The hunt for a husband

By 21:37

I chatted with a single female friend the other day and predictably, the conversation turned into men; or rather the lack of a boyfriend. Have you met someone while in Durban? I’m at a wedding and there’s no one of interest there. The more single girls I meet, the more I realise with relief that I’m not the only one without a boyfriend and the more I realise how much pressure society puts on women to fit the mould of being married and raising the perfect kids in a house with a rose bush in the garden enclosed by a white picket fence.
In my traditional Indian family, all my female cousins have been married by the time they were 23, including the cousins who is my age. At 25, I don’t have a boyfriend and therefore I have no marriage plans for at least the next two years. I’m constantly questioned about my love life from my mother and the extended family. Understandably, they are concerned. After all, I am getting older.
Facebook is filled with girl friends from school whose last names have changed and photos of babies are uploaded every week. Getting married and having kids is what you do in the suburb I grew up in. Studying and having a career is a bit unheard of.
My varsity friends are more the type to understand that young people aren’t just rushing into marriage anymore yet more and more of them upload wedding photos on Facebook and change their relationship statuses to married.
I cringe when bumping into my friends from school and university as the catch-up conversation generally revolves around the husband they recently married, the place they’re living in now and how children are on the cards. Then I am asked, “And what about you? How have you been doing? Are you married?” The line of questioning quickly turns to, “But why?” My response of late has been that I just haven’t met him yet.
This morning I stumbled upon a blog entitled Stop Asking My Mom Why I am Single. Melissa Malamut is a 32 year old woman who is tired of her little community asking her mom why she hasn’t found a husband yet. She isn’t against marriage but she does explore the gossip on unmarried women, the rise in divorce rate resulting from young marriages, the reasons she isn’t married to her previous boyfriends and that they are other things on the priority list for women aside from a husband and kids. She concludes with, “The bottom line is that there is no specific reason why a self-proclaimed amazing woman in her thirties isn’t married. Maybe she isn’t sold on the institution of marriage in general? Maybe she’s had one too many broken hearts? Maybe the men she is interested in are not beating down her door? Maybe she doesn’t want to settle for anything less than an extraordinary love? Those may not be everyone’s reasons but they sure are mine. So please, stop asking my mom.”
A lot of single girls can identify with Melissa Malamut’s blog. I’m single. And while I am, I’m going to work on other aspects of my life like my career, spoiling myself and exploring hobbies that I’m passionate about. But what about the single girls who are tired of being alone? What about my friend mentioned in the onset who is tired of looking. She thinks she’s too old to keep waiting for Prince Charming to magically appear and whisk her off to his castle so she’s considering retiring the glass slippers for boots to go on the hunt.
Success is universally measured by the corner office and assets. Success for me is measured by happiness and quality of life. Quality of life is being able to spend time with friends and loved ones, having a beautiful home and being able to do what I want when I want. Yes, money is important but I don’t care much for excessive wealth and advancement of my career isn’t one of my ambitions. I love spending time with friends and spoiling my family and marriage is definitely on my priority list. I’m not unhappy with my life but if I could be transported into a beautiful home, woken up by my doting husband, I would be ecstatic. So, pressure from family and friends aside, what about single girls who genuinely want to be married?
The most common advice is to not think about it and wait. But for how long do you keep waiting for? Someone once told me that if she’s still waiting by 35, she’s going to become a nun.
Makeovers are said to be the best way to get guys attention. Girly magazines, movies and TV promote a well defined body and a pretty face. Looks are considered important but even pretty girls have trouble finding The One.
Go out more. I was once encouraged to join the gym – to work on my physical health by exercising and maybe find a guy there because guys go to the gym. I go out all the time and I keep fit with my dance classes. I don’t even like going to the gym so I refuse to pay gym membership fees solely in the hopes that I will meet someone. I’d rather spend that money on food and drinks at Newscafe and hope our paths cross there.
Sally Gray took matters into her own hands with her TV show How to Find a Husband. At 38, she embarked on 70 dates in 70 days with 50 different guys for the show. Coaching, speed dating, internet dating and blind dates didn’t find her a husband by the end of the show. She eventually got married a few years later. It’s incredible how hard she worked at finding at husband. A classic example of a woman on the hunt…but I don’t want to get married at 40. Did she start hunting for a husband too late?
It appears that waiting for Prince Charming to awaken us with a kiss isn’t working for some women these days. Does that mean we need to keep waiting like Sleeping Beauty? If Sally Gray didn’t try to find a husband, she might have been single at 40. Should we rather wake our inner Sleeping Beauty up and go in search of Prince Charming to remind him that we’re waiting to be swept off our feet? It’s a daunting thought though – where do you start? Of all my couple friends, I don’t know any girls that sought out their partner.  All my chic friends are shy about approaching a guy and the best they’ll do catch the eye of hottie and look away and catch his gaze again. If he’s interested, he’ll approach.
Men complain about the difficulty of meeting women which I really don’t understand. How difficult can it be? Spot a girl, strike up a conversation and ask her out. Men have evolved into the role of the pursuer. They have millennia of experience etched into their chromosomes. For women struggling to find a man, this is the first generation that the struggle exists. Our mothers seem to not be able to understand it. And if men allege that they struggle to speak to women, how are women supposed to do it?
I’m chatty, friendly and quite the extrovert yet I’m still afraid to approach a guy. This seems like the best option yet I don’t know if I can do it so how am I supposed to encourage my friends to do it. It is the advice I gave my friend who asked whether she should start looking for a man. Maybe we should be bolder – not too bold as in walking up to a table that a guy is sitting at but maybe striking a conversation when I’m alone in the lift with a strange man. There’s no harm in trying and I guess we’ll just wait to see if this approach works. If it doesn’t then we can go back to sleep for a hundred years until we’re woken up with a kiss…or woken up for mass at the convent.

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  1. finaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllyyyyyyyyyyy a blogger i relate to

  2. Pity I only saw this post now - I have some theories on the subject

    1. I'd love to hear about your theories. I could always do another post ;-)