Women aren’t as keen to be in relationships as they once were
It’s a fact of life for the modern woman, committing to someone other than themselves is scary stuff. Commitment means compromise.
I often hear women complaining that there are no eligible men anymore and that they struggle to find anyone who matches up to their most basic requirements as a mate. Think about this, you rarely hear a man saying that there are no eligible women anymore, though they may argue there are too many highly selective women. No, this lack of commitment used to be an accusation thrown at men wary of marriage, but these days you are more likely to find a woman with a good job who has taken over this role as the wary one.
I know lots of eligible men. They are young, unmarried, good looking, single, with good careers, lifestyles, are fit and healthy and looking for a serious relationship. In fact most men I know are serial monogamists! I asked one of my friends, Sean, 32, about whether he felt that the modern women he met were ready to commit and he said:
” I have wanted to settle down for a long time now, but women are too interested in their careers, want a casual lover with a fat wallet and nice car, or are simply too scared of the commitment levels required to live with someone. It seems to me, women just aren’t ready to compromise their new found strengths and are very frightened of monogamy. Every time I have attempted to have a serious relationship, it is the girl who has panicked when things become more intense.”
Sociologically, this is an interesting development and Sean’s view is not alone. The fact is, there is a huge pool of resourceful, talented men out there ready to commit, but they are really struggling to find partners. Its important to note that there is no great difference in the number of single, available men and women and so we don’t face an imbalance. So what is going wrong?
Well first of all, we have to consider social change. The social emancipation of women has been refreshingly vital in the last 15 years. Salaries for women have increased in many sectors, more women than men appear to be excelling academically and have moved into the mainstay career domain. A career has meant financial liberation allowing women to purchase their own apartments and cars and whole self-sufficient lifestyle unheard of two generations previously. Women are able to conceive later and they have a sexual liberty unparalleled in modern society. Indeed some men I interviewed saw women now as the main sexual aggressor and were “frightened of them.” Women have become dominant in some areas and men are on the retreat, uncertain of their new role and what it may entail. Whilst I appreciate this may not be true in some of the smaller communities, the trend for city dwelling women confirms this general trend.
Marriage has become a taboo subject for many women, seeing it as a role for the subjugated with one-sided compromises that are just not worth taking on board. The average of marriage for a western woman has now increased from the early twenties to almost the early thirties, certainly 29 being a key age for many. Women instead have replaced early marriage with self fulfillment, meaningful life-content and career-path progression. This in turn means that a woman becomes instinctively very choosey about any life-partner who may interrupt this comfortable world.
In the meantime, men are struggling and perhaps seen as increasingly pathetic in their needy overtures. This is all too obvious in TV ad campaigns currently running. Whilst a man fights desperately to keep his loved-one, the woman has other ideas about where she sees herself ten years from now. It may well be settled with children, it may well be as a tax exile in the Bahamas, it may well be independent, financially astute and driven as well as successful. But she isn’t going to take any old man along for the ride. She wants her man to shape up or ship out. And rightly so.
It is clear that relationships boundaries have moved. Many career women will not compromise their jobs for the sake of a relationship. It is as likely a man will move for his girlfriend , than she for him. With career comes financial independence and like it or not, many women struggle to understand that men were brought up to feel like the breadwinner. This is likely to relate back to the hunter-gatherer of human evolution so cannot be excused so dismissively. However, as many women excel in their given careers, so the man has to come to terms with the fact that he may not be the primary breadwinner any more. Indeed he may be more likely to stay at home and rear the children.
The red-blooded male is in a quandary. The media and Hollywood send him many different confusing signals as to how he should act and react. The problem here is that as yet no final solution has resolved. Women’s lives have become dynamic and men are slow to react and evolve alongside. Consequently we can explain the reactionary rise of the Laddish culture alledgedly portrayed in magazines such as Loaded, FHM and via Jackass TV. Where a man cannot find his own sense of identity within a relationship, so he has divorced himself from considering relationship evolution. Be careful however, this is not to take on board the difficult situation modern men find themselves in with women.
As women evolve their own independence during their twenties, so they become sophisticated consumers and have acute sense of taste. Far more so than many men. This in turn means that they know exactly what they are looking for when you come along to ask them on a date. Get it right and you may be selected, get it wrong and you will be dumped without hesitation. And no, you may not be for keeps. The sophisticated new woman will often therefore see any committed relationship as similar to giving something up. You will often hear women say that they are seeking a man who will “compliment” their lives and add to their life experiences. There is no suggestion of compromise on their behalf however.
Women are also acutely aware that men cost women and can drain their emotional and financial wealth. A man can be hard work if he is not himself already emotionally self-sufficient. I am sorry to say it guys, but a lot of you are a little too emotionally needy as yet. This may relate to the current state of male self confidence in a world of increasingly dominant women. Women now value their freedom to express themselves sexually as never before and this certainly causes men a problem. TV shows like Sex and the City have covered almost every bastion of sexual discussion that men often feel uncomfortable with. Whilst women move forward increasingly confident in their own sexual behavior ands needs, men are struggling to take on the open mindedness required. Ask many men about the subject of oral or anal sex for example and they will run a mile. Men always thought sex was their domain, now the hunter has become the hunted.
Children is a key ingredient in the equation because however successful and confident the modern woman is, her biological clock may still tick. First of all its important to stress that some women are now happy to admit they never wish to have children, which is a change from previous generations. Some women are happy to admit they never wish to marry. But for those seeking children in their thirties, they have more options than merely seeking a stable semi-permanent relationship. Whereas men may have run from such a responsibility previously, now they are fighting to maintain it. If they can be replaced by a fertility clinic, they may be in trouble.
I don’t have the answers to this issue, but I do see that women are increasingly dominant in relationships, whilst the men have simply lost their way. Whilst a woman may want her man to act like a man, it is a man with conditions. Whereas before a man could call the shots, now he must listen carefully if its not he who ends up being left on the shelf. It may not be that women can’t commit, it may simply be that they don’t have to anymore.