I was recently interviewed by NBC News journalist Jacoba Urist in regards to author Susan Patton’s (a.k.a. “The Princeton Mom”) book, Marry Smart- Advice for Finding THE ONE. Not without stirring up some controversy, Patton highly encourages young ladies to snag a husband before graduating college, while the pickin’s are good.
Honestly, if my kids happen to attend Yale or Princeton (really any university setting), as a mom, I am not gonna lie; I would likely have no qualms about hinting a tad that they would be smart to keep their eyes, minds and hearts open for a potential mate. But love comes at all times, though, and young adults are often not ready to tie the knot by the time they graduate college!
At that stage of the game in their lives, if they were to focus on dating with the idea of marrying in the very near future, without doubt, their considering the university setting as a top-notch location to start is dead-on …. but who says they can’t stay in touch while they are building their futures independently? I contend that Patton is insinuating that the ladies would be leaving a gold mine by not trying to win over one special eligible bachelor, emphasizing that they should strike while the golden opportunity is before them!
It is helpful that potential mates have similar educational backgrounds, but I do not think that college is the only place to find true love, nor always presents the most ideal timing to do so. A partner can be found on a hiking trail, at a museum, online, at a conference, etc. Heck, I found my husband at a bar, but I consider that pure luck!
Surely, the odds of finding a successful match in the collegiate environment is much more promising and attractive (at least to me, as a mom thinking of my kids’ futures) than my luck of the draw! I would bank on their attending school-related activities and mingling with their new colleagues over heading out of town for the weekends – no doubt!
But, it is also a very empowering and smart for young people to learn how to become emotionally and financially independent as young adult bachelors/bachelorettes. The period of time when they can focus on building their education (or vocation) as well as personal passions is one of the ripest, most precious life stages ever, so going into it with a plan and with clarity will save a ton of future grief and help ensure their brightest futures. Many are just not prepared, maturity-wise, to plan a trip to the alter at that stage and age!
Important is for students to maintain high standards and surround themselves with people that will complement their future aspirations, whatever they might be. Professional organizations, internships, meetups, clubs, alumni associations, etc. are all ways to maintain ties with colleagues and relationships that are built while in school. And social media is a great resource for maintaining those ties!
What do you think? Would you urge your daughter, in particular, to grab a mate while she is at her attractive and fertile prime (as Patton encourages young ladies to do), or support her with her personal dreams and ambitions, first and foremost?