My single friends (and I, I guess) aren't looking for "men" or "women". They're looking for "guys" or "girls". Just, y'know, guys and girls aged roughly 30-40.
Is it just in my circles or is this a linguistic generational shift? It's not like I react in any way if someone uses the words "woman" or "man", but I think we more often use the more youthful equivalents.
This makes sense in a way, because our generation doesn't marry or stay married to the same extent as our parents. A partner you have who is neither your wife, husband, or fiancée is called girlfriend or boyfriend. We just don't really more "adult" words for them, so to speak. You never hear someone talk about their manfriend or womanfriend, in fact my spellchecker doesn't even recognise those words. Likewise a male friend or a female friend are distinctly set apart from boyfriend or girlfriend. They're expressions signalling that one has a friend of the opposite gender with whom one is explicitly not romantically involved.
Are women and men old compared to one self? It sometimes feels like that. Someone my age is a guy or a girl most of the time (though not always, inexplicably). A man or a woman is probably a decade older or more.
-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal