Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why is it…

When you’re a teenage girl, you hear lesson after lesson about how you should be discerning about who you date and who you marry. How you shouldn’t settle. Be selective. Wait for the person God has chosen for you.

In college you hear even more lessons about how you should be wise when choosing a mate. Marriage isn’t easy and shouldn’t be taken lightly. To be careful to choose someone you are compatible with personality-wise and spiritually.

In your twenties, people praise you for taking your time. They tell you how much work marriage can (and you’re starting to see first-hand proof from some of your friends who have already married). They tell you to enjoy your single years…that there is plenty of time to be married. Take your time. Find the right person.

THEN you reach your thirties and all of a sudden, everyone seems to retract all that advice they gave you when you were younger. They begin to almost force marriage on you. They start deciding to fix you up with any male they know realively close to your age (or in some cases MUCH older) because if your over 30 and single, then you must automatically be a perfect match. They tell you if your not married yet, you’re being too picky. They also begin to point out every little fault you have…which seems odd to me because I know lots of people who are train wrecks that are married. I am by no means under some dilussion that I am without flaw, but obviously having personality flaws is not a deal breaker for most people.

I must say, the double standard annoys me. I hate being told I’m being too picky. I know the difference between picky and discerning. Picky is saying I won’t marry someone who doesn’t play the guitar, or doesn’t make 6 figures. Picky is saying he has to be this height and have this color of hair. DISCERNING is saying I won’t marry someone who does not treat me respectably. Who doesn’t share my faith in God. Who I don’t enjoy carrying on a conversation with, spending time with, or attracted to. And let me just say…if are aware of some of my “celebrity” crushes, then you know that I’m not looking for model-like looks. The most attractive guy I ever dated I wasn’t even interested in the first few years I knew him because he always refered to himself as a dumb jock and I don’t date dumb guys. I did eventually get to really know him and found he had an amazing heart and that was what got me (and he was NOT dumb).

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it every day until I go to my grave…I would much rather stay single for the rest of my life than to end up in a miserable marriage. And I am by no means saying that all the guys I’ve dated haven’t been good enough. I have been privelged to go out with some pretty amazing guys, but up to this point we’ve either not been right for each other or the timing just wasn’t right.

So you might be wondering what brought on this little topic of conversation today. For the last two years, I’ve had this problem with guys thinking my place of employment’s website doubles as a dating service. I get random, out of the blue emails from guys who start their email out with some work-related question and end it with personal questions and the line “maybe sometime when I’m in town we can get together.” And this question does not come after I have responded to their emails…its part of their initial email. Sometimes I respond to their work-related question and don’t address the other questions. Sometimes I ignore the email all together.

Well, there is one guy who has sent me a few emails over the last year. Yes, I realize I should be flattered, but I’m also annoyed by it. I didn’t recognize his name at first even though he said we had met, so I turned to the trusty Facebook and found his picture and knew right away who he was. Nice guy, but not my type…not even remotely.

The first time I responded to his work related question, but did not answer or address the “I’m looking for a date” questions. The second time I didn’t respond at all. Thought this took care of it. Then last night, I got yet another email from this guy and this time he didn’t even beat around the bush. He flat out said he wanted to know if he could email me so that we could become friends and see if it leads to something more. Not knowing how to respond to this (because I don’t want to be rude, but I really don’t appreciate being put on the spot like that) I said something to someone and their comment was “You shouldn’t be so picky.”

So why is it that married people get to be selective about who they married, but us single girls over 30 have to just take whatever comes a long? Just say’in.


Alyssa said...

You could totally give a speech on this and I SO agree with you. It is a double standard. A very close friend of ours is single, a smidge older than us, and we have observed others do the same to him. We don't like it. It's rude. And he's not picky either, but is discerning.

OK Chick said...

I have pretty much stopped taking ANYONE's advice on dating/marriage. This is my theory...

If you are married shut up, you don't know what it's like to be single.
If you are single, you too should shut up, because you are in the same boat as me.

Of course, my favorite is when some who was married at age 20, decide to give me advice. Give me a break!

Holly said...

Hey Stacey, I just ran across your blog again. I haven't been reading blogs much lately. I really appreciate that you wrote this. Obviously I am married now, but as you know I spent lots of years hearing these same things and it was frustrating. I totally agree with what you are saying-I felt like I was pretty emotionally healthy and I knew lots of people who were married but a mess. Bottom line for me is this-my value doesn't come from being married or being single, it comes from Christ. Keep being discerning! I love being married but being single wasn't this horrible state of life that some people seem to think!