Marry Smart: Advice for Finding the One?

11 Mar

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This morning on Today, “Princeton Mom” Susan Patton promoted her new book Marry Smart: Advice for Finding the One by sharing some advice during her interview. She said college women should spend 75% of their time on finding a man to marry and 25% focusing on college/careers because work can wait but fertility cannot. Next, she mentioned that you shouldn’t get too drunk or too high at parties because if a man takes advantage of you, it’s your fault. She also said if you need body work to make you look better, get it done in high school.

Was I dreaming? Did I time travel? Was I in a Jane Austen novel? No, this interview was real and during it, I could have been awarded for achieving the biggest, most intense eye roll ever recorded in human history.

Look at this quote from a letter Patton published last year:

“Men regularly marry women who are younger, less intelligent and less educated. It’s amazing how forgiving men can be about a woman’s lack of erudition if she is exceptionally pretty.”

You probably get the point and understand why her opinions are angering and likely controversial on purpose (she says they aren’t), but if you need to read more, read this book review published by Wall Street Journal.

Susan Patton doesn’t have daughters and recently finalized her divorce from her husband. I could sit here and talk about how much more ridiculous that makes this situation, but instead I’ll give some better advice to young women who hope to marry and possibly have a family:

1. If you’re a college woman hoping to marry and start a family ASAP for whatever reason, try to balance out your studies and social time. Maybe you’ll meet a sexy dude and that’s awesome, but don’t fret if you don’t meet a sexy dude. It’s college, and a lot of guys aren’t exactly wearing their big boy pants yet anyway. Depending on your career choice, research shows that your sea of partner options does decrease after graduating from college, which means you may have to work a little harder to find a worthy guy on your intellectual level, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

2. While a woman’s chances of having a baby decreases as she ages, there are other options and you shouldn’t allow a “ticking clock” to rule your state of mind. Why? Because it may result in rushing into a marriage and life that doesn’t make you happy and may end in regret, a lot of yelling and way too much vodka consumption.

3. There is nothing wrong with you whether you choose to marry and have a family later in life or if you choose to start early. I know successful, highly educated, happily married women who didn’t marry until they were around 36-38 and all of those women have children. I also know women who chose to marry early, have a career and babies and they are also happy.

4. If you choose to advance your career before finding a dude, don’t worry that there aren’t “normal” men out there. There are, but you may meet a few complete duds first (or if you’re me, a lot of duds….and now I’m wanting some delicious Milk Duds).

5. Don’t get work done on your body in high school unless you actually need it for medical reasons. I can’t believe anyone would even consider that. Learn to respect your body first and be honest with yourself about body image (and yes, I know that isn’t easy). If you do choose to get body work that young, just remember that surgeries will not always (if at all) cover self-esteem issues.

6. Be responsible at parties and take care of yourself. If you get too drunk or too high, it can end very badly and no one wants you to get raped/hurt by some idiot, be stuck without Fritos when you get the extreme munchies or have a terrible hangover when it could be avoided.

7. Finally, don’t buy that woman’s book or her extremist views. While she feels it’s helpful and honest, not all young women can find happiness or “the one” by fitting a mold, not focusing on a career, looking a certain way or acting a certain way. We are all different (thank god), so deal with it already.

54 Responses to “Marry Smart: Advice for Finding the One?”

  1. El Guapo March 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    It’s less sad that she wrote the book, and more sad that so many read it.


    • La La March 11, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

      Well hopefully no one else reads it. I didn’t even want to draw attention to it, but I did want to just be like what the hell, man?


  2. randee March 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    Well, that was a bit scary. Does she know the average age of marrying these days? I love your advice and will pass it on to my teenage daughters.


    • La La March 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

      Haha, thank you. I truly can’t imagine having daughters these days. Being one was enough for me!


  3. herdthinner March 11, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    Oh my God! I forgot to get married and have children!

    I guess a question with scarier implications is: how well does her advice WORK? i.e. if there are lots of women out there reading her book and nodding to themselves and taking her advice to heart, are there lots of men that… want women like that?


    • La La March 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

      Oh, christ….good question. I assume the answer is yes because there are people who like some weird stuff out there and I guess this shouldn’t be excluded. Thankfully, I don’t know those people. Personally, I’d be lying to myself if I took any of that advice and I’m not sure what I would do if I had to have a conversation with the people who agree with what she says. Thanks for commenting!!


    • diirrty March 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      Men don’t want women like that. Grown up boys want women like that. Men want women who are smart and funny and comfortable in their own skin.


      • La La March 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

        That’s a perfect way to say that. Thank you.


      • herdthinner March 11, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

        I guess to follow that, I shouldn’t have said “women.” Grown up girls it is.


  4. Twindaddy March 11, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Soooo….she’s a divorced woman writing about how to have a successful marriage? Seems legit.

    Clearly she’s a Republican with views like that.


    • La La March 11, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

      Um, duh. And with 0 daughters! Just her own life to regret.


      • Twindaddy March 11, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

        Well, I’ve been divorced TWICE so that makes me more qualified to write a book on marriage. Be right back…this shouldn’t take long…


        • La La March 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

          Get on it. I’ve always wondered what a stormtrooper thinks about marriage. You’re probably already done.


          • Twindaddy March 11, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

            Yup. I was going to hire an editor, but considering who my audience would be I don’t see a need to spend that money.


        • Hiding2014 March 11, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

          3 here…


  5. Carrie Rubin March 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    I like your advice FAR better. You should be the one with the book. As for Ms. Patton’s thoughts: Ick.


    • La La March 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

      Thank you. I’m not exactly qualified but she isn’t either so that works. 🙂


    • talesfromthemotherland March 12, 2014 at 1:00 am #

      Ditto, ditto, ditto! And yes, MAJOR Ick to Patton! Thanks for setting it straight LaLa!


  6. Sean Smithson March 11, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    This makes me sad La La. Sad that a fuckwit like that will no doubt go on to sell thousands of copies of that crap… When perhaps you, and definitely I, will be forced to beg people to purchase our crap.

    But on a positive note, great advice for the single ladies out there. Now do you have any for the men?


    • La La March 11, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

      Advice for men about which topic? There are many, haha. Yes, yes you and I will both beg so let’s get comfortable with the idea…


  7. Sandee March 11, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    I’d buy your book, any day! Thanks for sharing this — that lady’s nuts!

    But I could’ve used some good advice about relationships. I’ve had my share, and had been engaged even — glad I dodged that bullet! If I had known my self worth and had more respect for people and for relationships, I could be in a good one now.

    While I never dreamed about marriage, or having children, at 51 I’m thinking, gee, it would be nice to have a nice friend that I could have sex with, and stuff 😀

    Might be too late now, while I’m still glad I didn’t breed. I want to blame my parents for not teaching me how important relationships are — but ugh! — I like blaming them for everything so I don’t have to be responsible — hahahaha! Oh La La — sorry for the post-sized comment!


    • La La March 11, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

      Yes blame them, that’s allowed. It’s never too late to get on a dating site maybe? My friend’s grandmother remarried at 82 to a man 10 yrs younger. Maybe she should write the book.


  8. Sandee March 11, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    I did think about a dating site — everyone’s doing it now. But I chickened out. I’m afraid I still attach a stigma to it, and feel I’ve ‘failed’ if I can’t rein one in on my own — but at this age it’s really like, “good luck with that reining one in on your own thing.” Ah well — I’ve probably had enough. I’ll get cats, lots of cats. Yes.


    • La La March 11, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

      Cats are nice. Keep it in mind though!


  9. Lori D March 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Seriously? This woman is taken seriously enough for television interviews? I like your advice much better. Maybe you should write a book. 🙂 I say, let it happen when it happens, and don’t focus on age. I got married young because that’s when I found “the one.” My brother found his bride at age 36, she was 32. It happens when it’s supposed to happen. And, don’t be fake in order to get someone to like you. If they don’t love you for you, then they aren’t “the one.”


  10. triciatierney March 11, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    Ridiculous. Oh, feminism, where art thou?? Seriously – it’s shocking to me how backwards we’ve gone in so many ways. And this one – she’s just ridiculous.


    • La La March 11, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

      It’s true. And I’m just just a fan of positive progression.


  11. ddupre315 March 11, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    What a moron that woman proved herself to be. I have one piece of advice for finding a husband…. stop looking so hard. Do what you enjoy, if it’s college, delve into it. If it’s working, do your best at your job and make sure to enjoy yourself on days off. That’s the way I met my fabulous husband, I wasn’t looking for him. Just do you.


    • La La March 11, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

      Great advice. Just chug along and one day you’re like “oh, hello there, sir.”


  12. theclocktowersunset March 11, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    36,38? There’s still hope out there yet, I thought it was all over and I’m doomed to sit on the porch with an old hound dog whittling twigs and sticks til the end of my days.


    • La La March 11, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

      36! 38! I don’t know your age, but there is time.


  13. The Waiting March 11, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    I’m actually more ashamed of the media that perpetuates this kind of narrow-minded nonsense. I was about to call this woman a shock jock but I’m pretty sure Howard Stern has more sense than her.


    • La La March 11, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

      I like that term shock jock. I’m ashamed of the media too. In my opinion we shouldn’t even entertain that it exists, but I couldn’t let it go.


  14. Viciously Sweet March 12, 2014 at 12:47 am #

    The fact she made it on the Today show is terrifying! Can’t we try to avoid these women? Or just ignore them? I am still in my 20s and I went to a party where a 50 something lady told me:”What are you doing with your life? No husband or kids?” She didn’t believe I was right to be at this function because I freelanced for the company, and wasn’t a plus one. It was shocking to me that people still think that way… and this book and theory makes it terrifying to me to think like this.

    Mr. Darcy would even be ashamed.


  15. Sophie March 12, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    It’s scary how many people have read this book! We think we’re making progress what with International Women’s Day, Beyoncé, movies like Mona Lisa Smile, etc, but wow it’s like she came straight out the 1940s!


    • La La March 12, 2014 at 8:28 am #

      Weird. I knew nothing about it. Wish I still didn’t!


  16. gingerfightback March 12, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    The world is full of fools paid handsomely to be fools. I just lurve the fact that she is getting divorced! You would have thought this may stem the tide of sales, but hey it’s all product at the end of the day!


  17. Kristin March 12, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    Thank you for writing some sensible advice in response to this woman’s assinine advice to young women. Women who are trying too hard to “find” a husband often end up unconsciously making themselves into something they are not and lying to themselves about what they want in a relationship-and often attract men who are doing the same. One of two things happens: They commit to a relationship that they are not ready for and too young or underdeveloped as an individual to appreciate OR they end up marrying a man because they think that he will afford her the life she has dreamed of and end up with a man that was lying when he painted her that picture. This always ends up in a relationship riddled with resentment. Her book does not advise women on how to take control of their relationships. It advises them on how to put themselves in ridiculous situations with men and give them all the power. As a mom of a 3 year old daughter, I am aghast at the messages that the media sends our girls. Have you watched a cartoon targeted to little girls lately? They are just awful.


    • La La March 12, 2014 at 2:06 pm #

      I have watched with my niece, they are bad. I can’t imagine having a little girl but I know you will be a great role model and steer her in the right direction. Thanks for the thoughtful comment! 🙂


  18. aliceatwonderland March 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

    Did E.L. James write this book under an assumed name? Sounds an awful lot like her 50 Shades heroine.


    • La La March 13, 2014 at 9:49 am #

      That would have been better, perhaps.


  19. paulasg75 March 12, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Soooo… Are you saying that I SHOULD or SHOULD NOT post my boobs to Twitter. I’m just confused now.


    • La La March 12, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

      I originally said no, but I changed my mind. Boobs never hurt no one or nothin’.


  20. Andrew March 13, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    Jesus. I can’t believe this lady is real.


  21. Eva March 13, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    I realize I just started following your site, like, this second, but is it alright to say that Patton can suck the big one? Because I would like her to. Your advice is sane and realistic.


  22. Maggie O'C March 13, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    What a complete and total jack ass. She must have written this book for the hype because being that stupid is illegal outside of a couple of southern states.


    • La La March 13, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

      I agree, I think for the very purpose of riling people like me up. I hope so, anyway.


  23. kindredspirit23 March 13, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    This mentality of the author of the book you mentioned is also spreading out to include a lot of women. I can’t tell you how many women won’t even bother with having dinner and talking for an evening with me as soon as they find out I am disabled (I am not dead!). I look for a lot of things in a woman, one of those being whether or not she has her head on straight. Most people don’t. As we age, some of us start trying to act younger, others look for the youth in their choices. I look for someone who accepts life and wants to care for and about someone without taking all the time.
    I don’t know how much sense that makes (I am very tired), but it is, pretty much, how I feel.


    • La La March 13, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

      I’m sorry, that’s frustrating. My hope is that no one will read it. The last thing the world needs is more people that don’t seem to be “loving” in relationships. Go get some rest!


  24. annarosemeeds March 26, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    Great advice! I especially appreciated focusing on studies and not being afraid to wait. There is so much pressure to marry early and find the right person. It is nice to know that it is ok to just be myself and wait.


    • La La March 28, 2014 at 10:04 am #

      So much pressure! I just found it so funny that anyone would suggest to do anything other than be yourself. At the end of the day, we are all different. Thanks for your comment!


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