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The other day, my sister-in-law commented on an article her friend posted on Facebook titled “Why Men Won’t Marry You.” Naturally, my ears perked up. Yes, I would like to know why I’m still single at my age. Please, Fox News article, tell me!
The arguments laid out are similar to those a member posted on the Ricochet Facebook page that caused quite the, um… stir. The author of the Fox News article makes a more compelling, less rude case for the decline in marriage rates, and breaks it down into two main reasons:
- Because, why not? With premarital sex not only having become commonplace but even expected, why buy the cow when you can get a gallon of 2% for free by the second or third date? Most of my friends think it’s not only weird, it’s folly to wait until engagement or marriage to have sex.
- What’s in it for men? Citing punitive, husband-hating divorce settlements so easily come by — especially in “no fault” states — men have an increasing fear of losing everything they’ve worked for. According to the article, marriage rates are way down in England and America — the lowest since 1895. The protesting party in this anti-marriage sit-in are usually the men, and I can certainly attest to that with my own dating experience.
Since moving back to Nashville from New York, in an attempt to steer clear of the charming sleazeballs I had dated in my early- to mid-20s, I vowed to only date men with a kind heart and a strong Christian faith. And I’ve done just that — over and over and over. In the past five years, I have been shocked by how many wonderful, smart, kind, morally centered men there are out there; men who would make wonderful husbands and fathers.
But here’s the kicker — they don’t want to get married! After a few months of stimulating conversation, fun outings, and me getting emotionally attached, it always ends the same way: “I really like being single, I just don’t think marriage and kids is for me.” There’s a smattering of other reasons thrown in as well, like “It makes me really insecure that you make more money than I do,” or “I don’t feel established enough in my career to support a family.” I might write off the whole I-don’t-want-to-get-married thing as a ruse, something they say to soften the blow; however, these men do not go on to marry other women. I can only figure that either I’ve ruined them for good, or they actually don’t want to get married.
Where did this anti-marriage sentiment come from? With every Southern Christian stereotype in mind, one might normally dismiss the unmarried male trend as something that must be contained to the secular, lefty East and West coasts, but this trend is happening right here on the front porch of the Bible belt. Men raised in unbroken, socially conservative Christian homes are choosing the bachelor life instead.
Of course, everyone has the right to stay single if they so choose, but the resulting effect it has on society is not good (Cloward and Piven, anyone?). We can all list the contributing factors behind the marriage strike — premarital sex becoming de rigueur, a weak job market, militant feminism, and a court system punishingly skewed in favor of women. But how do we change it?
Without swinging the pendulum too far in the opposite direction, how can we begin to move the culture back to a time when men picked you up at your door for a real date and didn’t stop calling if you didn’t put out right away? I hope things change, because with each passing year I get closer and closer to that double-wide in the country and adopting all the cats.
I would love to hear from the Ricochetti bachelors. Why do you stay single? What would it take for you to change your mind and settle down?