Dating Over 40: The Problem with Mr. Twinkle Eye

The Charmer
The Charmer

Recently, one of my over 40 dating coaching clients was explaining the type of guy she is looking for. This woman who is 51, successful, bright, energetic and friendly, wants a man with some passion and that certain something she can only describe as “a twinkle in his eye.”

As a dating coach , I hear things like this all the time. Certain descriptors are like neon flashing lights to me because I’ve heard them so many times. As a result, I ‘ve sort of caught on to a few things and “twinkle” definitely has a specific meaning.

I asked Suzanne how she feels about George Clooney. Does George have the twinkle she’s seeking? Suzanne replied “Oh yes – he ‘s got it!”

Just today, my client Bethany told me about a new guy she had a date with. “He’s just my type, edgy, successful and has a twinkle in his eye.” I’m not kidding. This twinkle thing is showing up all over the place, virulent and spreading like the blight that killed elm trees so many years ago. However, this blight is infecting over 40 dating, keeping many women unhappily single.

Bethany agreed with the George Clooney example. She went on to explain the “twinkling” details that suck her in over and over again. “Mark has energy, passion about his work, a brilliant mind and is so charming. Yet, he is aloof, emotionally unavailable, and hasn’t called me for a second date yet. I’m tired of men who behave this way.”

I shocked Bethany with my next comment. “Did you know that a charming man with a twinkle in his eye will always be a package deal with aloof and unavailable?”  Bethany started thinking back on all the twinkling eyes she’s met and was totally taken aback. She couldn’t believe she had never put those two things together before.

If you are holding out for the George Clooney type, beware of what you really seek – a bad boy who is most likely unattainable. For whatever reason, people often want what they can’t have – it’s that much more desirable.

I suggested to both dating coaching clients that they consider other types of qualities in a man. What else could make them happy? What other personality traits would be attractive? I asked them to give this some serious thought because for them, a healthy love life depends on this discovery.

In addition, I pointed out to each woman that if she wanted to avoid wasting time with the wrong man, she may want to notice if the guy she’s dating or hoping to click with is”twinkle-icious.”  If either one answers “yes”, she better start paying attention to red flags that crop up. Get very clear that Mr. Twinkle eye is not Mr. Right for you.

For any woman reading this blog post who insists on a certain type of guy, twinkle or not, I highly recommend expanding your idea of what will work for you. When a client calls me and says,”I’m dating this guy who is so different than most of the men I’ve dated.” I know something wonderful is about to happen! It’s a sure thing almost every time I get that call.

Break out of your narrow Mr. Right definition and expand your world to include men who are emotionally available and relationship ready, even if they don’t have the “twinkle.” Your love life and romantic future are hanging in the balance.

photo credit – interplast

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony,, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

3 thoughts on “Dating Over 40: The Problem with Mr. Twinkle Eye”

  1. Ronnie-maybe because i work in finance in NY and most of my friends are in finance, but all the men I meet want a women 10-20 years their junior. They guys I work with tell me this all the time and it’s demoralizing. To make matters worse, i signed up with a dating service (actually two in succession) and the consultants there were telling me the same thing. The first service (I found out later) was owned by a former finance guy and seemed to set up the guys on a multiple of dates to each of mine (or were frineds of his who got dates for free) and none of them clicked. They did not seem genuinely interested in getting to know me-the dates were like interviews and although i am over 5’7″ and a size 10, they thought I was “heavy”. I frankly did not find any of them very attractive, at best they were average and some were quite homely. I have been considered very attractive and called beautiful by the men I have dated in the past and am fit, active, well educated with a very good job.
    The second service took my money knowing i wanted to meet someone within 30 or so minutes from me, but really had no clientele in westchester county at all-it was a disaster and only resulted in one date (it was supposed to be 6)-a short, unattractive doctor. Apparently (according to the dating services) money is supposed to make up for anything else lacking in these dates.

    In short, I am in my late forties now and have, as i see you advise, taken a break from dating and although I am content in many ways and have a social life around my summer club, singles events and friends and family, true love seems to elude me.

    I have had men tell me i am hot and want to sleep with me (on the second date) but in the interest of “full disclosure” are looking for a younger women to start a family with so with me it will just be “fun”. I have had guys who are still living with their soon to be exes want to date. I am conservative and have strong morals and needless to say passed on these but all of these events I have to say hurt and i feel discouraged-that i am not likely to meet true love.

    Please advise. i truly would like a meaningful committed relationship with a well-educated, kind, attractive, principled man in the very bear future.

    • Patty,
      I’m sorry to hear of your disappointments and understand why you feel discouraged. Many matchmaking services are not as honest as they could be regarding their “inventory.” But in their defense, they cannot control what the men want. Professionals like the Patti Stanger – The Millionnaire Matchmkaer try to steer the men back to reality for their own success, but it only goes so far.

      I hope you can start to feel better that all those unattractive finance guys probably don’t get many second dates with those young, hot women. Money is not everything as you have stated.

      But there is hope for you yet! Do not give up. Taking a break is smart, but then if you want to find love – you’ll need to get back out there. Obviously I don’t have all the facts, but my bet is that you are not meeting enough men. Forget those losers who want a younger women – plenty of guys who are older tahn you and younger too want a woman your age. If you haven’t found any yet, you haven’t met enough men.

      Do what you can to get out there at least once a week. Smile and be friendly. Don’t tell those tales of woe about dating to any guys you meet. Do your best to be approachable and look like you are having fun – flirt and you will meet men. There is an endless supply of men – make it your business to meet them!

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