It isn’t every day that a story comes back full circle to spite its haters directly, but such is the case for the proudly picky Amanda Lauren, who, back in 2013, incurred wrath by admitting that, in search of The One, she’d gone on too many dates to keep track. That search has ended:
No, seriously—that’s how she put it in her own update on the subject where she wrote:
I’m engaged, bitches! And I didn’t have to settle for anything less than what I wanted. That’s right, I win! Next January, I’m going to marry the love of my life. And while I plan to take this opportunity to brag (since so many people took the opportunity to bash me), I really want to let others know that if you hold out for what you really want, you won’t have to settle. Trust me, I’m picky.
Let’s back up. In 2013, Lauren wrote that she’d been on so many dates that she actually went on a re-date with the same guy, and it didn’t dawn on her until he pulled the same excuse to end the date early as he had the first time around. She was fed up with dating, but still intended to wait it out for Mr. Right. Readers found her post entitled and desperate, her expectations a little precious, so she followed up with a defense: I’m picky, what of it? In that post, she laid out her MO:
Yes, I’ve dated so many men I couldn’t identify most of them in a police lineup. I’m not a slut, I’m just picky. There are two very specific reasons for this. The first reason is “daddy issues,” but probably not the kind you are imagining.
Honestly, I’ve never met a man a great as my father. He is handsome, funny, old fashioned, a gentleman, is beyond giving of himself to others, and is just fun to hang out with. I’m not going to say he’s perfect all time (in fact, my mom and I like to make fun of him and call him Mr. Perfect), but who is?
My parents are completely in love with each other and have a pretty mutual relationship. I want the kind of relationship they have. And I’ve reached the point where I’m convinced that men like my Dad don’t really exist anymore.
Every time I get involved with someone, I compare him to my Dad. Does he have that je ne sais quoi charm, class and heart my father has? Or is he just another douche who can’t even be bothered to open a car door for me?
Her new requirements: No baldies, must have a career (not a job) and can’t want to live in the ‘burbs. Honestly if that’s what we’re calling picky, then I’m a nun—a nun who would never date anyone who wears relaxed fit jeans. Sorry. Gotta draw the line somewhere.
When her original post ran, I defended her right to pickiness while acknowledging that pickiness means limiting your options. I would defend it still because Lauren’s readers gave her the classic shit we give women who dare to have standards and shake their fist at taking any man they can get: the who-do-you-think-you-are, you’re-not-exactly-God’s-gift-either variety. The sort we give women in dating advice all the time: Lower your standards, bitch! Or settle…WHILE YOU STILL CAN! And countless other pieces of advice along the same lines: If you’re picky, you’re going to be alone, and it’s your fault.
But here’s the thing: Wanting a relationship and wanting marriage don’t make you desperate. They make you human. Most people want those things. Some don’t, sure, but many do. Looking for it, admitting you want it, going for it, stating it outright, these are all perfectly honest approaches to love. And knowing what you want is going to save you a lot of time. Sure, there’s a big difference between a fascist list of superficial criteria that must be met and, say, approaching a relationship with caution, but to me, it reads like Lauren was angling for both: a good match on all the levels that matter. Attraction, shared values, similar life goals.
Lauren outlines her meet-cute with her fiancé, who was introduced through a friend of hers in New York. Lauren lives in Los Angeles, but after they scoped each other’s social media pics and talked on the phone every day for six weeks, they decided to give the distance a go. She flew out to meet him, sparks flew, and Lauren writes:
So did he meet all the requirements that everyone told me I was crazy for having in my first essay? He did — Ethan has awesome hair, is the most chivalrous man I’ve ever met, is brilliant, well-educated, ambitious, and makes me laugh.
Cut to now: He proposed, and they are engaged to be married next January. She writes:
I discovered that when it comes to love, there aren’t any real concessions to make. When you really love someone and they love you back, giving in or making a sacrifice isn’t really giving in or making a sacrifice — it’s just something you have to do, or a step you have to take to get something that’s more important than the thing itself. So while Ethan met all of my not-so-basic criteria, it didn’t mean our relationship wasn’t a challenge in other ways. But just because everything isn’t fairy-tale perfect doesn’t mean I won’t (or you can’t) live happily ever after.
So, happy ending, right? Pickiness pays off! Just wait! Don’t rush it! Stick to your guns! Ha, no, sorry, readers still took issue with her story—they don’t like her tone; she still sound desperate; and by not living with him first, she essentially “blackmailed a dude into proposing.” Oh well, can’t win ’em all. Congrats, Amanda Lauren, but that’s the Internet for you.
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