What bothered me was the assumption that because I was a woman in her early thirties, I must be “desperate” for marriage. At first this seemed only irritating; every romantic encounter arrived in the same cumbersome frame I had to repeatedly dismantle. But after a while, the fixedness of this belief felt not merely claustrophobic and repetitive but downright pernicious. Figuring out how you feel about another person is a notoriously complicated business. The ubiquity of received attitudes about what men and women did and did not want seemed to relive everyone of the responsibility to actually examine their desires, leading to some pretty bizarre behaviour.
— Kate Bolick, Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own (p 138)