I was listening to a show the other morning and the presenter said there’s an article going around in Australia where a Catholic priest is asking women to lower their standards if they’re going to find a husband. Apparently there is a man drought in Australia, there are only 86,000 eligible bachelors in the country and the rate of marriage has dropped dramatically. Listening to this, I wondered if these situation is applicable here in the UK or even in Nigeria because I know a few single ladies, these are drop dead gorgeous women who are high achievers, they hold down very good jobs that allows them comfortable lifestyles. Two of the people on the show agreed with the priest and one didn’t, so I started to ask myself if I agreed or not.
I couldn’t quite make up my mind as I questioned what it means to lower one’s standard. What standards should we even have in the first place as a woman? A man with a job? His own home? Educated, if so how educated, degree, masters, PhD? A tall handsome man? From a good family? e.t.c, the more I thought about it, the more I realised that it’s not as easy as it sounds.
I remember having a conversation with a friend of mine, she was telling me about a guy she went on a date with and she listed all the things she had issues with, I then told her that I think she’s been too picky, her response to me was that didn’t I make sure that my hubby was of my standard before I agreed to marry him, her response stopped me dead in my tracks as I pondered on it, the honest truth is maybe I did have a standard but I was never conscious of it. I don’t want to confuse standard with needs now especially for those who have read my “Is he the one” post.
How does a woman lower her standard? A comedian once joked that when a woman is between the ages of 20-24, she makes a list of what her man has to have, good looks, a job, moved out of his mama’s house, has no baby mama drama ,at least educated to degree level, own a car, not in any major debt, not into porn, ain’t crazy e.t.c, by the time she’s 25-30, the list goes , he must have a job, moved out of mama’s house, has no baby mama drama, not in major debt, not into porn, ain’t crazy, then when she’s between 30-35, the list is tweaked to he doesn’t need to have a job, I have a good one to feed us both, he can move into my home, has no baby mama drama, not in major debt, not into porn, ain’t crazy, then when she’s over 35, the list is dramatically cut down to as long as he ain’t crazy, it’s all good . I just wondered how true this is, do women drop their standards as they get older and realised that the pickings are becoming slimmer, for example, men of similar age, say between 25 and 35 will be looking to date younger girls and not girls their age which leaves women in that age gap with men who are either already married, divorced, much older or just not marriage material.
Then I thought about some of my friends who have spent their lives studying and working hard to climb up their career ladder and are pretty successful, will I ask them to go for a guy with no job or no prospect of getting one, who has no home of his own (ok, I know guys who chose to rent their homes rather than buy because they don’t want any debt), who’s divorced with children e.t.c, I don’t think that I would give such advice cos it doesn’t seem fair to me and if I was in their shoes, I’m not sure that I’d compromise so far.
So is it an age thing? Do women come under this pressure to lower their standard because they’re getting older and regardless of the lives they’ve made for themselves, they should settle for a man below the standards they’d prefer?
Or is the solution to put marriage ahead of career building? For example if a girls gets married between the ages of 20-24, according to the comedian, she most likely will be with a man that ticks all her boxes but she may not be on top of her career yet.
A girl I went to college with got married pretty early and by the time the rest of us had finished university, she’d had 3 children, I remembered feeling sorry for her wondering what kind of a life she must have, I must admit, I feel ignorant now for thinking like that because I’ve since met very successful women who crave having a family that they’d trade in their jobs and status in a second. Another friend who is a top manager at a blue chip company once asked me “if she’d made a mistake choosing a career over settling down with a family”, she’s in her late 30s now, when she was in her 20s, there was a guy who wanted to marry her but she refused because she wanted to get somewhere in her career before getting tied down with family and now she seems to have this regret.
I really don’t have any conclusion for this question, I’m still musing over it myself but look out for my post titled “Can women really have it all?”
What are your thoughts?