Single women ask 'Where have the good fellas gone?'

By Jane Phare

Reannan Tyson is already lamenting the man drought - and she's only 22.

The MAC make-up artist, who turns heads when she poses for a photo in Auckland's Chancery courtyard, puts it in plain language.

"There are just no guys around. There's a definite drought."

The shortage of decent men to date is one of the most popular topics among the dozen women who work with Tyson. Eighty per cent of them are single, and they have all noticed the shortage of men.

"And they're all gorgeous, they're all smart," she says.

Tyson's ideal date would be in his late 20s or 30s, smack in the middle of the worst age group for the man drought. She admits she is picky. Many New Zealand men lacked style and confidence, she said. They weren't ambitious and didn't set goals.

And what else?

"They need to have good taste in music ... and shoes. They have to have the whole package, and they rarely do."

Forty-year-old Maree, a researcher, remembers being picky in her 20s. Now she looks at women in that age group and wants to advise them, "If you find someone, go for it.

Don't muck about. Get in quick".

While Maree is now dating, she spent many years as a single woman hoping for Mr Right. The lack of eligible men was "a huge issue", she said.

"When I was young and in my 20s, I never thought I would end up like this. I always thought that finding the right person was only a couple of years away. Now I look back and wonder how I got to this point without meeting that person."

Maree and her many single girlfriends in their late 30s and early 40s have all noticed the shortage of eligible men.

"A lot of my single girlfriends are really beautiful, intelligent girls, nothing wrong with them. But they just can't find a man. [The men are] all taken or else total geeks."

Maree is currently dating a divorced man, something she had vowed she would not do when she was in her 20s.

"It's a terrible thing to say, but divorced men are a good thing. For us single older women, we'd be history if it wasn't for marriage breakups and divorced men, because there would be none there."

And foremost in many women's minds are their biological clocks. Says Maree: "Losing the chance of having children was a bigger deal for me than finding a man because I have a biological clock. I can still fall in love when I'm 50, but I can't have a child when I'm 50."

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