Do Men Avoid Dating Successful Women?

SUCCESS-WOMAN

Do Men Avoid Dating Successful Women?

For the first time in American history, women are surpassing men in bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Single, professional women are one of the fastest growing demographics in the country. Though they still do not make what a man does for the same job in many places, in some urban areas professional women’s salaries are outpacing men. What’s more, over half of all households will see a female breadwinner by 2025. That is amazing progress in a very short period of time, though the feminist movement has its roots a long way back in American history. Some women however say their success in the scholarly and economic realms is having negative consequences on their dating life. There are professional women who say the men they date are intimidated. They either pull away or blow them off due to a discomfort with the woman’s success. Perhaps these men find it emasculating, it is thought. Lots of these women’s girlfriends today console them by saying so, at least. There is even a school of thought that says a woman should dumb herself down in a man’s presence in order to make him feel comfortable and allow the relationship room to grow. But is it true? Do men avoid dating successful women?

Sure there is a segment in the male domain that pine for the 1950s. They believe in traditional values and are put off by women who are independent. But is this the majority of men? Certainly not. Nor is it right to generalize, which in addition to being inaccurate is in a way sexist since it paints all men as antiquated, chauvinists. There are lots of men who appreciate the success, knowledge, skills and other aspects of an accomplished woman. They also want a partner to share interesting times and conversations with, someone with many facets and dimensions, just as women do.  In fact, there are a lot of men who brag about the accomplishments of their wives and girlfriends. There is too a growing segment of stay-at-home dads and lots who enjoy it. So what’s really going on here? Their selection process could be an issue. What kind of men is this person seeking? What qualities do they all hold in common? Are they chauvinists, traditional or perhaps they fear commitment? The woman herself may also be subconsciously sabotaging her chances at love due to some deep-seeded trauma. Another aspect, it might be the woman’s personality itself. Pushiness, vanity, decisiveness, being opinionated and other aggressive behaviors propel some forward in their career. But on the dating scene these qualities are a huge turnoff.

In terms of selection process, lots of women say they want a man who is just as accomplished or more. But then are they selecting someone who is also decisive, aggressive and opinionated? When two people share such personalities the relationship quickly becomes an arena of locking horns rather than a relaxing atmosphere where love and romance can flourish. Only selecting this type, a person who fits a checklist of certain career accomplishments also shows underlying issues. This person worries of what others think or has a need to project their value. One’s relationship can be seen as a reflection of one’s self. But why don’t they explore other sides of their personality? We don’t have to date someone we view as a colleague. Looking for someone to love is not the same as a job interview. So someone who is opinionated may enjoy hanging out with someone who is open-minded, shy, artistic and free spirited. This may nourish other aspects that are suppressed in their normal, workaday environment. A professional woman may be interested in someone who is accomplished but in a totally different field or way. Lastly, sometimes this attitude that no men are good is an armor to protect from the fear that they themselves are at fault, or doing something wrong. Each person brings problems into a relationship, big and small. No one is perfect. We are all human. But it is in examining our mistakes and our own flaws that we can grow and develop and become better. There’s an old Buddhist saying; when the disciple is ready the master will appear. When the heart is ready, love will be there. For more savvy ways to navigate your love life read, Love Smart: Find the One You Want–Fix the One You Got by Dr. Phil McGraw.

Marriage in America Today

marriage

Marriage in America Today

The number of people getting married is declining. Experts say the marriage rate today is lower than it was in 1880, another time when extreme differences in income affected the social landscape. Though marriage is touted in America and many societies as helping to preserve the social order, the atmosphere with which we operate is far from conducive in promoting it. In the original Gilded Age as Mark Twain called it, a new class of industrialists slashed wages and with it the prospects of workers of marrying age, mostly male factory workers. Sociologist Andrew J. Cherlin at John Hopkins University wrote that one difference today is many are choosing to cohabitate and have children without a marriage license filed away in the family home. That would never do in the 19th century. But today it’s quite common.

One problem is the gatekeepers to pop culture, the TV and movie writers, musical artists and others have failed to keep up and give us an image we can hang onto for this new state of affairs in how long-term love should be.  Zoë Heller at the New York Review of Books says films today and other cultural milieu are filled with simplistic plots and clichés about love, without delving into the complicated minutia of modern relationships and how best to navigate them. They don’t reflect what people are actually experiencing, nor do they give a strategy for which to encounter the prickly paradigm of modern love. Supporters of traditional values decry the end of marriage as it once was. But couples staying together longer show greater stability, know each other better and perhaps can best negotiate differences. The expense of a wedding, weakening norms and lack of financial benefit may result in a further decline in marriage, experts believe. On the upshot for advocates, statistics show that those who are getting married stay together longer. Also, the divorce rate has dropped dramatically. In fact, since the 1980’s, divorce has been in deep decline. 70% of those who married in the 1990s celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary today. That’s 5% higher than those who married in the 70’s and 80’s. Those who tied the knot in the new millennium have an even lower divorce rate.

According to economist Justin Wolfer at the University of Michigan, two-thirds of married couples today stay together. For those cases where divorce does occur, two-thirds of the time it’s the wife who wants it. The reason is women’s expectations for marriage have vastly changed. Gender roles in America saw a dramatic paradigm shift over the past two decades due to the Feminist movement. This in turn affected how both sexes interact with one another. Today, marriage isn’t only about raising a family or having financial support. It’s about love and partnership. People also want someone who will help lead them into personal growth. They want to grow and better themselves and they look to their partner to help them complete their metamorphosis. A lot of times, when we feel as though we are in a stale relationship and the well has gone dry, we feel it’s time to move on. The baby boomer generation remains the one with the highest rate of divorce. People are living older nowadays, and so when the children have moved out and they still have decades of life left, they want to make the most of it. That sometimes means leaving someone they no longer connect with in order to enjoy those years with someone they do. For more on this topic read, The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today by Andrew J. Cherlin.

Gender Roles have made a Dramatic Shift

stay-at-home-dad

Gender Roles have made a Dramatic Shift

47% of the workforce will be women by 2050. In 1950 that number was 30%. Though we take our ideas of gender roles, men the breadwinners and women the housekeepers, from outdated 1950’s style thinking, the truth is that throughout history men and women have worked together in different ways to provide for the family and manage the household. The number of women may even surpass the number of men in the short term. Gender roles have made a dramatic shift due to the Great Recession.

Traditional male employment industries such as construction and manufacturing took a nose dive. Meanwhile, the only industries that seemed to have survived and thrive are those traditionally the spheres of women such as healthcare, the service industry and education. So does that mean that men are flooding the household realm while the women work outside of the home? Though there has been an uptick in househusbands, research has shown that there is no flood of men into the home. A 2009 New York Times article points out that women who are laid off spend their extra time doting on the children. Time spent with the children remained low no matter if the man was gainfully employed or not.

While the focus used to be more on the job search and the nuts and bolts of finding employment, the emotional sphere seems to be making its way to the forefront as well. Psychologists are noting that men are becoming more able to communicate their emotions than in years past, expressing fears and anxieties about joblessness and other issues. Since the early days of humankind men have gone out and brought home the bacon, either by hunting, or by bringing home a salary. While modern feminism broke women away from traditional roles, men have been slow to adapt. Their egos are wrapped up in their jobs and providing. Though many feel at home being in the home, others chafe at the idea, feel it isn’t manly or are lost. Many social scientists and psychologists note that this breaking out of traditional gender roles is good in the sense that it brings egalitarianism into a marriage or cohabitating relationship. Still, women and men aren’t treated equal. Women still make less than men. Men and women are now free to define themselves. They are struggling with the gender roles of the past, but they are free to define their own future. For more on this topic read, The Unfinished Revolution: Coming of Age in a New Era of Gender, Work, and Family by Kathleen Gerson.

How Much Do You Know About Dating?

Seducing beautiful woman looking at her lover with wine glass.

How Much Do You Know About Dating?

Some people admire love. The human courtship dance is a unique, perplexing and fascinating ritual. There are those who relish the thrill of the chase. While others just marvel at the overwhelming feelings of joy that wash over them when they’ve met that someone special. But how much do you really know about dating and love? Here are some questions. See how many you can answer. First, no matter the sex, what is the biggest turn off or turn on according to both sexes? If you said someone’s teeth, you are right. The dating website Match.com did a study and found that a great smile was the number one physical aspect people looked for, followed closely by good grammar and a full head of gorgeous hair.

How long does the average person wait before hopping between the sheets with their love interest? According to a study by Esquire magazine, the average wait time for becoming intimate is three to five dates. Of course there’s no way to tell the honesty level of respondents. There was a difference in the sexes here; where women wait five dates, men state three to five is what they generally wait. Now that there is more gender equality today, on most dates does the guy still pay, the lady or do they split the bill? 84% of dates are still paid for by men according to one study with 17,000 participants. Lots of women say that they do offer to chip in but secretly they want the man to refuse.

Dating websites have been all the rage for a while now. How many people who meet online actually get married? About a third of online relationships lead to marriage one study says. Interestingly, researchers found that these relationships had lower breakup and divorce rates than couples meeting offline. But continue to be wary, as 50% of those who have dating profiles admit to lying about something in theirs. No-strings-attached, also known as friends-with-benefits relationships are thought to be popular today. How many of these kinds of relationships actually last long term? A survey of 6,000 conducted by Match.com found that 44% of friends with benefits relationships turn into long term relationships. What isn’t clear is whether these are just long term NSA deals or if their relationships develop into something deeper. Who do you think falls in lover faster, women or men? Though women are thought to be the torch bearers of love it’s actually men who fall faster and harder according to an online survey. Men who fall in love often do it in just one date, while it takes women about three to know that they are in love. Who is more likely to look up a date online and via social media sites, men or women? Women are more likely according to a Match.com survey. Over 50% use Facebook to vet their date. For more dating advice read, Modern Love: The Grownup’s Guide to Relationships & Online Dating by Cija Black.

The Marriage Gap is a Good Thing

cohabit

The Marriage Gap is a Good Thing

The state of marriage has undergone tremendous change and continues to in American society today. The marriage rate has plummeted 37% in the last 40 years. A little over 400,000 cohabitated rather than got married in the U.S. in 1960. But as of the year 2000, some 5 million Americans cohabitate. Traditional marriage may be giving way to cohabitation as the dominant form of across gender relationships. Of course, couples can be intimate, close and plan a future together without being married. Many couples want more equality than in the past, even though how to achieve it alludes them, and many women believe marriage does not hold equality in its grasp. Another problem, marriages are too expensive, especially in this day and age where more young people are living at home, grappling with enormous student debt and unemployment or underemployment. Some want to own a home and be more financially stable before getting married. Many in the Gen X, Gen Y and Millennial generations grew up with their parent’s divorce in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and don’t want to go through that themselves. Lots in these groups also want to be older before having children, a big responsibility they don’t feel ready for.

But if you look into the reasons why listed above, it seems that the younger generations are considering different approaches to love than traditional marriage, or holding off on marriage for a host of well thought out and mature reasons. It’s good that young people want to be financially secure and emotionally ready before plunging into a huge responsibility like marriage and child rearing. 70% of those who live together for five years do end up getting married. So cohabitation in this view is making sure that the relationship is solid, happy, supportive and most importantly that it’s going to work. This also sounds sensible. Also, studies by the American sociological association found that women are just as interested in delaying marriage or living single, in nontraditional romantic relationships such as cohabitation and in non-cohabitation relationships as men. What’s come to pass is that young people are taking a responsible view on marriage. They refuse to be satisfied with divorces, financial instability, committing before they are ready, or living in functional marriages that lack passion or intimacy. Instead, they would rather wait. It will be a credit to them and society will become far more stable because of their foresight. For more insight on contemporary relationships read, Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha.