Hi Patrick! If I may.... I've read all the posts in this thread. I in no way mean to speak for you. With that said, what I gathered from your posts is that you are concerned for your friend's "lifestyle" decision. Going the way of his relatively same-age girlfriend denotes one lifestyle choice - marrying into a premade family without the probability of having biological children of his own. If he goes the other way, he would be making the lifestyle choice of a more traditional family - one mom, one dad, and biological or adopted children of their own. You want to be certain, for him, that he is making the right one because in a Catholic marriage it is supposed to be until death do us part.
Actually, I think you are a good friend for contemplating this on his behalf, especially if he asks you for advice down the road. It's good that you are pondering this for yourself, as well, as you are getting a little older yourself. I also understand the posts of the women. There are many reasons to reject a person - I won't even attempt to list them here. Unfortunately, alot of us more mature ladies can feel rejected for our age. Sometimes, we feel we can't "compete" with the younger women - on a variety of levels and too many and different to list here - one of them, though, is definitely biological. Yet, we still have so much to give to the right man in a loving relationship!
My theater arts instructor lives here in the US six months out of the year; she lives in Italy the other six months. She told me that what bothers her the most about being in the US is that, as an older woman, she feels invisible. That's not the case in Europe. Women are still considered valuable, worthwhile, sexy, and I could go on.... Women, no matter what their age, still want to feel desireable to a man (and not just for friendship!) Best, Chelle
Your last paragraph hits on what I have been saying for years.. Older women here do feel invisible.. They feel unwanted and by that undesirable.. I see it everyday on here..