The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday
I wish my daughter would stop whining about finding Mr Right
Itook my daughter’s independence for granted when she was in her 20s. She finished university, travelled and worked all over the place, with plenty of boyfriends, some of whom we met but none of whom were quite what she wanted long term. I always liked her ambition, how she worked hard for promotion and never whined. If something didn’t suit her, she changed it. She didn’t just move jobs, she moved country to find what she wanted and, until recently, seemed to thoroughly enjoy life.
Now in her mid-30s, something has changed. She’s smart and attractive, with a good job and lots of friends, but has turned into a total “bunny boiler” when it comes to relationships. Every box in her life is ticked except the one she suddenly wants most – finding a partner, getting married and having a family – and as a result she’s constantly moaning.
It costs her more to be single, to buy a flat, to go on holiday, because she’s alone. Everyone knows this, so why she’s only just discovered it is a mystery to me. She’s always going on about how much better her life would be if she didn’t have to go everywhere alone and how she’s running out of time to have a family. I cringe every time I hear this: I can’t believe my smart, funny, beautiful daughter has become so needy.
She goes on lots of dates but I’m convinced that she puts loads of them off because she’s so set on finding a husband, and not only that, she has a very high bar. Rich and good-looking with an excellent job top the list, which I think is pathetic. Her mum and I were skint and in low-paid jobs when we met; we planned out our lives together and made a lovely life and family for ourselves. I think marriage should be a team effort and not something you go into with a materialistic checklist and I’m so disappointed she thinks like this.
Two things seem to have set her off. A few of her friends have got married or had children – sometimes both – over the past couple of years, and her younger sister is buying a flat with her boyfriend. My eldest isn’t particularly kind about this and keeps telling her younger sister she could do better, simply because he has a trade, rather than a profession, which is so snobbish.
I’m sure there are loads of nice guys out there but she won’t even consider them and she’s really scathing if I say anything. Everyone she goes out with has the potential to be Mr Right and she comes on really strong, trying to manufacture an intense relationship from the word go and then falling apart when that falls apart. She talks to her mum about it but doesn’t listen to her advice, though for the first time she’s involved me as she asked us if she could borrow money to freeze her eggs.
I’m happy to give her the money, though I haven’t told her yet. But I’d like to give her my honest advice at the same time: take a step back and stop trying to strong-arm men into marriage. My wife is horrified at the thought of me being so blunt, but if I can’t tell her she’s putting men off, who can? I know all about biological clocks, but she needs to put her desperation on hold, freeze the eggs and get back to being fun.
I can’t believe my smart, funny, beautiful daughter has become so needy