Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Non-Desperate Future Out-of-the-House-Wife

So, here's the question, does actually wanting to get married and have children hurt my chances of finding a decent boyfriend?

I am much less in "need" of a boyfriend than I was, say, a year ago, but I still very much want to become a wife and mother. I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn't want to "grow up and be a mommy." What's wrong with that?

We can say we want to be doctors, lawyers, teachers, writers, librarians, psychologists, activists, actors, singers, dancers and pretty much anything else, but if women say they want to be mothers, men protect their best swimmers and run the other way. Why is that?

As soon as a guy learns that I want kids, he starts thinking that I plan to peg him down and immediately start reproducing. And there are a wacky few who are disappointed when that's not what I want.

The fact is, I want just as real, and just as slow-to-develop, a relationship as someone who may never want to marry and have kids. I'm not desperate, but I think that whether or not I intend to, I might come across that way.

That's probably how I got myself in the situation with the last guy, who seemed to believe from the second date on that we would marry, have a bunch of kids and survive beautifully in the world. Of course, he forgot to include such small details as getting to know each other, being able to afford to live, finishing school, and, uhm, liking each other. The fact that I broke up with someone who actually wanted to start planning a wedding proves that I'm not desperate to walk down the aisle.

I do want to get married and have children, and yes, I'd prefer to do that sooner rather than later, BUT, and here's the important part that seems to slip through the cracks, I want to have a happy life. I want to provide for my children. I don't want to go have to shoulder the financial burden of supporting a household all on my own, nor do I want to go on welfare. Being prepared for marriage and having a family does actually factor into my life plan. It's not like I'm going to start planning a wedding on the first date with whatever guy happens to ask me out next.

While it's frustrating that I can put in an application and get a job, complete some projects and get a graduate degree, but can't follow a set process to find a good quality boyfriend to whom I would like to be married someday, I also have developed some patience. I understand and do believe (though it's hard at times) that the right man for me is out there, and that I'll find him and we'll have a life together. That doesn't mean that every man in the Bay Area should go running the other way when I enter the room, just in case I decide that tonight's the night someone's gonna make me a mommy.

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