Ring Before Degree?
Are there any smart men out there left to marry? According to divorced Princtonian Susan Patton – they aren’t. She penned an article for the Wall Street Journal last week explaining that all the good smart men are found in college. She advises women to first focus on finding a good partner in marriage and then a career. What do you think? While a lot of her tips are archaic I do see some truth in her statements.
The Waiting Game: Most recent graduates are not counting down the minutes til they get a ring – myself included. We date for fun, we focus on our careers and feel confident we’ll find our partners… when the time is right. However many women date around too long. They wait for “the one” to make an appearance until they wake up at 35 wondering if he knocked on the wrong door. I agree with Susan in this department. You can’t keep making the same wrong choices when it comes to men. Would you do this with your career? Would you take a gamble on a job that had different values, you weren’t passionate about and couldn’t see yourself staying at for more than a year? Then why repeat these patterns with men?
Are you the same person in college: I’m not sure about you but I have grown so much as a person from where I was on graduation day. I was not mature enough to find a partner to spend the rest of my life and I bet most of my graduating class would agree with me. I’ve learned so much about the world and myself via being independent and creating experiences on my own. The boys I was interested in college are far different than the men I am interested in today.
Declining Dating Pool: Point one for Susan. I do agree with her that as the years go by the dating pool seems to go from Ocean to Lake to pond. Why does this happen? In part because people are starting to get paired off but also because women start to make wiser choices and no longer are dating just to date. Women are dating smarter.
Wage Debate: Susan Patton claims that men are too masculine to earn less money in a relationship. How exactly does she know those to be true of all men? Well… she doesn’t. For example, if you get married fresh out of college and the women’s career flourishes and she begins to make more money– what then? Would her husband turn against her and honestly leave the relationship? If he did then they clearly were never a good match to begin with. Let’s face it, most females have been fed the old fairytale of powerful husbands bringing home the bacon while we sit at home and cook it. Fast-forward 50 years and you’ll see that fairytale is outdated. Bottom line: Real life isn’t black and white. You are going to go through many ups and downs when it comes to salary and career. You can’t use it as a bargaining chip when it comes to marriage. Wouldn’t you rather have a spouse who was able to take care of you other ways besides solely financially?
Smarty Pants: Another accusation Susan makes comes to finding your intellectual equal. How exactly do you go about measuring this? Do you play 10 games of Jeopardy and see if you win half the time? Or give a date an IQ test before the waiter hands you a menu. A former beau of mine actually had me take a personality test to see if we were emotionally compatible. That sure was my red flag moment considering it was date numero three. Rather than focusing on “smarts” you should focus on interests. Do you have a shared curiosity about the world, book worms, sport fans, philanthropists; world travelers…get the point? Having shared common interests weighs much more greatly than a standard IQ test. Who cares about Ibsen’s literary notes? Your spouse can simply Google the prose if he gets “lost” in a literary dinner party conversation.