At some point we ALL settle

Once again, the basics of neomasculine thinking with respect to what makes women (and men) tick are revealed to be sound through a simple experiment involving an anonymous confessional service:

Users of the secret sharing app Whisper have made confessions as to why they have 'settled' in a relationship

This user admitted that she had settled in order to have a baby before time runs out 

Some posts were written by married women who worried they had walked down the aisle too hastily

This user admitted that although she wasn't physically attracted to her husband they were emotionally compatible

Spouses admitted that they had got married to hastily and now they regretted it

This user seemed to express regret at settling with their partner for financial reasons

The Single Dudes discovered this earlier today as well, and used it as a way to remind themselves, and the rest of us, just how much Western women suck. And they are not wrong about that.

However, the point of interest here for me lies in the fact that so many of these women (and not a few of the men) complain about "settling" for someone.

From the captions posted above, you can see a common trend among the women. They all complain about their men not being "good enough" in some sense, usually material, and feel as though they have been short-changed out of their dreams of marrying someone rich, handsome, and charismatic.

In other words, what these Whisper snapshots reveal is just how damaging it is to sell women on the Disney fairytale that tells them that they all deserve their very own Prince Charming to have and to hold for the rest of their lives.

What no one bothered to tell these young women is that there is no such thing as Prince Charming. He doesn't exist. Far too many women, my age and younger, have grown up being told all their lives that, as Strong Independent Women, they deserve only the best, and should always hold out for the best. 

Which, of course, is precisely what they do. They spend their early, mid, and late twenties partying, sleeping around, "playing the field", and becoming Empowered by working in "human resources" or "marketing". They waste the best of their youth, their looks, and- most importantly- their fertility in pursuit of that illusion of Mr. Right.

In the process, they ignore the very men that, thirty years down the line, could offer them precisely the kinds of lifestyles that they profess to want. They ignore the unassuming, hard-working young men struggling through their early careers in low-paying jobs to earn good experience and make networks of real contacts that will come in handy years or decades down the line. Instead, they spend their time with men that they know full well are not good relationship material, thinking that they have plenty of time.

And then they get to about the age of 35, find their biological clocks ringing in eardrum-shattering fashion, and are shocked to realise that their multiple degrees and high-flying, heavy-workload corporate jobs don't cut much ice with precisely the same men that they once rejected as being too "boring".

Instead, they find that those men roughly their age, who are now entering the prime of their careers and sexual attractiveness, are looking at young women in their early 20s- precisely because those women have youth, beauty, and fertility to offer, all of which their thirty-something counterparts have wasted.

Those same men are now coming into the golden years of their careers and sexual appeal. Around the age of 30, if he has generally done the right things and avoided making any really stupid mistakes, after working for 5-8 years, a young man will have grown from a callow and untested youth good only for filling coffee orders, into a confident and articulate man capable of taking on real responsibility.

What no one ever told these young women is that "settling" is no bad thing, provided you view marriage and family as investments.

The pictures from above reminded me of a rather good post from our sadly dormant friend, Tempest, called "Marry The Lieutenant". In that post from nearly two years back, she pointed out that what young women should be doing is marrying young with the goal of helping their husbands grow into the men that they wanted to marry in the first place.

And that, in fact, is exactly what marriage really comes down to. It's an investment- the kind that you hold onto for life, if you've done it right. And if you take care of your investment, nurture it, watch it grow, and provide corrections here and there where necessary, and above all hold your temper and exercise both patience and good judgement, you will see that investment become something truly worthwhile over time.

As with all questions concerning marriage, I turn as always to the example of my own parents. My folks married relatively young- my mother was 20, my father was 28. At that point, my father's career was just about beginning to take off. My mother stuck with him through multiple overseas moves, the strains of the expat lifestyle, the pressures of raising two young children born years apart, and the difficulties that two quite different people inevitably encounter when in close proximity with each other for great lengths of time.

The end result? Thirty-five years later- 35 years!!!- they are inseparable. My father is every bit the loner and introvert; he loves his alone time and his peace and quiet. But whenever my mother has to leave for a work trip, however brief, he becomes listless and unhappy, and is not the same person until she returns and their playful squabbling and constant banter is restored to daily life.

And for her part, my mother is ferociously protective of my father and his peace of mind. You haven't seen protectiveness until you try to intrude upon my dad's afternoon quiet time reading on the couch or listening to music when my mum is around.

And the funny thing is, none of that would have happened if my father hadn't "settled" for my mother.

I've never discussed their relationship in any detail, with either of them, but I have good reason to think that my mother was actually my father's second choice for a wife. He "settled".

So did my mother. She entered the workforce with an undergraduate degree in History and a Master's degree in International Relations. Her dream was to enter the Foreign Service of her country. But she ended up getting married first, so she became a teacher instead- and found that she loved it. Instead of listening to the feminist nonsense that was coming into vogue around that time, she didn't "hold out" for the best man she could find, but instead chose to "settle" for my dad.

And in the process of "settling", they created a quiet and stable home, a happy and loving family, and a legacy that will outlast either of them.

There are worse things than "settling", as these young women of Whisper are finding out the hard way. Marriage is not to be entered into for transient or selfish reasons. As I have pointed out many times before, marriage should never be entered into without a real sense of self-awareness and careful assessment of the risks against the responsibilities- especially in this day and age.

And no one should ever be under any illusions about what marriage is, and what it means.

Marriage is not about making yourself happy in the here and now. It is about making each other happy throughout time, about being in love and using that love to create something bigger than either person in the relationship. It is about sharing, compromise, and- more than anything else- the conception and nurturing of new life.

If someone had told these grumbling young women (and quite a few of the men) about what it really means to "settle", then perhaps they would waste less time moaning about what they "deserve" but have not earned, and would spend more time trying to help their partners become the very people that they wanted to marry in the first place.


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