Whenever I imagine Elizabeth Bennet walking into the sunset with Mr. Darcy in tow I get a funny feeling in my stomach. Why would someone as independent and self-sufficient as her, want to get hitched to man who is known for his pride and vanity?
The same question is now being asked, albeit in a different tone. Are single women happier? Does marriage change the quantum of happiness? Is being single the only way for women to be truly satisfied and content with their lives? And finally, does marriage hold the same significance that it did, say 20 years ago?
The single versus married debate
- It is a widely propagated phenomenon that single women are happier in today’s day and age because it automatically means more financial and personal independence.
- Being single means not bowing down to the pressures of one’s family and spouse in order to settle down in life, quit one’s career in order to start a family and prioritise one’s life according to whims and fancies of the hubby.
- Being single in no way means that women cannot get pregnant. There are several options available such as adoption and artificial insemination that doesn’t require a woman to be married in order to become a mother!
- It has also been observed that single women are generally more focused about uplifting their lives. More and more women are looking at higher education, professional training and even opting quirkier professions such as scuba diving instructors because they do not have to worry about a family waiting at home; for dinner!
- With the incidences of marital abuse and rape rising, single women are actually better off. Being single means that they can freely choose with whom they want to be with.
- It has been indicated by social researches that marriage has a positive influence on health and lifestyle. For example, couples tend to lay off bad habits such as smoking and drinking because they feel responsible towards their alliance. A case in point is the 2004 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research which says that married couples are less likely to smoke and are also safeguarded against some psychological problems.
- Single women tend to have poorer finances at the time of retirement because the habit of saving is more strongly reinforced between couples.
- Single women are subjected to filial and societal pressures of getting married. This can bog them down and also accelerate the risk of depression and stress related problems.
- Security also becomes an issue for single women because it is tendency of the male centred society to view them as wanton and lascivious. It has been widely reported that single women in the big bad city are more vulnerable. Rapes and murders of single women living all alone are not exactly a rarity.
- In a report made public by the US Census Bureau, the percentage of married couples has dropped from 72% in 1970 to just 48% in 2010.
- A poll conducted by CBC news has led to the conclusion that 7 out of 10 Americans feel that marriage has lost its meaning in the modern era.
- A University of Pennsylvania study has indicated that marital conflict can cause not only discord but has a negative effect on health as well.
Now that both sides of the coin have been presented it is up to you to decide whether single women are indeed happier or if they need marriage in order to find happiness!
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