I once read an article that cited studies that suggested that many women are foregoing relationships and marital bliss to pursue their careers. The reason for this was because their chances of finding a mate were slim. The article referenced two types of women in particular: unattractive women and African-American women. Now, I’m not sure what standard of “attractive” these studies were using, but they concluded that women who realized that they were less desirable to men usually end up giving up on love and immersing themselves in their careers. As for African-American women, the study suggested that the more educated a woman becomes, the less choices she has in “marriageable” men. In other words, with more women at the same level or out-performing men, the chances of them finding a mate become more and more bleak. I honestly don’t think this issue is an “unattractive” or African-American woman issue as I see many 30-somethings and even 40 and 50-somethings that are successful women that have never been married.
Now, that I think about it, many of my “smart girl” friends and associates are single. I have never been a bridesmaid because these chicks are just not getting married yet. In fact, rarely do we have the age old conversations about men, marriage and children over tea and cucumber sandwiches. The conversations are usually about dissertations, final exams, new projects at work, and career changes. Rarely do I hear any of my girlfriends or even myself talking about how that proverbial biological clock is starting to tick louder and louder. I think the thoughts are in the back of all of our minds that we would all love to share our lives with someone and live out what society calls a full life, but realistically we don’t want to admit it and admit that something may be missing in our lives. As long as we are achieving our goals, everything is okay. In fact, I have even heard some of my friends say that they fear giving up their dreams if they seek out marriage and motherhood.
So, what’s a girl to do? I know that I have put many parts of my personal life on hold to accomplish goals and I may have some regrets down the line, but choices are choices and this is the path I have chosen. What I am wondering is why is it so hard for women to consider having it all: the great career, the fantastic husband and the beautiful children; all without letting the thought of sacrificing weigh us down. I think there will always be women who can balance their own goals (with few sacrifices) and enjoy a great family life, but I also think there will also be more and more single women who may miss out on that one thing that they think they can’t have because of their own goals. As for me, I will go on living life and if love finds me, score one for the “smart girl.”