October 21, 2011

This Atlantic article on single women seems to be making the rounds recently. It discusses how women today have more options than previously before, when marriage seemed to be the end goal. Which is great, because the marriage thing isn’t for everyone.

But the article hits on a lot of other topics too.

1) As women move up, there are fewer men falling into the “marry-able” category. But no matter how well women are doing – between college and careers – I’d say the majority of us still want to “marry up”. It may sound terrible. But in the dating world (which I’m told can be pretty harsh), getting a date is way easier as a guy if you’re successful. And if there are less attractive fish in the sea, is staying single seems less of a choice and more of a result – because women nowadays know better than to settle.

2) Children. I think this is the big one that women always think about and men rarely do. At a certain point (or really any point), choosing to stay single is also going to impact decisions about having kids or raising them. Biological children vs adopting. Single mother or a nanny or a nuclear family. It fundamentally goes hand in hand if you want a so-called traditional family (mother, father, children, house), then committing to singledom is probably not an option for you. If you want to be an executive, there are going to be some parts of being parts of being a parent that you will most likely give up.

3) It all does make me wonder though – what goes into the decision to stay single? Is it just a plan not to spend unnecessary amounts of time finding “The One”? Or even if you find someone who’s awesome, it’s better without that¬†commitment? Or is it just not necessary – and you could essentially “be married” without being married?

Disclosure: I can acknowledge being single as a choice, but it’s not a choice I would make. I may also be highly influenced by my Midwest roots. When I look at my Midwest friends vs Coastal friends, their views seem to be different.


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