When I was a freshman in college I was talking to my best friend about dating and I made a prediction. I said I wouldn’t be married by 30 and I honestly couldn’t imagine when and how I’d get married. “I’m just not that type of girl” I explained. “I’m not marriage material”. It’s not that I don’t want to get married. The idea of finding a life partner who I love and who loves me who I can do awesome stuff with sounds amazing. But sitting in my friend’s apartment as a teenager I predicted that I would be broken up with and exchanged for an easier less-challenging model for most of my adult life. As I explained it, I was too much. Too complicated. Too crazy. Too driven. Too intimidating…and, simply put, guys don’t want that.
I realized early on that I would be destined to be the Jennifer Lopez and not the Jennifer Garner. I would be the Cameron Diaz instead of the Jessica Biel (who seems as interesting as a box of tissues…) I would be the Pippa and not the Duchess Catherine. I would be…OK, you get the point.
You may be wondering: why would you think that you’re not marriage material? Further, why did you come to that conclusion at 18 years old?
I’m a busy bee – I’ve had a packed schedule since I was a kid and I’ve kept up that same pace into my thirties. My calendar is always jammed packed with happy hours, volunteer events and recreational sports games. I love and cherish the occasional weekend to hang out in yoga pants watching Netfix. But truthfully, when I’m not on the go I get easily bored. During one of my relationships, I devoted all my time to my boyfriend and ended up resenting him. I should have found a way to balance my own needs and interests with quality time with him. But hindsight is twenty-twenty. My relationships are very important but I need to be able to maintain my friendships, exercise, volunteer and experience all aspects of the community. There are times that I get worried that guys will get turned off by how packed my schedule is and how many things I’m involved in.
I’m a “party girl” – I stayed in two Fridays ago. That was my first Friday night “in” in a very long time. The last quiet Friday night I can recall is the first Friday I moved to Washington, D.C. a year ago. I don’t truly consider myself a “party girl” because I’m not out until early morning every weekend but I’m realizing I go out much more than the average 32 year old. Recently I developed pictures from my Instagram account to decorate my new office. I realized most of my pictures were from bars, restaurants, happy hours and fundraisers with large groups of people. And inevitably I always had a glass of wine in my hand and smile on my face. I have been in multi-year committed relationships and many times I’ve been fearful of getting tired of domestication and having a major case of FOMO.
Kids? – I want kids. I swear I do. I’m just not naturally very maternal. On multiple occasions, I’ve been asked by friends whether I’d like to hold their baby and I’ve replied, “No thanks. I’m good.” Each time I was at brunch, wearing big sunglasses and holding a mimosa. You do understand that I’d have to put down my mimosa told hold your baby. Not gonna do it…
I’m (apparently) too intimidating – I’ve been told on multiple occasions that my career is intimidating. When I was looking for a job, a male lobbyist “friend” explained that I was much more attractive unemployed than I was employed as an attorney. He smiled and continued, “I know that’s offensive but I’m just being honest.” Additionally, I was apparently born intimidating. At 6’2”, I’m taller than most guys. The first question I’m asked by guys on online dating sites is if I date shorter guys. I was recently chatting with a guy who voiced apprehension about dating me. (If I like you, I’ll date you. It’s not that complicated). He explained that he’d feel weird about dating an attorney who was taller than him because he was “used to being dominant in the relationship.” I don’t think that guy was in the minority.
I’m independent – I’ve also been told I’m not great marriage material because I don’t need to depend on a husband. A guy friend candidly explained to me that lots of guys say they’re looking for an independent woman but they secretly want a woman to depend on them and they want to be the provider, the head of the household and the king of the family. (Not my words). At the very least, they don’t want a wife who is more successful or driven than them. I have my own career. I’ve worked on my career for seven years and think I have a pretty awesome resume. Further, I moved away from home at 18. I’ve lived in Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Because of these experiences, I’ve become adaptable, flexible and been forced to be independent and rely on myself financially and emotionally. Further, since I’ve lived away from home for years, I’m not apprehensive about new experiences, meeting new people or moving again some day.
I’ll be 100% honest. I want to get married and I want to be a mom. Very very much. But I’m not compromising myself to be in a relationship. Because of that fact there are only a small number of guys who would be interested in being in a relationship with me. I’m not being pessimistic. I’m being realistic.