which seemed to be a very good prospect at one stage. We had almost a year of communicating through the internet, emails, SMSs and even over the phone before we actually met for a coffee and dinner.

But the internet is a very deceiving world. Even after communicating for a year, I never got to know the “real” person behind all the electronic communications. When we finally did meet, this sweet lady turned out to be an utter nut-case. Simple as that. Nothing replaces physical encounters.

Yes, my figures and statistics are admittedly not very scientific or accurate. But even with a large percentage worked in as completely erroneous, the figures still make for depressing reading...

...if you are a single white man between 35 and 45 living in South Africa.

And OF COURSE there will be single white males who for example would have no qualms with dating anybody of our roughly 54 million population. Who would gladly date a male or female, black or white, 18 or 80 years old, who is a pill-popping, coke-snorting, kitten-killing alcoholic with psychosis and schizophrenia and who regularly attends church with her 7 children after working the strip on a Saturday evening or breaking up bar brawls in her free time. I am not saying these men do not exist. It is just not for me personally.

More seriously – if you are extremely liberal in terms of race, work at a large company, are quite religious, do not mind raising another man's children, make big money and enjoy your alcohol – then your pool is of course vastly bigger than my own.

I never married and never had children. And admittedly people will wonder whether there is not something wrong with me then? Well, maybe. It is all very subjective is it not? Maybe it was just my life which took me wherever. Pure fate. Of course I had women in my life, but circumstances took us in different directions. Yet now, at this stage of my life, it remains a fact that I will probably not ever meet somebody as a soul mate and will never have children. Somehow I missed the bus without realising it in time.

Others say I am too picky. Even that “beggars can't be choosers” (which I find a bit insulting actually). But does one not have a right to be picky when looking for a soul mate or partner? Do you want all your emotional input, happiness, sacrifices and love to simply fall apart after just a few months? This is not grocery shopping. It is a potential life-altering event.

Many people leave their children as a “footprint” on this planet for when they are one day not here anymore. A kind of legacy. I cannot leave such a legacy. I can only focus on maybe writing a book for example and leaving it behind as my personal footprint.

Some who know me call me negative and a pessimist. I disagree. I see myself as a realist. And do not forget that time waits for nobody. Every second which ticks by makes us just that little bit older and brings us just that little closer to the conclusion of our lives.

In all honesty – when reflecting on this I find myself wishing I lived in Europe, the USA, Canada or even South America. There the statistics and availability of single women within my specific culture or subjective “needs”would be vastly different. But I was born and stuck in South Africa, cannot emigrate and nothing will ever change my situation except maybe pure luck.

Here's to the single, white, middle-aged males living in South Africa. I sympathise with you bro and wish you all the best.