The expression marriage squeeze raises the question is there really a shortage of men to date? Simply put, the marriage squeeze is the demographic imbalance in which the number of potential brides does not approximately equal the number of potential grooms. By result of this some people who want to be married will be squeezed out of the marriage market. Now some may argue that this is not the case and the “marriage squeeze” is a myth. This topic became apparent on my mind recently when I saw woman tweet on Twitter “It’s hard to find a good man nowadays”. Many articles, books or publications tend to side with the idea that there is empirical evidence to support notions of marriage especially among college educated woman. This notion didn’t surprise me because as the incarceration rate has risen especially in the Black community many of the eligible men around the ages of 21-35 have been removed from the marriage pool. During my research, the occurrence of the marriage squeeze was extremely prevalent for woman who have high status careers with substantial income base.
Reality of the ‘Marriage Squeeze’
When it comes to dating the opposite sex many of us have standards or expectations that we take into consideration i.e. beauty, personality, status in life (rank), achievement, intelligence, background and career choice. People who have such appeal are usually desired by many and their “pool of eligibles” is usually a bit larger than the norm. For example, if someone is deemed to be of charismatic, successful and attractive they usually don’t have trouble dating and finding a significant other to eventually marry. However, in some cases no matter how alluring or unique features a person might have due to circumstances such as geographical location and number of singles in the area making finding someone to potentially marry seemingly impossible. On the other hand, some people may be rejected from the pool of eligibles, because of physical appearance, lack of education, disabilities and “too much baggage” which simply means when dating this person, they may have extra things that go a long with them i.e. trust issues, kids, family issues etc. Although dating this person may not be an option, but the role of friend or colleague are usually acceptable. This is where the “friendzone” comes into play where typically someone is put into this category for three to four reasons. One they are not attractive to the person, two the person may not matchup with their standards, three they cannot see a future with this person outside of friendship. In the last fifteen to twenty years’ marriage rates among all people, but especially minorities have been declining. This has happened for a various of reasons, one being the importance of marriage has decreased over time. Due to societal norms and expectations changing the necessity of finding someone to spend the rest of your life with has took a back seat to personal achievement and success.
In the end, regardless of race, ethnic background, education or socioeconomic status those of the highest levels of education, income and prestige are chosen first. Racial differences in the marriage-market highlight that people from different backgrounds and socioeconomic status have vastly different opinions and ideas of marriage. Meeting someone in today’s society can be a bit complex with the world of dating changing dramatically over the last forty years. Thus, contributing to the marriage squeeze playing a larger role in the selection process.
What are some of your standards or expectations when dating or looking for someone to potentially marry?
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