Many women have a back-up partner in mind

In the movie, The Titanic, the aged version of Rose shared in a poignant moment that “a woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.” It seems that a newly released survey backs this up. The Daily Mail conducted a survey with 1,000 women—and found that 50% of them have a back-up partner in mind if their marriage doesn’t work out or ends for some other reason.

If you are a woman you might be thinking, yeah I’ve kept tabs on so and so for years, just in case. Or perhaps you note attractive men in your day to day life and environment and think, he’s a possibility. Women have a bit of practice with this as they are the ones who read those steamy romance novels and go to chick flicks. Maybe it’s due to a practical side—always planning for the worst case scenario and not getting caught short.

This is interesting too because following divorce or death of a spouse, it’s actually men who couple up and marry quickly, not women. Maybe because these guys were part of some woman’s back-up plan and when they become available, they get snapped up quickly.

So who are these men that women keep in the wings? Ex-boyfriends, colleagues, ex-husbands (yes, his ex may still have her eye on him) and guys at the gym—and I would imagine church and neighborhood as well. According to the women surveyed, 10% said their back-up was someone who had already declared feelings of love to them in the past, and 20% stated that the guy they had their eye on would drop everything for her if she asked. Pretty confident, but I’m not convinced this is not just their over-active romantic side talking.

So is this a bad thing? Some would say yes, as women might act on these fantasies when they are going through a rough marital patch. Others would say it’s good to be pragmatic and always have a back-up plan for everything important in your life. Does this mean all these women are unhappily married? No, I don’t think so. I think this fantasy is part of their escape from reality. When their relationship is hard, they escape to what might have been or what could be. It’s probably pretty benign unless they really do believe he would drop everything and count on this during a desperate or challenging time in their lives.