Marrying well…

I am looking through my phonebook, paying particular attention to the names of my female friends. How many girlfriends of mine are actually with men who are their equals, if not superiors (in the most un-patronising sense of the word)??

It’s considered superficial, materialistic and almost unfashionable to date someone substantially older, more successful, who’s worked damn hard to earn his BMW and CEO position. Is it just me, or is it considered noble to fight for the underdog? (Read: support a struggling artiste because the sex is good and he makes you feel amazing?)

A past colleague has prompted me to thinking about this. She’s my age. (Is this a generational problem?) She financially supported her man and his mother, helping him set up his business whilst he lived rent-free under the roof that she worked hard to pay for, tile by tile. She did this all while working 9-5, wearing a suit and being a mother. After several years, she came home to find he’d removed all his possessions and wanted out of the relationship. Fine. So, after healing, she moved on to find the most incredible, loving, genuine man. He happens to be older, successful and a single parent himself. It has taken A LOT of getting used to for her that he wants to profess, provide and protect.

For a clutch of intelligent, attractive and dynamic women, why is it that we cut ourselves down to size before we even give a man an opportunity to? We don’t feel we have the right to ask to be provided for- we are Generation Y and we get what we want, when we want, with sprinkles on top, without needing a man to lay down his jacket over the puddle to get us there. Chivalry didn’t die- we killed it! I have friends who find it offensive to have the door opened for them, dinner dates paid for, and being called “lady”. We are horrified that other women may think we are shallow, but there are men who like to be gentlemen.

Case in point, my newly divorced male friend. Besides trying to get over the fact that his marriage ended, he feels thwarted by the whole dating circuit because he doesn’t know his “place”. He says that when he and his ex-wife were dating, he felt romantic and courteous for paying for dinner, movies and the odd bottle of perfume. Now every time he asks a woman out, they meet there instead of him picking her up, she pays half, and she tells him what to order and when they are next going to see each other. I reassure him that it’s probably because of his black hair and Dracula-esque hairline that women are scared he’s a deviant of some kind… but, times have changed since he got married, and I don’t have the heart to break it to him.

I think that all this female-lib, leather-wearing, ball-breaking that my generation has been flaunting all over the place is partly responsible for this lovely little new outbreak called “Commitment Phobia”. We rock up on the scene, boasting amazing threads, a shiny automobile, a street-savvy attitude, a job to match and a wallet teeming with notes compartmentalised from R200 to R20. Immediately we ask for nothing, instead proving our worth. And then we wait until our ovaries have fossilised to dare speak about monogamy and mortgages.

All we need to do to make a man feel superfluous is open our mouths. Oh, and the fact that its advertised everywhere in books, magazines and movies surely hasn’t done much to aid testosterone levels.

Women became more ballsy and men became metrosexuals 10 miles back.

Men say all the time that they don’t know what they are needed for anymore. I’m not about to put forward that we all become barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, but I dare suggest accepting compliments, dinner and wearing our bras instead of burning them.

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