Women Who Won't Commit: Fear, Phobia, or Self-Esteem?

Olivia Emisar By Olivia Emisar, 1st Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Relationships

As my grandmother used to say: "it is better to be alone than with bad company" so perhaps what has been termed a phobia of commitment is nothing more that being very selective and doing it for all the right reasons.

Marriage Hurdles

We have all known or met someone who has been in a multitude of relationships that were going well until the man in her life decided to take it a step further and make the ultimate commitment in front of God and everyone else. This is around the time she starts packing up her things and terminates the relationship with a multitude of reasons of why he was not the right person, or how they felt the marriage would not work and they start rattling off a long list, not of their boyfriend's shortcomings but of roads they have not yet taken and how marriage is not right for them at this point in their life.

The fact is that living with someone in an exclusive relationship is no different from a legal marriage from the stand point of those involved, except for one thing: Picking up and leaving is a lot more difficult and costly when legally married, so making sure that Mr. Right is in fact, the right man is far more closely scrutinized from the comfort of self-attained financial security and independence.

Another fact is that marriage in past generations was a source of financial security for women, they did not have college degrees or valuable work experience, it was expected that they would marry young and produce children while being dependent on their husband's income and ability to provide for the rest of their lives.

Women have never liked being forced into situations out of necessity, frankly, men don't either, but it has always been more pervasive for women to be treated as second class citizens with very few options to move in the direction they'd choose. Today's women no longer have to be married; it has become an option rather than a necessity and the taboo of co-habitation without the legal bindings has largely disappeared from industrialized nations.

Fear Of Commitment

Some will contend that both men and women who remain single have a fear of commitment, implying irrational fear and immaturity. I think "fear of commitment" is a demeaning label used to describe women or men who are self-reliant, financially secure and have great self-esteem. Both groups bring more to the table than their ancestors, and as a consequence, they expect more from their partners and of their lives.

The United States

Census data shows that women in the United states are getting married a lot later than their mothers and most definitely, their grandmothers. Between the ages of 30-34, roughly 23 percent of women are single and between the ages of 25-29 we are looking at a whooping 40 percent.

Coincidentally, the latter group's age coincide with careers in full swing after years of getting a degree and the former group with an age range that has reached a comfortable level in their careers.

According to a study conducted by the National Marriage Project titled "State of Our Union" the United states have seen marriage decline by 50 percent in the past 39 years while the amount of women living alone has increased by over 33 percent.

Requirements for Relationships

It stands to reason that once women are in their 30's they have fully come into their own, or at the very least, they have a clear idea of where they are headed in life. By this time, their requirements for a mate have changed drastically based on real-world life experience.

This trend of women remaining single longer, or not getting married at all, is not endemic to the United States. It is a fairly common phenomenon occurring all over the world.

Women in those "unmarried" countries share some common traits, but the most important seems to be financial independence. Most of these women are not willing to put up with traditional roles and seek a more balanced and equal partnership.


In Japan single women have benefited from being highly employable and a great education. Providing for their own financial stability have made them rebel against a patriarchal society in which women are expected to maintain all the former traditional roles while being subservient. Furthermore, women in Japan are discouraged by their parents to marry early.

A decade ago, women would have gotten married, or at least planning a wedding, after age 25. Recent Japan statistics show that women between the ages from 25 to 29 who have never been married have increased by 14 percent; Unmarried women between 30-35 has increased by 13 percent which makes the current figures 54 and 27 percent respectively.

One thing to remember is that women in Japan get paid as well as the men and most of them find that marriage is very restrictive, while remaining single allows them to travel with friends when they want to and spend their money as they see fit.

During a television interview about marriage in modern Japan, one of the women expressed Japanese women's feeling about marriage was one of equality, but pointed out that men, in the same age bracket, still viewed women in marriage in the traditional roles of their mothers and grandmothers. The men's perceptions in conjunction with the financial and personal freedom makes Japanese women quite content with being single.

Like all things in life, it is not necessarily one sided, men in Japan have become increasingly reluctant to get married until they have achieved financial stability. They also view the roles of responsible father and husband as confining.

The Italian, British, and Australian Perspective

Italy is another country in which women get married later in life and it is not necessarily their choice. The men have changed drastically. Younger men have made the decision that staying single and living with their mothers is a much better life than one of personal responsibility. Italian mothers do not necessarily discourage this way of thinking since they are glad to keep their sons home and do all the cooking, cleaning and ironing of their clothes.

Younger Italian women refuse to be a carbon copy of their mothers. Since young Italian women don't do all that work, young Italian men don't see the need to get married.

England and Australia are also in the running with single women not getting married until well into their mid-thirty's and only a portion of the population gets married at that age. As of this writing, the amount of unmarried women in Australia in their 30's is the largest percentage in its history.

Sources: oecd.org/dataoecd .statistics.gov.uk, redorbit.com.New York times


Australia, Commitment, England, Independence, Italy, Japan, Marriage, Personal Finance, Phobia, Relationships, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Single Life, Single Men, Single Women, United States, Women

Meet the author

author avatar Olivia Emisar
Writer (obviously), currently working and publishing articles online. My passion is creative writing and novels are always on the works.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar James R. Coffey
1st Sep 2010 (#)

Thorough, thoughtful job!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Olivia Emisar
1st Sep 2010 (#)

Thank you! :)

Reply to this comment

author avatar LOVERME
1st Sep 2010 (#)

all men and women
want sex and enjoyment
w/o ANY commitment remember the age old adage
when milk is free
why have a cow???

. men love ejaculation whereas women love
without much motion

so there u r
a lovely attempt urs

Reply to this comment

author avatar satan fury
23rd Sep 2010 (#)

Good article. As far as women not wanting to settle down has a lot do with them not being in love with the guy. The majority of us women do want to get married if we did find the one.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Olivia Emisar
23rd Sep 2010 (#)

Love Doc,
Thanks for your observation Some will agree that being "in love" means different things to people

Reply to this comment

author avatar Funom Makama
9th Oct 2011 (#)

I love satan fury's comment. I think that is just it... If I am well established now that I am 26, I see no reason why I cannot Marry. Besides, I would want a well educated and established woman so that we could be productive and industrous couple together. So been independent or employed is still not a yardstick, once a while she can still travel with friends and do all the stuffs she wants, the only difference is the change of marital status. I really love this article and the statistics are well noted. Here in Eastern Europe where I live, single ladies are the age 23, 24 are already getting very very very worried. their ripe age is usually 20,21.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Franko says
31st Jul 2012 (#)

many women today seem to have a need to date so many different men at one time, and just can't COMMIT TO JUST ONLY ONE MAN. now that so many women these days make so much more money than many of us men, they have the attitude that they are all that. this is the reason why many of us men are single today, and are finding it very hard to meet a good woman today. we cannot blame ourselves, since many women have changed now.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Abdou
25th Feb 2013 (#)

Мир на вас, и вы ж меня зовут Абдул Илах Марокко, я хочу знать, в Hpetk разумно, у вас есть очень веские причины для Кена, и я желаю вам удачи этот запуск Hettiv 00218918214770 Спасибо

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?