For the past 12 years, Robert Darling, a 58-year old unemployed man from New jersey, has been traveling to Manhattan in search of a life companion. To make it easier for women to notice him, he carries a sandwich board which reads “Looking for a rich lady to be my wife”, along with his phone number and email.
Robert Darling has never had much luck with the ladies. He has never been in a serious relationship, and never realized he wanted someone to spend the rest of his life with until his middle age. And because he got such a late start in his quest for love, he decided extreme measures were necessary to find a suitable companion. Ever since 2001, Robert has been traveling to Manhattan twice a week to advertise himself to potential wives using a sandwich board. It might sound like a joke o a lot of people, but the lonely bachelor says that every time he leaves home he tells himself that could be the day he finally meets the woman he will settle down with. The sign is pretty clear about his intentions, but so far it hasn’t worked quite as well as he would have hoped. Many women have stopped to have a talk with Darling or have their picture taken with him, but he has been on a single date, and that was with a woman who actually wanted him to marry a friend of hers so she could get a green card.
The Manhattan wife-seeker has a full set of hair, a fine physique for a man in his late fifties and claims he is “intelligent, almost brilliant” as well as a great conversationalist. So why hasn’t he found anybody yet? The fact that he’s walking around with a sign declaring his intentions to find a wife certainly isn’t helping, although he is convinced it’s better than sitting around and waiting for love to find him, but it might also have something to do with the fact that he’s looking for someone rich enough to take care of him. Robert has been unemployed for about nine months and can barely afford to support himself, let alone take his wife to concerts and museums, as he would like to. So the bachelorette interested in becoming his life companion must have a net worth of at least $750,000. That’s not an astronomical figure for Manhattan, and he’s even willing to consider “ladies not yet rich but very well off”. I’d say that’s very lenient of him. Apart from their good financial status, prospective wives should be smart, able to make him laugh and enjoy listening to the band Genesis.
Photo: Robin Brouillette
Undeterred by the lack of success in the last 12 years, Robert Darling doesn’t plan on hanging up his sandwich board anytime soon. He considered himself a very patient man and he is certain it’s just a matter of time until he finally finds the right woman. Asked why he spends most of his time in the Upper East Side, he quotes the Depression-era bank-robber Willie Sutton: “That’s where the money is.”
Before you dial the number in the photos, you should know Robert ran out of money to pay for it and had to replace it with a new one. The email is still good though.