I enjoy surrounding myself with older friends. I have always been a borderline, undercover groupie. Why the anxiousness to be older? Well, my role models are out of the self-discovery phase, are confident whole beings, independent thinkers, and have amazing style.
They are the mature women I admire and aspire to be. Hence, I frequently seek advice from my 30-something female friends. It's fun hearing them share their life experiences and learning from their adventures.
I have always felt like an old soul at heart, but my actual age hindered my acceptance into the cool, calm, and collected 30-something social circles. Yet, since my 25th birthday has just passed, I suddenly feel like I am part of the crew. Crossing that quarter of a century benchmark has left me slightly wiser.
Nevertheless, there is one piece of advice I have been told by my mentors repeatedly that I still struggle to understand: never settle for a man in the name of love.
A friend of mine said, "Women have surpassed the men in this generation, and because of it, we have lowered the bar and are accepting what is available. It has to stop!" For the purpose of this article, let us sway away from the “women have surpassed men” debate.
Let's instead focus on the concept of settling. It's not a new or unheard of idea, but is it true? Are successful Generation-Y women, who should be worshiped on pedestals, settling for mediocrity? Yikes.
The underlying reason for women who settle is almost always that they feel time is ticking away, and this is their last chance to get married, have kids, buy that suburban house, the whole nine yards; although, no one will ever admit that fact. They all unanimously and wholeheartedly use the excuse of blind love. Fine, I am an optimistic believer of romance and true love, but c'mon, is that the only requirement for a relationship to work?
Back in the day, people were matched up based on nationality, religion, education, income, and values, precisely in that order. For the most part, they lived a happily married life, since clearly, humanity has continued to procreate. Nowadays, there's only one requirement for pairing off into couples: love.
Yet, when two people have different nationalities, religions, educations, incomes, and values, what do they really have in common and how could they possibly fall and stay in love?
I Don't Want No Scrub
Don't get me wrong, I am all for interracial and interreligious marriages. I went to a Hindu-Jewish wedding last year (or Hin-Jew, as Russell Peters would call it) and seeing Indian men with Kippahs was by far the cutest and most uniting moment ever. Still, I have more difficulty understanding couples on completely opposite brain waves.
They have acquired substantially different levels of education, are from paradoxical tax brackets, and do not even share core morals. These three aspects are what make your lifestyle. Race and religion only add that extra spice, but they don't sculpt the person that you are. However, isn't a mental, financial, and emotional connection essential for love?
I am not saying that people should be robotically paired up based on IQ. Of course there needs to be that animalistic attraction: those butterflies in your stomach, and that metaphoric spark that ignites love. A physical bond cannot be the sole reason to settle for a scrub.
Knowledge is the purest form of power. For me, it defines passion. A man who can eloquently use big words in full sentences is beyond sexy! Gen-Y women need a life partner who can analyze novels, debate political views, and constantly expand their horizons. It's important to be mentally in sync because, otherwise, you will always feel superior to him and that would be a slippery slope. If you do not feel like equals, you do not respect him. If you do not respect him, your commitment level is weak.
I don't think your bank balances and incomes need to be similar in order to fall in love but your ambition, drive, and value of money definitely need to be on the same page. You will essentially be creating a life together, thus, your spending habits and saving regimes need to be matched. If you are a couponing queen and your boy toy likes to gamble, you are basically brewing up a storm.
It's a tale as old as time. You cannot live on love alone, so eventually, if he has maxed out your credit cards and doesn't get paid his minimum wage salary for another week, you will quickly fall out of love.
A concept Carrie Bradshaw practically wrote a thesis on was how in this world we have both relationships without love and love without relationships. So then what is love and what's the value of it? How do you measure love?
Some poor souls might say love is measured by the amount of text messages exchanged. Ladies, that is not considered an emotional connection and neither is any social media interaction. An emotional understanding is not quantitative. It's the ability to share core values and morals.
Are family and friends important to you? Are charity events a part of your routine? Well ask yourself, does he take an interest in being a part of your family life, or is he constantly distant? Are you routinely making excuses for him to accept his flaws because you think he might eventually change? If you are not comfortable enough to share an honest sentiment, you aren’t even in love in the first place.
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