Why is it harder to find a spouse today?

Jonathan95

Puritan Board Freshman
What are your thoughts? Has technology wrought this? Hook up culture? Shallower people?
Idk if you've seen Paul Washer's many videos on "dating" and relationships. He spoke a lot about how parents have left children to decide for themselves how to go through life in terms of career, relationships, beliefs, etc.

He then speaks on how Christians should have parents who help them with these decisions in life. I think leaving children to do all of this on their own leads to things like what you mentioned above. They have no wisdom to use when finding a spouse.
 

1689er

Puritan Board Freshman
In many ways, it is actually easier. With the advent of online dating, you can actually meet good candidates from the same theological tradition(in our case Reformed). People have always been shallow. But you do have a point with the hookup culture, along with fewer mature candidates, due to the state of the American church. You also likely know fewer good candidates in person, which would make things more difficult.
 
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retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Freshman
The other negative is that many people are not marrying anymore or are divorced after only a few short years of marriage. Also, people have multiple partners with no firm commitment to any of them.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
I have one hypothesis that may partially explain this. With the proliferation of sexual impulses all over the internet/media, emphasis on “glamour shots” that accentuate personal beauty, and general networking in which people are flooded with potential candidates, it’s tougher for people to decide on, land, and be content with significant others.

Yes online dating can help, but I think it’s buffet style approach can almost be self defeating.
 

Peter Bell

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm not sure I'd make a universal statement as such. For what it's worth, in my (limited) experience, Christian men tend to be a little more sheepish around Christian women compared to non-believing men in the same situation with non-believing women.

I don't generally hear this sentiment from Christian women. It's usually more to the effect of, "why aren't the men of the church approaching me?"

I know there are far more factors in place that condition this (social media, sexual proliferation, online dating, etc.), but that's my humble opinion.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
I'm not sure I'd make a universal statement as such. For what it's worth, in my (limited) experience, Christian men tend to be a little more sheepish around Christian women compared to non-believing men in the same situation with non-believing women.

I don't generally hear this sentiment from Christian women. It's usually more to the effect of, "why aren't the men of the church approaching me?"

I know there are far more factors in place that condition this (social media, sexual proliferation, online dating, etc.), but that's my humble opinion.
I'd be interested to know more. I suspect it is because, in trying to be respectful, we do not want to be seen both desperate, creepy or perverted as nearly all unbelievers of my generation are.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
I have one hypothesis that may partially explain this. With the proliferation of sexual impulses all over the internet/media, emphasis on “glamour shots” that accentuate personal beauty, and general networking in which people are flooded with potential candidates, it’s tougher for people to decide on, land, and be content with significant others.

Yes online dating can help, but I think it’s buffet style approach can almost be self defeating.
Interesting. Makes sense. Having tried online dating in the past, I came to the conclusion everyone on there is shallow. Even as an introvert, it is worse than anything.
 
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De Jager

Puritan Board Freshman
I have one hypothesis that may partially explain this. With the proliferation of sexual impulses all over the internet/media, emphasis on “glamour shots” that accentuate personal beauty, and general networking in which people are flooded with potential candidates, it’s tougher for people to decide on, land, and be content with significant others.

Yes online dating can help, but I think it’s buffet style approach can almost be self defeating.
Last July I married my wife, and I met her online. I can speak from experience that it is difficult to use those services in a pure way and which honours the Lord. At times it feels like window shopping. At times I found myself sending a message based 80% on looks and 20% on what her profile said. In the end, I really had to pray hard for God to give me an appreciation for the hidden beauty of the heart and that I would not be so focused on the outward appearance. He truly answered that prayer and gave me a wonderful girl (who I also happen to find attractive...but the attraction started small and grew over time).
 

1689er

Puritan Board Freshman
The other negative is that many people are not marrying anymore or are divorced after only a few short years of marriage. Also, people have multiple partners with no firm commitment to any of them.
You make a good point. Western culture is generally anti-commitment which influences our view of marriage. Another problem is the skin-deep nature of online dating. Some have already pointed this out, but you only have a few statements(that they have written about themselves) and a picture. So as with standard dating, it still has problems.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Just to clarify, are you asking about Christian spouses, or spouses in general?
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Its just that your question assumes the case. I am 25 years removed from the dating scene. Is it common knowledge among Millennials that it is harder to find spouses? Has there been a decline in marriages?
 

RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
What are your thoughts? Has technology wrought this? Hook up culture? Shallower people?
I guess we have to consider what era you're comparing. Way back in history people didn't choose their spouses they were arranged. I think our perception of dating became a new concept in the 1800s and really took off in the early part of the 20th century.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
What are the benefits of marriage for modern unbelievers? Tax breaks? Visitation rights?
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
I guess we have to consider what era you're comparing. Way back in history people didn't choose their spouses they were arranged. I think our perception of dating became a new concept in the 1800s and really took off in the early part of the 20th century.
I am thinking, largely, of the change within the past decade or two.
 

RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am thinking, largely, of the change within the past decade or two.
The largest change is that everybody became more comfortable with finding a person online. I met my wife online using Match.com and we have been together for 7 years and married for 5. That would be the largest change that I have seen overall. My reasoning for going online is that not many in my congregation that were single were of the same age range as me. However, what you will find is a bunch of people who don't take their faith seriously and those looking for fun and a free date. Took me many dates to meet my wife... She will tell you that what stood our to her is that in my profile I made very direct statements about being a Christians and taking my faith seriously. You may find some luck online if you haven't tried that route.
 

Minh

Puritan Board Freshman
People don't want to share the burden of being a family member. Keeping a family together require both husband and wife to be very financially and spiritually well-prepared if expectation is positive. This reflect the fact that dating couples are "simulating" marriage life to decide whether it's appropriate to be yolked together.
 

Frosty

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think the internet dating thing is more a symptom/remedy to the issue presented, rather than a cause.

There are many causes, in my mind.
-The long-term effects of feminism
-The long-term effects of emasculating men
-p0rnography, and the shame, emasculation, and damage that accompanies.
-Women being more career-focused (see feminism)
-Parents taking a more hands-off approach than in the past
-The extension of 'childhood' into the 20's (maybe symptom and not cause..?)
-A general skepticism toward marriage among young people. They've seen so many people get divorced over the years.
-Financial fear. Many think you need each spouse to have a great job, 2 good cars, a house, and a dog BEFORE you can safely be married.
-I also have a theory that people are becoming lazier over time. Generationally. Making marriage work (well) takes selflessness and commitment. Of course there are so many pluses that they can't even be counted, but people are easily scared by anything that takes work.

And of course all of the above are a mere reflection of a deeper spiritual problem. I do think there is something to what you bring up here. Less people are getting married at a young age.
 
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Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
There's probably many reasons why it's harder to find a spouse. Some have already been mentioned. So I'll just add a few more.

1) The myth of "the one": many people think that there is only one match out there for them, and so if they have run into some trouble with a prospective spouse, they give up and move on prematurely. The fact is that out of 2 billion professing Christians in the world (half of which are women), there are likely thousands with whom you could have a good marriage.
2) The myth that "love should be easy": closely tied to the above, people think true love should not require a lot of work to be successful, when in fact it requires a lot of self-denial, communication, repentance, and forgiveness. In fact, it probably requires even more self-denial today than in previous generations because we are groomed by society to be selfish.
3) A misunderstanding of the role of marriage: too many approach marriage thinking that the other partner must "complete" them, in the sense that the partner will bring you to full self-actualization while at the same time requiring very little of you. You want a "low maintenance"/maximum benefit partner. Finding a partner like that will be extremely hard in a world full of sinners.
4) The corrupting influence of pornagraphy: standards of beauty and sexuality and the expectations of a relationship have been warped by this influence, even if you have never looked at explicit porngraphy. It's the air of the culture we breathe.
5) The lack of good male mentors: many men grow up without a good model for what a husband should be, especially if they come from broken homes. Even if their dads are still part of their lives, their dads can't model for them how to be faithful in marriage because their marriage failed. Most of our worldview and problem solving skills as young adults are absorbed from our family growing up. Yes, you can learn the skills with effort later on, but you get a head start with a good parental marriage.

There is a lot of overlap in these. But these are just some thoughts.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
What are the benefits of marriage for modern unbelievers? Tax breaks? Visitation rights?
A big one in the US is probably employer subsidized health care. The Supreme Court legislation in Obergefell pulled the teeth on the push to extend benefits to unmarried cohabitants. So if a couple is shacking up, and one has good employer subsidized health care, and the other is having to buy an inferior product in the marketplace, suddenly marriage can look more attractive.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
A big one in the US is probably employer subsidized health care. The Supreme Court legislation in Obergefell pulled the teeth on the push to extend benefits to unmarried cohabitants. So if a couple is shacking up, and one has good employer subsidized health care, and the other is having to buy an inferior product in the marketplace, suddenly marriage can look more attractive.
The military in particular is terribly influential with regards to this... so many young enlisted get married to get out of the barracks, receive additional family benefits and separation pay during deployment. The divorce rate is horrendous.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Laws make marriage a risky proposition in the US for men and most Western women are not worth the risk and have been brainwashed to some degree by the culture. Many evangelical churches will blame it on men not "manning up" and marrying these deficient creatures, but our public schools have churned out entitled hypergamous princesses who can't cook or clean, milk a cow, or clean a chicken. And then of course, if a car loses half its value once you drive it off the lot once, what does this say about our current generation of women. 40% of children are born out of wedlock (for whites 29 percent; Hispanics, 53 percent; and blacks, 71 percent) and many have lived with others before marriage. I fear for my sons and may urge them to look eastward to more traditional cultures to avoid all this baggage.
 

BuckeyeGirl

Puritan Board Freshman
Laws make marriage a risky proposition in the US for men and most Western women are not worth the risk and have been brainwashed to some degree by the culture. Many evangelical churches will blame it on men not "manning up" and marrying these deficient creatures, but our public schools have churned out entitled hypergamous princesses who can't cook or clean, milk a cow, or clean a chicken. And then of course, if a car loses half its value once you drive it off the lot once, what does this say about our current generation of women. 40% of children are born out of wedlock (for whites 29 percent; Hispanics, 53 percent; and blacks, 71 percent) and many have lived with others before marriage. I fear for my sons and may urge them to look eastward to more traditional cultures to avoid all this baggage.
There are still American Christian women who are godly, chaste, and desire to be wives and mothers. I know many women who fit this mold but are single. Why? Because godly men of character are not pursuing them. And I don’t say this to disparage Christian men. Instead, it seems that there is a shortage of single Reformed men (or perhaps it’s a surplus of single Reformed women, depending how you look at it). All this to say that your sons may not need to turn eastward to find worthy wives.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
There are still American Christian women who are godly, chaste, and desire to be wives and mothers. I know many women who fit this mold but are single. Why? Because godly men of character are not pursuing them. And I don’t say this to disparage Christian men. Instead, it seems that there is a shortage of single Reformed men (or perhaps it’s a surplus of single Reformed women, depending how you look at it). All this to say that your sons may not need to turn eastward to find worthy wives.
Thank you. Let's hope so.

My son is 15 now and is entering a military academy in 3 weeks after shooting prairie dogs for a week or two in Wyoming and my youngest boy is 4 and just likes Blippi (but who doesn't). I'd prefer to find a nice submissive farm girl for both of them (Ma Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie was my first love and is still the ideal woman). So, if you have younger sisters or want a commission as a matchmaker, my son will be ready in about 5 years or so to start his own farmstead. I'll supply the land and the plough and oxen if you can supply the wife for him.
 
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