Women’s traditional household roles have notably changed over the past few decades due to an increase in post-secondary education and career pursuits, as well as later marriages and pregnancies. But why the shift? Why aren’t women happy being housewives and popping out children as soon as they hit 21 anymore?
Although single and divorced women are no longer an anomaly, the divorce rate in Canada has actually been dropping since the 1990’s to a rate lower than the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Statistics Canada showed 84 per cent of families were led by married couples in 2002. So the illusory “50 per cent of marriages end in divorce” citation isn’t as accurate as once perceived. So what about the women who aren’t getting married, full stop?
The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey taken in 2005 found that out of 117 million women aged 15 and over, 57.5 million were living with a spouse compared to 59.9 million that live single or without their husbands. A January 16, 2007 New York Times article entitled “51% of Women are Now Living Without Spouse” stated more women than ever before, are living without a husband.
The words “lonely, desperate or shy” might come to mind when thinking of singles, but it’s the opposite descriptions that ring true. Not only are unmarried adult women common, many live with roommates or common-law partners for years without being phased by marital titles or affiliation.
Sex and the City
Thanks to shows like Sex and the City, women are fully embracing their single status and affirming their own sexual needs on their own terms. The HBO show helped break taboos of women having the inability to enjoy one-night-stands; prove that females actually can have sex without crying or expecting commitment immediately thereafter.
Never before have women been so brazen with their sexuality and seemingly satisfied without a permanent partner. The popular television show only confirmed that the eminence of being a single 30-something-year-old with a successful career and money left over to spend on fabulous shoes is completely valid if not coveted.
Single in Society
Thea Nessman, a 28-year-old home owner in Calgary has recently become single but said she doesn’t feel any pressure to meet “society’s standards” in terms of her age.
“Throughout the years being single has never bothered me. Now that I am in my late 20’s, I 1don’t feel the need to grab the next available man just because “the clock is ticking,’” said Nessman in an interview with Suite101.
“My fear is not having missed out on marriage and babies but realizing that I settled into an unhappy relationship just because it was convenient. I’m definitely not opposed to marriage and family life; I just feel like there is still a lot of time to find it with the right person.”
Whether changing diapers or careers, the “norm” seems indefinite – but a pair of fabulous shoes will help ease the burden in either existence.
How to Find Mr. Right
For as long as there have been fairy tales, the common theme is a beautiful princess being whisked away by a handsome prince to live happily ever after; a dream most women of today yearn for in life. The question is: Can a fairy tale really come true?
Many women of today are still longing for that one special someone that they will spend the rest of their lives with; someone to laugh with, cry with, love, and hold on to. Does this person actually exist, and where can he be found?
The Dating Trend
Many people today do not have the time to spend waiting around to bump into that special someone. For most, work, kids, family, and friends occupy their time let alone trying to find Prince Charming to settle down with.
Many men and women have taken it upon themselves to enter into the new dating age of online dating websites. As with most dating websites, they all promise that that special someone can be found through their services.
All legitimate and profitable match making websites have a standard questionnaire to be filled out upon signup, asking questions pertaining to hobbies, interests, likes, and dislikes, among other things. Of the known dating websites, eHarmony, Lavalife, PlentyOfFish and Perfectmatch are four of the most publicized and recommended sites.
Perfectmatch and eHarmony both pride themselves in the ability of their patented Compatibility Systems to match each person with the most compatible suitors. Competitors on the other end of the scale, PlentyOfFish and Lavalife, give the individual more freedom to let them be the one to determine the compatibility basis.
As reported by the Calgary Herald in the article “Canadians are Lucky in Love: Survey” on May 24, 2008, seven in ten Canadians that were polled reported that they were in love. Of that percentage, 16% claimed they found love online, primarily in the younger demographics. Of the people polled between the ages of 18 and 34, 75% claimed to have the love bug.
Dating site eHarmony claims, that on average, 236 members marry everyday. Like Perfectmatch, eHarmony also has a section on their website that includes comments from successful relationships that were spawned because of their sites.
The founder of PlentyOfFish, Markus Frind, reports that the average age of its members is 37. He states, “It’s so obvious that people would use online dating over other methods. If you’re 35 and single, what are the chances of you meeting someone at a bar or a grocery store who is exactly what you want?”
Truer words could not have been spoken. The chances of finding that compatible someone in a bar or a grocery store are slim at the very least. Finding that special someone is like grocery shopping though; everything has to be the right color, flavor, texture, and vibrancy, but that doesn’t mean that Mr. Right can always be found in a grocery store like fruits and vegetables. Sometimes we do need help determining the perfect qualities that we should be looking for, to know who we are best compatible with.
The Speed Dating Round
“And that’s the bell. It’s time to switch partners please. Gentlemen please rotate to the left.” These are words that would probably be heard at a speed dating event; a chance to meet 10-30 prospective men or women, with minimal time of contact, just enough to know if there is chemistry.
25dates.com is Canada’s leading speed dating service, and is the official speed dating company for the Toronto Blue Jays. 25dates.com operates with one-on-one dates in three minute intervals, averaging as many as 25 dates in one night. Over 75% of participants have claimed that they walked away with at least one match; someone that also felt chemistry with them.
Many men and women have tried the speed dating approach. Why not, right? Less time is spent with one that there are no commonalities with, and less money is spent because there is no actual date. Speed Dating Manifesto claims that 95% of men, and 80% of women that have tried speed dating, have reported that they had a positive experience.
As recorded by marketwire.com in the December 12, 2009 article “In Speed Dating Men are Still the Hunters”, the President of 25dates.com, Ragna Stamm’ler, was quoted as saying, “We find after all this time, that speed dating is still the most effective way of meeting people. It combines the ease of internet dating, where our users can easily sign-up and communicate with us and potential partners, with that all-important face-to-face connection that we provide at our events.”
Everyone has contemplated the idea of turning up at a speed dating event and seeing what will happen. Why not take the plunge? Mr. Right could be the eighth guy that sits down.
You Can’t Hurry Love
Time usually does present many mysteries when they are least expected. There are still people out there that believe that Mr. Right will come along when he is supposed to, that it’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen. And yet many have spent countless hours looking for love, and probably in all the wrong places. But yet, still believe that Mr. Right is out there somewhere, he just hasn’t been found yet.
Both online dating websites and speed dating have increased in popularity and success rates over the years. Many men and women alike are jumping head first into the dating trends of today looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right.
Maybe time is the key to all of loves endeavors. The Supremes said it best when they sang, “You can’t hurry love. No you’ll just have to wait. Just trust, give it time, no matter how long it takes.” But that never stopped anyone from helping to speed up the process. He or she could be just a mouse click away or the next person to sit down in rotation.