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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.

“They don’t want to buy someone another house, another car.” “The people they’re meeting are not serious about a relationship,” L’Heureux says.

“There are a lot of players out there that are not serious—are not relationship material.” And then there’s the elephant in the room: Many single men are looking for younger women.

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.

The same can be said for Stephanie Rogers*, a 50-year-old philanthropist who’s been divorced for several years and struggles to find local men of any caliber who hold her interest. So the truth is we don’t really know just how many single men there really are in Southwest Florida—could be hundreds of thousands or, as Clarkson says, “there are 15.” But even if the lack of actual single men isn’t a problem, the lack of “qualified” men certainly is.

Let’s face it: Many single women in this area are in a financially secure place; they’ve either made money on their own, been left it by a deceased spouse, or married well and divorced better.

“I actually went out with him a total of three times because I thought I was missing something.

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.

They were enjoying a lovely first date, finished dinner and decided to keep the night going with drinks at a nearby bar.

Within minutes another woman came up to her date to say “hi” and introduced herself to Schantz.

The man got a bit awkward but kept the date going, but the woman never left them.

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