This myTake is most probably going to turn into a personal rant that I am going to regret in the future. But these are just thoughts stewing and brewing in my mind and I needed to get them out, especially because I changed a lot as a person in the last few years.
I read a quote on Instagram once that said every guy who breaks your heart, directs your heart closer to the person who would take care of it. It really resonated with me because with every relationship I would learn about what I really wanted out of it.
My story (sob story)
Growing up I was never really optimistic about finding a righteous spouse, and I felt sad about it because I want marriage and kids. I was bullied throughout my school life, from as far back as pre-school till high school, and even after high school I get bullied on social media. You know how people say that if you have such a prolonged issue then maybe you are part of the problem? That thought made the prepubescent me think that, if that's the case then maybe when I get married my husband is also going to bully me, I will be abused. I thought I will have kids that will be mean to me and I will die alone. I think this mindset makes me act too defensive in relationships.
I don't get a lot of attention from guys, not even an anonymous confession. Not that I don't get any at all, I have been in a few relationships, but it is not as much as my female peers, and sometimes I felt like if I exit my relationship then I won't find anyone else.
The fact that I have vitiligo could be a dealbreaker for a romantic interest. My mother thinks that I cannot find a good man, and my very first boyfriend asked me what would he do if my vitiligo worsens and I start looking unattractive. It is a fair thing to be concerned about, especially because something like this can happen overnight and no one sees it coming. This is why I don't want someone who wants me only for my looks, or any other superficial reason. Humans are superficial and we can't expect anyone to like someone with absolutely no superficiality in their minds, but it should definitely not just stop there.
Do looks matter?
To an extent. This is why you should work on looking your best. I see many people blaming their singleness on their looks when in reality I think being so ugly to the point that no one will want you at all just because of your looks is extremely rare, most likely they have other issues like personality, low self-esteem, etc.
My bestie's father is an incredibly handsome man: tall, beautiful face, beautiful complexion, funny, etc. But he is also very abusive. I also know a very beautiful woman who manipulates her brother to abuse his wife. On the other hand, I have a distant uncle who is not conventionally attractive, but has two wives (polygamy is legal). His second wife is a beautiful woman from another country, they met when my uncle went to work abroad. When she is asked why she converted her religion to marry this already married unattractive guy who is shorter than her, she just smiles and says that she likes his intelligence and other inner qualities.
Vitiligo is very unpredictable and new white spots can appear overnight. It really serves me as an additional reminder of how temporary good looks can be. There is so little guarantee that we will keep looking good forever, it can fade away with age, it can be lost rapidly due to some disease, it can be lost in a split second because of an accident or disaster... we never know! So I figured that if it is true for me then it is true for others too.
So for all these things I have seen since I was little, I learned from a very young age looks aren't everything. That coupled with my bullying experience, makes me pray to God that I don't care if dear future husband is ugly, short, disabled, whatever, I just want someone who will treat me well and be faithful. I have other priorities.
Do I like older men?
For a long time I had no idea why I felt more secure and less anxious having conversations with guys who are 5+ years older than me. I think there are several underlying factors: My parents were older when they had me, my siblings are significantly older than me (I am 19, siblings are 31F and 28M), I have trouble getting along with my peers, I am not interested in things that those my age tend to be. I wouldn't claim to be mature for my age.
Most people would just say that women simply like older men because they are more mature, more established etc and girls mature earlier than boys so it is a no-brainer. But there are plenty of younger men who are rather mature, and I personally don't care if a guy isn't established yet. I have no problem with the thought of growing with him. So my preference for older guys is not primarily because of the maturity or establishment.
I feel like older men are less superficial/judgmental, which matters a lot to me. They have a better idea of what's too trivial to not care about, and they know better than giving up on relationships when there is a problem. It allows me to show my personality more freely.
Also, I kind of feel safe with them because they are out of my peer network, an environment that triggers a lot of my social anxiety. If I date someone from my school then it will open door for many more scandals, rumors and further social marginalizing. I don't need to be more traumatized than I already am!
Masculine, Manly, Alpha Men vs Feminine Ladylike Women
I had a phase of learning more about traditional masculinity and femininity and I felt like those who are too obsessed with it are playing some kind of parody. I value some traditions but not all. I like the idea of a man who can provide and protect, but I don't think he has to be all rugged and hyper-masculine. It makes me roll my eyes when a man does not carry out his duties towards his family but expects his wife to be obedient. I am also not a fan of categorizing people as Alpha or Beta, and anyone who uses them are too full of themselves.
I think people are very polarized on the matter of chivalry and traditional masculinity. Some people are like "a gentleman must open the door for his lady" and others want total egalitarianism, but I try to see the bigger picture. If he opens the door but then he doesn't care about me having a safe transportation, or he pays the bill but treats the waiter poorly then I won't be impressed. I don't care if he doesn't open the door, I don't mind splitting the bill, but if he doesn't seem to care if I went home safely or do other things that show genuine care, I am out.
Actual chivalry and gentlemanliness is NOT an act.
I have my own ambition in terms of higher education and career. But I know that maintaining work and kids is very difficult when you don't have other people to help you. My sister could go as far in her career as she could because my mother and I as well as other relatives have helped her to look after her baby when she went to work, and even then she says how stressful it is. On the other hand, I know a woman in the neighborhood who dropped out of college because she did not get as much help with her child, on top of that she had to do chores for her in-laws. There is no guarantee what will happen with me, only God knows!
It is up to people to decide when they want kids, but many people don't understand that having kids is not so easy. Many people delay having kids thinking that it will just happen when they want it, in other words they take their fertility and health for granted. There is very little education about how fertility declines with age, obviously for women but for men as well. I don't promote 'baby panic', in fact lack of awareness reinforces it. It is not sexist at all to learn more about our bodies. Oh and if you are considering having a child you should check with a gynecologist to ensure everything is ok or knowing about potential risks.
I think even if a woman wants to become a total stay-at-home wife/mother, she should get a higher education and job experience, and definitely work on developing her skills so that she can sustain herself when a man cannot provide for her. Saving is also very important, and investing is even better. Even if you are not keen to become a stereotypical independent woman, you need to be self-sufficient enough. We no more live in the days when women had to do tons of manual labor. Machines made our lives less laborious and more time-effective, and I see many housewives using their free time to gossip or watch toxic TV shows that don't teach anything. Don't be like that.
Speaking of Self-Sufficiency
I think many women are convinced that just having your own income makes you independent. First-off, I don't think anyone is ever independent. Humans are dependent on each other and self-sufficient is a better term in my opinion. But I really think it is important to be financially sufficient as well in terms of homemaking skills and emotional stability.
First one's a no-brainer. Homemaking is nothing to look down upon, even men have to be able to do them as grown adults. And mental/emotional stability is important to not become too desperate to the point that it clouds your judgment in finding a good man and makes you more vulnerable to being used by wrong men. It is not good for your private peace and public reputation. Please seek therapy or counseling if needed.
I am physically a weakling, and I was lifting weights in the gym to be a little stronger until corona happened. I want to work on my weaknesses one by one because I am not self-sufficient at all. I don't feel the need to be a badass boss babe who can do it all, and I strongly embrace the fact that men can't do everything that women can and women can't do everything that men can. However, we as individual members of the same species need to be able to stand on our own feet.
I think a lot of men need their significant other to be dependent on them to the point that they even feel the need to bring down their S.O. by making her quit her job or not liking it when she shows her own agency or self-sufficiency, even leading to extreme fetishes like Feederism. I think men like that really lack masculinity and feel better about themselves by looking down on their women. I don't think a confident man needs that. I myself don't want to be that pathetic so I try to be mentally strong and level-headed no matter how broken I am internally.
My rant is finally over. Thanks for your patience.