Marriage is declining in the US because women are finding men unattractive. Economically attractive, that is. A study recently done by Cornell University looked at trying to pinpoint the reasons that marriage rates are at a 150-year low.
Women are saying there are not enough economically attractive men in the dating pool, and they would rather forgo marriage entirely due to that.
Love is important. Apparently, money is more important.
The study looked at couples in heterosexual relationships from 2008 to 2012, and 2013 to 2017, and compiled a list of the ideal economic traits that a woman may look for in her partner. They then compared this list to the current ‘dating pool’ that single women are wading through to find Mr. Right.
The results were that there were a shockingly small number of potential suitors!
What Does the Study Define “Economically Attractive” As?
This is a vague term, and you may be thinking that the problem is that women are especially shallow or searching for the unattainable. But really, their expectations are not that absurd.
The shortage is for men that either have a bachelor’s degree or an income of more than $40,000 a year. According to the Social Security Administration, the average wage in 2017 was just over $48,000 a year.
Are Women Too Shallow?
Isn’t marriage supposed to be about true love and romance? Emotional and spiritual compatibility? Finding that one person that you will be able to stand sleeping next to for the rest of your life?
Well, yes. But marriage is a lot more than that.
It’s approximated that 22% of divorces end with “money issues” being the leading reason, so financial compatibility is also vital. Lead author of the study, Daniel T Lichter, says that “economic stability is a key to a stable life – to getting married, staying married, and marrying well”.
While “physical attractiveness” can draw the eye and start the conversation, shared economic stability and values are much more important in the long term.
“Many young men today have little to bring to the marriage bargain”, he continued on, noting how many women today are receiving higher degrees and better-paying jobs. Women are looking for a partner to not just match them emotionally, but financially as well.
Warren Buffet once said that the biggest decision you will make in your life is your spouse. “Marry the right person… it will make more difference in your life.”
Clearly, he was onto something.