Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
By: Lisa M. Hayes
In the wake of the landmark decision to overturn Roe v Wade, a seismic shift is happening in the dating landscape. Women across the country are reevaluating their priorities, recognizing that their fulfillment in life is not dependent on romantic relationships with men.
Ask any man engaged in the dating scene: Things have changed since the overturn of Roe v. Wade. There are fewer women in the market, and their attitudes are much cooler.
Adam, divorced and dating, 52 years old from Los Angeles, says, “Women are approaching dating very differently than they did just a few months ago. They seem to be looking for something very casual, like social companionship without a sexual component, or they want to quickly advance a relationship to being formal and fully committed. Women are not afraid to talk about expecting a man to have money because they are looking for partners that can do more for them financially than just put a ring on it. Women want men to bring measurable value and resources to their lives, and frankly, we (men) aren’t used to being expected to account for our value.”
According to the 2022 Match Singles in America report, two out of three single women say they will not date a partner who has opposing views on abortion, and 13% of active daters in the U.S.—about 9.8 million people—have said that the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has made them more hesitant to date at all. 20% of respondents said the Supreme Court decision makes them more hesitant to have sex. Singles surveyed reported that the top three ways that Roe’s reversal has changed their dating lives have been more condom use, more hesitation around sex, and more fear of pregnancy.
Anthropologist Helen Fisher, Match’s Chief Scientific Advisor, who co-led the study, says, “That’s because politics change, but the implications of Roe v. Wade will never change,” Fisher says. “Political figures come and go, but it is part of our DNA to want to raise our families when we want, the way we want.”
One of the critical aspects influencing women’s decreased interest in dating men is the realization that the age-old concept of male leadership dramatically lost its appeal decades ago. Still, societal expectations have been slow to catch up. Women have grown tired of men who put in the bare minimum effort, assuming that their role as leaders entitles them to sex and companionship. This notion is now being unequivocally rejected.
With access to education, career opportunities, and social progress, women are forging their own paths, thriving as self-reliant individuals. The absence of societal pressure to conform to traditional gender roles has liberated women, enabling them to explore their true passions, sexuality, and aspirations separate from relationships with men.
Kelsy, 27, from Nashville, shares, “Marriage is a scam. It is bad business for women. Single women are the happiest women I know even though society still likes to tell us we are damaged goods if we are married with children by thirty.”
More and more women are finding every aspect of their lives can be fulfilling without engaging in relationships with men, even their sex lives. Sales of vibrators and adult toys designed for “solo play” are at an all-time high, and that market continues to innovate and grow.
Although no formal studies have been done on how the overturning of Roe v. Wade has impacted the decisions of women to consider bi-sexual or lesbian relationships, the anecdotal evidence that there has been a shift is undeniable. Women who once thought they might be bi-curious or recreationally bi are now considering committed long-term lesbian relationships a much more attractive option.
Lesbian TikTok has been one of the fastest and most consistently growing TikTok communities in recent months. Although TikTok trends do not represent definitive data, TikTok is hosting some of the most relevant social conversations online, especially in the demographic of women thirty-five and under.
Moreover, advancements in reproductive technologies have expanded the options available to women who desire to have children. Techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg freezing, and sperm donation enable women to conceive and start families without necessarily relying on a male partner for biological reproduction.
Many women have the money to pay for these expensive reproduction options independent of the income of a male partner. Baby-making with a man is no longer required if you want a family. It hasn’t been for a long time. However, in recent months the number of women pursuing the option to get pregnant without a man in the game is increasing rapidly.
Contrary to popular belief, statistics consistently show that single women without children are the happiest demographic. However, women are also rethinking single parenting. New data suggests that women who are single parenting, by choice or not by choice, enjoy being a parent significantly more than they thought they would. It turns out that being a single mother might not as difficult as previously assumed, especially when many women are making the money to parent without deep financial stress.
While these trends for women are evolving, male silence, beyond the challenges they face dating, continues to be deafening. Amid the political firestorm that accompanied the debates and legal battles surrounding Roe v Wade, a notable element was the resounding silence from many men. This lack of active support for women’s reproductive rights left a significant number of women feeling disregarded, frustrated, and unsafe. Beyond mere lip service, women sought genuine solidarity and advocacy from their male counterparts yet were often met with indifference.
The absence of vocal male support during such a critical moment in women’s rights history has fueled a sense of disillusionment among women. It signaled to them that men, as a collective, were either unwilling or uninterested in actively championing women’s issues or actively supporting the individual women in their lives.
In a time when women were fighting for their bodily autonomy and the right to make decisions about their own lives, the lack of a unified male voice added insult to injury. It highlighted the pervasive gender disparities that continue to persist in society, where women’s struggles are often relegated to the sidelines or dismissed altogether.
While the topic of abortion is often framed as a women’s issue, it is crucial to recognize that men also play a significant role in the creation and prevention of unwanted pregnancies. Contraceptive decisions and responsibilities should be shared by both partners involved. However, the lack of active response from many men in addressing the issue demonstrates a concerning lack of awareness and engagement.
Unplanned pregnancies occur due to a combination of factors, and it is essential to acknowledge that both men and women contribute to these situations.
Men have a responsibility to actively participate in conversations surrounding contraception, family planning, and reproductive health. By taking an active role in these discussions and supporting their partners in accessing the necessary resources and information, men can play a crucial part in preventing unintended pregnancies.
Unfortunately, the societal expectation that women bear the brunt of responsibility for contraception has perpetuated a cycle where men may not feel compelled to engage in conversations about reproductive health and choices.
This lack of response not only disregards the shared responsibility but also contributes to a culture where women are frequently left to face the consequences of unplanned pregnancies alone. The risk-to-reward ratio for many single women does not add up, especially when the risk of lifelong single parenthood is much higher as reproductive health options for women are systemically being dismantled.
Beyond contraception, just the act of dating men poses serious risks. When the most pressing concern for a man planning a date might be picking a restaurant, women have more serious issues to navigate.
Women have to hope they might meet the love of their life while simultaneously planning as if they are about to meet their murderer.
- To simply go on a date a woman needs a safety plan:
- Who knows where you will be?
- Send a photo of your date and his license plate to a friend
- Make sure someone knows where you are suppose to go and when you plan to be home
- Check-in with someone when the date is over to report you’re home alive
The perception (based on statistical facts) of dating as a potentially risky endeavor has played a significant role in women’s decreased interest in pursuing romantic relationships – go figure. Women have become increasingly aware of the potential dangers they may face in the dating world, and many have chosen to prioritize their personal safety and well-being above the pursuit of romantic partnerships because, you know, survival instincts rule.
While it is crucial to acknowledge that not all men pose a threat, the unfortunate reality is date rape statistics will probably surprise you.
Date rape affects 35 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 24 in the U.S., according to data from the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network. Those numbers only slightly decrease in other age demographics. That statistic does not include other types of date-related violence or dating-related stalking.
As a result, many women have made a calculated choice to prioritize their own safety and peace of mind over engaging in potentially risky dating scenarios. If men are optional, why take the risk?
The shifting landscape of dating and relationships has brought to light a growing sentiment among single women—an increasing number are beginning to view marriage as a potential compromise of their agency, safety, and freedom. For years, societal norms and traditional institutions have propagated the notion that marriage is the ultimate goal for women, often neglecting the potential imbalances and sacrifices it may entail.
The disparity in gender dynamics within partnerships, where men often enjoy greater freedom and decision-making power, has left many women feeling disillusioned by the societal expectations that were imposed upon them for years.
The overturn of Roe v Wade serves as another example where women’s freedoms are not given the priority they deserve within traditional institutions. It highlights the ongoing struggle for women’s rights and the need for society to prioritize women’s autonomy over their own bodies and lives. Women are increasingly questioning the systems and institutions that fail to fully recognize and protect their rights and interests.
The shifting attitudes towards marriage or long-term romantic relationships with men among single women reflect a deeper societal reckoning with the unequal power dynamics and potential loss of agency that can be associated with traditional relationships. Women don’t want old white men regulating their bodies.
The larger question is do they want anything to do with men at all? The jury is out on that question. That is not great news for men who want sex, companionship, marriage, or anything else from women.
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