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“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.

“He said he came straight from fishing because he lost track of the time,” Clarkson says. Marla Ottenstein (pictured), owner of Professional Organizer Florida and the writer of the , met a man who appeared to check off every requirement on her list of wants.

“He smelled like bait, then took me to a seafood restaurant. He was tall, handsome, smart, well-off, well-dressed, well-read and well-traveled.

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.

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.“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.Which explains a date Marie Schantz* had a few years ago.She met a charming, good-looking man at a speed-dating event.In fact, talk to virtually any single woman over 40 in Southwest Florida and you’ll hear a similar story: multiple women for every man, unresponsive online matches, a shallow dating pool, and, of the relatively few dateable men around, poor manners and an understanding they are a hot commodity.