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From using online sites to being fixed up by friends to even hiring a professional matchmaker, Eddy has gone above and beyond to find what she’s looking for—to no avail.

Having been widowed more than 10 years ago, Eddy has begun to be proactive in looking for a significant other.

Then again, her bar might have been set low when she discovered at least one of her former dates could be found on the website dontdatehimgirl.com, a website that serves as a warning to others. She wants an actual man who plans dates and picks up the phone and brings flowers. “To start a new life after death, divorce, end-of-life parenting—and we’re all searching for that right fit.

I couldn’t believe somebody could be this boring.” It turns out they can—in part because they don’t have to put out much effort.

Seems things on the other side of the chromosome find a dating pool that’s much deeper.

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.

“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.

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“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.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.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.“They don’t call when they say they will, they don’t plan ahead when you actually do get a date, and they don’t seem to own a real shirt anymore.Apparently you move to Florida and all you can have in your closet is T-shirts and polos.” She actually had one suitor show up to their first date 20 minutes late wearing a filthy Hooter’s shirt. ” Things could have been worse: He could have seemed perfect from the start.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.

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