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Women ask for too much and settle for too little

Updated: March 16, 2012 8:03AM

I’m increasingly convinced that today when it comes to matters of the heart, too many women ask for too much and settle for too little.

That happens to be — a little self-promotion to follow — the theme of my new book, From The Hart: A Collection of Favorite Columns on Love, Loss, Marriage (and Other Extreme Sports) (Kindle eBooks).

It features some three-dozen columns on love, marriage and romance that I’ve written since I myself became unexpectedly single in 2004.

In this space I’ve discussed both sides of this equation before: meaning, women expect their men to be the romantic caricatures portrayed in the typical chick flicks. But at the same time, they often find themselves asking, “Does he really want me, and why aren’t we getting married?” That’s while making themselves sexually available to him outside of marriage, and even feeling a little “pushy” to want their fellow to want marriage at all.

It was only as I pulled together my collection that the irony of that equation really struck me. No wonder marriage rates in the United States are plummeting.

There’s a joke going around that a woman goes to the “Find a Husband” department store. At every level she has the chance to accept what’s there, or go up one level where it gets better, but she can’t go back. By level four, the men are good-looking, make good money and are kind. By level seven, they are all that and sensitive and share their feelings. At level nine, however, a sign greets her. It says, “You are woman No. 8 million to reach this level. There are no men here; the floor exists to show that women are impossible to please.”

In contrast, the men go to the “Find a Wife” store. By level two, they’ve found gals who keep themselves nice-looking, and like sex and beer. One man finally asks what is on level three. He’s told that no one knows.

I think this sells the guys a little short, but you get the point.

Meanwhile, it’s still true that many women want to be pursued by a man, and that’s a good thing. But for some, if it’s not flowers and love poems, they get discouraged. For others, they think the desire to be pursued is old-fashioned, so they drop it altogether.

It is natural that we women want to be pursued. Ask 10 married couples how they met. Nine will have stories of the obstacles he overcame to take her hand. We love those stories, they are manly and romantic. In contrast, a tale about how she had to pursue him and his early distaste for her? That would make us wince.

A good man wants the woman he loves to know that she is wanted. Whether or not there are flowers or love notes involved, it will simply be natural for him to make sure she is secure in his honest intentions of marriage for her.

That’s real, manly pursuit, and the kind I see fewer and fewer women willing to expect.

Here they are settling for too little.

Scripps Howard
News Service

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