singleness – success

“Did you read that article in the New York Times last Sunday? Severe stress makes women age prematurely because stress causes the DNA in our cells to shrink until they can no longer replicate. So when we’re stressed, we look haggard. This is just women, not men. And remember when they used to say that single women over the age of 35 were more likely to be killed by a terrorist than to get married? That was horrible. But now, our generation is also not getting married… and bonus: real terrorists actually became part of our lives. So the stress of it all shows up on our faces, making us look haggard, while Ethan goes on looking cute forever.”

The Holiday would seem to be your typical chick flick, and in many ways, it is. Two women not looking for romance find it 6,000 miles from home. {insert happy ending} But there’s another underlying theme: Are successful, ambitious women doomed for prolonged singledom? Movie-trailers maker, Amanda Woods, and wedding-column newspaper editor, Iris Simpkins, have established careers, are in their 30’s, own their homes, and are very successful… except at love. Neither have been married nor found Mr. Right. The irony? In their professions, both undertake love’s storylines.

False Assumption #10: Guys don’t date successful women.

As more and more women surpass men in education and in careers, do we also turn traditional gender roles on their head, with some profound consequences for relationship dynamics? Do highly educated women have more trouble finding a spouse?

Example A: Condoleezza Rice.

Example B: Jane Austen.

Example C: Oprah.

“Men don’t want successful women, men want to be admired.” ~ Gesine Haag, former executive of Germany’s

I have squirmed more than once in hearing, “Jill, you’re intimidating.” In less than 5 months, I will graduate with a Masters of Arts in Religion, placing me among the 6% of Americans who have achieved a Master’s degree. And I guess you could look at my job choices as an obstacle to romance: an Actuary turned Director of Admissions may not exactly make a guy ooh and aah.  But I also think you could look at this as a litmus test that quickly eliminates a large portion of the population that I wouldn’t be compatible with anyway.

Most days that hardly seems a loss worth mourning; other days, it feels like I should have settled and married Joe Schmoe in my 20’s, before I became “too” successful.

Today’s a good day.

And like Amanda and Iris’ fairytale endings, I believe I’ve got one too.


2 thoughts on “singleness – success

  1. Larry says:

    Megan told me that guys used to say that she was intimidating. I guess I don’t have that gene.

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