People Don’t Have ‘Best Before’ Dates

March 18, 2011 Theresa Fung

I know a forty-something woman who I’ll call Bonnie. For lack of a better adjective, the best way I can describe her is simply “cool.” She’s well-educated (holds multiple degrees), has traveled and lived abroad, is smart, funny, kind, and is an interesting conversationalist. She’s also single as single can be — as in never been married. I’ve often wondered why she’s not in a relationship. I mean, if I were a guy I would probably want to date her.

bestbeforedate - The Unlocked Life

Once you’ve reached a certain age and are still single, people often start assuming there’s something wrong with you. They wonder why someone hasn’t snagged you yet. They conjure up weird ideas and scenarios like: maybe she has a freaky fetish, some painfully annoying tendencies, or is a serial killer. But to my knowledge there’s nothing wrong with Bonnie, except for the fact that she might just be a bit too nice.

People who are newly single after a divorce are not seen in the same light as those who are single and have never been married. Those in the dating game tend to view divorcees in a more favorable light as they are perceived to have more experience in relationships and were once committed enough to take a leap of faith.

Maybe It’s Them, Not You

So why is Bonnie still single? Is it possible that maybe she’s too good to be true? Unfortunately, Bonnie suffers from a combination of the “so-cool-you’re-intimidating” syndrome and plain old ageism. You would think that being accomplished as a woman would make you an attractive catch. To a certain extent this may be true, but sometimes someone’s accomplishments can make others feel inferior, so lesser people will stay away to preserve their fragile self-esteem.

Fighting ageism in the dating world is like trying to get an interesting female acting role in Hollywood past the age of 35 — it’s an uphill battle. Sure, there are the rare talents like Meryl Streep who have managed to stay relevant past their so-called “prime”, but there are loads of talented, mature actresses who are overlooked for their younger, and sometimes less talented counterparts. It’s not easy surviving in these youth-oriented playing fields (as a woman especially).

A Better Way Of Looking At Things

It’s hard not to feel bad when you are picked last; childhood memories of being selected last for team games due to my lack of athleticism still haunt me. Most people who haven’t found that special someone by a certain age start to feel bad about themselves. They begin to question if there is something genuinely wrong with them.

But unless you are delusional about your talents and what you can offer like some American Idol wannabes, maybe you should give yourself a break. A better way to look at your singledom is to not see it as a failure, but rather that you just haven’t found anyone good enough yet, or that nobody good enough has found their way to you yet.

And if you find yourself single and looking for a certain “type” of person, maybe now is a good time to re-evaluate your search criteria and decide to give that older woman or gentleman a chance.

It’s such a shame when someone like Bonnie is single. Hang in there Bonnies of the world – someday you will finally meet someone worthy of you.

APA Reference
Fung, T. (2011, March 18). People Don’t Have ‘Best Before’ Dates, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 16 from

Author: Theresa Fung

November, 25 2013 at 12:46 pm

Love ya Natasha! You rock! :)
Ye zzz perhaps..I've been asked my age,most guys guess 35-40
I'm 52 and no mid life hang ups ..I'm slim,tall,blonde ( maybe they think I'm a model,haha) let's see,I've high iQ ,funny,British background,non smoker or drinker...
Not a Mormon,love hippie stuff ya,I get it.
Why should we settle for a Wendy's burger for the interim,hmmmmm....when there could be filet mignon somewhere?
Anyway,it's a more positive spin on a sometimes touchy topic...I used to think,what if some guy thinks I'm gay?
Not that I'm against them in general,but myself / family are all like minded in that way.
Maybe they just think I look too hot & cool to be messed with!! LOL:-)
It's time we used that negative why can't I have someone too?
Energy into healing ourselves and doing creative never knows........
Common theme in ourselves seems to be we aren't good enough,let's try ..they aren't..

August, 20 2012 at 6:27 pm

I was 36 before I met my perfect match, and in all those years of searching I continually lamented that I could not find somebody who was good enough for me who I was good enough for. But it was certainly worth the wait. I could have settled for someone when I was 23, and done the wedding and the kids thing at the right time in my life - and done the divorce thing in my thirties, so who knows I might still have met the man of my dreams the second time around. Regardless, I am glad that I did wait all those years, or I might never have discovered what it was like to have a REAL relationship - with love, respect , companionship and good sex all bound up in the one person.

August, 16 2011 at 5:59 am

Why do you thnk it a shame that Bonnie and others like her are single? What a judgmental statement! Did you once ever consider the possibility that maybe Bonnie LIKES and prefers being single? Everyone doesn't have to be married or partnered in order to be considered acceptable! Your comments aren't helpful at all. From what I can see Bonnie's only problem is people like you who look at her and think she's a failure because she doesn't have someone.

Natasha Tracy
March, 19 2011 at 3:49 pm

"isn’t 30 the new 20?"
Not according to my mirror.
- Natasha

Theresa Fung
March, 19 2011 at 3:26 pm

Natasha, hopefully cool women like Bonnie and yourself will help pass the memo along about no 'best before' dates. Standards for a partner (especially flesh-clawing ones) shouldn't need to be compromised. And yes, I too would rather be alone than with the wrong person. PS - isn't 30 the new 20?

Natasha Tracy
March, 19 2011 at 8:12 am

Ah. I've reached my best before date too, so I feel for her. I'm in my 30s but, naturally, everyone I know is married, coupled and the like. I believe you when you say there's no best before date but I'm not sure others have gotten the memo.
I do have high standards for a person. Lightning standards. Flesh-clawing standards. Hard-breathing standards. I could go on. But this isn't the place.
I've been told this person doesn't exist. Which I suppose may be true. But I see no reason in bothering with someone who isn't enough. No one is better than the wrong one any day.
- Natasha

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