There are many factors which have resulted in so many single, over 30 year olds. I believe it is a combination of these factors which has led to this situation, they are all linked and it’s difficult to establish which are cause and which are effect. I’m going to (briefly) share with you my personal opinion on why we have this problem.
# 1: Sex: Every time I speak to a woman who complains that she can’t get men to commit, I ask them to think of a reason for men to commit (from the man’s perspective). They can seldom come up with a good reason. He’s already getting sex, so if he commits, what more is he going to get? There are many women in relationships where the man at the outset has told them he won’t commit. After a couple of years they realise he wasn’t kidding so they wonder why he doesn’t ‘let them go’. They feel it’s unfair for him to keep them ‘hanging on’ if he is never going to commit. But in his mind he is being perfectly fair. He stated at the outset he wasn’t going to commit, so if she wants to leave, she can leave whenever she wants. But he’s not going to give up free sex for no reason. I can tell you now that if she stops having sex with him he will definitely ‘let her go’.
There is no solidarity between women, they are all in competition with each other. So every woman knows that if they don’t sleep with this guy, he’s going to leave her to find another girl who will sleep with him. Hence every woman is forced to sleep with any guy they start dating if they want the relationship to go further.
#2: Full lives: Because women are now self-supporting and liberated, they have very full lives. They work hard, they have a circle of friends and pasttimes etc. Especially as they get older, they fill their lives with more and more. So a guy and a girl meet, they like each other but they can’t seem to find space and time for each other. They are very particular about the way they want to do things, they have preferences for the places they like to go. There is not enough time to support 2 circles of friends. All of these make it difficult for couples to become inter-dependent. I read somewhere once that when we are young we are dependant on our parents, then we become independent as we grow older, then we meet someone else and we make a life together and become inter-dependent. A relationship can’t work if the partners are too independent.
Pride plays a big role in this, people have worked hard to become independent and so they don’t see why they should give that up. Perhaps they’re also scared of being let down, when you put your faith and trust in someone, you are in a vulnerable position but relationships cannot progress without this.
#3: Selfishness: People these days are very selfish. In fact one of the comments in the Bridget Jones Documentary went something like “I don’t see why I should have to give up anything for someone else”. With that sort of attitude, no wonder they are still single. It’s impossible to find someone that is going to fit you like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. There will be aspects of your life that will need to be sacrificed for the sake of the relationship. It’s often said that love is about sacrifice.
Bringing up children is about sacrifice, your whole life changes when you have kids. Making sacrifices for your partner is good practice for that stage of your life. Obviously there will be fundamental things which you will not be prepared to sacrifice, maybe your religion or something like that. However, in general, if you’re not prepared to make sacrifices, don’t expect the relationship to last. I’m talking to men and women here, it’s a 2 way street.
#4: Expectation: Thanks to the propaganda we are exposed to everyday through the media, we have expectations of partners which are probably very unrealistic. They need to be good looking, smart, earn good salaries. Over time, perhaps we lower our expectations as we become a little desperate. But then we meet someone and we feel like we ‘settled’ and deserve more. This creates an imbalance in the relationship. People have experienced so much more in their lives: travel, work, culture, etc. and we expect our partner to have had similar experiences. In this way we narrow down our options dramatically.
These are just a few of the reasons I believe are responsible for the way things are today. There are many others eg. social environments, religion, ambition, ethics, etc. But I don’t have the time to go into all of them.
By the way, I’m single 😉