There is a common piece of advice given to those who are going for something they want: If you can't name it, you can't get it. It makes a lot of sense. It isn't that we have to meet every goal we set for ourselves, but if we're too ashamed or afraid of "jinxing" something to say it out loud, then how can we ever expect to actually be able to get the courage to go for it? That is how love works, too.
I have noticed a pattern in my own life and certainly in the world of pop culture and news. Single women seem determined to love their single status, so determined that they often undermine their chances of getting married even though, secretly, that is what they want.
It only stands to reason. If you tell everyone you're happy single, insist you don't want a man, and tell everyone who will listen that you love your life as it is, how can you ever expect a man to think you want to get married? That is the vibe you send. And while acting desperate isn't attractive, why is it so hard for so many women to be honest about their dreams in love?
The Daily Mail addressed this in a recent article about single women who "secretly" wanted to be married. Essentially they said it looks bad to want to be married because it suggests a woman can't hack it on her own or that it will hurt her chances of advancing in her career if she is viewed as being on the "mommy track."
But so what? Don't we all kind of want it all? The great career, the great husband, the adorable kids, and the penthouse apartment? Why is it so hard for women to be honest?
We are fed a lot of stuff about enjoying our single time and our independence and, to be sure, being single has its perks. Marriage is no constant picnic and it won't solve every problem you've ever had. There is no doubt I would rather be single forever than spend too much time in a miserable marriage. But why can't women say, "I want to have a happy marriage"? Are they afraid if they say it, they will seem desperate or people will feel badly for them if it never happens?
Wanting to have a happy, contented marriage isn't old-fashioned or quaint or silly or weak. It's nice. And women need to own it more.
The Daily Mail talked about women who cohabitate and even have children without getting married and said some of them would actually prefer to be married. It makes sense. Marriage isn't just a "slip of paper." It's a public declaration of your love, a promise to one another (and to the state) that you are in it for the long haul and you want it recognized.
It's OK to desire it and more women need to be able to say it. You can enjoy being single and want to be married someday at the same time. Both can co-exist and there is no shame in admitting the truth.
Why do you think some women can't admit they want marriage?
Image via Kumon/Flickr