Maybe marriage isn't in my cards…

posted 5 months ago in Relationships
Post # 46
759 posts
Busy bee

sboom :  I agree the requirement of a 4+ relationship in conjunction with not having been previously married is weird and likely detrimental. However, I do think the education criteria depends on for what it is a proxy. 

It may be that it is not financial security but that, given her background and personality, that she surmised it would be highly unlikely that she would connect with someone, at the level which she would want in a partner, who’s life experiences and personal traits (eg. social background, intellectual curiosity, ambition, etc.) led to the choice not to pursue and complete higher education. While there are always exceptions, the preference is similar in that respect to a generous age range (eg. not dating anyone a generation younger or older). 

Post # 48
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

You need to try meetups. You do fun stuff and meet lots of people.  You can make more female friends who will introduce you to other people or men too, all in public spaces doing neat things and having fun. Look for the fun activities groups instead of just the singles groups

Post # 49
3217 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

anonymousbee001 :  formal education isn’t the only indicator of an intellectual, interesting person. I have several friends who are in the trades who are smart as hell and great conversationalists. I also went to University with some dumb motherfuckers lol 

I’m just saying, OP would be better off opening herself up to a wider pool of prospects and judging them on how she connects with them. 

Post # 50
759 posts
Busy bee

sboom :  I agree with you that it isn’t the only indicator and that it is imperfect, but it is an indicator.

It may also be an indicator of cultural compatibility and personal values, which you did not address. For example, I’m not sure how I could credibly impress upon future children that, barring extraordinary circumstances, they are expected to earn at least a bachelor’s degree, if I were to choose a partner that chose not to, especially in Canada.

Additionally, in some topics of conversation, there is a level of nuance and fluency that one is highly unlikely to have without formal training or work experience requiring a college degree.

Finally, I argued that while it may not be perfect, it may still be a suitable filtering criteria (drawing the analogy with age). Would your opinion differ if the requirement were instead “high school diploma”?

Post # 51
811 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

Just chiming in as others did to say that my husband doesn’t check many of the “boxes” I arbitrarily set. Yet we’ve been together 6 years and couldn’t be happier. As others said, deal breakers should be related to character and lifestyle (children one is completely reasonable) not odd emotional hang ups about previous marriages. Financial responsibility, kind, patient, intellectually stimulating, sense of humor etc are all great things to have on a list, and not things you can tell from a dating profile, or even necessarily a first date.

Post # 52
1006 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

anonymousbee001 :  I do see what your saying and honestly that argument is absolutely valid if you were looking for someone who is 25. I think my choice of words was poor given they were meant to be specific to this situation.

But OP is looking for someone in their mid-to-late thirties, has to be childless, has to never be married, has to have had long term relationships, and then crying “poor me” when there are no good men available.

It reminds me of this simpsons meme – replace the word “children” with “men” and I think this is the problem here.

download (3)


Post # 53
161 posts
Blushing bee

Your list of things you want is too strict and leaves no room for movement.

It reminds of a girl I knew who was single for a long time and her must haves were: dark skin(her words), has a big d*ck and can go for 3 hours. Wanna know how that ended? Not good!

she dropped the list and met a wonderful man, who is none of the above and she has 2 children with him. 

Relax a little otherwise you’ll end up in a pigeon hole. 

Post # 54
8266 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

pinkglitter2017 :  

Just wondering , do any of your boxes to be ticked also  include things like  ‘kind, generous, funny, well read,  loves dogs etc ? 


Post # 55
2487 posts
Buzzing bee

I agree with everyone saying you need to broaden your horizons, and you’ve already gotten explanations of why for most of the restrictions. But I don’t see anyone arguing yet with the “must be attracted” category, so I wanted to jump in.

Now, I totally agree that attraction is a fundamental thing in relationships and shouldn’t be discounted. But I think it’s very limiting to decide whether or not you’ll be attracted based on someone’s online profile, before you’ve ever met them. I say this as someone who did a LOT of online/app dating. 

1) If you’re basing this on looks, it’s really hard to go by the pictures posted online. I went on dates with guys who looked very attractive in their photos, only to be disappointed in person. And likewise, I went on dates with guys who weren’t particularly photogenic or had old photos, only to find they were very attractive in person. My husband was in the latter category – he just didn’t have a lot of photos of himself so his profile photos were sort of lame. I was very pleasantly surprised when I arrived to our first date. My husband is very attractive but it was hard to tell from his pictures because he simply didn’t have a lot of recent pictures of himself.

2) A lot of attraction, at least for me, isn’t just looks. It’s chemistry. It’s intelligence. It’s confidence. It’s the way someone moves. It could be based on so many things that you don’t see online. Even if the photos on someone’s profile are an accurate phyiscal representation, there are so many other factors to attraction. Attraction can and should also build as we get to know and like someone. I’ve dated guys who I was wildly attracted to but who were less than average in the looks department, and I’ve dated more classically handsome guys who I was meh about. It’s fine to have standards but don’t rule out the possibility of surprising yourself. 

I also think that you’re limiting yourself by having long conversations before meeting up with anyone. As you’ve experienced, online chats don’t actually tell you much about the person, and in a few minutes of meeting in person you learn so much more than you do after days of drawn out conversations. Your strategy hasn’t worked. Instead, I’m going to recommend that you do what I did – if someone meets your basic requirements (once you’ve reassessed) and you think there’s even a possibility you could be attracted to them in person, set up a date. Don’t waste hours constructing witty online responses to someone you’ve not even met. Just go have coffee or a drink and see whether the chemistry is there. If not, move on. Instead of feeling defeated that your vetting process didn’t work yet again, a lame date with a guy you barely chatted with will roll off your back and you’ll move onto the next. That will also allow you to date more because you won’t need to invest so much time in the getting to know you process before the date. 

Lastly, the best dating advice is self improvement. You’re focused on how to attract the best guys, but you should also consider whether you’re putting your best self out there to be appealing to the best guys. Have a trusted friend (preferably male) look at your profile and give you honest feedback – are you using the most flattering photos? Does your profile make you sound desperate? Beyond the profile, be honest with yourself — are you happy with where you are regarding your career, health, finances, social life, etc.? Are you happy with yourself? If not, consider whether there are changes you can make. Get involved with hobbies or volunteering (a side benefit may be meeting people through these activities), make it a priority to see friends more (and let them know you’re open to being set up), apply for a promotion, get into therapy, adopt a dog (also a potentially great way to meet people), or whatever else would make you more satisfied. Happy, healthy people attract other healthy people. 

Post # 56
453 posts
Helper bee

anonymousbee001 :  I agree with you that it isn’t the only indicator and that it is imperfect, but it is an indicator.

It’s also a very strong class / income level marker.  Considering the OPP’s previous posts regarding her expectations of being financially supported by her partners, it may be exactly what she means.

Post # 57
2487 posts
Buzzing bee

elderbee :  Agreed. I believe my list of desired qualities was more along the lines of:

– Shared values & life goals 

– Kind and considerate (including and especially when no one is looking) 

– Honest/trustworthy 

– Intellectually curious

– Sense of humor

– Emotionally stable & available

– Responsible/reliable/dependable 

– Interested in personal growth; will set and work toward goals if they’re not happy where they are, is accountable for their actions and able to acknowledge and apologize for mistakes  

– Has their life in some semblance of order (e.g. a job, a place to live, pays bills on time, etc)  

Post # 58
1953 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

pinkglitter2017 :  serious question – do you think you’re ready to date? It kinda seems like coming up with a list of really hard criteria is a way of protecting you from having to date because you know it’s unlikely you’ll find someone who matches that list. As some others have pointed out, your criteria can often contradict each other. You stated in your very first post you were picky AF, so at some level you know this isn’t a reasonable list. It feels like perhaps you feel you have to meet someone because of your age but aren’t actually quite ready.

You were in two serious relationships that didn’t end how you thought. One was abusive. It’s understandable if you’re not ready to date. It’s ok to take some time working on yourself and healing. I know you probably feel pressured by time, especially if you want kids, but you’re still young and have plenty of time.

Post # 59
1347 posts
Bumble bee

You’re young still!  There are still a lot of good, single men out there. I was engaged in my 20’s and it didn’t work out.  I tried dating different guys after that and went after guys I thought were my “ideal type” and none of them worked out. I was 31 when my best friend introduced me to a guy she knew…he was younger than me by two years and had a kid.  I went in with a really open mind and you know what?  He turned out to be the guy I was waiting for my whole life – he’s intelligent, successful, educated, funny, kind, generous, and loving, but I would never have known these things if I hadn’t given him a chance.  And hey, I’m not perfect either!  We’ve been married for 10 years now and also have a daughter together. But mostly, we have a life of love and happiness together. So yes, the right one is still out there for you but try to keep an open mind because you never know who you’re eliminating when you make your dating standards too strict. 

I wish you luck in your dating journey and finding Mr. Right!

Post # 60
658 posts
Busy bee

Hey bee, I didn’t read this whole thread, so this may be a repeat. And if it is. It bears repeating anyway: you need to switch things up completely. 

Your list presupposes negative outcome. You’ve still got wounds that are having you believe that what you meet will be awful, so your list is basically a guard against that. It is unlikely your mindset will meet with good results. 

So what can you do, healing-wise, to believe in good men again?

ill tell you what I did WHILE I was in a very abusive relationship. I felt so trapped –

i learned about, and wrote, this thing called the “be list.”

Get a piece of paper and write a list of every insane thing your ideal partner should have. You should be thinking “this is crazy and impossible, but …” write things you think you’ll never find. Write it all. You should have at least 40 things on that list. 

That’s called your dream list. 

Then go through each item and ask “if this person has everything but this, could I live with that?” And if the answer is yes, cross it off. List 2 should have about 30 things. That’s your “preferences” list. 

Now go through it one more time. Same question for each item. But you need to narrow it down to about 20 things. The last list is called your “be list.”


the next step is: sit in a chair or on a meditation cushion every day, and get yourself in a space where you can FEEL what you will feel when your love is there, walking by your side. 

I did this- and for some reason the word I came up with (ok this is cheesy but bear with me-) is “my king.”

i would think “one day I’ll meet my king.” And I felt how it was to be safe, to be laughing with my best friend, to be completely loved as I am, and to love.

Let the feeling flood your body when you find it.

What happened for me was this: the abusive man saw me get happier and happier just going through my daily life, and he grew furious. He accused me of cheating. I told him about my meditation and said, I’m just absolutely knowing how it will feel when I marry my king.

He and I were going to counseling at the time, so I said (and foolishly believed) “maybe it could be you,”

i told him how my king would treat me. With kindness, I shared how it felt.

He flat out said “nope that’s not me,” and fights ensued. I finally had the courage to break it off for good- because he was so certain it wasn’t him- he was so certain he could not simply be kind to me.

Then, later that year, I was in a show directed by my good friend.

My good friend asked me to dinner during a break in the show, and said “I can’t be professional around you any more. I have to tell you, get this off my chest so you can reject me or whatever you need to do, and I can get over this and move back into professionalism. I love you. I see how much love you have to give, and I see your heart, and I want that. I want to be with you. I am your king. I am building for you. I’ve been building all this time, waiting for you, and I didn’t even know it.”

something like that – but mainly – he came out and said he was my king. And this friend had been my example in the world of a truly good man- I’d kept him in my mind when I was in despair – saying – remember good men exist. 


Every friend I have told this to was afraid to write their be list, when it came down to it. One said that if a man with all these qualities was available and interested in her, that was too terrifying to contemplate. Another said angrily that she didn’t believe any good qualities could be possible to find, and completely refused to write it. 

If you can’t write the list yet, you have healing to do- take yourself on dates and be your own best company until you’re feeling happy and joyful again… whatever you need to do will show up when you actually sit down to write this list. 

Oh and also? Embody the things on your list as much as you are able. If honesty is on there, work on being impeccable with your word. If sense of humor is on there, find what it is in life that makes you belly-laugh. And so forth. 

It’s actually a lot of fun 😉

and I’ll be marrying him in August – yes there are things I’ve had to grow with, and there were difficult times with him the last 4 years, because life isn’t a fairytale after all, but he’s still the man for me, and I feel that feeling I imagined on my meditation cushion. Always, when he’s by my side, I feel that exact feeling made up of delight, deep safety, a sort of desire to just curl up in his arms and cuddle him nonstop, tenderness, and the feeling has laughter in it, too. 

I wish this for you, bee. It took until I was in my 40’s to meet him. Do NOT, at your young age, say “I’m old,” and settle for less – I did that and it led to disaster after disaster of abusive men. I was better off alone, waiting for my king and going about my life finding ways to love my life completely.  

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