The man got a bit awkward but kept the date going, but the woman never left them.“It turns out he had met—and slept with—this other woman the night before,” Schantz says.never be another man in my life,” says Paulette Fischer*, a 73-year-old Chicago transplant who now calls Sanibel home. I know I adore Southern men.” But her story isn’t an anomaly. “Let’s just say the singles scene seems to suck for ladies my age, as we women are 4-to-1 to men,” says Michele Eddy, with a laugh. Maybe I should be matching people geographically first.In fact, talk to virtually any single woman over 40 in Southwest Florida and you’ll hear a similar story: multiple women for every man, unresponsive online matches, a shallow dating pool, and, of the relatively few dateable men around, poor manners and an understanding they are a hot commodity.“They feel like they don’t really need to put any work in,” says Catherine Clarkson*, a 58-year-old divorcée who’s lived in Naples since 2010.In fact, it’s L’Heureux’s job to find her clients just the right match painlessly and without all the drama. For her art, Simmons has had some luck with Selective Search and Millionaire Match.com, another matchmaking service, and though neither connected her with the man of her dreams, they did match her with suitable men she was interested in. “I’m actively dating—but I’m not searching,” Ottenstein says. You’ve got to tell people because a lot of times people don’t know. I’m someone who’s focused and goes for the brass ring.“I do encourage women to get involved with some of these more upscale dating services,” Simmons says. A lot of times people will assume that I’m too busy, but I’d love to meet that special someone.” But not just anybody. But I think a lot of men in Southwest Florida don’t know what they want. I think Southwest Florida has become a place where people come to heal,” Ottenstein says.
I hear that from a lot of men: ‘My wife didn’t want to.’ Whether that was go here, play golf, go boating, travel, whatever.” But while the mystery of why men would be interested in younger women has some perplexed, others, such as the matchmaker L’Heureux, recognize there are still some good ones out there.Many have grown accustomed to getting what they want when they want it and aren’t about to settle now. Singles in the area are overwhelmed by couples, making their situation seem all the more, shall we say, desperate? “When you speak to women they may think that that’s true,” says Debra L’Heureux of My Top Matchmaker matchmaking service. It’s just that the gentlemen are on the golf course or playing tennis or boating and they’re just not coming in contact with the right gentlemen.” Well, that sounds reasonable.As a well-heeled bon vivant, Eddy meets plenty of men, but so far none have had that adventurous spirit she’s looking for. Statistics show that the ratio of women to men in Lee and Collier counties is approximately 51 to 49 percent. And those statistics don’t break down single women of a certain age to their male counterparts.“So, it was our first date and their second.” And while that seems to suggest the women of Southwest Florida should lower their expectations, the opposite is true. If you don’t have time to call me, you don’t have time for a relationship,” she says.“Men don’t have to pursue women anymore because women are chasing them all over the place,” says Joanna Simmons*, a 60-year-old widow who moved to the area seven years ago from Michigan and bemoans the use of texting in the dating arena. But while the phrase “Beggars can’t be choosers” rolls off the tongue easily, the women of Southwest Florida are definitely not beggars. Worse yet, Naples is a very married town.” And there’s the rub.