Thursday, April 3, 2008

Jumping the Broom - Um, I'll wait, thank you...

This is an interesting article I saw on MSN Money. The title caught my eye, "Too successful for a mate?"

Let's just say that socially I was out recently and someone said something about "finding a wife." The problem is 1) I don't think I was supposed to hear it and 2) to be completely honest, this guy was as dumb as the day is long. So, in my book, he was not husband material 'cause I do want peace of mind, a happy marriage and somewhat clever children if I have any.

I thought it was funny in a way because I've seen some men with standards so low it's laughable. I've seen the same in some women, but men tend to be worse, I think. However, I'm no expert in this area, so I could be wrong.

Like other single women writing on this topic, I've found that men and some women can sometimes really get smug. I won't highlight all the experiences I've had with such smugness 'cause a lot of them involve personal situations and stories. However, I find it really funny to deal with single men here in Korea sometimes.

It's an interesting twist of the women's rights era. I honestly don't think it's a bad one. Now people in my family who are bemoaning the fact that I'm still not married probably don't agree. However, I decided awhile back I'd rather be single and happy than married and miserable. After seeing friends suffer through divorce, that hasn't changed and I don't think it will. So when I get that smugness from someone who clearly hasn't spent much time thinking about relationships and marriage, I really do want to laugh. I don't laugh because making fun of the stupid isn't nice.

Plus, there is this which I see constantly:

Experts say that highly accomplished men tend to marry women who are lower on the professional and educational food chain than they are, traditionally choosing women over whom they can exert control.
However, it's not just highly accomplished men because a lot of the men here...well, no comment.

If you listen to my Being Black in Korea podcast, you know I'm pretty picky. I honestly don't think the expat community in Korea is the best source for a mate unless you're a Korean woman looking for a green card. Without chewing into what's on the market here any further, I like some of the issues and the reasons this article gives about why very educated and successful women wait because it echoes exactly why I'll continue to wait.
For lots of these highly successful women, when given the choice between marriage and their current life, single wins, hands down.

Wendy Simmons -- a 39-year-old Brooklynite, founder and president of PR firm Vendeloo, a former club owner and a current world traveler -- loves being single. She was married for one year at age 25, but felt so trapped that she is having a hard time putting a positive spin on the idea of doing it again.

"The longer you go without marriage, the more complete you make your life, the more difficult the idea of a compromise in marriage becomes," she says. "I may be ready to try again, but every day I feel more and more like a confirmed bachelor. I see so many people struggling in relationships that it scares me."

Simmons rejects outright the notion of dumbing herself down to make herself more marketable to all those executives looking for a "wifey".

"For a lot of guys, the simple girl is easier because the man's role is clearer: They make the decisions," she says. "It's those things that I'm afraid of -- a life of compromise every single day."
I can't say I agree that I'm afraid of compromise. Marriage is compromise and I saw it with my parents who stayed married until their deaths. However, for me, it really is being quite happy here and now and knowing that the grass isn't necessarily going to be greener when and if I ever jump the broom. I hope it will and that's why I'm holding out.

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  1. I'm definitely on the Simmons band wagon. I'm single and it's not some scary roller coaster ride to the old folks home or an old dank cave somewhere to live your life alone.

    You know you're in trouble if the relationship dynamic is based on power: money. If you can't have equal say in the relationship then you're more of a servant than a partner.

    I'm pleasant surprised that the women powerbrokers aren't mirroring their male coutnerparts and seeking out mates who earn less to exert control over the relationship.

    Right now, for me, a relationship can wait let alone marriage. Plus in Korea with the transient nature of the expat community a relationship would feel like an excercise in futitlity.

  2. Yeah, it's not so bad being single and over-educated. I get to do what I want when I want and with who I want.

    There was one movie preview I saw where a single woman was asked if she was upset that her younger sister was getting married. Her reply was something like she could have meaningless revenge sex with whoever she chose. That's not how I roll these days, but that got me laughing.

    "Smug marrieds" as Helen Fielding, author of the Bridget Jones books, called them can kiss my happily single ass.

  3. I'm single and enjoying my life. Would I love to have a wonderful man and partner? Absolutely. However, the time that I've had for me can't be beat.

    I've gotten to know myself better than I probably ever would if I had to concern myself with someone else's needs. Yes, there is a level of selfishness in my game and I make no apologies.

    If the right person comes along, concessions will be made, but with the full knowledge that I know who I am and what I want because I've had the time alone to do the internal work.

  4. I think just about everyone wants a wonderful man (or woman) and partner. The thing I've observed with a lot of guys is more of a need to slip into these predefined roles and, considering the things women do now, that's going to be a hard one to pull off. I just don't know if after waiting so long I really want to even bother with the process 'cause it's not all it seems to be I can tell that much by the huge amount people I've met who made unwise choices ;) We'll see.


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