As I’ve linked previously, there have been discussions on what drives the delay in marriage. Here’s my answer: life scripts and cultural drift.
As a young man, I was under the impression of two specific options in regard to marriage. I was supposed to go to college, find a job, then get married. Alternatively, I was supposed to go to college, go to graduation school, then find a job and then get married.
From speaking with many different men on this topic both older than me and younger than me, this has been the general consensus among men. This strong driving force from the Church and parents is to be able to Provide for a family. People who got married during college and/or during graduate school were “making life harder on themselves.” Now, I don’t believe that “difficulty” should be a reason to delay marriage, but it is a reasonable point in the minds of most people.
These two life scripts for men bear fruit accordingly. I know some couples who met in college and got married approximately 1-2 years out of college after finding jobs. I know some couples who got together in graduate school and married 1-2 years after graduate school after finding jobs. Very few couples were married during college or during graduate school. On average, the ages of these marriages for men were 22-25 after graduating from college and 26-29 after graduating from graduate school.
Similarly, women face the exact same life script as men, much to their detriment. They are pushed to go to college in greater numbers than men. They are pushed into careers in greater numbers than men. They are pushed to establish their careers and then have families.
This follows in the feminist script of “wanting to have it all.” Alternatively, there is the two main churchian scripts of “my daughter needs to get a career just in case she can’t find a husband” or “my daughter needs to find a job just in case her husband can’t support her and/or divorce happens.”
Of course, if a husband opportunity with a good job presents itself, the daughter is still counseled to find a job and/or wait until school is finished. The cognitive dissonance is mind blowing.
Going back to my life story, I was in a few relationships during college and graduate school. However, I was still under the impression of a life script until the latter parts of graduate school. I didn’t really take any relationship too seriously because there was sufficient time to figure it out later. Unfortunately, the later option does not work exceptionally well for both men and women. Women suffer because of their slow declining attractiveness as they age. Men suffer because as they hit the latter 20s and early 30s younger women don’t want a large age gap.
Why does the delay keep increasing?
I am a big fan of statistics and statistics can accurately depict trends that occur over population-wide samples. These depict the ever increasing cultural drift of men and women as it relates to base male and female nature.
- As masculinity is increasingly demonized in our culture, the amount of men who grow up to be masculine are becoming increasingly few. Those who do are typically criminals and/or bad boys who buck feminized authority.
- Family courts and divorce make marriage look like a very bad deal to men.
- As I noted in navigating attraction with others, the role of the husband as a Provider in the middle to upper class is becoming less appealing to women. Hence, women primarily look for a man who is a Protector and thoroughly masculine. Ideally both.
- Women are being pushed into higher education in droves and generally don’t want to marry a man who is less educated.
- Women also generally do not want to marry a man who makes less money than she does.
- Women are being told to hold onto careers as opposed to getting married and having children.
The overall trends depict an increasingly smaller pool of masculine men and an ever decreasing pool of feminine women. Hence, there are fewer potential marriage matches. Each sex feels like they are getting a worse and worse deal.
Men realize the western women is highly masculinized as opposed to feminine. He doesn’t want a “business partner” but rather a “helpmeet.” He doesn’t want a career junkie but rather a woman who he can have a family with. Family is not a big priority with women who graduate college and graduate school nowadays.
On the other hand, women don’t want highly feminized manboys no matter how much the feminists keep proclaiming they want them. One example is the fallacy of teaching men to be emotionally honest. Generally, they also don’t want to marry down in terms of education or money. Hence, their potential marriage pool declines fairly rapidly.
The trends with businessmen, doctors, and other professional careers exhibit this point directly. Sure, some of these men marry other women who are businesswomen, doctors, and the like. However, it is often the case where these ‘high status’ men tend to marry women who are more feminine such as nurses, teachers, or other typical female oriented careers. Such women are willing to sacrifice their career or work part time in order to have a family because they found a man who meets their Protector and Provision requirements. They get to ‘have it all’ so to speak.
Note that having it all is not necessarily actually having it all, but having options to have it all. A teacher or nurse who works part time or is a homemaker always has the option to go back to work. This is seen in the “pro-life” movement which Zippy accurately characterized as “pro-choice.”
Are there answers?
Each sex feels like the other sex is driving the marriage delay.
Life scripts tend to pigeon hole men and women into smaller windows of opportunity which conflict with each other. Men want to marry the younger just-getting-a-career-started single woman who thinks she has all the time in the world. Women want to marry the successful, charismatic, masculine man who is in short supply due to many women competing for him. Cultural drift decreases the viable pool of marriage candidates due to the masculinization of women and feminization of men.
It would be accurate to say that both and neither are driving the delay because of the different reasons. Any counter-punches to delayed marriage must expunge both life scripts and cultural shift in order to present the maximal amount of opportunities.
There are answers. I’ve already spoken about some extensively on this blog. Here’s a non-inclusive summary of some of the issues.
- The Church and families need to stop peddling life scripts. It’s become increasingly clear that life scripts leave most men and women unhappy.
- The Church and families need to stop demonizing masculinity and male sexuality. As I noted, a couple of these are depicting beauty as shallow and emotionally honesty. No, the perfect man is not a woman.
- The Church and families need to educate their children that family is more important than careers. Career is much more important to men because it allows for provisioning, but family is what is fulfilling at the end of your life. No one will really care you even if you’re famous, but those close to you will care how much time and love you poured into them.
- The Church and families need to stop ignorance and/or deception about female sexuality and masculinity. It’s sad when non-Christians are more Truthful about it than Christians.
- The Church needs to focus on mentoring and discipling men, especially for leadership positions.
- Protestant Churches need to stop allowing women into leadership positions. Catholic and Orthodox are better off. Where have all the good men gone? You took their career and/or leadership position that would have helped transform them into good men.
- Christian single women need to be more like Ruth if they want to get married. That’s simply the way it is with the decreasing pool of Christian single men and the feminization of the Church.
- Any Christian who doesn’t teach Biblical Patriarchy is going in the wrong direction.
- Just because something is hard doesn’t mean you should necessarily avoid or delay to make it easier. In general, marriage is hard and learning to grow together through the difficult times is going to help with other difficult times.
I don’t really feel like going over more specific male/female stuff at the moment, so let’s leave it at that. This stuff has been covered such as Scriptural roles and responsibilities.
TL;DR: Don’t peddle life scripts and be actively against cultural drift. Obey God and conform to the Scriptures. Don’t promote lies about masculinity, femininity, and sexuality no matter how pretty they are. Don’t try to have it all; prioritize what is important: family.