The solution for women might to stop “dating”.
The lies that are told about women and love are often believed. Stereotypical assumptions like; most women want a relationship, most women want to be married, and most women want a tall, rich husband, who will take care of them for the rest of their lives harm women who just want to be loved.
Society believes that most women want a romantic partner, who will send them flowers, profess their love on Instagram, beseech all other women for her, and buy them expensive jewelry. And why wouldn’t this assumption be wide spread when it’s heavily supported on television, in movies, and marketing.
For decades, the image of a wide eyed woman, with a grin from ear to ear, reveling in surprise and delight, as her male partner reveals a small velvet box from Jared’s or Kay Jewelers was accepted as reality, instead of advertisement.
Many assumptions are made about what society thinks women want, and what they are after, yet life paints a very different picture. If women were so adamantly pursuing these stereotypical outcomes why is it that most women don’t have them? For centuries, women have been described as seeking the most idyllic of marital circumstances, but we know by the divorce rate, the rate of domestic violence, and the percentage of women diagnosed with depression (more on that later) that these dreams are more often than not deferred.
Women will not have the fairytale that has been both designed and denied by men. What’s worst, we live in a world where the upside for dating, and marriage isn’t very enticing to women. In many cultures like Japan, for example, it is oppressive – resulting in many women opting out of marriage completely.
What women want, is to be feel the respect and adoration that comes with being a man’s choice. If it were just a rebellion against marriage as an institution, research would reveal an increase of unwed cohabitation, which we haven’t seen, even in the LGBTQ community.
What’s actually happening is that men have defaulted on society’s expectation to choose a wife, and the responsibility that it entails. Superficially we believe that without men making the choice to marry, women can make it – all things being equal. Unfortunately, things are not equal. Dating is much harder for women especially when men aren’t playing the traditional part of suitor, pursuer, or hunter, that has been expected for decades.
What Causes Feelings of Depression
Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is due to life circumstances and culture. The higher rate of depression in women isn’t just biology. Life circumstances and cultural stressors play a role, too. Although these stressors also occur in men, it’s usually at a lower rate. Factors that may increase the risk of depression in women include:
Unequal Power and Status
Women are much more likely than men to live in poverty, causing concerns such as uncertainty about the future and decreased access to community and health care resources. These issues can cause feelings of negativity, low self-esteem and lack of control over life.
Often women work outside the home and still handle home responsibilities. Many women deal with the challenges of single parenthood, such as working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Also, women may be caring for their children while also caring for sick or older family members.
Sexual or Physical Abuse
Women who were emotionally, physically or sexually abused as children or adults are more likely to experience depression at some point in their lives than those who weren’t abused. Women are more likely than men to experience sexual abuse.
These unequal exposures to trauma can cause women to be more guarded and insecure. Women face the constant reminder of their gender power imbalance in their work, advertising, music and relationships.
Women Do More Emotional Labor
In dating a man’s emotional maturity is less likely to match his date’s. Women are more likely to pick up the slack of emotional labor in a relationship. Women are the ones who initiate conversations, express their emotions, show their love and invest in the health of the relationship emotionally. Traditional gender roles aside, men and women who split the check are not equal. Paying half for the date is just the beginning.
While men assume actions such as, ‘making the first move’ translate to equality they conveniently ignore the fact that they don’t equally provide the maturity necessary to sustain relationship health. They are not the gender to be honest about “what they are looking for”. They are not the gender to be consistent in communication, or open about their feelings. They are not the gender to be supportive, and communicate their standards in a relationships.
One writer for QZ.com explains it this way: Getting most men to understand and genuinely appreciate emotional labor is often a Sisyphean task, precisely because to them—much like micro-aggressions to white people—this work is invisible. If you don’t do it, or feel pressured to do it, why should you care?
Emotional labor are emotive tasks in the form of “caring, negotiating, empathizing, smoothing things over, and working behind the scenes to enable cooperation, are required components of romantic relationships yet mostly done by women. They are often invisible and uncompensated.
If a man doesn’t call you back when he said he would. Lies to you about his whereabouts because technically you’re not “his girlfriend”. Consistently avoids making plans, or exhibits any behavior that is considered disrespectful, a woman has two choices – leave him or deal with it.
The truth is, women can’t really just leave a man because the marriage market has dwindled to devastating lows when it comes to eligible bachelors. In this case, the woman that was with you shooting in the gym, has to endure the public affair, and other acts of misconduct, for the sake of the relationship.
Women Have Less Options
Women outnumber men, everyone knows that right? Outside of male dominated cities like Denver, or San Francisco – the numbers of single women are far too high for every woman who wanted to get married to actually be married. Unless she married a man who was married before. But the reality is far more depressing than the raw numbers. The pool of eligible bachelors, known as the ‘marriage market’ has dwindled to abysmal lows.
This includes basic attributes such as:
One recently released study explained that unmarried women currently face “demographic shortages of marital partners in the U.S. marriage market.” When you include the nice to haves such as: No criminal record, no children, never married, college educated and drug and disease free, the pool diminishes even further.
The most revealing data comes from University of Zurich economist David Dorn. In a 2017 paper with an ominous title (“When Work Disappears: Manufacturing Decline and the Falling Marriage-Market Value of Men”), Dorn and his colleagues crunched the numbers from 1990 to 2014. They found that employability and marriageability are deeply intertwined.
In 1990, 21.8 percent of employed men and 12.9 percent of employed women worked in manufacturing. By 2007, it had shrunk to 14.1 and 6.8 percent. These blue-collar gigs were and are special: they pay more than comparable jobs at that education level in the service sector, and they deliver way more than just a paycheck. The jobs are often dangerous and physically demanding, giving a sense of solidarity with coworkers.
Not coincidentally, these jobs are also incredibly male-dominated—becoming even more so between 1990 and 2010. But since 1980, a full third of all manufacturing jobs—5 million since 2000—have evaporated, making guys less appealing as husbands.
Dorn and his colleagues found that when towns and counties lose manufacturing jobs, fertility and marriage rates among young adults go down, too. Unmarried births and the share of children living in single-parent homes go up.
This leaves women at a disadvantage in who they can meet, and marry. Allowing for men to create lower than desired standards and dating conditions. What leads to the depression many women feel stems from their disappointment of what love and marriage is versus what they were promised it would be. Statistics paint a very different picture of romance and relationships than society would like women to believe.
The downside to dating far outweighs the fun and excitement to a woman that wants to get married. The good news, and yes, there is some, is that dating doesn’t lead to marriage as it once traditionally did. The road to marriage has become a decision that is independent of needing to casually date. For women who are interested in marriage, their best solution is to forego dating altogether and focus on attracting marriage minded men.
Millions of people get married every year, in order to be one of them you first have to decide. Once you decide, you will find it less necessary to just “date.”