A recent dinner conversation enlightened me to the fact that deep down, every girl wants to marry an architect.
If this is news to you, as it was to me, don’t worry. We’ll get there.
But first, a few ground rules.
Given the choice between Frank Lloyd Wright and Prince William, I’m going to choose Will every time (sorry Frank). I realize the royal wedding makes this comparison kind of a moot point, but Prince Harry’s just not the same. And while we’re on the topic of ridiculous “would you rather” scenarios, Mr. Wright passed away in 1959.
So to qualify the original premise, as far as normal earthlings are concerned, architects happen to be ideal husband material.
And yes, husband. Not that an architect wouldn’t also make a great casual fling, but while it’s probably safe to assume anyone you’d consider marrying is (hopefully) someone you’d consider dating, the reverse is not true.
Why all the love towards architects? I think it boils down to an elusive blend of three qualities:
1. They just seem like nice guys.
You know, the not-much-vetting-needed-before-you-bring-them-home-to-meet-your-mom type guy. Nice Guy Johnny type nice.
When was the last time you read anything in the news about an architect laundering money, taking bribes, or cheating while on a business trip?
These are people absorbed in figuring out a foundation’s structural soundness, which window placement lets in the most light, and what the best emergency exit route looks like. Their version of vice probably involves a slightly crooked staircase.
But wait, you protest, no one goes for the nice guys.
I think most girls who pursue known-to-be jerks do so to prove that they can more than anything else. We really would prefer not to wake up next to said jerk for the rest of our lives.
2. An eye for design + the know-how to turn it into a reality = double threat
It’s rare to find someone who unites a creative bent and an ease with numbers and the physical sciences. Most of us would be happy to call ourselves fluent in one or the other, so it’s pretty cool when a person can lay out a conceptual vision for a concert hall in one moment and calculate the maximum stress load of a steel beam in the next.
There’s something else too—people who design and create for a living, who fashion wonderful things out of nothing, tend not to see the world in black and white. It’s an appreciation for subtlety that bodes well for relationships.
3. Mettle, medal, metal (but really just the first one)
I’m not sure what the odds are of making it as a successful architect, but I’m betting they’re pretty low compared to other professions. Come to think of it, when was the last time you met an actual architect?
According to the ever omniscient Google, the process involves seven to eight years of schooling, (at least) three years of in-the-field practice, finding an accredited sponsor, passing the Architect Registration Exam, and mastering the latest computer design programs.
For anyone keeping track, that’s on par with the amount of time needed to become a doctor. Which makes sense. I would hope the people designing the spaces where I fall asleep at night know what they’re doing.
Suffice to say it’s not the type of field you enter without a certain measure of faith in your abilities and a liberal dose of determination and patience.
Faith, determination, and patience. Also known as mettle. Something all enduring relationships have in common.
So what you do if you’re a guy, not already a successful architect, and have no plans to become one in the near future? As I see it, you have two options:
A) Wait until someone publishes the next Fountainhead and hope her version of Howard Roark is a(n) [fill in your profession here];
B) Take heart in the fact that since the math is nowhere close to working out, most of us architect-wife-hopefuls will eventually move on