What’s so Wrong with Being Wifey Material?

Posted on October 13, 2010

This is a guest post from a friend who has had two relationships end with the same puzzling excuse: she was too “perfect.” Read on to hear her story, and hold your breath- we’re going to have another guest post coming soon.  Next time, it will be from a guy’s perspective as he attempts to answer her question: what’s so wrong with being wifey material?

In the past year or so I have dated two different guys (not at the same time!). Both of these ‘relationships’ (for lack of a better term) hit an awkward time, a roadblock, when the exact same issue came up. No, there was no cheating. There was no huge blow out. It wasn’t that I gained too much weight or got too clingy. The problem, apparently, is much bigger. You see, according to them, I’m a girl you’d want to marry, and that’s a serious issue. It was odd news to me, but I guess it’s a guy-problem. So tell me, what’s wrong with being marriage material? How’s a girl to date when she’s quickly labeled (and pushed aside) because she’s too marriage material?

This isn’t the first time someone has said this to me; over the years a number of friends and acquaintances have told me that I’m good ‘wifey material.’ But it’s just different when it’s with someone who you’re dating, and it is the reason for stopping the relationship. When the first guy (Boy #1) said this to me, I was amidst a period of “I’m an awesome girlfriend and I’m too good for you,” so my initial reaction was “Yeah!!! I’m way too marriage material for you, you jerk!”Shortly thereafter, however, I came to think that if that was really true, why wasn’t he doing anything and everything in his power to lock me down? Then, when the other one (Boy #2) said this to me, my reaction was “well this is just stupid.” Why would a guy put a halt to something with someone whom he apparently finds ‘perfect.’?

Now, I know the first thought is, “okay, they’re man whores, and dating you is preventing that from happening,” but I really don’t think that’s the issue. Boy #1, for sure, I know is not that type of guy. I flat out asked Boy #2 if this was his problem, and he wholeheartedly denied it was the case (he did come across as extremely believable, and I feel like he was being truthful and sincere, but I haven’t quite decided if I really believe him yet). I really don’t think this is the problem. (And, for the record, they’re both in their mid to late twenties, so it’s not like they can play the “young and inexperienced” card.) The second thought, maybe, is “they realize they’re not good enough for you.” This I dismiss very fast, because I don’t believe it for a second. To whatever extent I am ‘too good’ for either of them, I don’t think that either of them actually give it any credence at all. (Boy #1 would express this idea, but his actions did not conform to the same thought. Boy #2 has not said or done anything to make me think that he’s even contemplated this idea.) Third, perhaps, is that they respect me and don’t want to drag me down in their current messes of lives. I can reject this too because, like the previous point, neither has said or done anything to indicate this is actually even a passing thought of theirs, but also because I’m still friends with both of them, and as such am still involved in their lives. Fourth, they could just be flat out lying to me, giving me the “it’s not you, it’s me” line. I suppose that could be true, but to the extent I know them, it didn’t seem like this was the true issue—both the situations that caused this conversation to arise, as well as the true sincerity of the conversation, really leads me to believe that they were being totally honest with me about how they feel. Additionally, both have also told me, on multiple occasions, the extent to which they have positively talked to their friends about me, so it seems silly that they would do that if they were just not into me. Plus, probably most convincingly, both have told me that they still have ‘more-than-friend-feelings’ for me, but dating is just not ‘right.’

Without being too forward (saying “Hi. I’m perfect. What’s your problem?” seems like it would be a little conceited and awkward), I basically asked them both to clarify. Boy #1 seemed, mostly, to be scared. I think it made him freaked out to know that I was of existence in his life. Boy #2 said he didn’t know how to fit me in his life—he explained how he needs to get his ducks in a row before he even contemplates the idea dating anyone seriously and how finding me ‘marriage material’ made that really awkward and uncomfortable. I think that both of these are understandable. I can understand how meeting someone who you automatically think “serious” about, when you’re so far from being ready to be “serious” can be frightening and uncomfortable. That’s fine. But what’s not fine (and yes, I’m going to be selfish right now) is how it sucks for me.

First, it sucks for me because both of these guys became good friends of mine through the time I spent with them, and I obviously learned to love and appreciate them in the time that we did interact. And now we have an awkward wrench in the mix, and it’s technically my fault, even though I did nothing wrong. Whatever feelings I did have for them get crushed and tossed aside, and I’m left feeling annoyed and let down.

I think the bigger issue, though, is the fact that I’m so far from being perfect that it’s not even funny. I’m not saying this to be modest or because I’m insecure, I say it because it’s true. To my credit (and what I would infer would be the reason that these guys are telling me I’m marriage material), I’m fairly well rounded. I’m attractive enough, smart enough, fun enough, kind enough, motivated enough… so on and so forth. I have enough of the requisite qualities that it could be wrapped up with a pretty little bow and thought “Aw, what a nice little package.” Someday I will make a stinking good wife and mother. That being said, I’m so not perfect. I am unnecessarily lazy, I am obnoxiously moody and a huge brat, I am needy and demanding, I procrastinate worse than anyone I know, I’m jealous and nosey, I’m ignorant and selfish, I’m a sight for sore eyes first thing in the morning. And I care way too much what people think of me.

I know one may think “stop throwing yourself a pity party, crazy, at least two guys think you’re pretty rad,” but I think that these ‘perfect’ and ‘marriage material’ comments, if anything, make me more insecure and let down. It puts a lot of pressure on me because it makes me feel like I have to fit into their image of ‘perfect’ in order to not let them down, to not tarnish their image of me. Problem is, I’M NOT PERFECT. I can’t be, it’s just impossible. So, I either have to put on an act and pretend to be someone I’m not, or I have to be insecure and uncomfortable being me. It makes me feel like I can’t just be me, and be accepted for who I am, because ‘perfect’ is not who I am. As a result, it makes me feel like I’m walking on eggshells—afraid to make everything crash and burn because I did something that wasn’t ‘perfect’ enough. One day of no calls/texts, and I’m suddenly thinking “What did I do wrong? What’s wrong with me?”

It’s also frustrating, because it automatically makes me a ‘serious’ girlfriend type of girl, and that’s not really me. That’s not to say that I haven’t been in serious relationships, or that I would not like to be in the future—but it also doesn’t mean I’m riding on the “marriage or bust” bus. I love people and love having fun and casual dating is just fine by me. I’ll flirt with almost anyone, and in return, I love being flirted with. But being the ‘marriage material girl’ kind of makes this hard. According to Boy #2, it makes it hard to just casually hang out/flirt with me because I’m not the type of girl you ‘just flirt with.’ But shouldn’t I be the one who decides that? Am I not the one who gets to make the determination as to whether I’m okay with ‘just being flirted with’ versus needing a marriage proposal asap?

So, presuming the guys really do think that I am ‘perfect marriage material’—shouldn’t that make these guys want to be with me? Why, instead, is it pushing them away? Tell me, why is being marriage material so bad? And how do I get guys want to just casually date me?!