By Caroline Brewton
Finding a soulmate is hard.
I am young, decently attractive with an impressive list of qualifications, and yet I’m staring tragedy in the face. I am a generic unmarried girl, age 18-48, and yet another Valentine’s Day has just passed me by.
I’m running out of time.
Don’t let common sense fool you. It’s not about waiting for the right time or person; it’s about acquiring a checklist of things that make you most attractive to guys in order to make one of them fall in love with you and decide to seal the deal.
It’s tiring, though: a full-time job. I am just waiting for the day, when, ring on my finger, I can go back to being myself instead.
Think of it like retirement. Once you’re married, your relationship career is over. You’ve earned your place. It’s safe to pursue your own hobbies again (i.e., stop pretending to like football). You don’t have to dress up every day to go to the “office” (i.e. any public place you might meet that future spouse). For us girls, that means back to wearing sweatpants in the house, the gym, the grocery store…
Wow. Let me stop and think about this for a minute. I might as well just marry the sweatpants. We already have a comfortable bond based on low expectations.
All joking aside, I, the stereotypical single, desperate girl, view my unmarriedness as a personal failure. Instead of looking at it like I haven’t met the right person, I think that I’m doing everything right, so why hasn’t the closest friend/platonic acquaintance/nearby warm-blooded male fallen madly in love with me yet?
Let me stress, I cook really well, and it’s only my carefully acquired and appropriately feminine modesty that keeps me from telling you that I’m all but gourmet. So what’s going on here? Am I getting the wrong message?
Romantic comedies, Cosmopolitan magazine and “chick lit” all tell me that I should be sexy but also have a cute personality, never share anything deeply personal until I’m committed and pursue my man like there’s no tomorrow even if he shows no immediate interest in me, because men are all commitment-phobic, small-minded and physical.
I guess my problem is that I’m trying to look at this academically. I mean, isn’t a proposal supposed to be romantic? Exciting? Unexpected? And here I am, treating it like an essay that’s due before junior year.
Better, in fact, since I often procrastinate on daunting assignments, whereas I radically and quickly change my clothes and my personality almost daily in search of the perfect mate.
Is there something I’m missing? Am I wasting my time developing these artificial traits? Should I take a chance and share something personal? Go outside my comfort zone? Develop genuine interests and cultivate my relationships based on mutual respect and understanding? Wait for the ring until I’ve grown as a person?
No. That’s crazy talk. My plan is clearly working. The men should be … lining up … any minute now…
Caroline Brewton is a sophomore journalism major from Beaumont and is a copy editor for the Lariat.