Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage

I’m going to share my unpopular opinion. The opinion that’s going to leave some of you shaking your head saying, “she really had to go there.” I just can’t stay quiet about it anymore. Today’s dating world just doesn’t work towards marriage and all the dating advice that’s being thrown out there is just plain WRONG. It’s written by other single women who really just don’t know what men want or how to get what they want: marriage.

I’m not writing to the women who genuinely want to remain single and are happiest when alone. I’m writing this article for the women who have settled for the single life after years of dating but have always desired marriage.

Here are the reasons why engaging in today’s dating culture is not going to get you a ring.

1. Online dating is very limiting and takes a lot of time.

Let’s face it: good quality men are hard to find. We’re talking about family oriented, working men who are reasonably attractive. If there were an equal number of quality men to women, more women would be married. Right now there are millions of online profiles, these are nothing short of personal ads promoting oneself. Beautiful pictures and perfect profile blurbs. “Mr Right needs to know exactly what he must bring to the table vs what I bring along as Mrs Right.” The truth is that it’s very time consuming to look through all the profiles and respond to everyone or even go on all the dates with men who you find reasonable. Because of this and all the likes and attention online dating provides women, women are overestimating their value in the dating pool.  We think there are more eligible bachelors truly interested than there really are.  Not all men online are marriage minded or even looking for a relationship.  Many women are investing their time with wrong short term minded men, incompatible men or men who are not looking at women as a long term partner.  What we need to realize is that there will be many window shoppers but only one buyer.   If you set the expectation too high many will be curious as to what makes you a great value but won’t buy.  Set the bar too low and you’re overwhelmed with low quality options, while the best and highest quality match is searching elsewhere.  It’s about hitting that sweet spot.   I recommend dating people within your social circle or while you are at school.  Anywhere that will let you get a better read on someone’s reputation.

There’s also the issue of being catfished online, misled, and lied to.  Profiles are limiting and short with people putting only their best foot forward.  How do you get to the real person without investing a significant amount of time meeting people?  You can’t.

2. Hookup culture has gotten out of control.

I’m sorry, in 100 years we’ve gone from a culture that severely frowned upon premarital sex to a culture where sex is on the table before a 4th date. Where “we’re talking” has replaced “going steady,” and “Netflix and chill” is code for hang out and sex. It’s all good and fun in your 20s, but suddenly in your 30s you hear your dad in your head saying, “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.” At least my dad would tell me that.  And why should men want to invest their lives into women? They can just open Tinder, send out 50 messages and pick up a girl before the end of the day without ever getting out their seat. We’ve made it too easy and too cheap. Apparently we haven’t realized that too much of a good thing is bad, even sex. The truth is women have so much more to offer than just sex. We are kind, compassionate, warm, intelligent and much more. Yet women are selling themselves short with just sex, why?

3. We’ve stopped asking men what they want.

To me this is the saddest part of today’s culture. Men don’t matter. Many good men are silently backing out of the dating scene because they just aren’t being included in the conversation. They’d rather be alone. Yes, men are allowed to have preferences. They are allowed to have wants and needs. They are just as much willing participators in any relationship they choose to take part in.  But women don’t want to hear it, we assume we are the complete package as is, that there is no room for improvement. That’s wrong. Men want women who can be team players and not just put the brunt of the work on the man. If he is a high earner, he might want a wife who can care for him and his future children, keep a home, (gasp) cook a meal, and maintain their looks or at least try and age gracefully. He might want this because he works 100+ hours a week and needs someone to be his other half.  Of course there are compromises everyone must make in a relationship.  But how many compromises will any one person make?  You might find this to be anti feminist, backwards and even misogynistic, but why should women have preferences while men can’t? The status quo required by women are that men at least work and hold a job. Women would prefer men to be handsome and maybe tall. We’d like them to hold doors and be a gentleman. We gossip that we want men that are good lovers and masculine. So why shouldn’t men be allowed preferences? Aside from the men having a field day on Tinder, a lot of quality men are just not finding the kind of women they want, are tired of looking and are opting out. For them, it is better to be alone than to be unhappily married to women who don’t get it.

4. Women are waiting too long.

We’re told 30 is the new 20. That we can extent this dating phase past our teens and 20s and play the field into our 30s. Please stop with this jargon. That’s just not how female anatomy works, that phrase works for men, not for women. Because by 35, women have only a fraction of the fertility they would have had at 20. The issue is that many marriage minded men WANT children. Considering that it takes time to date and get to know someone, become engaged, plan a wedding and make a baby, many eligible men find it too impractical to date women in their thirties. From a a purely statistical standpoint, it would be easier to start dating a 25 year old and conceive at 30 than it would be to start dating a 30 year old and conceive at 35. Or even a 35 year old to conceive at 40.  Yes there are women who are conceiving at 40 but often it requires medical intervention to even conceive and is considered a riskier pregnancy.

Then there’s also the consideration that in your 20s there are more eligible men. When I was 20-26 I remember getting so much attention I just didn’t know what to do with it all. It was actually really flattering, but I always knew it wouldn’t stay.  Men were available in my age group and enough were unattached so I could find a partner easily. Men were just finishing college and starting jobs, if I had wanted someone more secure I could have also dated a little older. Getting interest wasn’t a big problem. At 29, I don’t really have that kind of attention, and I don’t miss it much. My job requires I put a lot of time and attention into my appearance but I’ll still never be prettier than I was at the age of 20-25. That’s just a reality. Nothing can quite take the place of youth. So why women aren’t searching for a partner seriously In those prime years is beyond me. These are your most beautiful, alluring, and innocently charming years! After 30 your age starts to show, the eligible bachelors have become jaded due to frustration or been scooped up, some are divorced with kids. And the hunt for a good quality man becomes more competitive because men your age are also looking at women 5-8 years your junior.

My issue is that the conversation that women are hearing from a young age is that:

1. Online dating makes it easier to meet people and find the “perfect” partner.

2. Hookup culture is OK, empowering and will get you what you want.

3. That preferences that men have for women don’t matter as much as the preferences women have for men

4. That we can extend women’s dating life for decades. From her teens to her 30s.

This is just all around bad advice. And I don’t say this from my lofty pedestal of being already married. I’m saying this for my sisters and my friends who followed the whims of popular opinion and were short changed because of it. I’m saying this for the men that are opting out of the dating scene with frustration because the women they wanted in their 20s were just playing the field and keeping them as “friends.”

I write this with the warmest intentions. I want everyone to live an intentional fulfilled life and part of that is making choices EARLY that are right for your future. Not all women want marriage but SO MANY women do and they want children, some just find they’ve missed their boat for the right opportunity.

I hope you found this post useful. I know I’m writing some opinions that might stir the pot. Feel free to comment below and join in on the conversation.

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