I recently read an article about a 42-year old writer, Lori Gottlieb, who sparked a new age revolution by advising women over 30 to settle down with Mr. Right Now instead of continuing to wait for Mr. Right.
Her reasoning was that there simply aren’t enough good men to go around (For every 100 single women in the 45-65 age group, there are only 75 single men in the same age demographic in the U.S.) Thus, if you’ve found a reasonably decent man, then hold on to him tighter than Fevicol sticks. Note that by a reasonably decent man what she really meant was any male that moves, showers daily, is not completely emotionally retarded and is capable of keeping the toilet seat down (okay, let’s face it, no such man has graced the earth with his presence yet)
Now, being a single woman who hasn’t found my soul mate despite sincerely looking for the last six years, I do understand where Gottlieb was coming from. She herself is a 42- year old single woman who claims to have lost out on several good men because of her selectiveness over the years.
Although the statistics mentioned above pertain to America (The Indian government doesn’t have the time or money, for that matter, to spend on researching single men to women ratios and has more pressing issues like poverty and female infanticide to deal with), these statistics are an indication of the scenario worldwide. I know this because the majority of my female friends around the world are beautiful, intelligent and independent women who are single. The ones who are in relationships are at least twice as smart and attractive as their partners and appear to have settled for less than they deserve.
And this is why my opinion differs from Gottlieb’s. I believe women should not have to settle. We all deserve to be with our ideal men because these men cannot just be figments of our overactive imaginations. They must exist. They’ve not come into our lives yet but that does not meet our paths won’t cross in the future.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not asking women to be delusional. All I’m saying is that as a gender, we’ve come a long way. We’ve created strong identities. We’ve accomplished the impossible. We’ve fought for our rights. We’ve stood up for our beliefs against parents, Governments, relatives and chauvinistic ex boyfriends, amongst others. If we can achieve unbridled success in our careers, why can’t we find our ‘Mc.Dreamy’ (Patrick Dempsey in Grey’s Anatomy-watch it to know what I mean) too?
As much as I hate to admit it, we need to learn a very important lesson from men. Every man I have ever met, no matter how fat, short, stupid, ugly or bald he is, has one enviable quality; high self-esteem. While every woman, no matter how stunning, will think her thighs are too thick, her hair too dull or her eyes too far apart, men believe they are perfect just the way they are. I sometimes wonder if they see their true reflections in mirrors or if they see Bradley Cooper staring back at them. I don’t mean to be mean, I am writing this only because I’ve had way too many experiences of sub standard guys approach me and my gorgeous friends at clubs, truly believing they stand a chance with us. As a result, my friends and I started believing we were sub standard! The fact that only the ugly men, as opposed to the good-looking guys always approached us, meant that we deserved these second class men, right?! Wrong.
All this really proves is that, men never settle! They always aim for women who look better than they do and more often than not, they end up with these women. Why? Because as women get older and nowhere closer to Mr. Right, we start feeling dejected. We start believing that we’re incapable of being loved. When an ugly, Mr. Right Now steps in, we’re more than happy to settle down with him because by then our self confidence has been shattered so much that we feel grateful to be loved, at all.
This happens even more in Indian society where men have the upper hand in choosing their brides. Many Indian men have been known to ‘select’ younger sisters of the prospective brides they’ve met, simply because the younger sisters were fairer or prettier than the girls intended for them (fair and pretty are actually synonyms in the minds of some Indian communities)
Being the more mature sex, we tend to pick our partners due to their personalities as opposed to their looks from a very young age. However, my argument is this; if a guy is ugly, he has to have a good personality-otherwise, no one will like him! Thus, don’t fall for the ‘he doesn’t look great but has a great personality’ justification that most women give themselves and others for their Shrek-like partners! Don’t accept a guy’s arrogance simply because he’s good-looking, either! Women can manage to be pretty, smart, funny, interesting and humble (I am a perfect example of this!) and so men should be expected to possess all these qualities too!
Women have worked on themselves (okay, some of us, like me are naturals but don’t sweat, we can’t all be born great) to get as close to perfection as possible and it’s time men evolved too. Just because we descended from apes, doesn’t mean you have to still behave like that, men! It’s about time you learned something from women. And it’s about time we learned something from men, too. So believe in yourselves, women. The world is your oyster, there are plenty fish in the sea etc. You deserve the best men, out there. And if they refuse to evolve, don’t accept them! In short, be a man, woman! And men, it’s about time you became the whole package; smart, well-groomed, sophisticated, kind, strong, supportive, friendly, talented…it’s not too much to ask for! All you men have to do is become more like us!