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Why Women Are Not Married ?

Updated on June 9, 2013

What our Culture says ?

Is it possible for a single woman in her fifties with a happy and contented life? Not if we listen to what the cultural messages say. We are living in a culture that tells us that finding a partner, preferably soul mate, is necessary for our happiness. The culture tells us that only in an intimate relationship with that somebody, we can find emotional satisfaction, sexual fulfillment, companionship and security. The older single woman is often seen as an isolated loner, an unhappy over-committed worker, or a neurotic loser who fails at relationships many times. The idea that we need to couple or get married to be happy has spawned a multimillion-dollar industry of online dating, personal ads and matchmaking service. Having said that, we can also observe the emergence of a new type of single woman, one quite different from the traditional spinster or single girl in her twenties.

Change of Culture

New cultural messages have slowly emerged to contest the dominance of the ideal that women need to be coupled or married to be happy. It also facilitates single women’s acceptance of their lives. Feminism, increasing acceptance of divorce and of women’s career successes and changing sexual norms are encouraging alternative values in women. New trends have also emerged such as diamond ring for the right hand of single woman who wants to indulge herself.

Right-hand diamond Ring

Women who want to reward themselves for their ambition, independence and good fortune in life can buy right-hand diamond ring. Unlike the typical diamond ring that is use to make a major commitment, a right-hand ring is a symbol of woman’s success and fit her personality.

Literature and Media

Television shows such as Sex and the City, Golden Girls, Friends and movies such as Waiting to Exhale, The First Wives Club, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sistedhood, are emphasizing the importance of friendship network in providing intimacy and sustaining a viable single life for women who are in their twenties, thirties, forties or older. Media attention has also led more women to consider having baby as a single woman.

Supportive structures

Modern single women, who are in their thirties, forties and above, create the structures that support a viable single life before they are able to discard the cultural ideal of the couple as the only route to happiness, and as the only get away from loneliness. By their forties and fifties, these never-married and divorced women had good jobs, homes, a strong network of family and friends. They are actively involved in their neighborhoods, churches, voluntary organizations, or political organizations. They discard the cultural norm and come to appreciate the life they had created. They believe creating a satisfying single life is like building a good marriage; it is a process of development, self-discovery and work.

Financial Stability

More and more never-married and divorced women over the age of thirty-five have higher personal income than married women. These women’s economic advances make single life possible for them. Increasing number of women in the United States is able to support themselves and their children. Despite a common concern about the economic plight of single mothers, 68 percent of these mothers are above the poverty line, and almost 40 percent are well off.

A New Type of Single Woman

The increase in cultural visibility and an acceptance of a long-term single life has made the route of becoming a new single woman an easier route for many women. This new single woman is content and happy with her life and the prospect of remaining single. She is satisfied with her accomplishment, her relationships and identity. She is no longer classified under a specific personality, a loner or an individual living a lifestyle deviating from the norm.

Sex and Single Women

Many single women today are willing to engage in sex without romantic expectations of intimate relationship and long term commitment. However, this does not mean they are casual about sex or interested in one-night stands. They pursue sex without the illusion that they had found a soul mate. They still seek the relationship that involved sharing interests, activities and friendship. In fact, according to the renowned survey Sex in America, single people “have more partners, but they have less sex.” Since mid of twentieth century, sexual revolution has begun with a more positive attitude towards sex for young single women, a shift that alters many people’s views about sex and mature single women.

Pillars of Support

To lead a satisfying life, she built six pillars of support for herself :

1. She has a home that nurtures her, whether she lives by herself or with other people

2. She possesses a satisfying job that provides her with economic autonomy

3. She is satisfied with her sexuality and find outlet for their sensuality.

4. She enjoys some connection to the next generation, which can take in many forms of relationships – her own children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, stepchildren and younger volunteer work with the young.

5. She finds intimacy within a network of friends and family, who provides companionship and shoulders to rely on in times of trouble.

6. She is not alone, but creates and maintains a contemporary community through her friendship network, made through diverse organizational settings such as workplace, school, college, work, church and politics.


The text and all images on this page, unless otherwise indicated, are owned by Ingenira who hereby asserts her copyright on the material. Permission must be granted by the author in writing prior to copy or republish this article in print or online.

© Ingenira 2012


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    • How to - Answers profile image

      L M Reid 

      6 years ago from Ireland

      Women in the Western World do have a lot more choice these days to stay single. Society and popular culture though does still see us singles as a sorry bunch though. More fool them - I love my freedom so will not be giving it up any time soon

    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 

      7 years ago from Philadelphia

      I guess, we could also look at this as "different strokes for different folks", in other words, what works for some female, or what they desire, it not a representation of others! The issue here is that some people have their own philosophy when it comes to marriage and relationship. In other words, some want to, or don't want to get married for various personal or circumstantial reasons. There are even some who have gotten frustrated after repeated failures. My mom for example, vowed that she would never get married, then she found my dad and she thought that was the best thing that could ever happen to her. Sadly, after the death of my father, she was only in her early forties, but told herself once again that she was okay with her being single again. However, as she got older, she started to get lonely, and often wished she had someone to grow old with.

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 

      7 years ago from The City of Generals

      Great hub. I agree a 100%. The new single woman is what should become of her if she remains "single" all her life, else it would be difficult to see the beauty that lies beyond. It is not easy to be single in the middle years, so it's in using every wisdom GOD has in store for her that she can portray the beautiful purpose of her singlehood. Im in my 40's and still single. I may be happy, blessed and contented with what I have, but still there's a part of me that wishes someone out there could be beside me for love so I'd grow old in love, lol.

      Thank you, Ingenira. I was in all smiles reading. Blessings! -:=)Tonette

    • idigwebsites profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      I didn't know about the wearing of a ring in the right hand! Thanks for informing me. :)

      We are lucky to live in today's society where women can do what they want, make their own decisions unencumbered by masculine influence, and be really successful in both career and personal lives. If a woman is really happy, blessed, and fulfilled, then why would she need a guy to make her complete? But if fate has other plans for her and gives her the perfect guy, so be it. If it doesn't, it's ok! In fact more and more women prefer to be single and just be with their girlfriends for a fun night out after a heavy day at work. :)

      Up and awesome. :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      I really like this as it totally explains so many reasons why women stay or become single. living in a modern world women can do what they want, and because of this we no longer have to put up with men who try and take over our lives. if we are lucky enough to find a good man then fine, but to be honest these days I prefer to be single! lol!

    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 

      8 years ago from Philadelphia

      This is certainly an interesting Hub! I like the "Right- hand diamond ring" concept in particular! Thanks for sharing. Voted up interesting.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      8 years ago from Planet Earth

      I've noticed the right-hand rings as well (and I've been tempted to get one!). There are still people who get threatened or have issues with a woman who is independent, but overall, change is happening!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      That's an interesting hub. Though 'Marriage' as a tradition is going to stay, all over the world and people do believe in the institution of marriage, but the points you made are also true in today's scenario.

      An interesting read.

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      8 years ago from Chicago

      The same culture also tells us that married men outlive single men. Essentially the view of society is (everyone) "needs" a mate in order to "truly" be happy in life. "Happily Ever After" always meant there were (two people) living together and not one. Even the backbone of religion is based around marriage and family with it's connection to god.

      I cannot think of any country that promotes being single as the "ideal" way of life for it's citizens. Whether it be holidays (Thanksgiving/Christmas), romance novels, movies, or vaction packages that require "double occupancy" to get the best price.... It is clear that being "single" for life is not viewed as a positive for men or women.

      Little girls are given baby dolls to (change diapers, feed, comb hair, and push in strollers). They are also given (Easy Bake Ovens) to make cookies and cakes. In addition they are given Ken & Barbie playhouses. Basically girls are groomed to be mothers and nurturers before they are taught to read! They are also given “princess dresses” to be admired in which is symbolic of the kind of attention given to a (bride) in a wedding dress who upon entering the church every guest stands to honor her.

      Some traditions are here to stay. The majority of people will get married at least once or have a child because it's (ingrained in our psyche). This is especially true for women.

    • livingsta profile image


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Beautiful hub, I can relate it so much to my life and the life of so many single women I have known and seen.

      Thank you for this motivating hub. Voted up and beautiful!


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