Warning: Very long entry ahead!
I first read the article from a tweet from Mr Brown.
I don’t usually bother reading web links via tweets
because I’m too impatient to wait for the page to load but the title (why you’re not married) got me curious so I clicked and found this article. It’s a pretty long article but in a nutshell, the writer sums up why some women are not married in these 6 in-your-face, brutal points.
I don’t claim to be an expert on why women can’t find men to marry (how can I be an expert when I only got married in 2009?!) but I could recognise my (old) self in some of the points raised. I have thus written my own thoughts to the 6 points she raised. Note that the writer does not sugarcoat her opinions and it may be hard to read for some so you’ve been warned!
Ok, I wouldn’t go as far as calling angry women a bitch but let’s have a think: When was the last time you hung out with an angry person? Did you have a nice time? Personally, angry people – along with constantly negative people – saps my energy. Let me state for the record up front that I am not perfect. I am thankful that I am generally a happy-go-lucky, positive kind of person but I, like any other normal human being, have my off and down days too. However, there are some people who are constantly angry, angsty, depressed and/or negative! And I have to agree with the above point that it scares men (and other fellow human beings) off.
Everyone is allowed to be angry at some point or another but to be constantly angry about something or other? Now, that is something altogether. I remember going through a couple of angry phrase where I listened to Alanis Morissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’ album on repeat mode. Another time, it was Linkin Park. It must have lasted about a month but after that, I was done with being angry because it got me so tired and I was constantly filled with so much negative energy that I was quite sure people didn’t like hanging around me anymore.
I like the opening statement, that when it comes to choosing a husband, character should be what truly matters. Truth be told, I never quite saw this. It took me many years before I finally saw the light, so to speak. I’m a visual person which means that physical attraction is important to me. If I can’t get past how you look, then it’s a no-go for me. As shallow as it sounds, that was me. Naturally, this meant that I looked past the character flaws of many ex-boyfriends. Naturally and not surprisingly, those relationships never worked.
I have to thank the BFF for her years of (unpaid) counselling. After every broken heart, she sat me down and told me in my face that I should stop looking for love in the wrong places and get my priorities right. She drilled into my head that if I want to marry a man who also wanted to marry me, I should be looking at the person’s character, above all else. Of course, this is not saying that I have to marry Shrek or to lower my standards but I had to stop placing physical looks above character. So what if he dresses well, speaks articulately, opens the car door for you (as well as 10 other girls), etc? If he’s of flawed character, it doesn’t matter if he looks like Brad Pitt/Tom Cruise/(fill-in-name-of-handsome-guy).
Then I met the boy.
Many people say that when it comes to love and fate, timing plays a big part and I think we both met each other at the right time. We were colleagues first, then friends, then lovers. We did not fall in love at first sight. In fact, colleagues from our previous workplace can vouch that we didn’t quite start off on the right foot at work. However, despite our differences at work, I always remember him to be responsible, obliging and generally, just a really nice (and pretty cute!) guy. We got to know each other over a short holiday to Phuket and over long chats by the pool, I remembered thinking that I could, quite possibly, marry this man.
So yes, I admit it – I was shallow and I like to think that I’ve grown up. For good.
Enough said. Rather self-explanatory, yes? Personally, I don’t poke my nose in the personal lives of my (girl) friends, especially if they are single. If they choose to sleep around, then so be it. I am not advocating that it is right but we are all adults here – you make your own choices and you face up to the consequences. And yes, that may include being called a s***.
I admit it – I’m guilty of being a liar. I am going out on a limb here but I am sure I am not alone. Women are really good at this – we almost convince ourselves with a million reasons why he doesn’t want to marry us, making excuses after excuses for him. We sit back and wait patiently, like the good girlfriend. Then we sit around longer, making even more excuses for him (and ourselves) along the way. Usually, everyone else around us sees that we are clutching at loose straws and said straws are falling out of the hand but no, we still choose not to see the big fat elephant in the room. Don’t ask me why women do this but I know we do.
Most of us, at least.
I have a recommendation: Go read the book ‘He’s just not that into you‘. It is brutal and no-holds barred, telling it as it is. Took me a while but I finally figured out (a couple of years ago) that men are really not that hard to fathom. It’s us, the women, who choose to complicate how they think/feel/behave.
Women are generally critical about ourselves and other women. We beat ourselves up (I wish I was prettier/slimmer/cleverer/funnier/etc) all the time and along the way, beat other women up too. Ok, not literally but we are a critical lot. I am guilty of that as well. I try and count my blessings and remind myself on a daily basis that I should be thankful of all that I have today but still, that doesn’t stop me from hankering after a million other things.
I used to wonder why men wanted to date me. When I was much younger, I used to always think that I was not pretty enough, not funny enough, not clever enough…and the list goes on. This is probably why along the way, I was almost thankful that men cast a second glance my way (omg – he’s looking at me??!!) because I always felt that I was never….good enough. So no, I never had any dreams of marrying a wealthy guy or a Brad Pitt-lookalike.
Does this explain why I only got married at the (ripe “old”) age of 33? Yes, it took me a while to become fully comfortable with who I am and to stop thinking about what I can change about myself and to just…go with the flow.
Ultimately, as the BFF pointed out many years ago, if you look for love at the wrong places or have misplaced ideas of what a husband should be, it is of little wonder that one does not find the ‘right’ man to marry. I know for a fact that if I were to continue being young and stupid, I probably would not have married the boy.
Married life and having a husband is not the be-all and end-all. Of course, I would like that we will ‘live happily ever’ (and ride off on a white horse into the sunset) but I do not have any grand ideas about marriage. I truly believe that for a marriage to work, both parties have to work (hard) at it. Of course, it gets easier over time as you get used to each other’s personalities, (strange) behaviours, and nuances but whoever said that marriage is easy is bloody lying.
Two. completely. different. things.
The wedding can be all airy-fairy, Cinderella-marries-her-Prince blah blah blah but as the writer had put it succintly: You’re just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won’t. Once the initial high wears off, you’ll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.
If you’re not happy on your own, marriage is not going to make you happy. Simple as that. One shouldn’t think that by getting married, you’re going to suddenly turn into the world’s happiest woman. Ok, so the pretty flowers and dream wedding gown will make you happy for a while but what happens after, when the wedding’s over and the flowers have all wilted and died?
Speaking of laundry, there will be petty squabbles about who’s doing the washing/ironing, who’s hanging the clothes, who’s washing the floor/toilet, etc but at the end of the day, they all don’t matter because
someone has to do it or we won’t have any clean underwear to wear the next day I have chosen to marry this boy and he has chosen to marry me.
And together, we will get the laundry (and everything else) done.
So to all my single girlfriends who are still holding out for the one, don’t fret. Hang in there, take a cold hard look at yourself (or ask your best friend to do it!) and one day, I am very sure, you will find that special someone who will help you with the laundry (and hopefully, everything else too!). And if that day doesn’t come, so what? It’s not the end of the world.
You can always send your clothes to the laundry.