Some real-life Valentine’s Day advice

February 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

OK. That’s it. I’ve had it.

Older female columnists need to stop giving terrible marriage advice to impressionable college-aged girls who don’t yet know what to ignore.

Having the worst Valentine’s Day ever? New studies suggest a few tips to turn things around

The pressures of Valentine’s Day can be socially crippling, whether you’re a married couple trying to renew the spark or the sole singleton at the office not to be delivered flowers. But according to new research, there are ways to find bliss on the much-dreaded day of love (and no, it doesn’t involve hiding under the covers with candy, though it’s not a horrible idea). Here are some tips to not having the worst Valentine’s Day ever:

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Another one of these thoughtless, banal and godawful tropes was published in today’s Wall Street Journal.

If you’ve read one of these, you’ve read them all: they carry the echo of well-intentioned counsel offered by countless grandmothers and aunts. There is, apparently, a finite number of eligible men in the world and women need to grab them. Marriageable men, after all, prefer women who are “young,” and “unchallenging” — make sure to snap up the quality while you’re still both! The Journal column even repeats the old cliche about the cow and the free milk.

If these women can offer advice, heck, as a bride-to-be, I’m as qualified as anyone to tell people how to land a mate. So, here are Jen Gerson’s patented tips to land a suitable spouse. Mileage may vary.

1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with finding your partner in college. Many people marry young and do so quite successfully. These relationships are blessed. Also know that friends come and go. You are probably not going to be friends with most of the people you went to college with, much less wind up with the person you were dating at 22. And most of us are enormously, ceaselessly thankful that this is the case.

2. If you are in your early 20′s, you are young and beautiful and your future still has all the mystery and romance of being both uncharted and unknowable. This is an amazing and terrifying time in your life. There are better things to do with it than scope out a future spouse like a bad caricature of a manipulative ‘50s housewife. If you find a partner now, that’s great! But there are other ways to spend your limited energy that will pay off just as well in the long run.

3. Make your own rules about who you choose to sleep with, when and why. There are no points awarded or deducted for the number of partners you have. The only important thing is to know that you are in control of your own body; you get to decide how you use it. And, ultimately, you are responsible for the consequences of those decisions.

4. Grow up. Figure out who you are in the world. Understand where you came from — the communication skills and inklings of self awareness you’ll begin to develop in your 20′s will pay enormous dividends if you choose to build a life with another human.

5. Travel.

6. Become an honest-to-goodness human being with real interests and hobbies. Politics, knitting or base jumping. It doesn’t matter what your passions are, you just have to have some. As you grow up, you can develop relationships based on these mutual interests.

7. Learn how to stand on your own. Earn a wage and construct a budget. Run your  home. Become confident in your ability to function in the adult world. If you choose to become married, these are skills that will make you a valuable and competent partner. If your spouse leaves — and a lot of them do — you’ll have a solid foundation on which to rebuild your life.

8. If you want children, accept that there is a limited biological timeframe in which to have them. Try to manage your life accordingly. However, you will also have to accept that there is no perfect time to have kids, and no one manages a family and a career as well as they would like.

There is a correlation between marital success and age — and it runs in exactly the opposite direction that these kinds of advice columns suggest

9. Know that life is imperfect.

10. Develop confidence. Self-respect is the most attractive thing you can offer to any mate. People who believe their age, appearance or lack of accomplishments prevents them from landing a spouse radiate a desolation that repels potential partners. There are a lot of people in the world. Many of them are looking for a companion. Age is not as relevant as attitude. Cloying desperation is as much a turn off at 22 as it is at 40.

11. Be challenging. It’ll keep everything interesting.

12. Lastly, know that this hectoring you receive from columnists, aunts and mothers is really just lazy regret polished to fill column inches and conversational gaps. It is not only genuinely terrible advice, it is, in fact, completely unsupportable. There is a correlation between marital success and age — and it runs in exactly the opposite direction that these kinds of advice columns suggest. Studies have shown that the older a couple is when they marry, the more likely their partnership is to succeed. And that’s really the advice we should be giving men and women who want to take that long walk; not that they should be desperate to get married, but that they should aim to be married happily.

On that note, Happy Valentine’s Day!

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