Perspective

Warning:  I’m rambling today!

Smoochy and I started dating right before I turned 21.  I’m now 37 (and rapidly approaching 38!)  I’ve been with the same man for 16 years and don’t regret a minute of our time together.  We’ve had some great times, some bad times, but most of our lives together has been happy, middle-of-the-road good.  Not a whole lotta drama, no real issues, just a nice, happy life.  Yeah, I wish he’d lose weight.  Yeah, he wishes I’d clean up a bit more, but neither of these are dealbreakers for us.  One time he pissed me off so badly I prayed he’d die in his sleep.  He didn’t.  Life went on.

So, I read a number of blogs and on one of them there’s a regular feature ‘would you date him?’  Specs are given and then everyone chimes in on whether or not they’d date that particular dude.  Of course, there’s always a variety of opinions – too tall, too short, too old, wrong job, mama’s boy, too much history, etc. etc.

I’ve always thought that the women were way too picky and that if they’re truly that picky in real life it is no wonder they’re single.  And I don’t think being single is a bad thing, so don’t jump all over me for that.  I just think that their expectations are……extra.   They say they’ve worked hard to achieve whatever, make whatever salary, drive whatever car and they don’t want to spend time or their lives with someone who doesn’t “measure up.”  Once a guy chimed in and said they had unrealistic expectations and he was berated for being an underachiever and not measuring up.  These ladies don’t want to settle.  And I get that.  Kinda.

Until last year, I made more money than Smoochy.  Never been an issue for either one of us.  I’ve got 2.5 degrees, he’s happy with one.  Neither of us drives a fancy car – his could be classified as hoopties.  When we first got married I don’t think we brought home 45K – combined.  It never really mattered.  Sure more money would be great, but for me, for us it has always been about us playing on the same team – getting along, loving each other and raising our daughter. 

I wonder if my perspective would be different if I were single and looking for someone with whom to spend my life.  Would I be pickier (perhaps “more selective” is a better phrasing…) at 37 than I was at 21?  Would I refuse to date the garbage man?  Would any man I dated have to pull down a six figure salary?  Would I scoff at the idea of dinner at the cheap, local Mexican joint?  Okay, scratch that last one – I’d never scoff at Mexican food.  Neva!  I think my only real “requirements” when I was dating Smoochy was that whoever I dated had to be in college (or a college grad) and treat me well. 

The thought just popped into my head – I think of my friends and their husbands/SOs, most of the women are “more successful” on paper than are the men……hmmmm……is this settling? 

What do y’all think about this?  What are/were your requirements for a mate?  Are you married?  Dating?  Single?  How long have you with with your S/O?  Are there disparities in  your income or education levels?  If so are they “issues” for either one of you?  Nerd Girl is nosy curious and would like to know…..

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27 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. I’m single/dating. The person I’m dating has the same education level as me, but he probably makes 15-20k less. He does, however, have way more in savings than I do and more in his retirement accounts. He travels internationally a few times a year, but drives an old car. He’d never spend $100+ on dinner; I would. But what really matters – he’s the kindest, most honest and thoughtful man I’ve ever known (besides my father). He’s a gentleman to the point that it still surprises me when he does some of the things he does. I’d marry him in a heartbeat. The job, car, shoes, restaurants don’t make the man for me.

  2. Im married, and my husband and I have been together for 3 years, married for 2 of those years in June. Before we met, I knew I wanted someone who had realistic goals, and a plan for his future that fit what I wanted for my own future. He is a college grad, made 50k at his previous job as a software developer, now he is a realtor.
    I do not have my degree yet, and I am a SAHM to our daughter. It wasnt the original plan, but it works well for us.
    It’s not an issue for him, but it is for me, because I have a desire to have a career outside of motherhood, but I am still uncertain about exactly what I want that career to be.

  3. goaldigger says:

    I’m more into being treated EXCEPTIONALLY well than marrying a man who has an exceptional income…..If you meet a mate that treats you like pure gold, why should his assets, earnings, possessions come into play if you succeed in those areas????? Now don’t get me wrong, he NEEDS and income, NEEDS to be a good example to kids by WORKING, but, I can pull most of the weight financially if need be….EVERYONE has their strengths in a relationship and cause I’ve been there, I know, being with a wealthy man does not a good relationship make :)

  4. goaldigger says:

    let me clarify :) he needs “an” income..lol and I’m saying being with a wealthy mate doesnt guarantee a good relationship or real love!

  5. mzinspiredmind says:

    I can see both sides of the coin. I can understand having had certain achievments in life and wanting someone who is equally “yoked” as far as your goals in life. On the flip side of that though, what if you’re missing out on the person you’re meant to be with just because they don’t have the same accomplishments that you have? The things that are important to me in a mate are: ambitious, God fearing, honest, someone who can be my friend, and someone that I can experience things with who is willing to step out of their comfort zone. I am in a relationship. My s/o and I have been together for two months now but have known each other for a few years. He makes more than me but I have a higher level of education than him. We have no issues at all when it comes to talks on education or our income. He is looking to further his education and I’m his number 1 cheerleader as is he’s mine.

  6. dmac says:

    Co-signing with mzinspiredmind: commonly yoked is what matters most.

    The problem that a lot of the women have who respond to would you date him is that they are not looking at themselves realistically. A lot of the time, if they laid themselves out in list form, they would see just how short their list is, LOL.

  7. Natalie says:

    My husband and I have been together since I was 21 years old, too (I’m 29 now). We’ve been married for 3 years. We have the same education level. When we were first married, we probably didn’t make more than $45K combined either. However, after he got his degree (1 year ahead of me) he made significantly more than our previously combined income. That was only temporary though. Now, we make about the same. Money has never been an issue for us; at least not on making it (he’s very…erra…careful with spending). We’re more focused on being happy, healthy and moving forward. I think if I were single now, I’d be more selective than I was at 21 years old. Then, I just looked for someone who wanted to do something with their life, were moving in that direction and could make me happy. Now, I know more of the things that make me truly happy and money doesn’t necessarily equate happiness.

  8. One time he pissed me off so badly I prayed he’d die in his sleep.
    Bwahahahahahahahahaha I’ve had to pray sometimes that I wasn’t the one doing the killing. Men….*sigh*

    For me, the main thing was that he treat me right, have a decent job, be financially responsible, make me laugh and have some damn common sense. He is up and down blue collar but we make about the same amount of money.

    When those posts are made and I read the responses, sometimes I truly wonder just how much of what is stated is actually true. Kinda like folks that are e-ganstas and talk a lot of trash behind a computer screen but in the street you ain’t sh*t……

  9. I’m in total agreement on this one. My hubby and I have been together since the summer we graduated high school; I was 16 and he was 17. Like you guys, we’ve had some downs, but mostly ups. *lol*

    I have several friends that are single and unfortunately, I know why. One friend in particular went out on a first date and afterwards texted me to say, “He was ok, but he smiles too much.” WTH? He smiles too much? Really??? Um, ok. You can miss me with anymore stories of your dating woes.

    I made more than hubby for quite a few years. About 3 years ago he started making a little more and now he makes way more. Never any issues.

    LOL@ AR GAL and them e-gangstas!! We are in sync on this point –> “When those posts are made and I read the responses, sometimes I truly wonder just how much of what is stated is actually true.”

  10. I have more education, he makes more money. We’re both okay with that changing in the future. I do need someone with a college degree and some goals. I used to say I didn’t care about a degree but I dated too many slackers and fools who didn’t have one. A degree doesn’t make you automatically eligible. It’s just a prerequisite. That other stuff is all foolishness. DOES HE MAKE ME HAPPY? Does he treat me lovingly & with respect? Insanely so!

  11. I do believe that as we get older we tend to be more selective. Also, we tend to be more lenient as well. Up until a few years ago, I did not want to date a guy with kids. No way, no how. Now that I’m less than a year out from reaching 40, I’ve had to reconsider that ‘dealbreaker’. Heck, most guys in their mid to late 30s/early 40s and up will have either been married before and/or have at least one child. I’m the odd ball out, not them. LOL!

    I do know that I want a college educated man, a man who is providing for himself and his (if he has kids), who is a Christian and attends church (because I do the same and we have to be equally yoked, right), and who adores me to no end. That right there is the minimum that I need. Everything else is on a case by case basis. I’m not perfect and I’m not looking for perfection. Just someone who complements me and I him. Race, height (to an extent, I’m 5’3), skin tone, etc. isn’t really important to me. My basics are listed above. I NEED those things and I truly believe God will introduce me to THAT guy He has for me. Maybe He has and I just didn’t know it. :-)

  12. @AR_Gal. I’ve often though the same thing LOL.

    I sort of had your attitude. Someone making a lot of money would be fabulous but it wasn’t a pre-requisite. I did prefer a college degree though because to me that indicated a bit of ambition and a desire to best position yourself for future success.

    My husband made about half of what I make now. Now he stays at home with our son and runs a pretty big Ebay sales operation. It is possible that in the future he could out-earn me if he returns to the traditional work force but that’s not happening right now. I’m fine with this. We have a comfortable life…shoot I had a comfortable life before I met him LOL. Plus, he’d have to make a lot more than what he was making before to really make it worth paying for daycare. Our current situation works out better in this stage of life IMO.

    I was never looking for a man to supply me with a lavish lifestyle. I would have missed out on a good man if I had been worrying about his salary, his car and or double degrees.

  13. onefromphilly says:

    This topic grates my teeth to no end! It had gotten so outrageous IMO that I banned myself from commenting on post about dating, looking for a husband or looking for love. I can be insensitive at times but DANG. I am older than most on the blogs I go to. I’ve been married once and on the path to my second, and finished in the baby making department. So i know that I’m at a different stage in life. BUT….when I hear a woman lead with her requirements and #1 is money or job title or car driven I feel like SCREEEEEEEEMIIIING! And then when they say “Im not settling” I just can’t take it any more. I’m sorry but I feel like these women will be looking forever. All of that superficial stuff can change at the drop of a hat or the drop in the Dow Jones…right? A man’s heart, his spirit and his mind should be at the top of the list of qualities sought.

    But most of the time I keep my mouth shut because I’m not in the same boat as the rest. They probably wouldn’t listen anyway….

  14. Yeah, sure I have more degrees and I make more money than my boyfriend does. But that doesn’t make me a better person than him. We both have our faults and our good points, and we work well together. That’s what it comes down to.

  15. I say folks can want what they want. Just because they want it doesn’t mean they will get it just like it doesn’t mean they WON’T get it.

    Everyone’s standards are different and just because someone else can deal with certain things doesn’t mean that you could too. I’m always reminded of that movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” when this debate comes up about what women should regulate themselves to being “good” with. Lots of people went hard on the wife because she couldn’t stick it out with her broke azz husband. Being broke brought with it a whole host of issues like not being able to pay the rent, eating unhealthily, not having quality time, no vacations, her working two full time jobs, nothing, seemingly…pretty.

    Everyone, based on their own experiences, have their limitations to just how long they could get their struggle on I believe. Me? I didn’t think anything at all odd with old girl finally getting fed up enough to bounce and I doubt she felt bad later for not sticking it out with him when he broke big time. Being poor with HIM broke her spirit, stole her happy and generally…took her under.

    And that’s keeping it trill.

    As always, however…everyone should simply DO WHAT THEY WANT!

    A lot of the time when I do those posts it’s about someone I know personally but more often than not…it’s about someone I’ve met while out and about. Keep in mind that they are single too. So…a whole lot of people passed on them as a potential in their real life. Not just in internet land.

  16. I dated an attorney for two years with all the bells and whistles — no kids, never married, lots of money, pedigree, good looking, right address, pilot’s license. I felt pressured to date him because of all that he was on paper and family expectations. But he was an a-hole. Still is. Still not married. Still walking around thinking he’s god’s gift to women.

    Meanwhile I moved, the relationship ended and eventually I got myself together, decided what I wanted, dated purposely and met my husband. I earn more than my husband, he has more degrees than me and it doesn’t matter. He’s a great person. He loves me. We have fun.

    Some of my single girlfriends still have long long lists with things like height (admittedly, this was never a criteria for me as I am very short — everyone is taller than me), min. $75k salaries, 6-packs etc. I can’t help them choose what’s best for them so I just hope that they will find the love that is right for them.

  17. Jeanine says:

    I totally get where you are coming from. Sometimes I read that blogs’ comments to that particular section and my mouth is agape.

    I can only say that I am glad that I met who I met, when I met him, and that we are together now.

    I think that I would have a slightly different requirements if I were single, but not by much, and pretty much none of the changes would be physical.

  18. well, I’m 34 now and sweetie and I were also highschool sweethearts. We moved in together right after highschool graduation back in ’94 and cohabitated all through college, first jobs, etc. and eventually married in 2002. We had Alex in 2004. At one time, I made more money, but for the last few years (ever since I started teaching, hubby makes significantly more) but it’s all good. We’re happy and once we began having kids- we just make our budgets work- so far so good. I wouldn’t change a thing…well, except maybe the opportunity to be a stay at home, homeschooling mom :)

  19. Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever had this many comments before – thanks to all for chiming in. A few of your comments were “hiding” in my pending folder and I didn’t even realize it. My bad.

    I don’t have an issue with people wanting what they want and holding out for it – but like Mrs. TDJ I don’t want to hear anything else about how there are “no good men out there” when you’ve dismissed someone because they smile too much or some other nonsensical infraction. Puh-leeze!

    I think it is interesting how different perspectives can be – and are – about dating and looking for love. Again, I’ve been with Smoochy all my adult life – I acknowledge that I don’t have a lot of issues with men or trust or whatever – and that my thoughts might be way different were I single and dating.

    If anybody had told me I’d end up happily married to a truck driving, ex football playing dude from Mississippi I would have a six pack just from laughing so hard. But. Love comes in all types of unexpected packages – and it is my opinion that not enough people – men and women – are willing to open up the package and see what’s really inside.

    I may join Onefromphillly’s self-imposed ban and just stop commenting on those type posts as well….even if in my mind I’m saying “no” to anyone under 6 feet!!!

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