Why it can be difficult for 30ish professional women to find a mate

thinkingjenn

There are a bunch of successful, professional women over age 30 who have managed to accomplish just about everything they have wanted in life except marriage and a family. To a lot of us who are used to working hard to get what we want this issue can be baffling. Why is it so hard for us to find a mate?

Recently I stumbled across such a question on Quora from a 30-year-old who described herself as attractive, intelligent, and successful. She has done very well in life with everything from looks to career and could not figure out why in the world it was so hard to find a partner with whom to share her life. After some introspection, I figured I was qualified to give a response and decided to elaborate on it here:

We like our independence. Yeah, we want to be loved but independence and a successful career are very gratifying. And a loss of autonomy (even only a small portion of it) scares the hell out of us. Reconciling that-even subconscious-desire to maintain independence is a huge issue.

Dating sucks. We have too many darn options and are still caught up in the fairy tale called “the one.” Really, we could have probably fallen in love with fifty guys by now. The problem is that we’re always looking for Mr. Right and some strange sign from the heavens that he’ s “the one.” It’s not going to happen that way.

Dating also sucks because of all the people out there who are just plain weird. It’s the weirdos who make us question our sanity and desire to date at all. Life is certainly much simpler and more peaceful alone than with someone who is a trial to spend time with.

We’re picky. Some of us almost expect any man we end up with to be clones of ourselves. (Also, not going to happen.) I’m not saying that standards aren’t a good thing but guys with some different personality traits and interests keep the relationship interesting.

Some guys think we don’t “need” them. It’s true. We look so self-sufficient that some men don’t think we’re good wifey material. Their expectations for a wife are more the homemaker type and possibly even a woman who needs to rely more on them financially. These men are, fortunately, in the minority and you probably don’t run into this very often.

Love isn’t an exact science. A lot of us have spent the last decade or so cultivating our mental intelligence but neglecting our emotional intelligence as a result.Have a problem at work? You find some logical ways to fix things. You negotiate with vendors, research new approaches, or create a committee to plan a new project. Pretty much everything in our lives can be solved with some research and resolve. When we’re talking about love and emotions, however, it’s a totally different ballgame. An often scary ballgame at that. Opening up emotionally can be a huge challenge.

Deep down some of us think men are incompetent. Deep down our life experience (family/friends/media) has taught a lot us to think that a lot of guys (or maybe all of them) are pretty incompetent. That they are to be humored and mothered because they don’t think like women (one-track mind vs the female 10,000-track mind). Which is, of course, untrue. There are very competent and very incompetent people of both genders… intelligence is not gender specific.

Jenn

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