t turns out that this whole fear of commitment thing comes more from unmarried women than unmarried men. And here, this whole time, I was thinking I didn’t want to get married because I just can’t pick from all of the available black men with Ph.D.s who keep trying to holler!
Thoughts here: I’m dismayed that this qualifies as breaking news in 2011, four years after the onset of the recession that led to the silly-named-problem we all sort of secretly refer to as the mancession. But I do believe that the fact that more and more men are out of work has led to a kind of Jedi mind-trick in a lot of media geared toward blaming women for being single and opting out of the ever important rite of passage for womanhood that is supposed to be marriage.
A new study has found a possible reason for the much-vaunted decline in marriage: people are afraid of having to go through a divorce. And women are more likely than men to fear getting “trapped” in a relationship they can’t easily exit.
Time reports on the study of 61 cohabiting but unmarried couples in Ohio. Sixty-seven percent of the participants said they were worried about the consequences of divorce, both for their finances and for their feelings. The study authors hypothesize that these worries are a major factor in keeping the couples from marrying.
This isn’t a totally surprising finding — Time’s Belinda Luscombe writes that avoiding marriage for fear of divorce “sounds a little bit like choosing to stick with the shrimp appetizers for fear that the main dish will give you food poisoning,” but divorce is serious enough that considering the possibility before jumping into marriage seems pretty prudent. What’s more unusual about the study is that those most likely to fear the marriage “trap” are working-class women, not men.
I get it — all women are supposed to want a ring and babies, otherwise they are unnatural. But the truth is that marriage these days sounds like a set up. If men are generally making less money and getting unemployed more often, what working woman wants to worry about the paltry earnings she makes in a lifetime (comparably) ending up as community property somewhere? It’s not impossible for men to ask for half, and in fact, a lot of them are starting to do just that. Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems.
Let me be clear, I want a partner. I want to be equally yoked and all that. But I’m not trying to pay my ex for the rest of my life because I wanted to believe that love trumps my checkbook. I said it when I was 25 and I’ll say it now: I’m happy to get a really cute dress, buy another nice ring for myself and throw a huge party in celebration of love before I walk into a situation like this because of societal pressure.
Did you see this Luscombe lady trying to make it seem completely ridiculous to fear divorce? She must be from a country where people stay together. Give it up for Al Green, ladies and gentlemen — this is what I’ll be singing when I find my boo, with hopes and prayers that I can be this convincing.