Young women are told the possibilities for ambition and high achievement are absolutely endless when one is focused on achieving academic goals and making important networking connections. Somehow, the message these women receive excludes forming real relationships that can lead to commitment and marriage.
A New York Times article earlier this month states that young women are having as much, if not more, casual sex as guys on college campuses. After interviewing more than 60 women over the school year at Penn State, the article states that the typical goal of these women is to use college as a place to acquire credentials, top grades, leadership positions and internships.
These are all good goals, but the downtime and escape from this pressure has morphed into a cycle of drinking and hooking up with the idea that a supposedly non-emotional, uninvolved connection will be a smart girl's physical release from the stress and pressure to stay mentally and intellectually in top form. Many of these young women decide that meaningful, loving relationships can happen at any time and any stage in life, and decide not to pursue them in their college years. As a Christian relationship coach, it is exactly this type of woman who contacts me in her mid-to-late 30s, panicked that she has not made time to marry and have a family.
This relationship strategy is incorrect and not empowering for a few reasons:
1. Not all guys in college are emotionally immature. Some women in the interview stated that guys in their early 20s are emotionally immature, and not ready for a committed relationship. It is my experience as a relationship coach that it is possible to find lasting love at any stage of life if you make it a priority — even in college. If you are looking for a hookup buddy you tend to go to places that will attract guys who want a meaningless experience. A guy who has strong morals and values will not be found there.
2. Your hookup reputation will be found out. In this tech-savvy world, it is unwise to think you can keep sororities, campus groups and future employers from learning about a less-than-ideal reputation. A good name should be something you highly value. Many of the women interviewed in the article were striving for leadership roles in their chosen future professions. Compromising on your personal morals and values in relationships will affect your future professional choices. A person of integrity holds the same standards both personally and professionally.
3. Your ideal spouse will not want to marry a hookup buddy. One interviewee did not want to settle down until she could pick a guy who had his act together and knew where he was going in life. From my experience working with countless women with this view, those stable guys will already be married with a family by the time you realize you "forgot" to get married. Keep Reading....
More relationship advice for women from YourTango: