Relationships

'Princeton Mom' tells women to plan for husband over career

Feb. 14, 2014 at 6:08 PM ET

"Princeton Mom" Susan Patton has penned a column urging women to put man-finding first.
TODAY
"Princeton Mom" Susan Patton has penned a column urging women to put man-finding first.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, "Princeton Mom" Susan Patton is doling out relationship advice — and causing a stir on the Internet — once again. 

Her latest column, published in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, urges women to put the pursuit of a husband ahead of their own careers. 

"You should be spending far more time planning for your husband than for your career — and you should start doing so much sooner than you think," she writes.

Patton, who graduated from Princeton University in 1977, also cautions that well-educated women looking for equally cultured counterparts will have an even more difficult time finding a suitable mate, because smart men don't mind dating women that are not of the same educational background. 

"An extraordinary education is the greatest gift you can give yourself," she says. "But if you are a young woman who has had that blessing, the task of finding a life partner who shares your intellectual curiosity and potential for success is difficult. Those men who are as well educated as you are often interested in younger, less challenging women."

So what's a smart, Shakespeare-reading single lady to do? "Start looking early and stop wasting time dating men who aren't good for you: bad boys, crazy guys and married men," Patton says. Also keep in touch with male college friends, and don't "offer intimacy without commitment."

"The grandmotherly message of yesterday is still true today: Men won't buy the cow if the milk is free," she writes.

Much of her advice echoes the same points she made last March in an open letter for the Daily Princetonian that quickly went viral — and netted Patton a book deal. She's still of the mind that college is the best place to pick up a long-term mate, because, "Once you're living off campus and in the real world, you'll be stunned by how smart the men are not," she says. 

Of course, she does offer some hope for those who have already kissed their college years goodbye: "Don't worry — there's always graduate school," she writes at the end of her piece.

The post has spawned hundreds of comments and many a rebuttal column online, with some comparing her to an Internet troll and others saying young women don't need her outmoded dating advice.

Scores of people took to Twitter to voice their reactions, which range from bemused to infuriated to, in a couple of cases, supportive. 

Patton's book, "Smarten Up!: Words of Wisdom from the Princeton Mom," is scheduled to be released this spring.

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