…if at all!
An article in the Sydney Morning Herald, May 13 ‘Here comes the bride…well, eventually’ by Luke Cooper provides some interesting census statistics that reflect the dramatic changes in expectations that have taken place in recent decades when it comes to commitment and marriage. For example, whereas in 1976 it was assumed that we would marry and do so in our early 20’s, in 2011 the median age for first marriage was 29.7 for females and 28 for males. The Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that the 1976 census showed 67 per cent of 24-year-olds to be married, compared with 14 per cent in the 2011 census.
As a matchmaker since 1976, I have witnessed a huge shift in the expectations women have of their lives and of a partnership. What a woman seeks in a man these days is often much more demanding than it was thirty years ago – yet the ‘wish lists’ of most men is similar to those given when I first opened the doors of my consultancy in 1976. Often this has resulted in a mismatch of needs and expectations…and a blurring of gender differences that until recently had been the basis of a lasting partnership.
Unfortunately for a large number of women in the western world, achieving what they want – and deserve – in a career has come at great cost. For many who had assumed they would marry, their focus on climbing the ladder has meant that they have not had a committed partnership.…for others the pressures associated with their careers have contributed to the ending of their marriage or de facto relationship.
While I totally support the right we women have to aspire and to achieve in any area of endeavour, I think it important that we take time out to consciously consider our real needs and expectations on a regular basis.
Reaching a pinnacle of success can be an empty experience if it comes at the cost of an unfulfilled desire to have shared life in a great relationship.