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Are my standards too high? I'm worried I'll end up alone(16 Posts)
Hello Mumsnetters! I'm not a mother yet, but I would like to be one day. I'm worried that I'll never meet the right person to have children with given that I'm 25 years old and yet to meet someone I feel I can commit to for life. I've been told that my standards are too rigid but I feel I'm being quite reasonable, so I want to seek an objective third party opinion.
I'm a feminist with big dreams for my career. I want to have a relationship where we can motivate and support each other, and share cooking, housekeeping (and eventually parenting) responsibility equally.
I'm rabidly intellectually curious. I want to be with someone who is constantly seeking to widen their knowledge and who can tell me interesting things, be that about nuclear physics, German philosophy or military history. I'm also involved in different hobbies (I take weekly dance lessons, I'm cinema critic for an online magazine, I play lots of tennis and I love hiking) and I'd like to be someone with passions of his own who believes that relationships require 'space' for personal interests.
I don't know how to articulate this last bit without sounding like a prick, but I'll try...I have a challenging job as an economic analyst and I studied economics at the LSE and UCL. I spent a year learning French in Paris before university and then another year volunteering with startups in Vietnam and Laos. I know that these aren't the defining aspects of my personality (nor do I feel like a gap yahs in Paris and SE Asia are things to feel special about in any way!) but I'd like someone with roughly similar education, career ambitions and international exposure for compatibility's sake.
Please let me know what you think- am I being superficial or reasonable?
Don't ever settle just because you think time's wasting! You've got a good 10 years of fertility left (probably) at least. You are obviously intellectual and have a passion for learning. If you lower your bar, you'll end up with someone who you'll eventually find boring, and he'll find you pretentious. Don't do it!
I think the world has changed, we will live very long lives. I think choose the right partner for each life stage.
25 is not old. I know it's frustrating at the moment, but you really do have your whole life ahead of you!
You don't have to settle, and nor should you. Why exactly are people telling you this?
Well you're fishing a small pond!!
Actually, you sound like my SIL: Ivy League; Very prestigious grad school; on track to be a leader in her career specialty, set up her own NGO etc.
On paper my brother wouldn't match up- a degree from a very average university (although he was top in his year), when they met he was a skint recent immigrant to the US. Hobby wise he played football at a decent but not professional level, he never did a gap year (no money) and worked his way through university in low paid jobs.
Now he is a serial entrepreneur but more than that he is really clever, and actually any of my siblings and I more than hold our own with SIL: we are all better read, have a wide variety of experiences and can always add counterpoints to a debate (let's just say our parents are rabidly intellectually curious).
But you know something more important - being a decent person. My brother and his wife, for all their intellect, drive and passion are decent people. She looks after her 93 year old Grandmother and before they had children put themselves out for us when my MIL died (as in gave up their annual leave to look after my children so DH and I could both go to MIL's funeral).
When the chips are down the differences between Kant and Nietzche or The Seventh Seal and The White Ribbon are not soooo important.
And I know this is an anecdote, but my neighbour upstairs would absolutely fulfill your paper requirements- he is a complete dick.
Thanks for your replies! I was out with two of my single girlfriends yesterday and one of them mentioned a few people we went to university with who are now getting engaged/ married. Both my friends are ambitious, clever and pretty but they seemed to feel they had some 'flaw' because of which they were still single (either that their standards were too high or that they were too off-puttingly independent / opinionated). I was surprised as I had never thought this myself.
One of my friends also suggested that we (including her) were too 'high-maintenance'. I don't expect a man to subsidise for my lifestyle (which is not extravagant in any case) but both the girls disagreed and said it was only chivalrous for a man to pay on dates. I was very taken aback by this entire conversation, given that these are otherwise amazing and progressive women and I wanted to confirm that this isn't the majority opinion.
Most of the peopleI know who got married in their 20's are now divorced, you change so much between 20's and 30's. Don't think you have left it too late.
have you tried the Guardian Soulmates dating site, OP? I think there should be quite a number of men that aer your type there, especially if your age range is flexible.
Everything you said in your first post sounds absolutely fine - but totally misses the point.
You don't build a life with someone based on their intellectual abilities. You build a life with them based on their character, their values, their morality, your sexual and financial comparability. No point being with an intello if he's a bastard.
Write a full list of what you're looking for: loyal, honest, trustworthy, attractive, financially astute and add to that the things you've listed above. Then priorities them. Then do the same for what you think you have to offer, in addition to your sparkling CV. You'll be surprised by what you learn you may need to give up on, if you are to be realistic and brutally truthful with yourself.
I've seen too many women get to their mid-30s before figuring this out, by which time it just gets too late I'm afraid. It's good you're thinking about this now.
It sounds like you are looking for an employee rather than a husband.
One of my best friends had a tick list a bit like yours. She's gorgeous, funny, successful, kind, and still single aged 50.
It's not about lowering your standards but about not expecting one person to be all things to you.
I haven't asked if my friend ever wonders about those lovely men she rejected in her 20s because they couldn't ski, speak 3 languages or beat her at tennis.
Sounds a bit like you're interviewing to fill a post.
What were the men like you met on your own international exposures? They were probably broadly on a level with you - did you like them as people?
If you have two adventurous high achievers it is going to hit problems, -imagine one of you has been offered the job of a lifetime in Chicago. The other has to leave their dream job to go and is unlikely to get as good a one, who compromises.
Also, with a hectic lifestyle like yours how many eligible blokes do you meet, I mean meet and get to know well enough for a closer relationship to develop.
My DCs have all settled with people they worked with or were at uni with - hence they spent a lot of time with them before the romance set in.
And if you go on to have DCs you can prob chuck 90% of the interests out of the window. So the shared interests might not matter in the long term (though it would be nice if it did).
I think you aren't being superficial but you aren't really being reasonable either. Plus 25 is not old!
Relationships are a lot about compromise. DH drove me insane when he moved in
still does but above everything else he is kind. This makes up for a lot.
Going through your list:
Feminist who wants a career - not an issue, there are feminist blokes about. However you may need to be realistic about what exactly is going to happen when you have kids.
Share cooking, housekeeping etc equally - I'm sure this does happen, but I'll be honest it's rare. DH does his bit but I do all the thinking about stuff which gets depressing. This doesn't seem unusual.
Intellectually curious - also not an issue. Just look in the right places. YOu are more likely to find this bloke on Guardian Soulmates than in a night club.
Different hobbies - up to a point. When are you going to actually see each other with your busy schedules? And when you have kids???? DH and I have both dumped a lot of hobbies. It's fine. We actually like spending time with each other, it's kind of the point of relationships.
Similar education, career ambitions, international exposure - again up to a point. Similar education and career ambitions is good, most people want this but don't rule people out just because they are a bit different. International exposure is nuts. What if someone had done something really interesting but UK based - does that rule them out?
So no, your list isn't superficial but it's too long and focuses on some of the wrong stuff.
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