Home Featured Why Are More Women Choosing to Not Marry?

Why Are More Women Choosing to Not Marry?

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I came across an article yesterday and it gave me pause for thought. I thought i’d share some excerpts with you all today and see what your thoughts were. The gist of the article is that more and more women are choosing not to marry and happy being single for the rest of their life. While I think this may be a bit of a defense mechanism, it’s an interesting notion. Here are a few clips:

Currently, 53% of women over 18 are in the singles column. Put another way, women now have choices that allow them to customize the arc of their lives and some of them find that it is best for them to put marriage aside.

My thoughts: You say that now… but the way women are wired doesn’t bode well for living out the end of their lives alone. However long that process may take.

What it comes down to is people get married when it’s a good deal. The question is why isn’t marriage a good deal anymore? Here are some considerations.

1. A useless husband

If a woman is poor and only meets equally poor or poorer men, she’s in a tough spot. It is no secret that many women do not choose to marry if the available partners will make their economic situation worse.



In some of these cases, even if a woman has a child, she may be better off with government help than a nonworking, non-involved husband.

2. Success changes everything

When a woman is very privileged or highly successful, marriage could come very easily — or not. Think of the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, who was married eight times. Or Oprah Winfrey, who for personal or professional reasons, is not married.

Moreover, a woman doesn’t need a husband who is a high-powered corporate attorney if she is a high-powered corporate attorney. Taking advantage of economic and professional opportunities could be undermined by committing to a partner with an equally ambitious, or different, life agenda. This kind of woman may wake up every day to new and exciting challenges and think, “best to wait.”

3. Unwilling to make traditional compromises

A woman who doesn’t want to settle for cooking and cleaning and being the primary parent that society prefers. She is not meeting guys who want the kind of woman she is.

4. The marriage penalty tax

Some women are in an income bracket where marriage inflicts economic costs. She would have to pay more taxes if she marries someone who earns approximately what she makes or more.

5. Avoiding cheating men

A few years ago when I was in China, I had a conversation with some very beautiful female Chinese TV personalities about their personal life. I asked them why they were single and if they wanted to get married.

The three women all said they didn’t want to marry because “the men of our class will all expect to have mistresses, and it is better not to marry than have to put up with that.” I have no idea if this was an exaggeration or not — but they believed it.

6. Waiting for the “one”

These women wait for the perfect guy, or the guy who they would fall in love with and love them back just as much. If that man doesn’t come along, they prefer to go alone. As women get pickier, more factors enter into the marriage equation.

My thoughts: I guess you’re saying you don’t need a man and are deciding that you don’t want a man. I’ve been feeling this vibe from y’all for a few months now. As discussed here, now that there is no real financial need for women to marry, they stopped being interested in it. Marriage rates are plummeting. Last, this list of six could easily be translated into reasons for why men avoid marriage.

In social psychology, there is a classic theory called “exchange theory.” It is a bit cold-blooded, but it predicts that a person’s actions will be based on trying to find a balance of give and get. Each person’s resources — of all kinds, including money, looks, background — are traded back and forth for a “good deal.” For example, a “good deal” scenario could be a woman who makes an excellent living pairing up with a man who is a writer and is willing to work at home and be the primary child care person.

When women’s life choices were highly constrained, they had little negotiating power. They had to marry or were seen as damaged. A few got away with being “free spirits” but usually they were exceptional in wealth or lineage — and even so, it wasn’t easy.

My thoughts: See what I was saying?

What do you all think? Is this for real or just shenanigans? It’s quite possible it could be both but to keep it real, not every woman who says she’s fine with being single really means it.

Dr. J This guy has no idea what his position is at SBM.org. He's a well travelled blogger. You can find his work at SingleBlackMale, Necole Bitchie's BitchieLife.com, BuppietheBlog.com, The Book of Jackson, This Is The Dream. He has also published several guest posts at blog all around the blogosphere. He can't spell really good, and grammar isn't his strong suit, but he really appreciates you reading his posts for content, and content only. (I feel very Michael Vick'ish referring to myself in the 3rd Person.)
  • JOhn Crawford

    This article is damn near Exactly Similar to why Men Don’t Marry but rather than what the author was looking for towards Women, Guys got skewered across the board by Ladies and Other Men…..

    It might be both Real and BS at the same time, IMHO

    • TheIVth

      I was thinking the exact same thing. Men dont marry for all of the same reasons but get begrudged for it.

    • Ezra Taylor

      How can something be real and BS? Its either real or fake not both.

      • JOhn Crawford

        Racism is Real and BS, so is Sexism and anything that is of Reality.

        Anything can be Fake and BS too; I have no clue why you think BS=fake. It doesn’t

  • ms_calculated

    I don’t understand why we put marriage on a pedestal. Are women/ men choosing not to get into relationships? That’s what needs to me examined.

  • Soulflower

    I believe that what the article is clearly pointing out is that women are only getting married on their own terms, not like it was in our parents’ day when the women basically allowed the men to determine the viability of marriage to us.
    Even on this site, which I think is pretty progressive in its overall thinking, I have read several comments over the past year where the gentlemen imply that women have to be virtual virgins who have not been with more than two men, but who need to be excellent in bed, outstanding homemakers, bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan. And we are saying yeah, if we’re doing all of that what is the man’s claim to fame? We won’t even discuss how many marriages end in divorce, and then you have the whole Sherri Shepherd situation which is happening a lot more often nowadays. And don’t fool yourself, there are a lot more women like Oprah who would rather keep a man on the side than marry him. That way you don’t need a prenup. IJS.

    • JOhn Crawford

      Idk what year you pertaining to with this, but many guys, including myself , don’t put such hypocritical values on a Woman’s body count. Not All Virgins even pay attention to sex for them to be expected to ” perform like a Porn Star”; the sooner Women-especially Feminists- can Stop the Facade of looking for Equality for Both Genders and they don’t accept Women who are all diverse the better off they-and Guys who are Sexists- will be

      • Beauty In Truth

        So women shouldn’t be “equally respected?” Façade? Please elaborate oh enlightened one…If not for the feminist movement your own mother would not have been able to bust her behind working extra hard to raise your “NAPS!”…Lord Lord!

  • h.h.h.

    it’s real.

    funny when dudes give similar reasons for not seeing the need to get married, there is usually pushback. but, eventually, males will start talking with their feet. as i presume the females are doing in this article.

    *salute*

    • Beauty In Truth

      When men say they don’t want marriage for x, y, z there is no surprise. Men are very predictable and typical. Take that as you want. A good man will do good man things, an a hole will do a hole things: The mold is the final product inmyopin.

  • Laney

    For some women, it’s real. For others, it’s facade to make themselves feel better. At one point I adamantly did not want to get married. I realized that thought seemed just as stressful as wanting to get married (I presumed anyway). I finally realized peace came with not necessarily wanting one or the other. Letting life happen as it may. Marriage is not a priority or life goal of mine, but I am open to it should it occur. Whether I am single or in a relationship, I’ve never felt alone.

    However, I do find myself feeling like I should tell men if they are looking for a ‘wife’ I’m probably not her. I live life the way that makes me happiest. Compromising my happiness, making meaningless sacrifices for marriage doesn’t make sense for me when I don’t necessarily want to get married in the first place.

  • langwichartz

    I loathe the ‘reasons’ that come off as defense mechanisms. If you don’t want to get married man or woman, do so because its simply not for you. As a man, I hate to hear some women blame their single status on all the negative things attributed to men, I also have to be conscious myself because I am quick to point out the minutia and BS of some ladies. Be single because you want to be period. Be honest with yourself in terms of being happy with your status, don’t piss on me and tell me its raining with that passive/aggressive “I’m happy” stuff. There’ nothing wrong with saying you desire companionship, it doesn’t mean your desperate, thirsty, or whatever idioms they come up with today. I always like to tell people “You must be trying to convince yourself, because you sure aren’t convincing me”!

  • James

    The overall point I got is that women still do desire marriage, but they don’t use it as a qualifier anymore. If that makes sense. Some women boast about being a wife like it’s an stand-alone accomplishment; like saying “I have a Ph. D” or “I own my own business”. Yeah okay. And?

    Women are doing what we have been doing for years; spending their good years pursuing higher education, putting time into their career 1st, having fun, and crossing off items on their bucket list. There’s nothing wrong w/ that. But as addressed in #3, successful men don’t always want an equally (or more) successful wife. I know I don’t. I work as hard as I do so my future wife doesn’t have to.

    We all have it in our minds what we deserve and want. But that doesn’t always align w/ reality. A woman can be happy being single as long as she knows she has viable options. For those who don’t though, I call shenanigans.

  • The Shadow

    I dont think women are choosing not to marry as much as trying to rationalize why they aren’t getting married.

    I say this because women dont propose– men do. Men initiate the marriage process. If marriage isnt happening, the root cause is that men arent asking. Everything else is the tail wagging the dog.

    Of course this begs the question– why aren’t men proposing at the same rate that we did in the past?

    • j-kay-elle

      I kind of disagree. I know a few women who turned down proposals either because they wanted to focus on their career or they just didn’t want to be attached to one guy for the rest of their life. It does happen.

      • The Shadow

        I’m sure. But “few” is the key word here.

        by and large, women want marriage. especially ones who dont want a 9-5.

        • j-kay-elle

          Maybe if you word it differently I could agree with you. Maybe most women that you know are looking for marriage. Most women that I know are not. It’s not really fair to say ‘by and large’ and generalize.

    • Beauty In Truth

      Why must individuals like you belittle the concise opinions of some Women? We don’t need men police telling us how to “think” about “thinking.”

      Some Women just don’t want to be tied down period. Just the way some don’t want babies. Or how some people are gay and not straight. I mean… Really?

  • Vana

    No woman wants to be single forever but if there are no viable options, what choice does she have? She might as well enjoy her single life rather than be miserable about it. It’s all a numbers game and there are more women wanting a husband than men wanting a wife.

  • It’s All Gravy

    So in other words, women ain’t never satisfied.

  • Wonnetta Wilson

    I don’t think that a person needs to be legally bound to anyone for life, as a mandate. The natural attraction of two people will still exist even under extreme circumstances. The natural order of selection will prevail over any planned event. Being human makes most people vulnerable to pleasures of the flesh, and their definitions of beauty.
    It is a normal human response to want to explore, and discover the unknown and unseen and un-tried.
    Finding oneself is really a life-long discovery process,interrupted many times over for pleasures of the Senses.
    Aside from all that, Lifestyles, and Morality orientations should at least be similar.
    Inspirations Aspirations, and Education must be considered, and most often are not.
    Sometimes, at it’s BEST, “LOVE” is all it takes, and the rest just follow closely behind.
    Most women want what they want, or at least has an idea of what they want and deserve, but the reality of the matter is, taking care of herself, her needs, and learning and growing while looking and/or waiting for marriage material.
    THIS MIGHT BE A LONG AND HARD UP-HILL STRUGGLE, AND STILL MSAY NOT PAN OUT.
    “DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY, AND JUST DO YOUR THING. THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES WHEN MOVING FROM GIRLS INTO LADY-LIKE WOMEN, WHO DESERVE “MORE”…