Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

But I Don’t Care

I’m going to get so much shit for writing this, but I don’t care.  It’s true and it’s what I’m thinking now and I don’t even think it’s all that mean or controversial.  But if I hurt anyone’s feelings then let me say, “sorry”, in advance.

I had the opportunity to catch up with one of my best yesterday morning.  He lives in another city and because of our crazy lives and schedules we only talk a few times a month.  This makes me sad because there was a time, back in our 20s and early 30s, when we talked almost every day.

Anyway, we started with the serious details of our lives, the important stuff, and eventually got around to my stupid dating life.  He knows about the and reads it, but was a couple of days behind.  I told him about my on Friday night and we both had a good laugh about it.  And then, kind of through the back door, the subject of came up.

And he said something to the effect that I really didn’t want to get married.  Because all of the women that he and I know in NY who got married in recent years were marrying guys who weren’t worthy of them and that I was too good to do that.  He then pointed out a few specifics and I had to agree with him.  Great women (beautiful, smart, accomplished) married to completely average guys (ok looking, seemingly not that bright).

You see, there is this phenomena, where some women get to a certain age (frequently 35+) and they realize that their time is up.  They recognize that they are no longer a hot commodity on the market and so they start to make very strategic decisions in regards to dating and mating.  Sometimes it’s because they want kids.  Othertimes it’s a matter of security or not wanting to be alone anymore.

We’ve seen a lot of these.  A lot.  And I’m not saying the women were wrong in the choices they’ve made (although, there was one bride who was heard saying, while drunk, the night before her , that she didn’t love the guy and didn’t want to marry him – and yeah she did go through with it).   Only those women know (and maybe their husbands) for sure.

But my friend seems 100% certain that I’m never going to walk down that path.  That I don’t have it in me.  He’s probably right.  I’m too stubborrn.  Too headstrong. Too sexual.  Too a lot of things, I guess.

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13 to “But I Don’t Care”

  1. ecletikfeel says:

    You know what’s funny, I’m 22 and I had a similar discussion with my friends the other night. Most of us want to get married before we’re 35, but at the same time we’re not willing to “settle” just to do so. So then we’re wondering are we going to be 38 and single? I mean if that’s what it comes to be then whatever, but I don’t think the what you’re saying is offensive, it’s just the reality of the world we live in.

  2. SINgleGIRL says:

    It is just the reality of the world we live in. Although I have a feeling some people won’t see it that way. Another thing my friend and I talked about was the fact that the women we know who got married in their 20s seemed to marry men who were more their “equals”. But that a lot of those marriages haven’t worked out so well because they didn’t talk about some of the important stuff they need to, before they got married (money, family, how they were going to raise the kids…). It seems like the women who got married younger got first dibs and the rest of us are dating the leftovers.

  3. Hypatia says:

    I’m not gonna give you shit because I agree with you 100%. (That may be why I sometimes get a little panicky… I’m coming up on 30, and I know that my shelf-life as a desirable commodity is quickly coming to an end.) It does seem like the ones over… say 35 on the the market are the men with … *issues*… be it looks, intelligence, personality… some combination. Strangely, this does not seem to be true of the women I know who are over 35 and on the market. I do think that this has to do with the fact that there are fewer good men out there… and also the fact that studies have shown that men primarily care about looks. (disheartening!) Some studies I’ve read have said that men don’t mind marrying “down” in terms of intelligence, years of schooling, jobs, income, etc, whereas women only want to marry the “same” level or above. As pretty much everyone I know has a masters or a ph.D, that leaves for some slim pickings.

  4. derek7272 says:

    Re: “leftovers” – if it’s any consolation, guys worry about this as well. I remember a few years ago, right after I turned 34, I posted a rather drunken little tirade on my blog (back when I had readers) titled “dating and the dregs,” (since renamed) worrying that all the most desirable girls get “snapped up” in their 20s.

    Of course the one problem with refusing to settle is that our perceptions of ourselves doesn’t always match how the rest of world sees us. Like I think I’m this incredibly great guy. Like awesomely great! However many of the womenfolk stubbornly refuse to see this. Mindboggling, I know….

    Hypatia – Guys do care about an awful lot about looks, it’s true. We’re visual creatures. But intelligence is pretty important to me and my guy friends too. I could care less about years of schooling, income, though, and I guess on some level I think it’s disheartening that some women care about that stuff — although I know not all do.

  5. Shannia says:

    My answer might be written out of anger since I just argued with rebound dude. It seems that past 30, all we have left are emotionnally unstable men scared to settle down or/and men who’ve been single so long they don’t know how to settle down. The we have guys that have been so affected by bordeline personality women that they’re damaged goods. I am 36 and want to be with a man my age so what am I suppose to do? Stay single?

  6. SINgleGIRL says:

    You reminded me of a small detail of something in the novel The French Lt’s Woman (I think it was from that novel – such a great book). The heroine was educated beyond her class and so therefore destined to the life of a governess because no man would have her. Anyway, random thought there, sorry. Yes, I think these issues are even more difficult for women who have worked hard to accomplish things for themselves. On a lot of different levels.
    It’s true, we don’t all see ourselves as others see us. But then, that’s not really what we’re talking about here. I know that most of the women I know (and like) do care about a guy’s level of accomplishment. This might, but more probably might not, mean income. It might mean education level. It might mean professional or artistic or some other accomplishment. A smart woman (really smart) is not looking to spend a lot of time with a guy who thinks he’s great because he can hold down a job and pay his bills. That’s the minimum. We’re looking for more. Sorry if that’s disheartening.
    Sorry he’s turning out to be damaged. That sucks. I know that lately I’ve been looking more favorably at divorced guys rather than never marrieds (I know, totally unfair as I’ve never been married). But then, the divorced ones come with their own set of issues. Fun, fun, fun.

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  8. derek7272 says:

    That’s not really what i meant. I was responding to Hypatia’s post where she said that women only wanted to marry a guy “the same level or above” in terms of “intelligence, years of schooling, jobs, income” etc. Maybe it’s not what she meant, but I do think there are certain girls who wouldn’t date a guy who earns less than them, or with less education, and I do think that is a little disheartening. But I completely agree with what you’re saying,.. there are lots of different ways to be accomplished.

  9. Hypatia says:

    “A smart woman (really smart) is not looking to spend a lot of time with a guy who thinks he’s great because he can hold down a job and pay his bills. That’s the minimum. We’re looking for more.”
    –Yes, exactly. Expecting a man to be educated and to have a job (recession not withstanding) is like expecting my car to come with wheels… something you only notice when it’s not there. It’s just assumed to be a part of the overall package.

    And, yeah, sorry Derek– Income is one thing– I don’t think I’m so shallow that I’m looking for someone who makes millions– (or even someone to support me– I do just fine on my own.) But I am looking for someone who is fiscally responsible, and makes sound decisions. It’s not the be all, and end all, but it’s a consideration— because a lack of income/ambition/education speaks volumes. And while men seem to be ok being with someone who isn’t particularly bright as long as she’s fun to look at, I don’t see the opposite to be true with most women.

  10. derek7272 says:

    Hmm– I don’t think know of any smart guys who are interested in marrying someone “who isn’t particularly bright as long as she’s fun to look at.” Maybe dating short-term, but nothing more serious.

    Guys in general I think don’t care nearly as much as women about their partners’ accomplishments (I’d rather date a hot, skinny bartender than a pudgy, average-looking cardiologist), but we certainly want someone who can still make good dinner conversation and we can respect intellectually. Looks can only get you so far. (I’d be willing to “date down” a little bit in terms of smarts, but not much).

    And of course, I care about whether my mate is fiscally responsible and makes sound decisions too. I don’t disagree with anything you said in your comment, but it’s just different than what you seemed to imply in your earlier post — that some women tend to absolutely rule out anyone with less education or income than them. And I think some do, even if you don’t. Of course, women are entitled to use any criteria they want for dating; far be it for me to complain.

  11. SeanD says:

    It’s a difficult one this. Some of my friends think that I am too fussy or too stubborn because I’m not willing to compromise on what I consider to be “must-haves”. I’ve never been one for settling simply because I see a distinction between those things I’m willing to compromise for and those which I go beyond that and I consider a sacrifice.

    I guess in such things it is each to their own and a case of weighing up personal priorities (at a given moment in time) and perhaps managing your own expectations… but, I sometimes wonder whether those that do sacrifice are truly happy.

  12. sparklytosingle says:

    Interesting comment thread. Regarding education, I try to think of it as a means to an end rather than an end itself. We all go to university as a means to propel us in some specific direction in our careers, right? (Well hopefully anyways. I don’t have much respect for those 18 year olds who spend thousands of their parents dollars at university just because they don’t know what else to do) So if someone is successful, I don’t really care how much education it took for them to get there. It takes smarts to “make it”, whether you go the education route or not, so as long as I feel like I’m dating someone who matches me intellectually and career-wise, I don’t care about education.

    With regards to the idea that “it seems like the people who got married younger got first dibs and the rest of us are dating the leftovers,” I don’t buy that at all. Maybe I’m just an eternal optimist, but I’m 29 and single and for the first time dating guys in their 30’s instead of the young college students I used to date last time I was single. And I’m finding plenty of quality single guys out there. A person’s relationship status is not a fixed status – you can go from coupled to single in the course of a single conversation. There are constantly new people coming into the available dating pool and some of them are great. I don’t think it makes someone “leftovers” just because they’re single at an older age… they just didn’t find their match yet. It takes longer for some of us! Plus, I refuse to think of myself as “leftovers” just because I’m almost 30 and single. I think I’m a pretty great catch, actually. So if I’m single and looking, there must be others like me.

  13. SINgleGIRL says:

    I don’t think anyone has the right to tell you what’s right for you. Just like I don’t think any of us have a right to judge the choices made by our friends. I have a friend who has confided in me that her sex life with her husband is nonexistent, but that she loves him and everything else in their relationship is perfect so she is willing to live w/o the sex. I think she might be secretly miserable. But I could be wrong. She could be the happiest woman on the planet.
    I am not making big global statements (I rarely do). I’m talking about the world I know and the people I know. I know dating in NYC and I was talking about women over 35 and the men they end up with – always over 35, usually over 40. You are 29 and live in Canada. While I’m sure there are some similiarites, there are many differences. I’m glad you’re finding that there are lots of great guys out there for you. I hope that continues to be the case.
    Oh, and BTW, I think I’m a pretty good catch myself. I’m just not sure I’m going to get caught. And I’m OK with that.