Maybe marriage isn't in my cards…

posted 6 months ago in Relationships
Post # 16
2081 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I was very selective, too (started dating after my divorce at age 38), and I think that’s generally a good strategy. Too many people treat dating as a “numbers game,” and just end up dating a lot of people who are not right for them. I dated two people total and the second one is now my husband. I would strike “never married” from the list. That just seems irrelevant to any meaningful way to judge a person. You were in a 10 year relationship and engaged, but you’re elimiating people who got married? Education and no kids was pretty important to me as well. At 32 (or any age, really), of course marriage is in the cards for you if you want it.

Post # 17
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

You are definitely much too young to think marriage won’t happen for you.  I was in your spot awhile back, had a long term 10 year relationship, a shorter 2 year relationship and then found myself single around 30.  Online dating was hard and I went on a lot of bad dates, but some good ones but the relationships didn’t last.  I took lots of breaks and tried again.  I met my FH at 35 and we are getting married next year when I will be 40. 

I don’t want to discount your feeling that you think it will never happen for you because I went through that too.  But all I can tell you is to keep trying, take breaks when you want, keep your expectations high and keep living your life as a fabulous single lady.  I found my guy a year after I bought a house and was living my best life.  I was not really online dating that much but then there he appeared and I sent a message. 

Best of luck to you!

Post # 18
1108 posts
Bumble bee

I totally get being selective, as it is important to know your dealbreakers. The only thing is that I think the relationship length criteria may be a bit rigid.

Perhaps you could widely broaden your dating pool just by throwing out that one criterion? Or maybe adjust the age bracket a bit- maybe open it to include 30 year old men?

The other factors I understand and you know what you want which is good.

But again, maybe eliminate the relationship length or move it to a “bonus but not necessary  to have” list, especially since you were in a ten year relationship yourself.

It might just take some tweaking to get it right. Hope this helps! pinkglitter2017 :  

Post # 19
2217 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

pinkglitter2017 :  Read your updates re: dealbreakers. 

Having criteria is obviously natural. You have your must have/can’t stands. Like

jellybellynelly :  said, keeping those guidelines so strict isn’t working out. What’s the worst that can happen if you relent a bit on some?

You may confirm that indeed, they are something that you can’t tolerate. Or, you might realize that if you meet someone thoughtful, caring, supportive, interesting, and great, those things matter less than you realized. You might discover being wrong ends up turning everything around. 

FWIW – After 10 + years of being single, I was STILL 100% sure I would NOT date a smoker. I have asthma, it’s gross, etc.

Well, my FH didn’t mention it, and I didn’t know he did until we’d been dating for almost 2 months. By that point I realized that he was wonderful, and it didn’t matter compared to all the other rare and crucial things he DID have to offer. If I’d known, I almost certainly wouldn’t have agreed to go out with him. I was wrong. And I couldn’t be happier about it. 

I like to think about things I am totally sure about and wonder – what’s the worst possible outcome if I am wrong about this thing? You don’t have to abandon everything you feel you want, but it’s a harmless thought experement to at least CONSIDER how things might be different if you tried opening yourself up to people who might not meet all of your criteria.

If you just can’t imagine doing that, fair enough. It will continue to impact the cross-section of people you will meet. Just don’t underestimate the way it constrains your options, when you start to wonder why you don’t feel more successful. 

Finally, Tinder can be great. I know lots of married people who met there. The medium is what you make it. I had my best experiences on OK Cupid, personally. 

Post # 21
328 posts
Helper bee

ou should enjoy every moment of your life. You see, I hated my childhood but when I was a child I reminded myself that I would never get back these years and enjoyed every little moment I could. I did the same with my teenage years, and single years.  I enjoyed my years when I was in a relationship and when I was engaged. 

What I am trying to tell you is that you should enjoy every moment of your life and never look around for some one or worry about your age. Things will happen if they are meant to be. There is beauty and happiness in every stage of life. Take it all in rather than counting the hours to meet some one. Pushing things to happen for you will lead you to pick the wrong guys. Don’t let finding a guy become more important than the “right guy”. Enjoy the journey without worrying about the destination. You will miss out on your life just like some kids miss on their childhood because of their fixation to cell phones.

If you want love, get a pet. Pets will love you no watter what. You will be the centre of your pet’s universe. They also teach you to love yourself. 

As for your list, when the right guy comes along you will throw the list out of the window and he will be your exception. 

Post # 22
572 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

While I don’t begrudge you for having standards, a college education (and I have a masters degree) isn’t the be all, end all. Trade schools and trade jobs pay more than many college-required careers.

Post # 23
2110 posts
Buzzing bee

Your list is way too strict and you are probably eliminating some wonderful guys you might have a connection with. 


When I was online dating I had a criteria (not as strict as yours) and was getting nowhere. 


I got a message from a single dad of two kids who was not my type looks wise but wrote a really thoughtful message that showed he read my profile. I ended up responding and we are celebrating our second wedding anniversary today and are expecting our first child together next month. 


That one decision to take a chance changed the whole direction of my life and I’ve never been happier or felt more blessed. 


Let go of your list and see what is out there. 

Post # 24
1260 posts
Bumble bee

I was online dating for 10 years and met most of my ex’s online before meeting fiancé at 30. So let me weigh in…

In terms of the online initial search criteria, I think most of your criteria is fine except being in a relationship for 4+ years. I think this criteria is just making plain wrong assumptions and it’s the exact opposite to what you actually want.

Think about it, you’re 32, you want to meet someone who knows what they want in life and in relationships, has a clear relationship goal (ie marriage and family) isn’t going to waste years of your life not committing.

These people are not going to stay in relationships for 4+ years and not having committed or left earlier because it’s a waste of time to them too. They didn’t stay for all the wrong reasons such as getting comfortable with a live in girlfriend while making no commitment, or not knowing what they want so they go back and forth and drag things on, they were perfectly happy being single or got out when they realised the relationship wasn’t working out. They DIDNT WASTE ANOTHER WOMAN’s PRECIOUS YOUTH! That’s a big tick from me if anything. 

Other than writing people off within the first few months of dating, you really only need 1-2 years to know if you’re compatible and maybe want to spend the rest of your lives together. If not, move on.

The length of the relationship doesn’t say anything about whether they’re good at conflict resolution. 

It’s actually one of my red flags if a man had been in a very long relationship (5+ years) and didn’t end up marrying the girl or even worse they got engaged and didn’t follow through. That points to potential commitment issues to me as well as indecisiveness / not knowing what they want, and I’d observe even more carefully their views and thoughts on marriage and family.

Another thing that I tended to see very often with these men is they liked to make assumptions about me (and women in general) based on their experience with their long term ex, in short, they had baggage’s. It was as good as divorced, despite the lack of a piece of paper.

Personally, my longest relationship before fiancé was 2.5 years and frankly, that was too long. I knew in hindsight I should’ve left after 1 – 1.5 years, it was clear we weren’t compatible.

Fiance’s longest relationship was 1 year before me. He was frankly the most refreshing man I’ve ever met in my 10 years of dating / relationships. He didn’t have any baggage whatsoever, can’t tell you how rare that was. His goal was family and marriage but wasn’t rushing to settle for just any woman / any relationship, he was perfectly happy being single and self sufficient, as was I. We both dated each other because we wanted to not because we NEEDED to (eg needed to be in relationships / couldn’t be alone, age considerations, need to settle down with whoever it might be etc). 

Post # 25
923 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I think at least two of your goals work at cross purposes.

A man in his 30s who can keep a relationship going for 4+ years is likely to have been married  OR have a thing against marriage OR be one of the guys who have put women through forever-waiting situations. The number of great single guys with educations, careers, and long relationship history in a 6 year tight age range who also don’t have kids is going to be tiny.   

If you want to be with a man in his 30s who is interested in marriage, I’d significantly lower the longest relationship time (maybe 2 years?), open up to divorcees, and open up to men who are 30-42.  

Self reflection time:  Do you think you’d meet the standards of the men you’re trying to meet? If the answer is yes, that’s great.  If the answer is no, there’s always time to work on the mismatch by either dating more broadly or working on the parts of your life that don’t match what you say you want in a partner. 

Post # 26
1260 posts
Bumble bee

Actually thinking about it, I agree with you. 30-40 is probably a much better age range if you’re 32 and marriage is your goal. 2 years younger is nothing once you’re in your 30s for sure. 

And yes once over 30, your pool is probably much smaller if you exclude divorcees. Not saying you HAVE to consider them but if you do expand your online search criteria to include them, never know, you might see someone you are interested in that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

coffeecakez :  

Post # 27
243 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Just wanted to say that you def have hope at age 32! I didn’t meet my H until age 34 and we got married when I was 38. We met thru a co-worker introduction. 

Also regarding your criteria, I agree some of them are too strict. I do understand most of them, but you might have to relax on the never married thing, especially since there are probably alot of divorcees out there in their 30s.  I would widen your age range…possbile 30 to 40 years old or even wider. Also having someone who had a long relationship greater than 4 yrs seems very arbitrary to me. My longest relationship prior to H was 2 yrs.  For me there were alot of reasons…prioritizing my education/career getting started and just not meeting the right guy .  

In the meantime Just keep living and enjoying your life the best you can! If you need to take a break, do that. Remember to go out with your friends Even if they are in relationships. Keep online dating, meet thru church/volunteer activites, ask family/friends/co workers for anybody they might know who would be a good fit  for you, etc.

Post # 28
1631 posts
Bumble bee

The first 1-2 years is learning compatibility. I generally think after age 25 or so, you should either commit or get out by year 3.  

I side eye a guy in his 30s who dragged a girl for 4+ years. Isn’t that basically what your first SO did to you? 

Post # 29
1312 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

They say thereʻs plenty of fish in the sea, but thereʻs also a lot of trash, and this my dear sounds like a huge pile of trash.

Post # 30
617 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018 - City, State

Everyone has dealbreakers. I have/had them, too; desire for kids, definitely, but the rest were mostly political/ideological in things I’m incredibly passionate about. But yours sound less like “These are things that would create fundamental incompatabilities in our life together” necessities, and more like arbitrary preferences. Why not expand the age range? Why not let go of the educational component? For the record, my boyfriend doesn’t have a 4-year college degree. He wasn’t in the army, either. But he’s also one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, incredibly cultured, and tremendously personally successful. The kind of guy who can just as easily pick up a girl at a gliteratti gallery opening as in a dive bar 😉 Why the super restrictive relationship criteria? Must have a VERY long relationship but never have pulled the trigger to get married = you’re re-dating your ex, bee. Hate to be blunt.

I wonder if you’re really ready to date, given all the heartbreak in your past. The whole set-up – impossible standards, unsatisfying dates, bemoaning these unsatisfying dates as proof that “marriage isn’t in the cards” – sounds like a vicious cycle that ultimately justifies putting up walls. You’re protecting yourself from getting hurt again while simultaneously seeming like the victim of your own life. You can do better! You DESERVE better! But that will mean deciding once and for all, which is more important: being “selective AF” or being willing to take a risk and open yourself up to vulnerability?

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors