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Valentine's Day Straight Talk for Men: Get to Wife-Hunting Valentine's Day Straight Talk for Men: Get to Wife-Hunting

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Policy

Valentine's Day Straight Talk for Men: Get to Wife-Hunting

A not entirely serious response to Susan Patton’s Wall Street Journal op-ed.

(Shutterstock)

photo of Elahe Izadi
February 14, 2014

Susan Patton's Wall Street Journal op-ed urging young women in college to "husband-hunt" failed to mention what men can do to get hitched. Here's a start:

It's another Valentine's Day, chaps. Another night spent ordering takeout, drinking beer, watching sports with your bros. Aren't you tired of this?

With so much attention on your career, you've neglected the real source of your future, long-lasting joy: the woman you will marry. But I bet you aren't spending as much time thinking about that than trying to get ahead professionally. Listen, the clock is ticking, that beer-belly is getting bigger, and the wrinkles are right around the corner. The pool of eligible women you'd actually want to marry—the challenging, smart, independent ones—is only getting smaller.

 

Let's map this out: By the time you actually start thinking "Gee, I sure would like to settle down," you'll have to enter the marketplace of dating, a rough-and-tumble place where the women whom you actually find appealing assume that you prefer younger and less-challenging women.

Indeed, exert more energy planning for your wife than getting a raise or a promotion at work. Yes, getting a good education will do you very well. But say you have all the academic opportunities in the world—good luck finding a woman who can match your intellect! And if you do, she is most likely already paired off, because she smartly started planning for marriage while in college.

Oh, another point of advice: Don't worry if you do find the perfect mate and she makes more money than you. Women tend to earn less than their male counterparts, so she'll sort of be like a unicorn. And why would you be concerned about such a thing? Who doesn't like having more money?

Face it, you're clearly at a disadvantage, with little societal guidance; there are so many books and essays about what women can do to get married, but not very many for men.

Where to start? First of all, don't squander precious years, months, and weeks on Tinder or dating women who you can never see yourself with long term, the ones whose personalities bore you, the ones whom you can never envision being the mother of your children, let alone taking home to meet your own mother.

Try thinking of marriage while you're in college, you know, while many peers are immersed in the so-called hook-up culture. Even if you're not that keen on marriage now, you will be one day. Stay in touch with these smart, vibrant women. Remember, one-night stands can turn into life-night stands.

Try not to be too sensitive when women assume that you won't buy the cow if the milk is free. Show you are actually interested in commitment. And make it clear that you aren't much of a farmer, anyway.

Is it possible to find marriageable women after you graduate? Yes. So that's an option as well.

There are men who will never be interested in marrying, or becoming dads. But if you are interested in those things, ignore those voices and narratives that tell you it is unmanly to seek commitment or plan for a wife. Sure, you may not have met "the one" for this Valentine's Day. But you can start your search tomorrow.

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