Before you admit the attentions of a gentleman who wishes to pay you his addresses, very carefully examine your respective tastes and dispositions; and settle in your own mind what are the most important requisites of happiness in a married state. With this view, you must enter upon the consideration of the subject with a calm and decisive spirit, which will enable you to see where your true happiness lies, and to pursue it with determined resolution – Martine’s Handbook to Etiquette and Guide to True Politeness, Arthur Martine, Dick & Fitzgerald Publishers, 1866.
Welcome to the Information Age where education is freely available to all through Google University and the dating pool now extends to the whole world. Dating sites bring the credentials of potential dates to your keyboard and the forum to interact from the safety of your own home. So why does it seem to be harder than ever before to find a partner?
At least that’s how it appears to me.
I have a confession to make. I have never dated in the Information Age. I met the Italian Stallion almost three decades ago, at an age when the closest we came to a computer was through the Casio calculators in our backpacks. That said, I have listened to the laments of many a woman in their thirties and older as to how hard it is to find a good man.
Let me tell you, men. I’m on your side.
I’m on your side, because I think these women are looking for partner perfection. They probably have a better chance of finding a unicorn.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with standards or having high standards. Neither should a woman have to settle. But the attributes and characteristics of this perfectly baked partner seems a little endless and unrealistic. The perfect candidate seems to be:
- financially stable,
- knows where he is going,
- is a gentlemen and a romantic,
- dresses well and is well presented,
- carries no baggage,
- is intelligent, and
- tells great jokes and is so confident in his own skin he asks for directions.
OK, I made the last one up, but you get the drift.
As a long time married woman who has been let in on the secret that marriage is not easy, takes work and there will be times when either or both of you are less than perfect, this list resembles a whole lot of bucket. As a mother of sons it elicits a yikes!
The reality is you create a life together and settling down with one person is not without risk. The above attributes do not guarantee happiness nor a happily ever after.
Just looking at the list, I can’t help thinking that perhaps the notion of commitment is scarier now. Bad relationship bust up stories abound and tend to drown out the successes and perhaps with more women making their own fortunes the financial stakes are higher. Does the list get longer as women’s feet get colder?
Guys tend to be able to get away with not wanting to commitment. On the other hand perfection for many women is being partnered.
Seeking an understanding and authentic partner should be the goal rather than perfection. A relationship where you are accepted as you is about as perfect as it gets. The rest you work through together.