“An expensive engagement ring that equals three-months of a man’s salary is just some ol’ bullshit that was invented by De Beers Diamond Company back in 1938”
Article By Lincoln Anthony Blades
Originally Posted on ThisIsYourConscience.com
Earlier today I read an article called “70% of Men Aged 20-34 Are Not Married” that is based on a new book by Janice Shaw Crouse titled “Marriage Matters.” As someone who is actively interested in analyzing the correlation between personal finance and relationship status, I quickly clicked on the link to read a stat-based analysis on how crushing economic and employment factors have delayed serious dating and marriage – but what I got was incoherent babble from a woman who is criminally out-of-touch. According to Crouse, the reason so many men under 35 are unmarried is because we live in a state of “perpetual adolescence” – which may account for some men, but for many dudes is just complete and utter BULLSHIT. 70% of men under 34 are NOT married because they have SENSE.
Let me make this crystal clear: Many good men WANT to be married, but if a man’s financial situation is not RIGHT (by his standards), then he will NOT seriously entertain the idea of getting hitched. It is intellectually lazy to assert that just because young men aren’t asking women to spend the rest of their lives with them that they would rather sit one, play XBox and have random ass sidepieces all over them. In fact, a better term for it is “Elite-Daily intellectualism” where you just assert that “young people today don’t know HOW to love” as if developing deep-feelings for someone and engaging in a relationship is akin to learning neurophysiology. So let’s chop this stupid fable once and for all.
When people compare how relationships operated in the past to how present-day relationships work, there’s far too much that will be lost in translation if one refuses to take social changes into account. Back in the days, a man who wanted to marry his wife had to ask her and find a place for them to live off of his lone salary (which was most places). Higher-education was NOT a prerequisite for most jobs, so his uneducated ass was not at any significant disadvantage on the job market. And, if that man was a baby-boomer, he got to take part in the greatest era of economic growth the western world has ever seen. So to compare his checklist (propose, save for wedding, find a career in abundant job-market, find affordable house, buy one car) was NOTHING like the typical checklist that young men go through today (find engagement ring, save for said ring or buy ring on credit, propose, find a career in bleak job-market, find home in unaffordable housing market, figure out rising transportation costs, figure out how to pay down school loans, figure out to pay down consumer debt, try to find at least $10,000 for cheap wedding, etc.). If you think that EVERY man under 34 is in the position to do ALL of that RIGHT now, you are just wilfully ignorant.
And if you think that’s rough from a general perspective, it gets worse when you think about it more specifically. At the turn of the twentieth century, an engagement wasn’t done with a ring. In fact, an expensive engagement ring that equals three-months of a man’s salary is just some ol’ bullshit that was invented by De Beers Diamond Company in 1938. Today, young men who can barely afford to move out on their own and rent a little box in their respective cities, must think about saving at least a couple grand for an engagement ring and find thousands more for a wedding and a honeymoon, and then think about entering into an over inflated housing market. Truth be told, there are some young men out here who can afford it all and they are the ones getting married IF they so choose.
And that brings me to another point: Who in the HELL said that all men MUST be married by a certain age, or at all. I think it’s a sign of common sense for a man to say that he’s not going to commit his life to a woman until he’s ready and sure. Also, I think it’s a sign of emotional intelligence for a man to say that he doesn’t know IF he wants to be married and he just wants to go with the flow and see what materializes. And I really respect dudes that are self-aware enough to realize that they don’t want to be married at all, because making your significant other’s life hell just to appease social norms is ignorant and stupid.
And the craziest thing about this entire scenario is the fact that these stresses equally affect women as well, but for some reason women LOVE to pretend that they are all incredibly ready to be married at a young age, which is BULLSHIT. Young men and women today are more educated than ever before which means we’re in school longer than before. Young men and women today have more debt than we’ve ever had at any other point in history. 8.5% of graduates today are unemployed and almost 17% are underemployed which means 1 out of every 4 graduates is struggling to make ends meet. Yet our preconceived notions about what makes someone “useless” remains, such as committing the EVIL-ASS act of proposing without a ring (gasp!), or daring to suggest that your significant other accept you at your lowest and work with you until you get on your feet (gasp!).
Can we STOP comparing 2015 to 1935 and pretending that everything is the same? There’s not a damn thing mature or intellectually profound about that.
This Is Your Conscience
Article By Lincoln Anthony Blades
When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass”. He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.