I’ve written in the past about women’s complaints that men aren’t meeting their expectations for courtship, and why it is entirely rational for men to either withdraw from traditional courtship altogether or limit and carefully target their courtship expenditure. Women have (as a group) greatly expanded the period of time they expect men to court them.
He gets the desert. She gets dessert.
The poster child for women drawing their husband search out has to be the 700 Club’s Wendy Griffith. Griffith urges Christian women to slow down in their husband search in order to hold out for the perfect man God has in store for them. 53 year old Griffith* dedicated her book on the topic:
To my future husband: I know you will be worth the wait!
But what about her imagined future husband? Will it be worth the wait for him? If she’s 53 and still hasn’t found him yet, he’ll probably be in his 50s or early 60s by the time they marry. Will 30-40 years of courtship all be worth it to marry a woman who is too old to have children, a woman who spent her youth building her career while forming and dissolving romantic attachments with a parade of other men? Was it really God’s plan for him to spend 40 years wandering in a sexual desert, buying an endless string of unserious and ever more demanding women dinner (and more), to ultimately marry a woman in her 50s?
As a sign of our age, not one of the 98 reviews currently on Amazon.com points out how ridiculous it is for a never married woman in her fifties to offer herself as a husband hunting role model. Griffith doesn’t say she did everything right, but her takeaway from a lifetime of not finding a husband was that she needs to slow down and be more demanding. Chapter 11 is titled:
You Are Worth the Price of Dinner and Dessert!
God wants you to know that you are worth the price of dinner and dessert—and so much more! You are worth someone being “extravagant,” even lavish, over. After all, you are a daughter of the Most High King, a royal treasure, a beautiful masterpiece, a pearl of great price. You are a lady, and a true gentleman will recognize your value and act accordingly. Don’t settle and don’t forget to order dessert.
*See the second footnote at the bottom of this post for the calculations behind my estimate of Griffith’s current age. Since Griffith’s book was published in 2014 she would have been younger at first publication, but still in her 50s.