In Singapore, the odds are stacked against the older woman who is looking for love and marriage.
Dating agencies here are turning away older women because men, regardless of age, are mostly interested in younger and prettier women.
Men also prefer younger women because they are more likely to bear children, reported The Straits Times on Saturday.
One agency, known as Good Luck Friends Centre, told the English daily that they do not accept female members over the age of 55 unless they look a lot younger. The agency found it difficult to match them with other men.
It also only accepts women who are pleasant-looking.
Lunch Actually also does not encourage older women to sign up for their services if they think that they will be unable to find matches for the women.
Female clients in their late 30s and 40s are generally only accepted by the agencies on a case-by-case basis.
Mr Matthew Chan, co-founder of Love Express, told The Straits Times that once a woman reaches the age of 40, men no longer want to consider them as potential life partners. He also added that even men who are in their 50s want a woman below the age of 40.
Men, however, are not subjected to restrictions in age and looks. Apart from having to draw a salary of at least $3,000 a month, the only thing that men have to make sure of is their health.
Another reason could be that Singaporean women are too fussy, and therefore losing out on the game of marriage.
Sociologist Paulin Tay Straughan told the English daily that young foreign women from China and Vietnam are tying the knot with the local men who have been deemed less-than-ideal husband material by status-conscious local women.
Older women, however, are much less likely to marry a younger man. The option of a young, virile man from other countries is simply not available to them.
Women who have been divorced or widowed are also less likely to look for love again because they might be judged negatively by society for doing so. They also tend to focus more on their family and children.
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