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The Reality of Single Mothers Whose Partners Won’t Commit

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ODU chapter.

 Oftentimes, I think about my future…

Of course, I envision myself to be successful. Granted, I’m not entirely sure of how I’ll get there, but I know that it will happen for me in one way or another. I picture myself living happily in a sunshine state where I can go out for a run in the morning with my dachshund and prepare some avocado toast when I return. I’ll relish in my modern home and shower in my marble-floored, glass-doored walk-in shower and call my best friend to discuss our itinerary for our upcoming trip to France while browsing my walk-in closet filled with overpriced and unworn clothes.

It is easier for me to picture myself alone than it is for me to picture myself married with children. Why is that? Maybe it’s because society today makes it difficult for marriage to be encountered. Maybe it’s because I never saw an example of a secure home; I’ve watched my mom get her heart broken millions of times and promised myself not to have children with a man who is not going to commit to me. It could be due to how men categorize women on who is good enough to be proposed to. It could also be my dedication to myself and the vacant desire to rely on or submit to people.

 Social media creates this narrative that marriage is an unsatisfying bind between two people that is bound to end in torment. Some men believe that marriage should be equal, while many women believe they should be provided for. Even so, the fear of commitment and amount of trust is what pushes the thought of marriage away. 

“I don’t know about most men, so I’m gonna speak for myself. If you remove the desire to procreate and raise a family, why should a man get married? There isn’t a huge motivation to get married if as a man, you do not desire children. The only other reasons I can think of are sex and companionship.”- James Mbuthia, Johannesburg, South Africa.”-Guys, what do you think about marriage and when a guy should marry? Quora. (n.d.). 

Today, a child before marriage is normalized and accepted due to the high rates of pregnancies conceived between the ages of 16 to early 20’s. Many women who have decided to raise a child had no intention of getting pregnant let alone married to the father of said child. As for the men, it is frequently seen that men want no part of the child’s life or want to commit to the mother of the child. This is not based on every parent, however, in many instances, these are reasons why marriage is not performed.

 If we take a look into the past, marriage was the goal for almost all people, men worked hard to provide for their family, while women nurtured and catered to their family from home. As time went by, men and women claimed their independence and many did not want to be forced into that position. 

I am interested in marriage. I want a house, kids, a husband, a garden and a beautiful kitchen. Why am I still not married – I have no patience to deal with misogynist men who are looking for a woman like their mothers to take care of every household responsibility, kids, cook for them, and most importantly for this generation”.  What are women’s views on marriage? Do they generally want to get married or stay single? Quora. (n.d.-b). 9 

Even so, the early decades had a different and more affordable economy. CBS News has reported that an average single person should make at least $96,500 a year to afford housing, transportation, and debt payments. An average two-parent, two-child household requires an income of $235,000 to live comfortably. Affording a home and vehicle is already hard for a single individual to achieve with one job, many people including myself work two jobs often or pick up shifts to pay for simplicities in life. A child in addition to that is more money, and you must put that child before your own needs. A child changes a lot of things in relationships; some couples don’t make it to the end of the pregnancy still wanting to be together. After that child is born they become a priority and some parents have to focus on that before wanting to get married. Mary Parke stated in her brief “Are married parents better for children? “Roughly 69 percent of children of never-married mothers are poor, compared to 45 percent of children brought up by divorced single mothers. Never-married mothers are significantly younger, have lower incomes, have fewer years of education, and are twice as likely to be unemployed as divorced mothers. While the age of the mother has some effect, most of the differences between the two groups remain even when age is taken into account. Regardless of the mother’s age at birth, a child born to an unmarried mother is less likely to complete high school than a child whose mother is married”.

 In my opinion, I feel this generation is losing sight of love and connection. Social media creates stereotypes for men and women, creating trust issues in society. We glamorize living single with no commitment to live happily. There is nothing wrong with it, but years go by and we begin to look at our surroundings and question why we aren’t living the lives we want. Just because we are chained down by our economic status does not mean we have to settle for anything less than we deserve. If your goal is to be married before children, stand by that. And if it does not work out that way, marriage can still come along the way, but it is not the end of the world if it does not. At the end of the day, it is about our happiness and what we can leave behind for the future and the new generations we are creating.

Hello! My name is Aaliyah. I am from Newport News Va and I now live in Norfolk Va .I’m excited to be a part of Her Campus. I am a business major and I am interested in brand advertising and promoting. My goal for Her Campus is to be a great asset to the community and gain experience and exposure to social life . I also would like to meet new people and have a group of friends that I can relate to and expand with.