Interest rates, housing, food, oil, and energy costs are not the only things on the rise – so are dating standards. As the next generation of womens become more educated and starts out-earning their male peers, dating in this economy suddenly requires a lot more strategy.
We’ve come a long way since 1960 and while the patriarchy is still alive and well, the foundation is starting to crumble. The modern economy has had a significant impact on the dating landscape. In recent years, women have made significant gains in the workforce, now accounting for more than half of the college-educated labor force.
A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that women are more likely than men to say that financial stability is important in a partner. The mentality of “I can change him” is in the past — because women can no longer afford to date someone who can not match their efforts. Women have to be strategic when it comes to who they partner up with because the wrong partner could set them back mentally, emotionally, and financially for years.
How the Economy Has Impacted Dating
The economy has always played a role in dating, but the impact has become more pronounced in recent years.
Standards have never been higher
A nice dinner can be a major expense, especially for young adults who are just starting out in their careers. This is often the case when dating someone who has not yet managed to secure their own financial freedom, and is a ‘fixer-upper’ (men who make promises for the future, but still financially lean on their driven female partners). A woman who holds herself to a high standard is no longer interested in putting up with a man who isn’t contributing the same effort.
Partners are now an economic consideration
A partner who drains your finances, and who does not exhibit the same drive or maturity as you can be so detrimental in the long run. When two people are on the same financial level and share a success-driven mindset, they are more likely to be able to support each other’s aspirations. It simply isn’t worth it for an ambitious, high-value woman to entertain any suitors who might hold them back from their goals – or worse, drag them down.
Aspirational dating is on the rise
The Great Recession of 2008-2009 left many people feeling financially insecure, and this has made them more hesitant to get into serious relationships. Due to this, people are being forced to be more selective. The frivolity of dating is shifting— partnership is supposed to create inspiration, not stress. We’re starting to date with an aspirational mindset, rather than settling in the short term with mere infatuation due to loneliness.
Modern Day Girl Power
Women are no longer in need of a man and are actively choosing to remain single longer, delaying marriage and motherhood. A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that 44% of women ages 18-34 are single, compared to 32% of men in the same age group. The study also found that the median age at first marriage for women has increased from 25.1 years in 1990 to 27.8 years in 2020. This is a sign that women are choosing to prioritize their careers rather than settling for the first partner who shows interest in committing.
The Future of Dating in this Economy, and Future Economies
The economy is constantly shifting, and it is likely that the way we date will continue to evolve as well. Adapting in order to find happiness is simply a necessity of the world that we live in, and financial stability is a huge part of achieving that. An aspirational lifestyle is not attainable for everyone – that’s why it’s an aspiration.
But for those who are raising their standards and putting in the effort to build a successful life, they can no longer afford to settle for anything less than aspirational. Dating for the sake of dating is all well and good, but dating with a goal in mind, with a vision for yourself, your future, and the person that you want beside you is paramount. Deviating from that goal can cost you your future.
So next time you want to call a woman a gold digger, let’s take a second look at the facts.
Is she a gold digger or is she really just upholding her standards and putting herself in a better position to find a compatible partner that aligns with her goals and values? Does she have daddy issues or is she strategically choosing to date someone older and more established because all the suitable men in her age group are not ready for the kind of partnership she needs to thrive?
If you’re a high-value woman, jumping into the right dating pool is the key to success. Everyone likes options, but too many options with too many unknown variables do not contribute to a positive experience. A dating pool that attracts quality, high-value individuals with the same mindset – like Seeking.com – makes dating in this economy just a little more optimistic for women.
Are men calling women “gold diggers” due to their high standards, or because of a deeper insecurity within themselves? Maybe they aren’t gold diggers at all— maybe, they just want something better out of a partnership— and look, not every man is going to measure up to that.
It’s time to do better; an eligible woman is not an easy catch, after all.