07 April 2011

She Doesn't Need a Man

It's a statement I've heard several times.  It's very contextually based, and it seems like here in Utah it's used in a more derogatory fashion mostly directed towards "feminists", or generally any woman who could be, but never has been married by 30.  Usually it sounds more like "She doesn't think she needs a man" as it leaves the speaker's lips.  Really it's a statement I've never understood in that negative connotation, should a woman NEED a man?  Do I NEED a woman?

I don't think I could date or marry a woman who needs a man.  Don't get me wrong, there's a certain appeal to being the shining star in someone's life.  Eventually that fades, it's too much of a responsibility to live up to those expectations.  My "type" seems to be women who don't need a man.  Usually it takes a significant amount of patience, luckily that's something I have.  It always seems to take time to work into a system to be together, at first you're very low on their list of priorities, but I've always had a skill at handling that.  Example: When Liz and I started dating she lived one floor directly above me but I still only saw her a couple nights a week, or maybe for a few minutes each night.  Some nights it was a bummer, but at the same time I liked that, though we were together, we still had independent lives and we lived them.

I won't lie, during conference I had to cover my mouth to keep from laughing a couple times during a couple sessions of conference, mostly when the men of the church were told to move on with their lives and get married.  In priesthood session President Monson mentioned how there were pretty young women out there waiting to get married.  Here I really almost laughed out loud, mostly because I imagined a room, kind of like the waiting area at the DMV, full of women sitting around reading magazines like Good Housekeeping, Better Home and Garden, etc. waiting for guys to walk up and take them by the hand to get married at the counter.

When they began talking about men in the church waiting around to get married I tried to get a little introspective.  So, am I putting off getting married?  Well honestly, Yes.  Could I get married right now?  Yes.  Mathematically it'd be easy, my job has great health insurance and other benefits, I probably make fairly close to many of my married friend's combined income.  I'm probably mature enough to pull off being married.  Could I get married now, Yes.  Should I get married now? No.

President Monson also spoke about "Choosing carefully."  I think my one big criticism of the church is the divorce rate, for a religion that believes so strongly in "eternal marriage" we sure get divorced a lot.  I wish this part of the talk had been stressed more, rather than the whole get-married-ASAP part.  I believe I am choosing carefully.  My quest is to meet my match.  Not the general match, like Match.com, or like "...matchmaker, matchmaker, find me a match."  But the "I've met my match" kind of match.  I think one of the most attractive quality to me is a girl who will stand up to me, or challenge me, if they know better. 

Also, for me, divorce isn't an option.  Divorce kind of runs in my family, my grandparents, my uncle, my parents, and I plan on the trend ending with me.  I think this decision makes me really nit-picky when it comes to girls I date.  They'd probably hate to find this out, but I judge them a lot, I judge their family(who wants crappy in-laws?), I judge their friends, and I don't really stop judging them.  Another thing is that I've promised myself I will only get married once, no matter what.  I think deciding that is good, it'll make me be that much more careful, and work that much harder at my marriage.  Plus if I do get a divorce I can always sell all of my belongings and become a mountain man like Jeremiah Johnson!


Annie B said...

It's one thing to be careful in choosing a mate...it's another to think one is being careful when actually it's being rather picky.

Devin & Ruthann said...

If you only plan of getting married once (like most of us) then yes, definitely be careful. But remember no one is perfect so she will have flaws, but it's your job to decide if you can live with her AND her flaws.

Fei said...

I think relationships are only successful if both the man and the woman need each other. But how you define and express that need is the key. Being too emotionally dependent and needy is unhealthy but being fiercely independent and unemotional isn't either.

Too many marriages fail because the couple isn't properly acknowledging - and meeting - their needs from each other simply because we're taught that independence is the pinnacle. It's not. Interdependance is. And it's a lot more realistic.

Also, I would say that choosing a good mate is only 20% of the process of having a happy marriage. It's important, but it's only 1 decision out of the bajazillion you make every day from then on in how you treat each other.

If we give too much weight to who we choose and how picky we are, then we are less likely to see how important WE are in the whole process, and would likely blame our poor choice in partners for all the problems that will inevitably come up.

Waiting On A Sister Missionary said...

I'll own it, I'm really, very picky. Of course my ideal traits aren't set in stone, they change a little after each relationship after I see which of them are the most realistic.

I try to be picky about things I need, things that can't really be learned or trained. Senses of humor, inelligence, activity level, etc. I try to think about which qualities that, if I didn't have, would make being in a relationship with me into a nightmare.

Tripp Hazard said...

We really got thrown under the bus at conference this time. I especially felt like they were saying "Tripp Hazard, it's time to hang up your dating shoes and just marry someone already!" But I think we have every right to be picky. It's only the biggest decision each of us will ever make.

As to the only get married once rule, I would back off on that one. Nobody wants to plan for a divorce. But why say that just because the first one didn't work out, there is no possibility for a second chance?

Love Tripp

Lachele said...

It's okay. We judge you too.

PS-Hannah is in the mission one over from the one I live in! Canada's pretty awesome. Come play..mmkay!


Adolfo said...

I have to agree. I felt that too much emphasis was placed on getting married NOW! and not enough on fixing broken marriages (divorce prevention). Just my two cents.