For years, the vast majority of people would confidently say that women want relationships, diamond engagement rings, marriage, and children, while men desire to be single. However, a recent study suggests that single men are actually looking for the same things as women. What’s more shocking, is the discovery that men might want those things even more than women!
Belinda Luscombe covered this fascinating story in the Huffington Post. The ever-popular Match.com presented their research findings of over five-thousand single men and women, and the results were surprising, to say the least. Most note-worthy was the discovery that 24-50 year-old men wanted to marry women of the same age more than the women in the same age category wanted to marry men.
Also, women presented a much greater desire for separate bank accounts, nights out and vacations with friends, and a greater need for personal space in general. Contrarily, men didn’t seem to possess this same sentiment. Men also cared less about their partners’ race and religion than women.
In addition, across every age group studied, more men wanted to have children than women. This may have been the most surprising piece of the puzzle. Which begs the question: what could possibly account for this major shift in our western world society?
First off, women are earning more money than ever, obtaining higher positions in the workplace with significantly better pay. Women can now also safely bear children well into their thirties. Beyond being safe, both are more socially acceptable nowadays. We’re seeing it in television and movies more often now where women are the main breadwinners of the household and their partners support their business endeavours. Whether that’s art imitating life or the other way around is hard to say. Either way, it’s clearly become the norm, and men are shifting accordingly, consciously or not.
The article’s conclusion is an interesting one: perhaps women, like men, also enjoy being single. Whether it’s to do with the discovery that more men (ages 35-44) want children than women (16% of women compared to 27% of men), or a heavier focus on career, we need to acknowledge the prospect that women might just be choosing a single lifestyle.
A woman who was single in years passed used to be considered somewhat of a leper. She was either labeled as desperate, having some sort of personality disorder, or obsessed with her cats. Over time, that idea started shifting and the general public perceived this single woman as a soulless, career-obsessed, workaholic. In truth, now there is much more space for the likelihood that being single is a choice that some women simply choose for themselves for no other reason other than- that’s the way they like it.
What this says about our future and gender norms is beyond us, but one thing is certain: men and women might have a lot more in common than we previously thought.