Are young, unmarried women sincere about wanting to be married “some day”?

This comment by Gaza on the Elusive Wapiti blog deserves a post of it’s own. The blog post is not online any more, but the commenter is talking about the video above.

He writes [in full]: (one part redacted)

One thing that Helen seems to miss is how women value and prioritize marriage and what role this plays vis a vis the male corollary. 

The “story” isn’t just about men being “on strike” or even (to Helen’s credit) rationally choosing to delay and/or avoid; it must also include how women treat marriage WRT their own valuation and prioritization and life decisions (NOT merely stated desires). 

There are not swarms of 25 y/o female college-grads looking for a husband with no willing men within sight. There are, however, swarms of 25 y/o/ female college-grads looking to have fun, travel, chase dreams, build careers, and explore their options. 

I’ve “dated” a few of these women; most (and their social circles included) are so focused on the self-indulgence (“experience”) and the status associated with sexual conquest/power that any mention of marriage is usually as a joke (enter the “boyfriends/husbands are boring/stupid/lazy” meme); marriage is merely some distant thing to be acquired at some seemingly distant age. 

Sure, over time (cue: the wall), the distant thing becomes a stated desire, but the transition from stated-desire to behavioral change and actual prioritization often takes years. I meet women well into their 30’s who still can’t alter their behaviors to demonstrate congruence with their stated desires. 

But that is when we start to hear how important marriage is, how men are avoiding commitment, why men should value marriage. All bacon-wrapped in various shaming mechanisms. The women singing the “Man-up and marry me” tune are not the 25 y/o versions; they are too busy singing the “you go girl” showtunes, exactly as prescribed by the Sandberg, lean-in, [binge drinking, continuous alpha male hookups, alpha male cohabitation], [and later, jump off the carousel into a marriage to a beta provider that makes her perpetually feel that she married down compared to the alphas that she used to hookup with while drunk].

So we can plainly see how something is valued based on the prioritization of one’s choices. Most young women value marriage as an idea, as a capstone to her personal journey; an indicator of status and achievement but not as a goal in-of-itself and not as a life decision that supersedes the accumulation of personal experience, the flexing her sexual and relationship power, or the kindling her optionality. 

These women desire to “hang-out” with the most attractive men they can, under any number of relationship approximations while pursuing their personal journeys and then suddenly desire to elevate commitment and marriage as something paramount, right around the same time their ability to define and opt-in/out of those indulgent relationship approximations wanes. Hmm.

After 10+ years of treating men and relationships as consumable commodities, marriage is now so valuable? So sacred that it will magically be more robust in the face of challenges, requiring more giving and less taking than those previous marital approximations, and yet because it is now a “Marriage”, it won’t be treated as merely a vehicle for the pursuit of her apparently perpetually fleeting “happiness”? Convince me.

There is a false premise at work that assumes that it is men who are devaluing marriage. Sure, there is some truth to this, but woman are messaging their own valuation of marriage as well; in real-time, often in very overt means and often at the expense of men who are still clinging to some idealistic view of marriage. 

And likely those are the very men who are willing and able to be husbands at 25. The very same men who will grow to become self-sufficient 35 y/o men feeling their own blossoming optionality, harvesting their own “experiences” with the 25 y/o versions of the suddenly-marriage-minded women, while a decade of observational and experiential evidence of what women truly value buries what remains of their marital idealism.

I’d consider marriage to a woman who has demonstrated through her choices, prioritization, sacrifice and delayed gratification that marriage is valuable to her and who can articulate how it would be valuable to me. [not holding breath]

What do you think? Is that something that you are seeing more of in the current generation of young, unmarried women? I have to confess, I see a lot of emphasis among Christian women on travel, missions trips and on careers, but not much planning on how to be prepared for marriage. In my experience, there is not much preparation work going on, and marriage is put off later and later. This is despite the fact that a woman’s fertility declines starting at age 27 and is pretty much dead at 35. IVF is very expensive, but has a higher risk of birth defects and and can often lead to too many embryos, some of which will then need to be aborted.

So, it’s like there are two stages to a woman’s life. From age 20-30, she wants to follow her heart. And all her friends, family and the culture urge her to do that. The result is that she makes herself unprepared for marriage by developing habits that are incompatible with marriage, e.g. – promiscuity, debt, selfishness, hedonism, frivolous divorce, abortion, single motherhood, etc. Then from age 30-40, the same friends and family who urged her to follow her heart turn to men and say “man up and marry her”. What is disturbing is when the pious pastors – who had nothing to say to her when she was following her heart and dismissing the Bible’s moral rules – now turn to men and make judgments and demands on them. Everyone views this as the man’s problem to fix. They don’t want to make her unhappy by confronting her with the consequences of her own choices, they just turn to the man and demand that he suck it up and make her life “work out”.

But why would a man who has already fought through all the battles of life by himself want to knit his soul to a woman who hasn’t practiced self-denial, self-control and self-sacrifice in order to prepare herself to love him and raise children with her actions?

It would be nice if there were some wisdom being transferred from older, married women to young, unmarried women, but I don’t see it happening. I get the impression that young, unmarried women think that marriage is “boring” and not the way to “make a difference”, and so in practice, they are trying other things. They want to have adventures. It’s unclear to me how having adventures turns into something that she can offer a man when she wants to get married. Where has the idea that women are men’s helpers gone? Marriage is about both spouses taking responsibility, being comfortable with expectations, and performing obligations regardless of feelings.

Remember, the offer that a woman such as Gaza describes to a man is not the same as the offer of marriage that was made by 20-year-old women in the 1950s.

Marriage no longer means:

  • Being the legally and socially recognized head of the household.
  • An expectation of regular sex.
  • Legal rights to children.
  • Lifetime commitment.
  • That you are guaranteed a chaste bride on your wedding night.

Men liked the original version of marriage without the modern debasements. Should they feel obligated to settle for the new version of marriage which is influenced by radical feminism? I would have to be convinced.

8 thoughts on “Are young, unmarried women sincere about wanting to be married “some day”?”

  1. “But that is when we start to hear how important marriage is, how men are avoiding commitment, why men should value marriage. All bacon-wrapped in various shaming mechanisms. The women singing the “Man-up and marry me” tune are not the 25 y/o versions…”

    As Rollo Tomasi said, “man-up” is the anthem of the woman entering the Epiphany Phase.

    “This is a precarious time for women, usually the years between 28 and 30, where she makes attempts to reassess the last decade of her life. Women’s psychological rationalization engine (a.k.a. the Hamster) begins a furious effort to account for, and explain to her reasonings for not having successfully secured a long term monogamous commitment from as Alpha a man as her attractiveness could attain for her.”

    1. I think it’s drifting even later, now. Following your emotions moment by moment with no accurate view of what life after 40 is really like is not wise. If you want a man in your last 40, then you need to be making decisions to prepare to understand him and keep him. That is the last thing most young, unmarried women want during their “independent” phase.

  2. I met a woman on the sidewalk in front of the abortion mill last week. Her husband is a pro-life policeman who is trying to get ready for his retirement from police work by getting a law degree so that he can defend religious liberty cases. The wife is a homeschooling Mom of 6 who is figuring out ways for him to get that degree while he is still a policeman. She is encouraging him to stand up for Christ and pro-life on the police force. She has ALL of these plans for her husband to be a strong man of God – and to get stronger every day. When I heard her talking about all of this, all I could think about was Jan Craig. :-)

  3. Yeah most women my age are like the ones mention in the post but among my friends, many are slready married and have kids already. I just want 4 kids when i get married

  4. Nowadays most single women view marriage and possibly having one or two children like a hobby. Something to be done when they are older and have more free time. Now, they are too busy acting like men; busy with college, establishing their career, traveling, saving up to buy luxuries.

    The financial independence of women allow them to do this. Christian leaders encourage this because of an over-emphasis on free will. Free will is great for salvation but not so good for life choices.

  5. Interesting quote from Dr. Roger Devlin;

    “If I can’t have the kitten, I don’t want the cat.”

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