Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sssh, I'm Husband Hunting

A recent letter by Princeton Alum has made some women hopping mad. The reason is this mother of two sons is advising female Princeton students to grab a husband fast before they graduate. This reminds me of women going to school to get their MRS degree. Women often never graduated from college because they landed a husband before their senior year. They got the designation in front of their name instead after it.

Let’s look at Susan Patton’s advice. After commending the young women on going to Princeton, she then tells them to get ready to snag a man because no place will have as many potential candidates in one spot.  In truth, she’s right about that. Women and men trying to date after college have trouble finding like-minded people. Colleges amaze me because they are seas teaming with available prospects.

Susan goes on to confide that women don’t necessarily want the stellar career exclusively, but value home and family more.  In the end, a good marriage makes life better. You’ll get the good marriage if you marry one of your own kind, a Princeton grad. The Christian Monitor revealed in their follow up to the article that Mrs. Patton recently was divorced from her husband of twenty-seven years. Her main complaint was her husband attended a no name university, which was a constant source of strife. This is an area of strife. Unbelievable.

Patton goes on to warn the female students to get out there and make their choices quick because unlike the male students they cannot date anyone younger. Why is that? Plenty of women marry younger men. It would seem that Ms. Patton wants a traditional marriage where the man is the major bread earner. Why get married at twenty, twenty-one or even twenty-two?  Can you remember how young you were at these ages? Where you ready for marriage?

Professionals are marrying later and later. The average age for men is about 28.5, while women wait until they’re at least 26.7. These are averages. Another interesting statistic is that women who marry early tend to cheat more because they feel they missed out.

If your main reason to go to college is to hunt down a man, would you be getting the college experience? Would you devote as much time to your studies as you should? I think we all know the answer to this.

Ms. Patton inadvertently advises women against working on their own identities. If you aren’t enough, then you will end up with a partner who treats you in such a fashion. In her scenario, Princeton men are the ultimate prize. She tantalizes the readers with the information she still has an unmarried son in Princeton. I bet he’s getting some blowback from this article.

I think what offends me is the elitist tone of the article. The implication being if you went to Harvard, Columbia, MIT, or heaven forbid, a state college, then you aren’t good enough to rate a Princeton gal. Add to that Princeton men are little more than big game as intrepid female hunters set their lures to catch the unwary prey.

Ms. Patton doesn’t address the fact that not all women want to have children, many do not want to marry, and there are some female students who’d like to marry, but not men.  The world is changing. What used to be the pinnacle of success, no longer is.

The other night, I watched the original Twilight Zone. The episode featured a beautiful woman who was attempting to land a husband, which she did. The husband became dissatisfied because the women had no substance, and no beliefs, no interests outside of him. It was hard for me to believe such a creature existed at one time.

Reviewing Census Records shows most marriages do last at least five years. The Census status also shows a decline in marriage because people do not want to deal with the headaches of divorce. Michelle Langley, author of Women’s Infidelity, states that while women push for the commitment they also initiate 70% of the divorces after only four years of marriage. Why? Maybe marriage or marriage to that person wasn’t what they really wanted.

 As women, we tend to go after what is dominant in the public eye. That’s why you have advertisements, fashion shows, even movies to encourage pursuing and often buying certain things, even if they aren’t in your best interest. Women often marry without ever realizing what they really want or need.

Ms. Patton and I have that in common. She believed her marital mistake resulted in not marrying a Princeton grad. Mine was marrying too early and not knowing the man I married. Thank goodness, I became smarter with age.

If you had advice for your women entering college or contemplating marriage, what would it be?

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