Congratulations! You’ve decided you think the idea of spending your life with a man sounds like a good idea. Let me help you with that.
First, let me tell you a little about myself so you trust me- So you have a reason to take my advice. I have successfully chosen my own husband. And he’s a really good one. You know how all the good ones are taken? Well I took one.
Secondly, I love men. I love the way they look. I love the way they smell. I love their personalities. I love that they mistakenly think that they’re smarter than we are. I love that they have the matching puzzle piece to my vagina. And because I love them, I respect them. So I’m not going to advise you to pull a fast one over on them.
Finally, and maybe I should have started with this, but I get paid to listen to listen to people like yourself complain about relationships. I see what you do wrong. And this might come as a surprise but as a therapist I do not get to dole out advice all the time. Honestly, I rarely do. So, give me this, okay? Just listen to me for once because what I have to say can help. Or at least, it won’t hurt.
Here it is, how to choose a husband.
Don’t want one.
I know, I know. “Kate, this is boring and derivative. I thought I was getting actual advice.”
You are – just hold on. Maybe if you didn’t judge so quickly you’d be in a relationship right now.
Men can smell eagerness like a morning fart. They’ll ignore it for a bit, but it’s obvious and it’s not pretty. If you can move yourself into a place of independence and confidence- of not needing a partner in your life- you’re going to be more attractive. You’re going to be more level headed in your ability to choose the right person for you and you’re going to feel great about yourself.
Here’s a news flash many women may have missed- You’re a goddamn independent woman and the only reason you think you need a husband is because the media, society and your family has told you so. Listen to me, pretty lady. YOU DO NOT ACTUALLY NEED A HUSBAND. You can live an amazing life full of adventures and meaningful romantic relationships without getting married.
But I want a family, Kate.
Procreate you say? I feel ya, dawg. I’ve got a baby in my bucket right now. But you don’t have to get married to do that. Did you not watch Sex in the City? They tried to teach us that. They didn’t, but they tried. Anyway, the desire/need for children is the single worst reason to jump into a relationship. It will always go wrong. As certain as me finishing an entire Chipotle burrito bowl – that relationship will go wrong. Period.
Now, let’s talk about the women on TV and movies who magically have all their problems solved and become their best selves when they meet “Mr. Right.” We grew up watching trash and it brain-washed us. It’s fake. It doesn’t happen. It’s not going to happen to you.
Here’s the secret to relationships and possibly life- The more comfortable you are with yourself, the more you disregard the judgments of others and focus on what brings YOU joy and peace, the more attractive you will be to others. There’s a calm confidence that comes from being true to yourself, an earnestness of self.
We all know these people. You’re probably friends with a few. You might be this person. They like themselves but they’re not aggressive or intrusive about it. They’re often weirdoes (in the good way) because they don’t stress out about everyone else’s opinion. It’s obvious that they’ve figured something out about living that makes life a bit more relaxed and optimistic.
Experiencing earnestness of self is a beautiful thing and it attracts like nothing else. It almost magically fills in the deficits you perceive in yourself. You won’t need others to validate you nearly as much when you finally realize ultimately only your opinion counts. You don’t need anyone to fix you when there’s nothing to be fixed.
Don’t get me wrong, you won’t be perfect but you will be rid of most of the self-criticism that leads people to believe that they need someone else to complete them.
[As a quick side note: earnestness of self also will do wonders for your career and friendships.]
Easier said than done, right?
Those previous paragraphs are why I will be able to buy a boat one day. Sometimes it takes people years or even decades to get to a point where they like themselves and feel comfortable being themselves. Defeating that type of neurosis can be a challenge depending on how you grew up.
But you know what, and I bet you’re going to hate this but I’m writing it anyway… If you don’t like yourself realize you’re an idiot for thinking that way and act as if you do anyway. Like it or not, that old adage “fake it till you make it” is some really great advice for a lot of situations in life, including this one.
Bitch, listen to me. You are beautiful. You are desirable. You are talented. You are powerful. You are full of hope. And you alone can manifest your happiness… or something like that. Whatever set of ideas or phrases speaks to you, use that. Say it to yourself. Memorize it. Turn it into a meme. Pin that crap to Pinterest. Write it down on the cover of your spiral note book. Talk to your friends and family about it. Actively, cognitively, pursue what you want for yourself. PURSUE THAT SHIT LIKE GOLLUM PURSUED THE RING. Your self esteem is PRECIOUS.
Too many women think the sad damsel will attract men- men who want to help. Well, it will. And they will. But, these men are horrible. They are charming monsters.
That is the danger of not fighting against your low self-esteem. You will attract men who are at worst misogynists and at best have any number of issues you don’t want to deal with. These men also have low self-esteem and they play games. These are not people you want to be with. These are not people you want to make children with.
I hope you know I don’t say any of this from a place of judgment, I did it all myself.
Every man I seriously dated from the ages of 18 to 24 was my future husband. I was focused like a Russian gymnastics coach on marrying them BECAUSE I HAD BEEN CONDITIONED TO THINK THAT WAS THE WAY TO SUSTAIN LONG TERM HAPPINESS. For one reason or another we would break up and I would be confused about what went wrong and get depressed that I would never find what I wanted.
Finally, it got to a point where things had to change. I decided to stop living as if my life was going to be on hold until I found a husband. It took some time but I actually got to a point where I did not want to get married or have children.
Not everyone needs to get to that point. But, I did. I think I had to balance out my previous strong desire for a husband with the exact opposite. And LA DEE DA wouldn’t you know, I ended up meeting a man who so enthralled me that I was drawn back to what I had initially wanted for myself.
Hold your horses; I’m not saying it will happen that way for you. But, I don’t think I’d been able to attract such a solid guy, a “good one,” had I not gotten to the point where I knew I didn’t need anyone else to make me happy. He would have smelled dependence on me and straight up bounced.
So there it is, my advice for choosing a husband – Don’t want one.
Ultimately, no one can tell you what’s best for you. Who knows what set of characteristics in another person is going to compliment and challenge you in a way that sustains a relationship for the rest of your life. But, if you’re into lifelong commitments with one of the good ones, there is worse advice to take.
I wrote this TO my fellow straight ladies but FOR everyone. I want to be clear that this advice and the included reflections about self-esteem and earnestness of self are equally applicable to all individuals regardless of gender and orientation. Everyone struggles with the same bullshit, it just comes in different packages.
Good luck, beautiful.
PS: If the result of reading this eventually leads to a marriage, I would like to be invited to the wedding. I request you serve vodka tonics and that I get to toast you using the microphone after I drink 4 of them.