Our mothers and grandmothers didn’t seem to have much trouble finding a husband so why are so many women now complaining they find it almost impossible to find Mr Right?
Time and technology marches on but surely human relationships have remained the same since time began?
Well no, not really.
We only need to look to other cultures to see how different courting rituals are around the world in present days and I do believe we can learn something from arranged marriages but that’s another story.
So has it really become more difficult to find a husband in the past 50 years or have the goal posts simply moved?
Statistics in the UK show that single men outnumber single women by a considerable number, with over a million more single men than women, so why on earth are some women finding it impossible to find a husband?
Here are three reasons your Grandma found a husband but you can’t:
1. The Economy
Our Grandmothers were much more practical people, with “romantic notions” being reserved for the silver screen or a hot cocoa while you read Mills and Boon.
When it came to finding a husband they looked for a provider, a man with a steady income, clean habits and someone their mother approved of. A boring young bank clerk was considered a good catch because he could be a branch manager one day.
Dating opportunities were often limited to the Saturday night dance at the local church hall.
Likewise our Grandfathers grew up knowing they would leave school, find work and then start a family .. it’s just how life went. Playboys were rich and belonged to the upper class.
The economic boom of the eighties and early to mid nineties meant that Steve, the local estate agent, could live a cheap version of a playboys life.
He had his own “bachelor pad”, car, went clubbing every night and could sleep with as many girls as he could cope with (or would say yes) … why on earth would he want to give that up and swap it for a life of nagging and nappies?!
In short our economic situation allowed us to be far more fussy about who we chose as a life partner and therefore limited the number of potential candidates.
I remember my Grandma telling me about my great aunt (the family hussy because she married 4 times), as an actress she went off to Berlin and met, then married husband number three … ooo the shame of it.
For her generation the choice of men was usually limited to their own town or social circle, which limited their expectations.
For us the world is our slimy mollusc, we can now log on to the internet and in seconds be searching dating website databases with a few million members.
But surely that is good news, more people to choose from? Erm, no.
Suddenly the fella down our street seems a lot less attractive when there are chaps out there with sexy French accents or smouldering South American eyes.
So while we sit waiting for Antonio Banderas to come and serenade us Malcolm from down the road met some French tart and went to live in Paris.
We are essentially ignoring what is realistically on offer locally because we’re sure there is something far more exciting on offer in far off lands (or at least in another city).
3. Granny Held Out
My father often jokes about having spent a whole year trying to get his hand up my mothers jumper … bless him, he never managed it but wow did he have fun trying and he couldn’t wait to marry my mother to sample her delights.
Then the sexual revolution hit town and terms like ‘one night stand’ and ‘co-habitation’ entered our vocabulary.
Even my mothers generation had the sense to know you can lead a man anywhere, even to the altar, by his privates.
Just browse the internet and see how many times women ask how long they should wait until they sleep with a man (a week, a month, 3 months) …. our Grandma’s had a simple answer to this question …. until he puts a wedding ring on your finger.
Women’s liberation has given us so many choices, many our Grandmothers would never have thought of but in reality they settled for less and found it easier to find a husband.
We now want the whole nine yards and then sit back and wonder why we can’t find a husband. That doesn’t mean we should all settle for the first person to turn up and ask us on a date but perhaps we should be taking a leaf out of Grandma’s book and being a little more practical about our search for a husband.