Seems like By spending my time & energy with the "never going to be permanent guy", I'm losing opportunities to meet a man with whom I could find lasting love.

25 - agreed. But if you're in the time and space where you're NOT looking for that, it can be fun.

I do think absolute age is less important than state in life. I agree that a young person who wants (or might want) to have kids is not a match for someone who is done with that. I frankly wouldn't want to date a guy my age who had grade-school age kids. And at my age, the opposite end of things is also true - I don't want to date a guy who is on his last legs health-wise when I have great genetics and the likely prospect of a long healthy life. (My mom is 86 and still works three days a week. ) So I wouldn't likely date a guy too much older than me unless he was Jack LaLanne.