This article appeared in the WSJ on Valentine's Day. It's probably the girl version of what was posted in the brother's forum. I don't really disagree in general with this article, but I think having an education and independence is *just* as important as finding someone to marry early. I'd like to say a Muslim girl can find someone at any age but it's definitely not true because of our society and culture. And it is important to marry and girls should make it a priority as well. One shouldn't be left out at the expense of the other...
This is also a critical response to the article below which is pretty funny: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/02/14/princeton_mom_is_back_susan_patton_writes_for_the_wall_street_journal_annoys.html
and a really funny satirical one: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2014/02/14/extra-straight-talk-for-single-ladies-on-valentines-day/
Susan Patton: A Little Valentine's Day Straight Talk
Young women in college need to smarten up and start husband-hunting.
Another Valentine's Day. Another night spent ordering in sushi for one and mooning over "Downton Abbey" reruns. Smarten up, ladies.
Despite all of the focus on professional advancement, for most of you the cornerstone of your future happiness will be the man you marry. But chances are that you haven't been investing nearly as much energy in planning for your personal happiness as you are planning for your next promotion at work. What are you waiting for? You're not getting any younger, but the competition for the men you'd be interested in marrying most definitely is.
Think about it: If you spend the first 10 years out of college focused entirely on building your career, when you finally get around to looking for a husband you'll be in your 30s, competing with women in their 20s. That's not a competition in which you're likely to fare well. If you want to have children, your biological clock will be ticking loud enough to ward off any potential suitors. Don't let it get to that point.
You should be spending far more time planning for your husband than for your career—and you should start doing so much sooner than you think. This is especially the case if you are a woman with exceptionally good academic credentials, aiming for corporate stardom.
An extraordinary education is the greatest gift you can give yourself. But if you are a young woman who has had that blessing, the task of finding a life partner who shares your intellectual curiosity and potential for success is difficult. Those men who are as well-educated as you are often interested in younger, less challenging women.
Could you marry a man who isn't your intellectual or professional equal? Sure. But the likelihood is that it will be frustrating to be with someone who just can't keep up with you or your friends. When the conversation turns to Jean Cocteau or Henrik Ibsen, the Bayeux Tapestry or Noam Chomsky, you won't find that glazed look that comes over his face at all appealing. And if you start to earn more than he does? Forget about it. Very few men have egos that can endure what they will see as a form of emasculation.
So what's a smart girl to do? Start looking early and stop wasting time dating men who aren't good for you: bad boys, crazy guys and married men.
College is the best place to look for your mate. It is an environment teeming with like-minded, age-appropriate single men with whom you already share many things. You will never again have this concentration of exceptional men to choose from.
When you find a good man, take it slow. Casual sex is irresistible to men, but the smart move is not to give it away. If you offer intimacy without commitment, the incentive to commit is eliminated. The grandmotherly message of yesterday is still true today: Men won't buy the cow if the milk is free.
Can you meet brilliant, marriageable men after college? Yes, but just not that many of them. Once you're living off campus and in the real world, you'll be stunned by how smart the men are not. You'll no doubt meet some eligible guys in your workplace, but it's hazardous to get romantically involved with co-workers.
You may not be ready for marriage in your early 20s (or maybe you are), but keep in touch with the men that you meet in college, especially the super smart ones. They'll probably do very well for themselves, and their desirability will only increase after graduation.
Not all women want marriage or motherhood, but if you do, you have to start listening to your gut and avoid falling for the P.C. feminist line that has misled so many young women for years. There is nothing incongruous about educated, ambitious women wanting to be wives and mothers. Don't let anyone tell you that these traditional roles are retrograde; they are perfectly natural and even wonderful. And if you fail to identify "the one" while you're in college, don't worry—there's always graduate school.
Ms. Patton is the author of "Marry Smart: Advice for Finding 'The One,' " out in March from Gallery Books.