To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
By Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
The higher he's a-getting;
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best, which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.

  The above poem about not waiting too long is famous.  Below I have verses from a song that is less famous from Howard Arlen's musical Bloomers that makes a similar point.

Tomorra is a better day with rainbows in the sky
that's a picture people like to paint
but while I seek that better day the years keep flying by
and Lots of things that should be happening aint

till finally there comes this revelation
tomorra is the curse of civilization
tomorra tomorra living for tomorra
why is tomorra better than today?
tomorra tomorra waitin for tomorra
my aunt became a spinster that way

I'd rather I'd rather have something to remember
than nothing to regret.
tomorra tomorra it dawns on me with horra
love's getting far away and out of sight
tomorra tomorra why can't a lady borra
a little love tomorra tonight

utopia utopia
don't be a dope you dope ya
get your utopia now.

  According to an article in Time magazine (4/15/02) 27 is the age at which a woman's chance of getting pregnant begins to decline.  At 20, the risk of miscarriage is about 9%, it doubles by 35, then doubles again by the time a woman reaches her early 40s.  At 42, 90% of a woman's eggs are abnormal; she has only a 7.8% chance of having a baby without using donor eggs.  Between 45 and 50 the chances of a miscarriage are over 50% (if donor eggs are not used).  One would expect with all the sex education classes and magazines that focus on sex that this knowledge would be widely known but when a book by Sylvia Ann Hewlett Creating a Life came out that pointed this out it made headlines and caused widespread Baby Panic (New York Post 5/21/02).  This information might have been more widely known if NOW, the National Organization for Women was not against its dissemination.  When the American Society for Reproductive Medicine tried to warn women about age decreasing the chances of having children they came under fire from NOW which feels such information will interfere with women pursuing their careers.  By withholding such information NOW reduced women's chances of having children and did the opposite of their ostensible mission of empowering women. 

    Many men put off marriage in the hope that they will someday find a beautiful girl and many women also put off marriage until they find a handsome successful man.  There is a song called "Waitin for My Dearie" from the musical Brigadoon  in which Fiona expresses her determination to wait. 

Picture of Fiona waitin for her dearie is from Brigadoon web site.

images/fiona.jpg (46037 bytes)

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Many a lassie, as everyone knows ,ll try to be married before twenty five.
So she'll agree to most any proposal, all he mus' be is a man an' alive. 
I hold a dream an' there's no compromisin',
I know there's one certain laddie for me.

One day he'll come walk-in' o'er the horizon
but should he not, then an old maid I'll be.

Foolish ye may say;  foolish I will stay.
Waitin for my dearie, an' happy am I
To hold my heart till he comes stroll-in' by.
When he comes, my dearie, one look an' I'll know
That he's the dearie I've been want-in so.

Though I'll live forty lives
till the day he arrives
I'll not ever, ever grieve.
For my hopes will be high
that he'll come strollin by,
for ye see,
  I believe that

there's a laddie weary
an' wanderin' free

Who's waitin for his dearie

What do ye do while ye're waitin' around
For your lad to come your way?
Well, when no one is lookin'
ye kneel on the ground
An'ye pray an' pray an' pray!

But when lassies sit an' have no men
Oh, how long becomes the night,

But I fear the night is longer when
The lad's not right.

Waitin' for my dearie
is sweeter to me
Than wooin' any laddie on the lea.

Hum Dreamin of your dearie
An idlin' the day

That's how I am
an' how I'll ever stay.

Though I'll live forty lives
Till the day he arrives
I'll not ever, ever grieve.
For my hopes will be high
That he'll come strollin' by
For ye see,
I believe

There's a laddie weary
An' wanderin' free
Who's waitin' for his dearie

   There are a  large number of middle aged single men and women as of this writing (1998) still waitin for their dearies.  While women are in their late teens and 20s they are at their most attractive and they are often in a position to choose among many men.  Many of these women don't form a committed relationship during that time because they have so many men to choose from and they hope to find one who's even better.  They may also see a serious boyfriend as a time consuming obstacle to their careers.  As women get older and less attractive  it becomes more and more difficult for them to attract men.  As they get older they start worrying about their biological clock.  Soon the men find themselves in the situation where women are chasing them and they have the choice.  Their choice however is older less attractive women.  In addition they don't feel the pressure to get married that the women do.   There is a lesson here for women.  Don't wait too long.  The men, although they will find it easier to find women, will find it easier to find older women.  The younger more attractive women are more likely to choose younger men.  So men shouldn't wait too long either.

   A forty three year old woman friend of mine complained that she is having a lot of trouble finding attracting men.  She said that when she was in her twenties she had to many emotional problems to get involved them.   She said that in her thirties she was able to attract men but not the ones she wanted.  She wanted a doctor or a lawyer.  Now that she's in her forties she says she's willing to settle for a man with integrity who she enjoys being with but she's having trouble finding that.  I have another lady friend who although she is about to turn 50 has no trouble attracting men.  She has a very positive endearing personality and she's a very attractive woman.  I asked her why she didn't get married and she explained that her main obstacle has been "fear of commitment". 

    A graduate student friend of mine from Stanford University is having trouble finding a girlfriend.  He tells me when he was an undergraduate he had "so many opportunities".  He had a large circle of friends and met many young attractive women that way.  He didn't feel the pressure to take advantage of the situation and kept waiting to find someone better.  If he doesn't find someone in graduate school I think the situation will be even harder for him.   College is the perfect place to meet someone.  Women and men who are in college are at their most attractive age.  They are of compatible intelligence.   They are in a setting where they can meet many suitable people of similar intelligence and interests.  It's important to keep in mind when one is in college that it is probably the best opportunity one will have to marry someone one is attracted to.

    An older friend of mine told me how she had chatted with a man on the phone and they decided to meet for date.  She said that she saw something close in his eyes when he looked at her and she knew he wasn't interested in her.  She said he was polite but that at the end of the date she vented her frustrations and said

"What are you looking for?  Do you expect to get what you wanted when you were 15.  How many nice eligible women who would have made perfectly good wives have you turned down? 

    The man admitted to her that he had turned down women who would have been good wives.   

    A middle aged friend of mine told me how she went on a hike with other singles her age who were members of an outdoor singles club.   She said that at one point a man said "The reason we are all single is we aren't willing to settle for each other."

    There is a funny musical made of skits called I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change in which two singles are locked up in a prison with a man who after being single for a long time flipped out and murdered a party of married people with an AK47.   The murderer snarls at the singles, what are you waiting for Mr. and Miss Right?   Well they aint coming he says. 

    Whether or not one is willing to settle for less than one's idea of the ideal mate one is not likely to find one's dearie if one just waits.  A better approach than waitin for one's dearie is lookin for one's dearie.   If one wants to find one's dearie one it helps to increase the odds by going to events where potential dearies frequent.  Events in which people stand around munching munchies and trying to meet each other are usually not good ways to meet people.  Events in which people are doing activities that they like or that are meaningful to them are usually better.  If a singles group got together to work for the homeless for example, they are more likely to get to know each other than they are if they mill around in a club.

    An irony of the dating world is that some of the people who are rejected are wonderful people but the people doing the rejection are blind to this because of superficial reasons.  Those who reject them throw away opportunities that may not come again.   Not everyone can be gorgeous and rich. Yet their inner beauty may be far greater than appears on the surface.  Also their current financial situation may not be their future one.  One of my favorite poems that expresses this was written by J.R.R Tolkein.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

    If one is Waitin for One's Dearie it may be to one's advantage to define what exactly one is waitin for.  Recently I was in a conversation where a man asked that question of a woman.  She answered that she was looking for a man who was smart and funny.   She said she would prefer that the man was multilingual.  The man who asked her the question said "I'm multilingual, I speak English, French and New York."   I thought that was funny.  The man also happens to be quite intelligent.   Did the woman say, you're the one I want to go out with?  No.  She met quite a few funny intelligent men but that didn't result in her dating them.  She wants something more.  She may not say what it is because she is afraid of looking bad or because she doesn't know.  This woman is not unusual.  If one doesn't know exactly what one is looking for one is more likely to get it if one works on deciding what it is one really is looking for (see target section).  If the woman doesn't want to tell others her real criteria for choosing a man because it might sound superficial or greedy than it is probably in her best interest to consider whether she should drop those criteria.

Waiting Till Marriage

    Many religious beliefs advocate waiting for marriage before having sexual relations.  I don't know if that is right or not but one lesson I've learned is the danger of having sexual relations with someone before being ready to have an exclusive relationship with that person and being willing to give it my best effort to make it work.  The danger is that one may find oneself trapped in complicated hurtful situations in a better than nothing relationship.



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