girlfriend or wife material?

I’ve often wondered this.  Looking over the 20+ years (oh, it hurts to admit that!) I’ve been dating, am I girlfriend or wife material?  What is it about a woman that makes a man see “girlfriend” or “wife” as opposed to just someone you casually date?

am I this?!?!

Is it the way she behaves?  Certainly.
Is it the way she dresses?  Maybe.
Is it her occupation?  Depends if what she does for a living would be considered a felony.
Is it her intelligence?  I hope a man appreciates this in any woman, whether wife or one night stand.
Is it her age?  Possibly, if you are intent on only having children who are biologically both of yours.
Is it her race/ethnicity/religion?  This is important for many people.

For much of my adult life, I have been single.  Not in a serious relationship.  Yes, I’ve dated many men, had many flings, and there have been guys I’ve seen multiple times.  But only a few of them I would have actually considered “my boyfriend.”  Is that weird?

What is *wrong* with me that guys don’t seem to want to stick around for the long run?

It’s generally not a huge problem for me to meet guys.  Though it is getting harder the older I get.  I realize that my looks are maturing (trying to be kind to myself and those in my age group).  I’m no spring chicken at 35, but luckily look younger and take good care of myself.  It’s also more difficult because I no longer hang out at your stereotypical meat market-type places, where excessive drinking and mingling is the norm.

So, my problem is not getting the guy through the door, it’s getting him to settle in and stay.

I would assume that it’s my personality that turns men away.  I will be the first to admit that I may come across as *hard* and *tough to get to know* when you first meet me.  At work, I’ve had co-workers tell me that they were afraid of me for a long time, until they got to know me.  I’m not overly eager to talk to near-strangers about all the details in my life.  I won’t instantly let you into my life if I think that you may have the potential to hurt me, as a romantic relationship might.

My friends would dispute this point and say I’m warm and open and super-friendly.  I’ve never had an issue making new friends.  My friends and I are always welcoming new people to our group in a “no one is a stranger in our home” kind of way.  As a group, yes.  Me, as an individual, maybe not as much.

Is this me? With a hard shell, but with a soft, delightful, decadent, rich interior?

Perhaps, I’m halfway in between?  A hard external shell and soft interior?

Yep, that's me almost all the time

I don't know how to do this

I think because it takes a little more time for me to let someone beyond my exterior, men think I’m aloof in regards to the relationship.  I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve (not until after I really get to know you) and keep my poker face until I feel completely comfortable.  But once I am sure and at ease, then I have no problem letting him know how I really feel and how I want to be with him.  It takes a long time for the comfort level to build enough for me to take the wall down.  I’m not pushy and demanding in my relationships.  I don’t come on too strong.  I might actually come across as too lax and indifferent (though I don’t think lightly of my relationships and regard them as nothing).  I am very affectionate (hugging, touching) with all of those I care about.  If I care about you, you’ll know it.

I’d love to be able to say it’s because men are intimidated by me, but really?  No.  I’d like to say that men are scared away because I am a very strong-willed woman, I have my own interests and life, I have a job and can take care of myself, I have opinions and am not afraid to let them known, I’m attractive enough to have somewhat of an ego.  But are all of these turn-offs?  No, not at all.  That’s what most men want.  So what is it that makes them leave?

There was a line in the movie, Someone Like You (yes, I’m quoting a chick flick, based on the book Animal Husbandry, which I think I read way back in the day), that Ashley Judd says in the midst of her heartbreak breakdown, “Because if this theory is wrong, men don’t leave all women, Eddie. They leave me.”  This line resonated so completely with me that I felt that pang in my chest when I heard it.  I feel this way so much of the time, even though I know I have been the one at times to walk away from a relationship.

I don’t know if I can change the way I open up to men, but I am certainly trying to.  It’s not easy for me to let down my guard, even if it’s for the right reasons.  It’s likely that I’m just too hard and difficult and cautious and *scary* to men.  Or they are just repulsed by me.

Wow, there’s the cynical bitch we know and love.” (another Someone Like You quote)

21 Comments

  1. Maybe it’s something to do with the day and year we are born? Ya think? Cause I’m the same way. I mean, I’ve gone a tad more off the deep end as of recently, but I think I’m justified in it.

    I really don’t want to date anymore. It was just so exhausting emotionally. I’m not sure if I was hormonally driven for a few years or what, but wanting to get married, kids… yeash… gah! That was never me, never what I wanted for my life when I was younger, so I’m not sure what that was about, at least I found my way back to the dark side. Come join me, we have cookies. ;)

    • I’m not quite ready to give up on dating, but I completely agree it is emotionally exhausting. Even though I might not outwardly seem invested in the relationship, internally, in my mind (and possibly heart) I am. I do want the man and kids, but marriage is not a must-have. I’m not that traditional. I think more so right now I am missing being in a man’s arms and yeah, the sex. But I just don’t want a casual fling. At least I haven’t gotten to that point yet. I could change my mind at any moment.

      I’m halfway to joining you on the dark side. And I’ll bring the beer. Milk goes with cookies better, but doesn’t seem right on the dark side. Or I’ll bring the coffee – that goes with cookies!

      • Can wine go with cookies? Kahlua can certainly go with cookies… so can Bailey’s. ;)

  2. Given what I’ve read from your blog, I would surmise that, based on your previous experiences, you tend to be a little more guarded when you meet guys. And understandably so, I’d say.

    Meh. Not a big deal, though….

  3. Wow, I really enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing. It’s interesting to hear this perspective, because I have the opposite experience. I open up – and I do it fast. Not just in romantic relationships, in all relationships. I am an open book. There is no mystery, most of the time. People either like me, or they don’t, but I know it’s never because they don’t know me or don’t know what I’m all about. As far marriage material, man afer man have told me repeatedly that they could marry me. I’d make such a good wife. I’d make such a good girlfriend. It gets to be exhausting, how fast men jump to that. Especially since marriage is kind of a bad word to me right now. It seems we both need to move toward each other’s extremes :)

    • Thanks C! It’s your complete openness that makes you such an endearing person! Don’t change.

  4. I really loved this post. For me I’m a mixture of both. I’ll elaborate. I’m often — (i’ll be honest) ALWAYS told that I come off strong, or can be intimidating. To me I just always wear a poker face so that a joker won’t approach me and waste my time. With that said once I warm up to you and we get into our comfort zone, I slowly let my guard down I get hurt. So I honestly don’t think it’s us, it’s them. I think there is something in every female that when a guy sees a flicker of it he “they love it, they gotta have it” (Noah in the Notebook — same intensity) but it’s like with anything also, you want something so bad and when you finally get/have it then you don’t want it anymore. We just end up being too good for them, that’s all.

    • Thank you! Sometimes, a lot of times, I think it’s me. And it is likely a mixture of me with my wall up and men sometimes being too lazy and that combo just doesn’t work. But, I will wind up with someone, eventually. I think we need to have our guard up, but we need to, or at least I need to, also appear less hard and jaded. My poker face comes across as apathy and indifference towards the man, like I could take him or leave him (when I do want him, but just don’t want to let him know I do).

  5. Is it possible that you and I are the same person, just living in different cities? I identified with EVERYTHING in this post… even the movie quote!!! I thought men loved blonds, and big boobs, fantastic smiles, and the ability to laugh. I know when to baby a man and when to blow smoke up his ass to inflate the ego.

    But I too come across as being hard. I had a roommate in college who told me not to scare our new roommate because I came across as mean and made a bad first impression. I hold my heart tightly because I think if it gets broken one more time, it may just disintegrate and leave me heartless and bitter. You see my big flaw is holding someone at bay and resisting and then when I finally fall in love, I fall hard and by that time, the guy has given up.

    I don’t know if I’m ready for the dark side but I’m going there I’m bringing Ben & Jerry’s to the party.

    • Pam, I think we are. A lot of us ladies in our 30’s are essentially the same person. We’ve all had our terrible heartbreak(s) that have left us edgy and wary of relationships. We have mastered the “don’t eff with me” attitude that comes in handy most of the time, but other times scares the right people away. And we are just TIRED at this point – of it all. Doing this for 20 years is tiring!

  6. Pammy Girl :
    I hold my heart tightly because I think if it gets broken one more time, it may just disintegrate and leave me heartless and bitter. .

    Welcome to what happened to me! Let me know when you are ready for the dark side. You bring the ice cream, I have the cookies and booze. Amy, well, she’ll bring something I’m sure, probably cheese, cause she knows I love cheese!

  7. neither girlfriend nor wife material? When we be the ‘gf’ type, they leave because they want something more..and when we be all wifey..they flee..over and over.. like what you said, its tiring..it feels like a constant ‘chat room’ scenario.. age/sex/location..after each break up..a new date.. the whole getting to know you process.. I have a few more years to go before I hit 30 but I’m already feeling this way..

  8. Ladies, I have the answer, thanks to the song by Jimmy Soul, “If You Wanna Be Happy”

    “If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life,
    never make a pretty woman your wife.
    So from my personal point of view,
    get an ugly girl to marry you.”

    We’re just TOO PRETTY!! :)

    • ‘Like’ x1,000,000,000

      • It was funny. I had my iPod on shuffle and that song came on and it made me laugh and say “YES! there’s our answer” LOL

  9. Oh Amy. I just saw “Someone Like You” again a couple of weeks ago, and that line struck me, in exactly the same way that it did for you. I don’t know what it is. I mean, until I hit 32, I wasn’t really that much into the whole marriage/babies/forever relationship kind of thing. I was having fun and meeting guys and having a good time. Back then, on two separate occasions, guys I had been dating said to me: “marry me!” One was serious. But I freaked out, and it was what made me end it with both of them. And then I met my (now) ex and everything changed and I liked being part of a couple. And then he decided that he wanted to date younger girls. (Good luck!) So…here I am. Dating, trying to have fun, trying to meet my partner, and I’m exhausted. Somehow I’ve become good enough to be a “booty-call girl” but not girlfriend material anymore… sigh. Maybe I missed my chance? But I didn’t want to marry those other guys, as nice and cute as they were…

    Maybe we pretty girls (and Dennis) should all get together for wine, beer, Ben & Jerry’s, cookies and Kahlua someday and hash it all out… ;)

    • Hey, thanks for including me in the hashout! But… but, if I can make just one tiny little request, can we add just a wee bit more testosterone to it? I mean, I’m the only dude, so I trying to compensate here.

      You do have beer in your list, though, so that’s a good start. Now, how about some monster trucks and pissing contests, too? ;-)

      • Dennis, I have faith that you would be able to *hold your own* among all us females. Plus, isn’t that the male:female ratio that totally plays in your favor? I’d like those odds, if they were reversed :) But, if you have some single males you want to bring to our dark side party, by all means bring ‘em!

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong, I definitely like the odds. It’s just that, well, if I’m gonna be hanging out with a bunch of ladies, I sincerely hope that I’ll be holding something other than my own…. ;-)

  10. OMG…I’m so glad you commented on my blog so I could find yours!!! This post made me say out loud “I’m not weird, there’s someone else who is just like me!!!” It’s almost creepy…..but I love it!

    • Yes, we do think alike! I loved reading your posts so far (need to catch up on more of them). Glad you stopped by. I noticed you’re a Hawkeye… I’m a Nittany Lion (and yes, I know we totally blow this year).

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