Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

The Case for Finding a Spouse at College

At the Wall Street Journal Emily Esfahani Smith tells college women to find their husband. From personal experience I direct the same advice to the men.

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

April 8, 2013 - 2:00 pm
YouTube Preview Image

YouTube Preview Image

David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media. He writes and edits articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edits the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at DaveSwindlePJM @ Gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, at PJ Media since 2011. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for WTHR.com. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Refreshing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I know this posting of the author's handwriting is some high concept thing that has undoubtedly been explained and defended in some other place on this site, but when I click on the link and see a piece of paper with someone's hard to read scribbles on it I just tune out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Those who do not want to try and tune in don't have to.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I found my thrill, on Blueberry hill...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The one things that she leaves out is that despite the quantity of qualified mates available when you're a college freshman at an elite university is that no college freshman has the ability to figure out which ones are actually qualified. Despite the fact that they're an the elite university, there's no way to know which ones will be boring, or uncaring, or dipsticks in 20 years.

In my personal opinion, anyone who marries under 30 is wasting their time and money, since none of them have any idea who they are at that point, let alone who somebody else really is.

That said, some arrogant, driven witch from Princeton is probably not worth the time of any solid, reasonable adult from Ball State or my cow college.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I met my husband freshman year, started dating him sophomore year, and married him two weeks before senior year started (at ages 20 and 21, respectively). We spent the summer after graduation traveling to weddings of our friends. 14 years later, we are all still married. But I guess we still have 6 years to magically turn into jerks . . . of course, that assumes there is a 20 year limitation on completely changing your personality, which I doubt.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And how many of those couples whose weddings you attended the summer after graduation are still married? How many of those who are still married had picked their mate at 18?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My parents were both under 30 when they married, and my mother was fresh out of college. They have been married 25 years.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Individual examples do not discount trends. The odds of a marriage ending in divorce are far higher for those who marry young.

http://www.divorcerate.org/

Age at marriage for those who divorce in America (2011)
Age Women Men
Under 20 years old 27.6% 11.7%
20 to 24 years old 36.6% 38.8%
25 to 29 years old 16.4% 22.3%
30 to 34 years old 8.5% 11.6%
35 to 39 years old 5.1% 6.5%

Think of how different people you knew at 18 were at 23. People change and gambling on someone who's 18 is a bigger risk than on someone who's 23, or 25 or 30. As people get older, they are less likely to change drastically - they are more who they will be the rest of the lives.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Despite the fact that they're an the elite university, there's no way to know which ones will be boring, or uncaring, or dipsticks in 20 years."
This is nonsense. Of course there is a way to tell who is more likely to be a loser or an evil person 20 years later.

"since none of them have any idea who they are at that point"
This perspective labors under the delusion that we are a fixed person at some point, incapable of changing ourselves and correcting our personality and character flaws.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"This is nonsense. Of course there is a way to tell who is more likely to be a loser or an evil person 20 years later."

At your high school reunions, did everyone turn out the way you thought they would? Of course, since your first response (that it's obvious what people will be like) contradicts the second (that people change).

"This perspective labors under the delusion that we are a fixed person at some point, incapable of changing ourselves and correcting our personality and character flaws."

Your perspective labors under the delusion that people correct their personality and character flaws instead of sometimes developing flaws that no one saw coming.

Time and experience changes people and not always for the better. For example, missing out on a promotion or getting one that requires far more work will effect different people differently. I always say that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. If nothing has ever happened to someone (as not all of what will happen in someone's life happens in the first 18 years), how can you know how they will react to it?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"At your high school reunions, did everyone turn out the way you thought they would?"
Actually the few friends I stayed in touch with after high school turned out much the way I expected them to. We're all doing professionally what we did for fun in high school. But how people turn out after high school is separate from the point I made that you are misinterpreting. The point is that yes, there are ways to judge people's character and choose to befriend people who have better character than others.

"Your perspective labors under the delusion that people correct their personality and character flaws instead of sometimes developing flaws that no one saw coming."
That doesn't happen very often. Rarely does someone recognize that they are a rotten person, they pick up the Bible or some other self-improvement text, do what it says, and they just become worse than they were to begin with.

"f nothing has ever happened to someone (as not all of what will happen in someone's life happens in the first 18 years), how can you know how they will react to it?"
This is a false dilemma. Of course stuff happens to people in their first 18 years. By the time someone is 18 years old they're an adult. And you can determine their character. Sure, they might change and grow up by the time they hit 30, but you can only deal with what you have on hand. And if someone at 18 is an evil loser then we should recognize it and avoid them. If by 30 they've found God and become a good person then we can be friends then.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The point is that people who seem acceptable, reprehensible, boring or intriguing at 18 may well not be that way in 2 years, 4 years or 20 years.

"Rarely does someone recognize that they are a rotten person, they pick up the Bible or some other self-improvement text, do what it says, and they just become worse than they were to begin with."
Correct, but this is about everyone and not just the people who try to improve themselves. Heck, I'd bet most worthless jerks never have the self-discovery moment in which they see they are worthless jerks.

I think the poor odds of choosing a spouse at 18 that suits you is demonstrated clearly by the far higher percentages of marriages ending in divorce that began before the couple turned 25.

http://www.divorcerate.org/

Some people are very good judges of character, most are not.

That said, feel free to marry whenever you want.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"This perspective labors under the delusion that we are a fixed person at some point, incapable of changing ourselves and correcting our personality and character flaws."

The first part of your comment is not related to the second. At a certain point we pin down who we are. This does not mean you ignore flaws.

For example. I am fairly chilled most of the time but impulsive. I control it often but like a pressure cooker sometimes I just gotta squeal.

I require fairly little attentivness in a mate.

I am very blunt in speech and will speak plain about issues and problems I have. I do not have patience for being subtle in the face of a problem. You solve the problem. Not dance with it first.

I consider a good night one spent at home with a nice meal and a good book or movie.

I HATE crowds and cannot handle large groups of people.

My sense of humor is very dark.

These are not flaws. They are personality traits.

These traits tell me that I would enjoy spending time with certain sorts and dislike spending time with others.

Time has given me this insight. Five years earlier I changed my spots on a daily basis sometimes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're kind of missing the original context that generated all the hubub. Susan Patton made the argument that the women of Princeton would be well advised to take stock of their fellow classmates lest they end up with some sketchy character from Ball State University or say my alma martyr.

The same goes for Emily's mothers recommendation to grab a Dartmouth man while she can. There's less romanticism in this advice than elitism.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If I was interested in the original hubub I would've written more about it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My daughter has a boy friend since freshman. They graduated, he went for his PhD and has obtained a couple of patents. In September, he took a job at Oakridge National Lab. I gave "them" a set of leather sofas (from Macy's), coffee tables, ... for a total of $3000 worth of furniture. In Nov., my daughter decided she didn't like Tennessee and called it quits.

I still miss my furniture.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
View All