Ask Dr. Rhodes

Susan Patton says that if you spend your first years out of college building your career instead of looking for a husband, by the time you’re in your 30s it will be too late and may end up marrying someone who is not you intellectual or professional equal….A lot of my friends are marrying men they met in college, but I chose to focus on my career and have been completely wrapped up in the demands of my job. Am I doomed? Are there any benefits to waiting to settle down?

Jane, 22

Spending your 20’s becoming independent and building your career is a wise investment of time and energy. You will not miss walking down the aisle because you are in your 30’s. That is nonsense! With maturity and financial security, you are more likely to find a partner with whom you can build a loving relationship for the long haul. All the research shows that successful women between the ages of 30 and 45 are marrying at a higher rate than younger and less successful women. Furthermore, these marriages are more stable with less likelihood of divorce. Gone are the days when you went to college to get a MRS degree! Don’t let the nay-sayers frighten you off the self-development that is so important for a happy life.

—Sonya Rhodes, Ph.D.

Filed under: Career & Workplace

Discuss this:

  • Bill Jagger

    Speaking on behalf of my niece in London, England, many women who graduated in the early ’90s struggled to find work after graduation. Compatible men were hard to find and decent women were reluctant to hang out in any bar and nab any man. Fast forward to 2014 and these armies of single fortysomething women – some of whom have good careers, others of whom have jobs (as opposed to careers), or who may be unemployed – find themselves in a dating marketplace favouring the rich, frivolous and promiscuous. It’s not simply a choice between marrying young or pursuing a career. We have all – men and women – been the victims of economic cycles which have impacted on our personal finances and downtime in which to meet Mr/Ms Right. My niece, newly single, tells me that there are too few honourable men on the dating scene. Given that one judges a nation by the state of its men, this is a truly alarming state of affairs. And given that so many are working all hours to pay the rent, there will surely be a rise in the rate of non-vocational celibacy: a shocking waste of human potential and a further indictment on our so-called ‘caring’ society.

    • disqus_loX1O1u6We

      You should tell your niece that she can thank the feminists for there being a lack of honorable men to date AND you, yourself can thank the feminists for creating the environment favoring promiscuity. Feminists tried to abolish the gentleman, the alpha male, and the class that came with being a lady. Feminists created a world of single mothers and women trying to act and behave like men. They offset the balance of nature and we will all continue to suffer the consequences until there are more people like Susan Patton who care more about progression than the feelings of a bunch of bitter old women.

      • Bill Jagger

        Mrs Jagger and I are in accordance with some of your points however Mrs J points out that prior to ’60s feminism, too many women who were capable of working ended up on prescription medication (they were not suited to being all-day homemakers).
        As for single motherhood, this has existed from time immemorial. It is important to support such women in our communities and not to judge. After all, it is very often the alpha male – pursuing other goals – who does not stay around to raise the children. And we should not forget the many longsuffering, depressed mothers who are, effectively, raising their children singlehandedly due to the fathers working long hours and taking lengthy business trips. The material world has had its part to play too.

        • disqus_loX1O1u6We

          I would like to ask Mrs J if she means to say feminism or women’s liberation as they are two separate entities with completely separate purposes. Women’s liberation is something I am a very huge fan of and am incredibly grateful/thankful for.

          I’d also like to note that women in America haven’t been truly 100% stifled as many women since the late 1800’s have been able to be independent and have jobs as opposed to being all-day homemakers. This includes Florence Bascom who was a well-documented, pioneering geologist. She was the second woman in the United States to receive a doctorate in geology and the first female geologist hired by the United States Geological Survey in 1896. She was also an associate editor of the American Geologist and founded the geology department at Bryn Mawr College. She is known as an expert in crystallography, mineralogy and petrography.
          For more examples you can visit:

          As for single motherhood: WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT IT? Though it has always existed, it used to be looked down upon and therefore more rare and sporadic rather than common and encouraged the way it is today. I come from a single mother who came from a single mother and I don’t think it’s right that women like you who don’t know what you’re talking about encourage women like them who create traumatic childhoods that without correction leak into adulthood. The only way to save the *CHILDREN* who are the *future* IS by judging these women and holding them *accountable for their actions*. I hope you really truly do stand by what you say because if you and your husband work then you guys helped pay for my childhood unless you don’t pay your taxes. My mother had 4 children from 3 different men all of which she got some form of governmental support aka *you paid for my mom to have all those children*. We went through many evictions because my mother also was an alcoholic and did not pay the bills with *your* money. I was the oldest so I had to play mother since she wasn’t and someone had to. Furthermore, some of the men she chose to have kids with were MARRIED to other women and SHE KNEW IT. Guess what? I asked my mother during her 3rd AND 4th pregnancy, “Why are you doing this? We don’t have any money. We don’t have enough food and resources to share between us all now. You don’t have enough time to spend with us all and now you want to divide it further with yet ANOTHER child and you’re not even with the father?” And you know what her response was? “I’m sorry, but I WANT TO.” But you’re right, let’s *NOT* judge her. Let’s *NOT* hold her accountable. Instead, let’s *ENCOURAGE* her and *ENDORSE* her by making *EXCUSES* for her and giving her money and pretending she’s a good mom and a good woman just because she’s a female. I think that’s incredibly sexist and I don’t respect people who aren’t accountable for their actions. To say never judge is to say let anything go, so why even have any laws?

          By the way you’re absolutely incorrect and have NO evidence whatsoever to say that the alpha male is usually the one who does not stick around. NONE of the men who slept with my mother were alpha males, most of them had been in jail. It’s CRIMINALS who are the most likely to leave women with children and TARGET single mothers so I don’t know WHAT world you live on to think any differently.

          I can also prove that alpha males and other top men DO stay with their wives the MOST for example: Socrates (one of the greatest philosophers of all time), Charlie Chaplin (one of the greatest entertainment entrepreneurs/artists of all time), Sagan (incredibly educated and well-known astrophysicist), Von Brown (incredibly talented engineer and 1st ever head of NASA), John Wayne (one of the greatest alpha male American symbols of all time and always known to be the same in real life as his character), Harrison Ford (great actor of today met his wife Calista Flockart aka Ally McBeal and started dating in 2002. She gave up her Hollywood career as an actress to be a housewife/mother by the way.) All these TOP men have stayed by their wives until the day they died except for Harrison Ford who is still alive but still with his wife today.

          • Bill Jagger

            Interesting points.

            You are very wounded by your experience of growing up in a second generation single parent household. It would not be useful or charitable for us to comment extensively with our experience at this stage. We have our views, based on our experience (where single parenthood, with the support of family and community, has led to fruitful lives for the mothers and children) and also acknowledge the growth of single parent households especially in urban areas. Problems – as you point out – tend to arise when the mother has several partners.

            We acknowledge that you are very angry and have strong views. We do not consider it wise of you to use capital letters in your response. In on-line etiquette, this is the equivalent of shouting and without moderation it effectively closes down debate.

          • $110495307

            Firstly, I apologize if you took my all-capitals as yelling, that is my mistake. I meant for it to take the place of no bold, italic, or underlining options. As a substitution, I will use *s for emphasis so as not to have any misunderstanding and hope you will excuse my earlier ignorance.

            Secondly, I rarely give details of my personal life but I thought you deserved the reality of knowing where your taxpayer dollars are going and what kind of women you’re really sticking up for who you don’t seem to know. Not only was my mother a single mother but *most* women around me growing up were and also had multiple children from multiple men and none of them were these great people you claim them to be. Also, the ones who are depressed usually are so as a result of reflecting on all of their own past foolish decisions (the same ones usually encouraged by feminists such as sleeping around in the same manner that men do forgetting women get pregnant and men don’t).

            You’re correct, I am wounded from my experience as a direct result of encouragement of single mothers. The fact of the matter is, single mothers are usually looking for a man while raising their children and most of the time that takes priority for them over their children. I say this based on my experience of living it and being surrounded by it since I grew up in an urban area. Mothers who are married however rarely have that problem and therefore give their children a much better childhood. I’m not going with what’s perfect, I’m going with what’s mathematically most likely.

            Furthermore, I would like to apologize if I came off too emotional as it is obviously a sore subject and I felt very offended that you would group in my mother to be a woman to be encouraged without any prior background knowledge about her. I do however feel it is important to talk about and not push under the rug. Not for myself, but for society to acknowledge the common/average needs to take priority over the exception. Playing favorites to the exception is fantasy-based and doesn’t actually help half as much as it does damage. If you gave enough money to a bunch of heroin addicts and told them to get their life together, sure a few might actually do it but they’d be the rare exception because most of them would use the money to buy more drugs (this is a proven fact). The fact of the matter is when a woman *chooses* to go into a motherhood role as a single mother (excluding adopting an orphan or a husband dying during the wife’s pregnancy), they are already exhibiting poor decision making and self-centeredness. The single mothers are putting their wants before their child’s needs and I would love for you guys to explain to me how you justify encouraging that? I am truly curious and mean no disrespect, I honestly would like to know and hope that you will show me the respect of a response so that I can try to understand where you’re coming from.