Men Think I Want To Settle Down Because I Work In The Wedding Industry
"Oh no, what's he going to do now?"
His eyes might glaze over while he politely continues with our small talk and tries to devise a quick and easy escape route.
Or, he might blurt out, "That's nice" and immediately change the topic, secretly proud about how he dodged a bullet.
Most likely, he'll just stutter, go cross-eyed and pass out because he heard one of most taboo words for single people: wedding.
I've just told another man I work in the wedding industry.
I probably would have received the same reaction if I told a guy that I was a leper.
But to them it's all the same, right?
I've always loved weddings, with all the romance, the ceremony, the gown and the celebration of love.
Almost every little girl does.
But, I couldn't shake the obsession.
I became involved with wedding planning when I was 19, and I have dabbled in the industry ever since.
Jumping from PR to social media, I then landed a job helping brides find their perfect venues at one of the top wedding resources in the US.
It's a perfect setup, and I couldn't be happier with where I ended up, especially since I graduated from college a few months ago.
Many of the other women at my workplace have similar stories.
They worked with planners, decorators or at dress boutiques. All of them catered to the wedding business prior to our current jobs.
We have a shared passion for everything weddings.
Want to know what else we have in common?
The majority of us are as single as the day we were born.
There are a few lucky ducks who are engaged, married or in committed relationships, but I'm convinced they met their soulmates prior to working with weddings.
For anyone who works in the wedding industry, it's an amazing blessing and a social curse.
Every little girl dreams of being surrounded by weddings, but it makes trying to meet Prince Charming impossible.
The moment one of us tells a guy at a bar, on Bumble or at the local coffee shop that we work in the wedding industry, his mind explodes with one fearful thought: commitment.
They imagine that we have our weddings planned for tomorrow, and that we expect them to be waiting at the end of the aisle, suited up and ready to put a ring on it.
Even the older "men" in their late 20s run for the hills.
Forget 25 and under. We have absolutely no shot because a wedding isn't in their long- or short-term plans.
Almost any man who thinks that most women don't ponder the idea of marriage, weddings and love on a regular basis is completely fooling himself.
Many women already have their dream weddings completely planned in their heads, from the dresses to the favors.
But because I work with weddings, am I somehow more terrifying to men?
This is a plea to all men: Hold your freaking horses.
Did I ask you to be my husband, or did I ask you to get me a drink?
I don't remember mentioning our first dance or an extensive guest list, so please don't look at me like I just did.
And yet, it's women who are chastised for thinking too much.
I work in the wedding industry because it's something I'm passionate about. It creatively inspires me every day.
It reminds me to appreciate seeing my friends and family.
It allows me to dive into a niche in the fashion industry that celebrates a life-changing event.
A real man should want to be with someone who loves what she does.
It means she's happy, which ultimately means he will be, too.
I had been seeing a guy for a while, and he surprisingly didn't seem too bothered by my career path.
But his roommates gave him “Dude, run!” looks when they found out what I did.
“Have you seen 'The Wedding Planner?'" one asked.
Had I seen it?
That's like asking a baseball player if he's ever watched a Red Sox game on TV.
I politely told him I had, but I explained that I didn't exactly do the same line of work.
Women in the wedding industry are wrongly associated with the crazy, clingy brides seen in pop culture.
Or, we're misinterpreted as the uptight and controlling planner.
I will not apologize because I have my sh*t together 90 percent of the time like J. Lo did.
But just like J. Lo felt, sometimes it's hard to look at endless accounts of happy endings, planned and perfected wedding days and couples so in love.
My co-workers and I scroll unceasingly through Real Weddings.
We connect with so many newlyweds and engaged couples at the office countless times a day, so sometimes, we wonder when will we get our own happily ever afters.
Of course, I look forward to a wedding one day in the future, but I'm young, living in NYC and have so much more to do with my life before I settle down.
I would love someone to share my time with, but I'm only interested in a man who isn't scared by my choice of career.
I want a man who encourages me to be better and pursue my passion with weddings.
In the end, guys are as fearful of commitment as they are of a woman who's driven and knows what she wants.