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Luckily, OKCupid's data is much more optimistic than my friend Chelsea.
Data scientist Dale Markowitz wrote via email, "When it comes to receiving quality messages on Ok Cupid (that is, first messages that turn into conversations), there is no penalty to being 40 or over.
My friend Brooke, who is a similarly fresh-faced 40-year-old, divulged over Gchat, "I joined OKCupid [when I was 39] and actually had to quit because I was INUNDATED by men in their 20s — though I put an age range and that is well below it. And can teach their useless baby bodies what to do?
They were like 'Would you consider a guy below your age range? " While I have encountered a few boychiks who are curious about bedding older ladies and nothing more, my inbox hasn't been a total waste of space.
How dare they reject me before I could reject them! Whether they were the ancient ads I helped beta test as an intern or the old standby OKCupid, I'd invest time and energy into meeting men I wouldn't otherwise come across in my day-to-day life (read: freelancing at home, usually pantless).
Some are people whose social circles overlapped with mine but whom I'd never have otherwise met; whose emails wake me up at 5 a.m.
It has generally been rote and fruitless, with occasional flurries of excitement, but for someone who makes their living with words, I've had a weirdly difficult time wooing dudes with them.
Still, the day after I turned 40, I decided to fire up an old profile and see what happened.
"Now that I'm 31, I realize that I just liked WOMEN.
My current girlfriend is four years older than me, but I definitely see her as my equal.