What Does It Mean When a Woman ‘Hits the Wall?’

The first time I heard of the concept of a person ‘hitting the wall,’ it was during an interview I was listening to years ago.  The discussion was about that point in a professional athlete’s career where he or she can no longer compete with other athletes that are 5, 10, or 15+ years younger than them.  For example, an NBA basketball player or an NFL football player that knows he is a few weeks, a few months, or maybe no more than a year or two away from being forced to retire from their beloved sport.  This usually happens to many male and female athletes when they are somewhere between 35 and 40 years of age.

As it relates to women, and dating and relationships, the first time I remember hearing that same phrase used was in 1999 or 2000 while I was living in Los Angeles and I heard a popular radio personality by the name of Tom Leykis discussing the plight of middle-aged and older (single) women in today’s dating scene.  Leykis said something along the lines of (paraphrasing a bit), “There is no period in a (single) woman’s life that is more depressing than when she ‘hits the wall’ … that moment when she consciously realizes that she is too old to trade her looks and sexual companionship with men for an upgrade in her lifestyle or access to a man’s financial resources and material possessions.”

When I was hosting my popular talk radio podcast program on BlogTalkRadio titled, Upfront & Straightforward, I once interviewed this guest from Connecticut named Steve Penner.  At one point in the conversation, Penner made mention that the most romantically and sexually frustrated women that he had crossed paths with were women who were roughly 40 years of age and older.  More specifically, Penner said that women who were considered ‘drop dead gorgeous’ and/or ‘extremely sexy’ when they were younger (say, between 18 and 35) had a very difficult time adjusting to the fact that their attention and companionship was no longer sought after by dozens of men because of the fact that their looks were beginning to fade as well as their sense of sex appeal.

The main reason why getting older is much more devastating for single heterosexual women than it is for most single heterosexual men is that women have always been primarily evaluated by men on two major criteria:  1) their looks and sex appeal, and 2) their ability to give birth to healthy children as well as their ability to indefinitely nurture and help raise those children.

In a nutshell, anytime a woman reaches a point where she no longer has dozens of single men (or even hundreds or thousands of men) competing with each other for her romantic and/or sexual companionship, this represents that unfortunate period in a woman’s life where she either a) has already ‘hit the wall,’ or at minimum, b) she is very much on the verge of ‘hitting the wall.’


As I alluded up to this point, the most major factor that contributes to a woman ‘hitting the wall’ would be simply her age.  As the aforementioned Tom Leykis has said many times on his radio show, “Men age like fine wine … but most women age like milk.”  I would not say that is a valid statement for ALL women, but it is definitely a valid assessment for a good number of them.  Some women begin to show signs of aging as young as when they are between 30 and 34 (usually if they drink alcoholic beverages a lot and/or use drugs), while other women do not begin to show conspicuous signs of aging until they are somewhere between 55 and 59.  If I had to pick an ‘average’ age range that most women’s looks and sex appeal begin to fade and fade fast, it would probably be sometime between their 45th birthday and their 50th birthday.

I read a statistic a couple of years ago that said the highest number of suicides for women happens to women who are between roughly 45 and 59.  I do not think this is by accident.  This is why most women hope to snatch up a man to be their husband before they reach 40.  Very few women want to be lonely and without romantic companionship when they are past the age of 40.

Some women may argue that men’s looks and sex appeal also fades with each year that they advance past the age of 40, but the realistic fact of the matter is, men are not primarily evaluated by their looks and physical sex appeal in the same way that women are (men are usually more so evaluated by their degree of career success and financial success as well as their overall sense of self-confidence and masculinity).   Secondly, most men can impregnate a woman well into their forties, fifties, sixties, or even older.


Next to the older age factor, the second major factor that contributes to a woman ‘hitting the wall’ would be added weight.  Five, ten, or fifteen added pounds?  No problem.  Twenty, twenty-five, or thirty pounds of added weight?  Many men (especially Black men) will tolerate the extra meat.  Thirty-five pounds of added weight or more?  Okay, now we have a problem.  If a woman is 35 or more pounds above her ‘ideal’ weight, then that means that a woman has transitioned from being ‘thick,’ ‘chunky,’ or ‘heavyset’ to being flat-out fat or obese.

No woman should ever allow herself to become significantly overweight while she is still single, unattached, and actively in the market to find a husband or long-term male companion.  If a woman is going to ‘let herself go,’ she should at least make sure that she keeps herself in tip top shape until AFTER she has been married for a few years.  Exceptions aside, most men simply are not attracted to women who are fat or obese.  Thick?  Sure.  Chunky?  Probably.  Heavyset? Maybe.  Fat or obese?  Highly unlikely.


The worst ‘trifecta’ a woman can experience in her personal life and social life is to be old, significantly overweight, with two or more children that she gave birth to outside the context of marriage.  If any woman is looking to attract an eligible bachelor who is handsome, intelligent, educated, and wealthy or financially self-sufficient, she is in for a tough challenge.

Many men – particularly, men who have no children themselves – are extremely reluctant to date or marry women who already have two or more children by other men.  If the woman gave birth to the children within the context of a former marriage, many men will give her a ‘pass,’ but if the children were born out of wedlock, this is usually a huge ‘red flag’ for many single heterosexual men who are 40 years of age or older who have never been married and have no children of their own.

For more insight into how women’s age affects their pursuit of Alpha males vs. Beta males, please look into listening to my popular audiobook, The Beta Male Revolution:  Why Many Men Have Totally Lost Interest in Marriage in Today’s Society.

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About Alan Roger Currie 91 Articles
Alan Roger Currie is the author of a number of eBooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks, and is best known for the ground-breaking best-seller "Mode One: Let the Women Know What You're REALLY Thinking"; Currie is also a professional Men's Dating Coach who has worked with clients all over the world, and has conducted speaking engagements and workshops in many cities both in the U.S. and internationally. Contact him at coaching@modeone.net