Relationships After College: The Question of Marriage

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A large portion of the guys I knew in college were "frat stars" of the highest (or lowest?) degree, spending all their money and energy on alcohol, trying to look cool, and wooing girls up to their rooms.

I'm not saying that's changed enormously - because seriously, I'm still talking about 23-24 year-old guys, here - but I've started meeting a few guys whose expectations are beginning to shift. And the thing is, mine are starting to shift, too.

A few months back, I dated a really sweet, only slightly older guy who frequently joked about marriage, and not in the abstract way; he kidded about marrying me. "If we were married..." this and "well, I guess you have to marry me because of" that. It was an experience unlike any I'd ever had, and I kind of liked it. After all, I adored the guy, and I'm one of the 47% of twenty-something singles out there (a surprisingly high number), in addition to being one of the 63% of single women, who would like to get married.

We eventually broke it off because he was in far more of a hurry to settle down permanently than I was, but it made me start to reevaluate what I want out of life, and according to a recent article in the Huffington Post, I'm not the only one.

Dr. Peggy Drexler writes about a recent study's findings that men are taking a surprising turn towards more traditional relationships while women are simultaneously turning further from them. Sure, better than half of us single gals still want to get married, but according to Drexler, by "51 percent to 46 percent, men wanted children more than women did. A whopping 77 percent of women said that personal space in a relationship was important. For men: 58 percent. Some 35 percent of women wanted regular nights out with friends, versus 23 percent of men."

Women are also more likely to be the initiators of a divorce later on.

Of course, these stats don't mean that I still don't get shocked stares when I say I may not want kids, but it does mean that how we view social expectations is changing. Speaking generally, girls no longer feel the need to go to college to get our MRSes, and we're not putting ourselves out there as slipper-fetching reproductive vessels just so we can say we're married.

As Carrie Bradshaw so iconically said, "Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you're pretty sexy and you're taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with." It may be a quote from a TV show, but it's the honest truth. So the next time you're feeling like the "odd single girl out" - don't. Because you may be single, and you may be a little lonely, but the survey says: you're certainly not alone.

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Emmie Scott is an English major-turned-marketing exec, with a passion for writing, humor, sharing knowledge, and "pink drinks." After hours, she started Are Toe Rings Professional Attire?, a blog for college grads and twenty-somethings looking to find their way through that daunting labyrinth called…

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