I think many who are going in on the author are missing her point. I don’t believe she’s saying “a real man” is wealthy or that her goal is materialistically rooted in finding a man with money.
I believe she’s saying “a real man” (and by that definition, I think she’s defining “a real man” as someone who is ready for the responsibilities that come with being in a committed relationship and raising a family) is intentional and purposeful in his plans and responsibly follows through on those plans. Does that always mean it leads up to him having his own business, yachts, and millions in the bank? No. But it does look like a person who can provide much-needed emotional, physical, and financial security for a family, whether he’s a mechanic or a mogul.
I can relate to Ms. White, as I have had to learn to focus on my “end game” (of having a husband and family), and be very intentional about how I approached dating, because not everyone has the same goal as me. Not only did that mean ending things with men who were not interested in settling down, but also to end things with men who demonstrated in word, deed, and lifestyle that they were not ready to settle down (who I believe Ms. White is defining as “men with potential”). No more “waiting for him to figure it out/decide he’s ready/get his life in order/etc”. It doesn’t make them bad or “not real” men (but in many cases, they were immature and irresponsible). It just means they aren’t relationship material (at least not to me, who has an end game of marriage and family). And I had to keep it moving. If they come back with their act together, great. But no more holding my breath. THIS is the lesson Ms. White seemed to learn.
It is known that women tend to evaluate men according to their ability to protect and provide, often as part of evaluating who they will be as not only a husband but a father. The same people on here attacking the author for being materialistic, sexist, etc would be attacking her if she were irresponsible enough to marry and or have children with a man who demonstrated he couldn’t be a good protector and provider. I ask many of you this: how would you feel if your daughter came home talking about how she’s marrying a man who still lives in his mother’s home, doesn’t pay his own bills, lacks goals, and hasn’t finished ANYTHING he started (whether it be pursuing a degree, career, or starting a business)….but he “is really smart” and “really loves her”? After all, your daughter has a secure job and can hold things down while he “figures things out.” Would you be leaping for joy about her marrying a “man with potential”? I’m pretty sure most of you wouldn’t, and that you wouldn’t call yourself “materialistic” or “sexist” for wanting better for her. And you would know “better” doesn’t mean owning a business or a yacht. But it would mean demonstrating the ability to be responsible and provide your daughter with security. I believe the author is saying the same thing, and I applaud her. (Of course, she can correct me if I’m wrong)
Yes, there are women who stuck by that “man with potential” and it ended out well for them. But that is a HUGE gamble (again, would you want your daughter to take that gamble?). And of course, there are those “men with potential” who make it and then trade in that woman who stood by their side of a new, hotter model. But that’s a whole other topic.
Congrats to Ms. White for learning a valuable lesson at whatever age. It’s never too late to keep learning and growing.