Women Aren't The Gold-Diggers That Guys Think They Are (Says Science)

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Scarlet O'Hara
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It takes more than a fat paycheck to land a woman.

As a young woman, it's difficult for me to imagine a time where women were given away like chattel to marry the man who came from the most money or groomed to marry into a certain family (which was sometimes their own. Gross.) to assure that family name upholds its reputation. 

I think it may be so difficult to wrap my mind around because over time, we as a society have evolved so much that it just doesn't seem like a reality that money was once the epicenter for arranged marriages.

And then the epicenter shifted slightly, demanding that women settle for other reasons such as an unplanned pregnancy, age, or whatever other reason society has deemed marriage necessary
 

Related: I Refuse To Let My Wife's Depression Ruin My Marriage
 

But it's not just my observation that women have stopped settling for less than love JUST to marry for money —  or any other reason, for that matter. Recent studies have also made that very observation, and the claim that women are gold-diggers is looking pretty thin, according to some.

According to a new report from the National Bureau of Economic Research, 40 percent of American women having children in 2015 did so without being married. That's a decline from the original number in 2008.

The normalization of single motherhood — along with many other factors — contributes to the growing independence that women have notably found over the years.

We've discovered that we don't need a man to provide for us in the ways we once thought so: we have jobs, we have sex toys, and we have the right to marry ourselves if all else fails. 

The more liberated we become, the higher the bar becomes for the potential men in our lives. Or as Salon puts it:

"In an era of women’s growing independence, for a man to be marriageable, it’s not enough to have a steady job."

During a 2016 interview with NPR, author Rebecca Traister said: “The choice not to marry isn’t necessarily a conscious rejection of marriage. It's about the ability to live singly if an appealing marriage option doesn't come along." 
 

Related: 5 Major Wife Mistakes I Make (And You Probably Do, Too)
 

We're not doing away with the idea of marriage as a whole, but the idea of simply marrying for materialistic means is coming to an end. Women aren't marrying guys just to get to their checkbooks, and are choosing to have fewer material things in their lives — even if it means waiting to find the man they want to marry for love.

Our Prince Charming needs to come with more than a shiny new castle.

How's that for a fairytale?

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