We figured that asking single executives to talk about their love lives would be a frustrating, probably futile pursuit. We might as well be inquiring about their mental health. So we turned to several online matchmaking sites to get the lowdown on what the lonely hearts in the executive suite secretly yearn for.
To start with, more than a third of all online daters are over 45, and 19% make more than $100,000 a year, says Web tracking firm Hitwise. Industry pioneer Match.com reports that 7% of its 8 million U.S. members call themselves executives (while the government classifies 4% of the workforce as managers).
They're more likely to be divorced (36%), have dogs (30%), and enjoy wine tastings (20%) than other singles. They tend to list their eyes as their best feature -- in marked contrast to, say, the nonexecutive singles of Grand Rapids, Mich., where the largest group (5.8%) cites their butts. Manhattan has the highest percentage of execs (29%) who find power a turn-on; Las Vegas has the biggest share (22%) who say money is. Colorado Springs has the most who are turned off by power and money.
In Washington, D.C., the women have high financial expectations: 44.3% of female executives want a match who makes more than $150,000. In Raleigh, N.C., it's the men who do: 37.2% of the male executives there want a date who rakes in that much.
Executives are sexually adventurous. True.com, a fast-growing matchmaking site, offers a sexual compatibility quiz that puts people into one of eight categories, from "traditionalists" to "mavericks." Sixteen percent of executive members are mavericks, vs. 12% overall. "They're willing to do just about anything," says True.com founder Herb Vest, "within the normal parameters."
And yes, older men want younger women. Match.com says male execs in L.A. typically seek women 13 years younger. About 25% of eHarmony.com's men over 55 are interested in women 40 or younger. That can put founder Dr. Neil Clark Warren in the awkward spot of having to explain to some men that younger women just aren't into them. "I've had men ask: 'Do they know what I'm worth?"' he says.
They can take heart: Palm Bay, Fla., has the highest percentage (7%) of women seeking bald men.
By Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles