Last year, Susan Patton, alum and mother of two Princeton sons, shared her dating tips on finding a husband while still in college in the Daily Princetonian newspaper. Her opinion on how coeds should spend more time looking for love than working on career sent shock waves through women of all ages.
This year, the rewritten op-ed piece appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Valentine's Day. As a dating coach for women over 40, I can see what caused the fury. Here are six of Susan’s most annoying points for college girls:
- Insinuates that women should marry early. Over 30, single gals will likely compete with younger women and fail to land a decent husband
- Don't fall for the old P.C. feminist line that educated ambitious women can't have it all — great jobs and a family.
- You could marry a man who isn't your intellectual equal if you wait, but what will you talk about if he doesn't know Norwegian playwrights or medieval tapestries?
- Don't have casual sex with a guy who could become your husband because men still don't buy the cow if the milk is free.
- College is an environment teeming with like-minded, age appropriate single men and you'll never find this concentration of single guys again.
- Women invest more in planning for their careers than their personal happiness.
Point #1 — Marry Early Or Else
Huffington Post shared an angry rebuttal written by Emma Gray who, at 26, says, "Thanks, but no thanks". Like most of the response pieces, Emma's hackles were raised by the idea that eating sushi and watching Downton Abby shouldn't be enough for today’s young, career-minded women. Instead, they should work on getting a husband.
Emma goes on to point out that young women like her are looking for love, working on careers that are not a waste of time, enjoying sex without preventing them from finding love, and still value marriage and motherhood. As a dating coach for women, that's good to hear. Of course you can find love and marry after college! Women do not have an expiration date. See point #5 below.
Point #2 – Don’t Fall For The Feminist Line
Slate.com did a post that listed quotes and determined whether men or women should be more insulted. Funny! Interestingly enough, the writer, Katy Waldman (who must be a youngster) did not know what the P.C. Feminist line is, even though Susan stated her version in the next sentence (You can't have it all — a great job and a family) By the way, that's incorrect!
This is evidence of how lost the feminist ideas really are. The point was women CAN HAVE IT ALL. Peggy Lee sang the lyric, "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan and never let you forget you're a man" from I’m a Woman in the 60s. I'll put ignorance about women's lib aside for now.
The Slate piece did point out how a Match.com study showed men aren't at all turned off by smart women. And Salon.com quoted the New York Times piece which explained new research revealing "Women in the top 15% of earners are now more likely to be married than their lower-earning counterparts". That pretty much pokes a big hole in Patton's worries.
Point #3 – Marry Your Intellectual Equal
It's true I didn't go to an ivy league school, but I do have an MBA. This may surprise you, but I actually have chatted about medieval tapestries with a group of women (from the book Woman with the Alabaster Jar), but not with men.
My husband is a mechanic and I would say we aren’t focused on intellectual conversation. Instead we like to laugh and I enjoy his sense of humor immensely. And when we play Trivial Pursuit – we are evenly matched, although not on the same topics, which makes us a formidable team. You can be plenty bright without an ivy league education.
Point #4 – Don't Have Casual Sex
I have noticed the stigma about having sex outside of a monogamous relationship has shifted. Seems like everyone is doing it, at least from what I see on TV. Just look at Vanderpump Rules — they all sleep with each other even when in a relationship.
Jeff Mac, author of Manslations, shared his point of view that men no longer hold it against a woman if she sleeps with him on the first date. He says the guy either likes her or he doesn't, regardless of when she chooses to sleep with him. (I interviewed Jeff Mac years ago.)
Not being in that younger generation, I can't say for sure about when to get intimate. I tend to be more traditional. So I think that holding off to better understand a guy’s intentions is smart if you’re looking for lasting love. That might not be sage advice for 20 somethings, even if it makes sense for women dating over 40.
What I do know is that cows today have become really hip! Haven’t you seen those commercials for California Dairy Association? They sing in the shower and talk! Susan’s reference about not buying the cow when the milk is free is so dated, what college girl would listen?
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