What follows is a conversation that took place between a friend of mine and some dude who thought he had a chance with me:
“Elle seems like a good girl.”
“She’s great, eh?”
“Yeah, but you know, she’s wifey type – I can’t touch that right now.”
Insert confused look on my friend’s face.
“I’m not trying to be all serious and sh*t, maybe we could work in the future.”
This was beyond hilarious to me. I wasn’t surprised when she told me about this conversation, it was one I’ve often heard before. “I want to be with you but not now, you’re wifey material.” And what does that make you – in transition?!
There are two sides to this equation: there are the men who will go around stamping “wifey material” on women who have all the supposed qualifiers and then there are the women who gladly label themselves as such (Ashley Iaconnetti from The Bachelor, anyone?). There are also people who, after checking off a list of requisites needed to play wife, automatically assume that a bevy of men will come running like the gold rush. It’s great to place a high value on yourself, but if a man doesn’t want you, the fact that you happen to be wife material will not change that at all.
I was having dinner with my best guy friend when he decided to divulge some male secrets (I milk him for all he’s worth). The most interesting nugget was that men know very early on whether they’ll be keeping you around and further, what category they’ll place you in (ex.: hit it and quit it, possible girlfriend, after midnight girl, etc.). He emphasized that it does not take them a year to figure this out, more like a month. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! He must decide to be with you as much as you decide to be with him, no excess of perceived wife material will have him stick around if (A) he doesn’t see you that way and (B) the characteristics he wants in a wife don’t line up with what you’ve decided makes you a great catch.
And another thing, when you’re labelled wifey material, it automatically seems to mean to some that it’s the end of life as they know it and with you, they are doomed to a life of boredom. Can we not have a fun and stimulating relationship with a person we deem to be wife-like? Does my aura reek so much of seriousness that it puts off potential suitors? For once, I would appreciate it if before labelling me, a man could ask me exactly what it is that I’m looking for rather than assuming that I want nothing less than a marriage proposal next week. Yes I want commitment and yes I am a one-man woman, but please don’t think for a second that I want to deny myself the critical time necessary for you to go from a potential love interest to a boyfriend and to, y’know, “hubby material”.
If I sound frustrated, it’s because I am. I think we often go around placing labels on ourselves and others which close us to infinite possibilities. We could miss the opportunity of meeting someone amazing just because they do not necessarily fit society’s traditional view of what qualifies as “wife/hubby material”. So what if he has tattoos? He could be a successful businessman and a hella cool dude, but you would never know because of this checklist of nonnegotiables where tattoos are listed. We’re so quick to dismiss people who are not “worthy” of our time for superficial reasons. Of course religion, values and whether you want children are understandable necessities, but when your list is more than five pages long, there’s an issue. Now, can we stop labelling people wife material based on limited information? It is relatively easy to construct a semblance of an image of perfection for the world when it usually only represents a small part of who we are.
Side note: Once a guy told me he could tell I was a good girl aka as wifey because of my Instagram. I rolled my eyes so far back into my head. I choose not to show myself getting turned up because I want to remain employed and employable. That’s it, that’s all. So of course my Instagram is a carefully constructed image, is it who I am of course, but there’s only so much myself I can put online.
So the guy who thought that in a faraway future we would become Beyoncé and Jay-Z was obviously fooling himself. Little did he know that I’m an emotional eater, I’m indecisive and a tad bit moody. Had he known all of this, would he still be interested in me? Maybe, maybe not. Whatever he saw in me that allowed him to confidently label me as wife material was baseless since we had never spoken before. Can you tell I like to only surround myself with open-minded people? Anyhoo, be open and inviting, people can and will surprise you if you give them a chance.