Monday, April 16, 2007

Pickiness

In her comment to my previous post on single women, Tracy wrote:
"…Another friend I know, I fear was too picky. She had several suitors, all godly men, but she waited for someone "better" to come along. Maybe this was right, maybe not. She is now 40, and remains unmarried. She wonders where Mr. Right is..."

Reading this left me thinking. I don't think anyone would suggest we should seize the first opportunity we have, the first man who shows interest in us, without even asking ourselves if he's suitable. Sure, we need to make a wise choice. But where's the thin line between choice and pickiness?

If a man is unkind to you, impatient, lazy (to the degree he doesn't feel ready to provide for the family), shows the markings of a future abusive husband - raises his voice, criticizes you, makes you feel unworthy – rejecting him is probably a wise choice.
Rejecting someone you like, someone you feel attracted to and think he's generally suitable for you, because of things like him not having a college degree, his or his family's background, his manner of dressing, height, the sound of his name (yes, yes, I witnessed this once) or anything else that is superficial and doesn't really have to do with his personality, his mind and soul – can probably be defined as pickiness.

Oh, and let's not forget the most dangerous pickiness factor, the one Tracy mentioned – "waiting for someone 'better' to come along". Isn't there always a chance of missing out on someone better if we choose too quickly?
Suppose I went out on a beautiful spring day and wanted to pick a flower – just one. Naturally, I want to choose the one and only, the perfect flower! But I know I don't have all day to wander out there and look for it; and if I look carefully, I will notice each and every flower is perfect in its own way, in its unique beauty. So the sensible thing would be to look around me and pick the one I like best, and delight in its beauty without thinking of the Perfect Flower that might still be growing out there…

However, let us not be hasty in labeling someone "picky"! Not every guy can be "Mr. Right". Not even every great guy can be Mr. Right! What if a nice young woman goes out with a nice young man, then calls her best friend and tells her, frustrated: "I'm sorry, everything about him is wonderful, but he's not for me!"? Can we call her picky?
I don't really have answers. I'm still single myself.

Some time ago, I came across a very good, sensible article, called "The Cost of Delaying Marriage"
I think every single woman (and man, for that matter) could benefit from reading it.
At the time it was published, this article received plenty of complaints and scorching remarks. However, I tend to agree with it, and I also enjoyed reading the counter-arguments in "Defending 'The Cost of Delaying Marriage'"

10 comments:

Jordin said...

I've really enjoyed both of these posts, Anna, as well as the comments attached to them!

My best friend would definitely be classified as picky. She actually has a list that she has written down on paper. The list contains the attributes of her "ideal" man. :( I tell her it just doesn't work that way! That is absolutely not Biblical! How can we become one--if the other person is already perfect and whole? Where do we fit in then?

Thank you for this article, as well as the link! I just might share it with my best friend. ;)

Tracy said...

Anna,
An excellent article, indeed.
I, myself, was a child bride at the age of 18. No, my husband wasn't perfect, nor was I for that matter! And we still aren't! But oh how we have grown together! (You can find my husband at http://happyhubby-verne.blogspot.com/index.html)

I know a few women who are in their 20's and had arranged marriages. Yes, imagine that in this day and age. And do you know what? They are happy! I'm not saying this is right for everyone, but it can work.

I think today, women waste too much time with the wrong man. They somehow know that he isn't right, but continue dating him anyway. This, I fear, leads to delayed marriage as much as anything else.

Robert said...

I read "The Cost of Delaying Marriage" article.It had several good points.

On a blog I read I came across a good article from boundless webzine.It's called "Brother, your Like a Six" by Scott Croft.If you type the title in their seach box it will be the first title that comes up.It examines the problems of attraction-as-foundation(in a worldly sense)approach to dating and marriage-and then looks at biblical attraction.

What Tracy wrote about her friend sounds like Scott's friend who wanted everything in a mate.

Another problem can be if you meet someone and you don't think they are your type.I've read about people who said when they first met their husband they didn't want to go out with them as they weren't their type.But after getting to know them, they realized that they were the one for them.

What you said about picking flowers that "I will notice each and every flower is perfect in its own way, in its unique beauty.So the sensible thing would be to look around and pick the one I like best and delight in its own beauty..." is a good way to put it.

The YLCF has also had some interesting articles on singleness.

Anna S said...

Jordin, Tracy and Robert, thank you for your comments!

Jordin - what you said is absolutely right. I've read an article once (wish I could find it now!!) where a woman wrote to an advice column, "how come all of my friends' husbands are such nice, wonderful people, while it seems I can only find jerks? The answer she got was that her friends and their husbands changed and grew TOGETHER.

Tracy - how do you define an "arranged marriage"? If you mean it in a way that parents get to know a nice young man and introduce him to their daughter, thinking he will be a suitable husband, and making sure his intentions are serious, I'm all for it! A friend of mine is getting married this summer. She met her future MIL in a school where she volunteered, tutoring children. Then her future MIL introduced her to her future husband. Of course eventually the couple decided for themselves, but that young man's mother was the one who made it possible! This friend is 21. Do you think she received many congratulations when they announced their engagement?! No way. She got a reaction that was a mixture of alarm, pity and suspicion. "How come are you getting married so early?! You'll miss out on all the wonderful experiences (read: all men) you will never be able to try out when you're married!"
And Tracy, what you wrote about "wasting time" couldn't be more correct. I think I will make another post about it soon. :)

Robert, I've read the article you mentioned. Thanks for telling about it, I think it was excellent and very true. I also think that the best way not to toss someone away because they're "not your type" is not to have such a clearly defined "type".

Anna S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

Anna,
Yes. That is pretty much what I meant about arranged marriage. This woman comes from a long line of pastors and doctors. Her sister was engaged to be married to a soon to be pastor, who had a college room-mate and best friend who was also a soon to be pastor. The engaged man said to his room-mate, "She has a sister, let's marry them and stay best friends!". The introductions to the parents were made, they approved, presented the young man to their daughter, and the rest is history! Of course, she did have a choice in the matter!

Haus Frau said...

This sort of pickiness sums up a dear friend of mine. She's now 56. Single. Still looking for *the one*. Sad.

I was 30 when I married. Through my 20's I didn't have a walking relationship with the Lord but did have relationships with men. My own sad saga and one I'd never care to live again.

Your posts are thought-provoking, Anna. Thank you kindly.

Anna S said...

Haus Frau: I'm only 21, but I, too, have painful experience behind me. I'm grateful for the trials and pain, because I know God didn't challenge me to hurt me, but rather to let me grow; but yes, I'm happy it's behind me.

Emily said...

Another fantastic post Anna :). People are picky for all the wrong reasons it seems these days - picky about superficial qualities like appearance and taste in music and so on, instead of being picky (in the right way) about godliness and character. Of course, we need to be attracted to someone if we are to marry them, and it would help if we enjoyed some of the same things, but essentially it is character and godliness of a person that should distinguish whether a person is a suitable mate or not.

Keep writing provoking posts!

In His care,

Emily

Anna S said...

Emily - that's exactly what I meant. When people focus on unimportant, superficial, passing details, they are bound to be disappointed. Hobbies, interests and appearance change through the years. But godliness, values and character are lifelong treasures.