As if women don’t have enough going on, modern relationships are a lot of work to maintain. Women have to juggle between their jobs, their social lives, their families and many do their own domestic work too, and that’s a full-time job in itself. Managing a relationship or even trying to find a significant other on top of all of this is an uphill task.
Here are 5 takeaways from 5 separate studies that prove this…
1. Women shoulder a lot more of the responsibility
According to a study by data analysts Mintel, 61% of single women are happy being single, versus 49% of single men. Additionally, 75% single women aren’t even looking for relationships. The main reason for this is that relationships are harder on women than they are on men. In an average relationship, the woman definitely does more emotional work compared to the man. She puts more effort into conflict resolution and making sure the couple remains happy. In a cohabitation situation, women do more household chores even if both the man and woman have full-time jobs. So it makes sense that women prefer to remain single. Plus, an added advantage is the fact that while men rely on their significant others to make new social connections, women only have to rely on themselves. They can have thriving social lives even without a significant other.
2. Social Media has become a minefield
We all know how hard it is to actually meet someone worth liking. And like all other things, isn’t tech supposed to make this easier? Not really. Social media sites aren’t exactly the first place you’ll find your significant other, nor is it the place that will make you feel flattered. In fact, it’s made women feel more uncomfortable and unsafe. According to a study at least 35% teenage girls have had to block or unfriend someone because their flirting made them uncomfortable. Although it might be more common with teenagers, even adult women aren’t spared when it comes to online harassment. Not to forget the pressure such sites put on relationships. As per the study, 65% of boys say social media makes them feel more connected with what’s happening in their girlfriend’s lives. Even dating apps that are apparently supposed to help women find their mates can often be frustrating. Women might face catfishing or get unwanted attention. And at the same time, they prefer men to make the first move. The study shows that at least 47% girls wait for the boys to ask them out.
3. ‘Having things in common’ does not help
Jonah Lehrer in his book, “A Book About Love’ talks about a research paper which concluded that the similarity of personality and preferences like enjoying the same movies, music or books no effect on relationship well-being. Meanwhile, another study of 23,000 married couples found that the similarity of spouses accounted for less than 0.5% of spousal satisfaction. This means if you thought finding a significant other would be as easy as looking for someone you likes Harry Potter as much as you do, sorry to break it to you but that is not a sure shot at all.
Adding to this problem is that most online dating sites match people with each other based on these interests. Meta-analyses of thousands of couples show that similarity is insignificant. It’s less than 1% of overall marital satisfaction. Basically, the algorithms that promise to find you love are lying, you’re better off with random chance.
But here’s what does work, meta-emotions. That means if you two agree on how to react to things, that you emote in the same way. Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?
4. You can’t be the one wearing the pants in the family
As per this Quartz article, studies have shown than women find their relationships to be less stable and intimate if they felt subordinate to their male partner. On the flip side for a man whether or not he was dominant or subordinate didn’t really matter to the stability of his relationship. On looking further they found out that women who felt powerless were subject to coercion and abuse. As per their research this was the case for 12 women at least. But men said despite having controlling girlfriends they were barely subjected to physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Possible reasons for this could be that men don’t feel the lack of power in their ever day life. That’s why being subject to such dominance in a relationship doesn’t matter that much to them. But young women are mostly marginalized either racially or socioeconomically. Adding to this is their powerless position at work, in a classroom, or in public places which just increases their endless battle for equality. It’s exhausting for them and that’s why if they’re not in power they feel like their relationship is shaky.
5. Ignorance is NOT AT ALL bliss
It’s a known fact that relationships require work. If you’re not up for that kind of commitment then it’s doomed. Psychologist John Gottman had studied thousands of couples to find out what makes relationships work. He found his most critical findings in 1986 when he set up “The Love Lab” with his colleague Robert Levenson. In their experiment couples were hooked to electrodes and made to speak about their relationships. Then after 6 years, they followed up with these couples to find out if they were still together or not. From their data, they divided the couples into Masters and Disasters. The masters lasted after 6 years but the disasters were divorced or unhappy. That’s because the masters felt calm and connected together. They showed warm and affectionate behavior even when they fought. They displayed trust and intimacy and were emotionally and physically comfortable. On other hand, although the disasters looked calm their electrodes measured beating heart rates, active sweat glands, and fast blood flow. This just proved that the more physiologically active the couples were in the lab, the quicker their relationships deteriorated over time. In short for a marriage to last couples need to pay more attention to each other along with the normal stresses of life that pile up such as children, in-laws, careers, friends etc..