Talking to many women like her, it’s intriguing how many look back on past relationships where they let good men get away because they weren’t ready. American journalist Kate Bolick wrote recently in The Atlantic about breaking off her three-year relationship with a man she described as ”intelligent, good-looking, loyal and kind”. She acknowledged ”there was no good reason to end things”, yet, at the time, she was convinced something was missing in the relationship. That was 11 years ago. She’s is now 39 and facing grim choices.
”We arrived at the top of the staircase,” Bolick wrote, ”finally ready to start our lives, only to discover a cavernous room at the tail end of a party, most of the men gone already, some having never shown up – and those who remain are leering by the cheese table, or are, you know, the ones you don’t want to go out with.”
So, many women are missing out on their fairytale ending – their assumption that when the time was right the dream man would be waiting. The 30s are worrying years for high-achieving women who long for marriage and children – of course, not all do – as they face their rapidly closing reproductive window surrounded by men who see no rush to settle down.
And, of course, many women eventually do find a mate, often ending up with divorced men. There are complications with that second-marriage market, in which men come complete with former wives and children. That was never part of the plan.