As a man: Girls soon out of time
Women have such a short time to organise their romantic and reproductive lives that, even as a man observing them going through the stages, it is frightening. For those who want to have children and a stable male partner to go with the young 'uns, the race against time and gender expectations is over one way or the other well before they reach 30 years old. After that, it is second chances - and very few, at that.
As for those who want to start out in their mid-30s to early 40s, after setting the career department in order, it is a matter of snagging a man on his second chance as a divorcee, widower or separated from a long-term lady. Any way it goes, there is baggage attached, so it is a matter of how much you can bear. Unless, of course, they cougar it out, but the prey does grow up and the cougar does lose its snap.
But back to the other end of the women's age spectrum. The change from child to 'mummy' (a term of respect that has little to do with actual child-bearing, which so many women take as a sign that they are over the hill) is rapid and irreversible. For those who wish to be mummy in the actual sense, with a decent enough father to go along with it, the race is on almost from the time they are preparing for the first set of secondary-level examinations.
The problem is, there is a gender imbalance. For while the girls and boys are in the mating dance, the little ladies take it much more seriously much more quickly. Hence, the rapidity with which they fall in love, the rapidity with which so many young men change out the lasses, the tendency for quite a few younger women to find themselves a 'big man' who can spend money on - if not much time with - them.
The pairings are sorted out soon enough, and when the men and women mating chairs are sorted out among a particular generation, it is generally the women who are left without a seat. Rough, but a so it go.
Maybe as a man looking on, I am reading the situation in binaries and there are infinite measurements in between zero man and a one man of her own (for those who desire such a set-up), points at which women are comfortable with - or maybe they settle for. But from what I have observed, I think I am on the right track.
As I result, I am amused by the antics of some young girls who seem to think that the attention they are getting from men at that stage in their life is all genuine and lasting. Today's fresh flesh can very easily be tomorrow's used and discarded. At the same time, ... to clarify - I do not better OK askance - ... at young women who go through a number of male partners in a short period of time. It is a part of the search, and it is far better to move in early than to go into the 30s unhappy.
From there, it is a short skip to 50s and later years. And while a man in his 50s with a little cash can always find a young gal to hook up with, it just ain't the same for women. For those who have limited time, a lot must be done with it.
Go, young girl, go.