Sunday, April 01, 2007

Left on the Shelf

The Sunday magazine had an interesting perspective on men and relationships today. Basically it said: times are a changing and men are being left without partners. Men are being left on the shelf now, not women.

The impression I got was that there are a lot of men out there who want marriage, babies and the like but no one to have these things with because women have their own thing going on. I know a couple of guys out there who really do want these things. But on the cusp of 29 years of age I'm getting the impression that for guys it's just more like: ...yep I want all that stuff in the future just not yet. The story from 29 year old woman is that marriage would be the ideal position to be in right now. So maybe there is a difference of opinion on the when rather than the what of relationships. We both want that stuff just at different times.

Maybe after a certain age women think - 'I'm going to have to do this on my own now aren't I?' So they get to it. They organise themselves with a future that might not, probably not, involve a guy (and yet might involve a cat instead!!). I know I'm at that stage now. Men meanwhile get to their late their late 30s early 40s - partying the whole way and then think oh fuck, where are all those girls that wanted to settle down? Oh shit, they've settled down or they're doing their own thing!! Women have that same thought at about 29. Why should we wait until 39 for guys to get their act together? Aren't our prime motherhood years wavering and then crashing down into oblivion by then?

The article went on to mention that men are left on the shelf because women have careers now, not relationships. I don't know any woman that would prefer a career over an awesome love of their life relationship. I do however know many women who want to wait until a certain stage in their career before they have children. But as for marriage - any time any where buddy. Just you bring the ring! The problem is that difference in the logistics of when to do all this stuff.

Then again, maybe not. There may be another reason:

I have read a lot on male blogs - or rather a certain types of male blog - that men are scared of getting into a marriage situation because they don't want to lose half of what they have to their wives in divorce court and this is a apparently a very real reason cited for some men's 'commitmentphobic behaviour. I don't know that many (or any) men who get into a marriage with everything financially secure first anyway. In fact house, career etc tends to happen AFTER the hitching doesn't it? (thereby making it something they have both earned). But still.. Interesting theory.

Do men hold off getting married because they are scared of losing half of what they have in divorce?

The article also mentioned another reason for men being left on the shelf as doing with women being more independent now than they ever have been. Women don't actually need men so men are left helpless and not knowing how to offer something to women who have it all. Related to the divorce thing, and the difference in when we want to have babies and get married. I do know that women are very conscious of being labelled as gold diggers, so much so that they would rather have some sort of personal financial security before getting hitched. Meanwhile couple that with men might not want to get married and bogged down with a family before they are thirty women have just decided to get live their lives instead of waiting around.

What do you think?

Are men being left on the shelf? And what's your theory on why? Or are newspaper articles just trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill and that women are left on the shelf at late 20s early 30s and men are being left too, just later in life.

Have our priorities changed in the family way?

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