Why You’re Not Married – A Refute
Tracy McMillan, a TV writer for Mad Men and the United States of Tara – I love the latter, hate the former – recently published an article on The Huffington Post entitled, “Why You’re Not Married,” where she cited 6 reasons why I – and other single women out there – are not married. Obviously, excluding those who do not what to be married, I find it difficult to “sum” up in 6 simple reasons why anyone or most of us are not married. But then again, she should be the expert on marriage – or at least on heading down the aisle, as she’s done it 3 times – so I could be completely wrong.
In the effort of discussion, I have decided to challenge each of one her claims or at least the general ideas presented in her post using my own personal experiences as well as some of my friends. I would love to use actual research – scientific studies, relationship experts, etc. – but due to time constraints, an extremely busy work schedule, just plain energy (the amount of research and energy it would take to write a composed and well-researched counter argument might not be worth my time, so I shall leave that to better women. Another rebuttal can be found here).
“It’s taken a while to admit it. Saying it out loud — even in your mind — feels kind of desperate, kind of unfeminist, kind of definitely not you, or at least not any you that you recognize. Because you’re hardly like those girls on TLC saying yes to the dress and you would never compete for a man like those poor actress-wannabes on The Bachelor. You’ve never dreamt of an aqua-blue ring box.”
If nothing else, personally, I have always wanted to get married – hell, to just be in a relationship – but for one reason or other, things have just not worked out. If I am really honest, the guys either were not all the passionate for me or I was not all passionate about them. There was no chemistry, no magic, no sparks, no butterflies, or at least none that lasted past the “3 Month Critical Phase.” Now, I am not the expert on anyone else except myself, but if that does not exist – at least in some capacity – that I am hard-pressed to want to stay in a relationship.
” 1. You’re a Bitch.
Here’s what I mean by bitch. I mean you’re angry. You probably don’t think you’re angry. You think you’re super smart, or if you’ve been to a lot of therapy, that you’re setting boundaries. But the truth is you’re pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it’s scaring men off.”
If you have read my “Worst Gawker Break-Up” Submission, you should know that I am far from a bitch. In fact, after the incident (and before, to be honest), I have been called one of the nicest and sweetest girls there. In fact, many resources advice being bitchy in order to maintain relationships; Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl is one example. My girlfriends who have been in and are in long-term relationships even have cited the need to being bitchy sometimes.
Granted there is a possibility of being too abrasive or being “too angry,” but I am not that girl. And most single woman aren’t either.
“2. You’re Shallow.
When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man’s character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you’re not married, I already know it isn’t. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.”
Calling me shallow has the same credence as calling me a bitch. You can try, but it makes absolutely no sense. I have dated guys of all races, ages, levels of attractiveness, and economic backgrounds – I just don’t care, character is what is important. A few granted were lacking in ethics and morality, meaning that they had none, but I dated, cared and even loved some of them anyway. When I date a person, I don’t see outer appearances.
That being said, I don’t completely ignore it either, as physical attraction is important in any healthy relationship or so what science, history, and the greatest relationship-minded minds has always said. Male peacocks use theta flamboyant and bright tails to attract the best females, elephant males exude pheromones that younger bulls can not muster to attract fertile females.
Pure physical attraction is vital to any and all relationships. True, relationships should not be based on them alone, but it is an important aspect.
Also true is the time and love can make someone seem more attractive, just as it can the reverse. For more information on the Human Attraction Game, Live Science has a great article.
“3. You’re a Slut.
Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of Jersey Shore — but they’re not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you’re having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin — it doesn’t stay recreational for long.”
Welcome to the post-Sex and the City generation. People have sex, people have sex on first dates, people have sex outside of marriage, people have sex while they are in relationships. That is a fact of life. But doing any of those things does not immediately disqualify you from having relationships or getting married.
True, it may not be a good idea to slut around with every guy on the corner – one the risk of STDs would be very high – but with the right guy, it wouldn’t matter. As an example, I know of at least two girls who both engaged in questionable behavior – cheating, sneaking around, acting like an all-around “slut” as she terms it – with and on guys who eventually became their fiances.
Granted, they aren’t married yet, but given the disgust at the perception of “causal sex” and how it will not “lead to” long-term committed relationships is an absolute farce. Of course, causal sex relationships that turn into marriages may not happen often – or relationships that could have been destroyed by casual sex – but, it can, it has, and will again.
As for me, I have only slept with guys I thought I had long-term potential with. Yes, sometimes it was after knowing a guy for a few days, but I am not a traditionalist. I don’t believe in playing games, I know what I want, and sometimes, I get vibes that certain guys will impact my life. As it has happened, all the guys that I have slept with – or have got that vibe from – have impacted my life immensely. And all – though I can not say for certain, as I am not met him yet – will lead to my eventual husband. It’s the domino-effect of love…. and sex and lust.
“4. You’re a Liar.
It usually goes something like this: you meet a guy who is cute and likes you, but he’s not really available for a relationship. He has some condition that absolutely precludes his availability, like he’s married, or he gets around town on a skateboard. Or maybe he just comes right out and says something cryptic and open to interpretation like, “I’m not really available for a relationship right now. You know if you tell him the truth — that you’re ready for marriage — he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don’t want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun! You love having fun sex! And you don’t want to get in a relationship at all! You swear!”
I am not a clinger, or at least not one once the relationship is over. As Natalie Portman in No Strings Attached says, “I act weird when I am in relationships.” I do. I am completely unlike myself – perhaps that’s the reason why they fail – so in that sense, I do “lie.”
But, it is impossible – for any durable length of time – to hide who we are. Eventually, bits and pieces with pop out until you confront it. And, if I am really honest, my acts of a “self-induced sabotage” have caused guys to “run away,” but at the time – even if I really did not want to admit it – those guys weren’t the ones for me. I could have and should have been committed to them, but I wasn’t because for some reason, I felt that I could not be exactly who I was – I felt I had to be someone else – and but acting in such a way, it just – ugh have the perfect SAT word, but can’t remember it right now, so I’ll settle for- expedited the relationship’s eventual conclusion – Splitsville. But at least, I didn’t have to pony up for divorce lawyers.
“5. You’re Selfish.
If you’re not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don’t have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy — or at least a guy with a really, really good job — would solve all your problems.”
I am selfish just as much as fresh meat hates salt… and trust me, fresh meat LOVES salt – or at least it does based on one of my favorite childhood fairy tales, Catskin. The point that I am trying to make is that I am not selfish. It is just ridiculous an argument and accusation as to say that I am a bitch and shallow.
Everyone thinks a fair amount of themselves, but when you are married women tend to think a lot about the husband and the children. That does not necessarily mean that “being unselfish” or “being self-centered” is mutually exclusive to marriage. In fact, even in marriage, people are selfish. Otherwise people might not get divorced as much. Having children, on the other hand, is a prime factor of why many people become “unselfish” as they no longer thing only of themselves, but of this sweet, innocent baby that you have to take care of.
“6. You’re Not Good Enough.
Oh, I don’t think that. You do. I can tell because you’re not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.”
I know that I am good enough to get married, to love and be loved in return. And that is why I am not in a rush to get married. Life is a marathon, not a race.
I am looking for someone who is my equal and is in line with my standards -respective and protective of women, loves kids, must excel at his career and love his job on the whole – and cannot settle for anything less.
“Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something — it’s about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession — a free-agent penis — and for us, it’s the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.
Marriage is right about giving something, giving of yourself and sharing yourself and your life with someone else. But men do necessarily understand this more. Last time I checked, it takes 2 to tango and marriages were at 50% more or less, although the statistics may have gone up – or down.
Marriage is work – something that needs to be worked at everyday - but the choice of being with that person – of leaving or staying, of better or worse, through thicker or thin – never should be. Or at least in my opinion, but what do I know, I’m a single girl still looking for love.
What I hope for me and my marriage – my one and only, at that – is to be thankful that I met him, that he is in my life, and that he loves me — me with all my faults and silliness. As for him, I hope that he thinks the world of me and at how lucky he is that I am in HIS life.
Otherwise, what’s the point? It has taken me a very long time, through bad relationships and friendships, to realize that I don’t want people in my life who don’t want me in theirs.
So, if he does not think the sun shines out of my ass and I do not think that he is, as Sappho writes, as translated by Mary Barnard, “a god in my eyes” then I probably should not marry him in the first place.
But that’s just me.
And for the record, my mother who fits none of these characteristics has be single – well divorced – since shortly have she had me.