Domestic violence, assault, abuse, sexual assault

Recently there’s been a lot of talk about how dating, marriage, and divorce have changed. At least in the West. There seems to be a celebratory air under a misguided perception. People are of the impression that heterosexual and bisexual women are more empowered than ever.

Especially when it comes to intimate relationships. It’s a wonderful notion, but it’s not entirely true. To make this claim is to view the issue with tunnel vision. This perception becomes even hazier when it comes to LGBTQ+ relationships. 


When it comes to dating, technology has lent people more control than they previously had. But it has also opened them up to much greater risks. In previous generations, women dated men they either knew personally, or through a family friend. 

LGBTQ+ people didn’t even have this option. In fact, many were pressured into heterosexual relationships either directly or indirectly. Now it’s possible, to go on a date with a complete stranger whom no one in our life knows personally. It’s become normalized.

Naturally, this comes with it’s own unique set of risks; we know nothing about the person we’re meeting for a date, only what they tell us. We would be amiss to assume that everyone has good intentions. 

This is particularly true for heterosexual women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Men remain the greatest threat to women’s safety and the greatest threat to marginalized groups. This includes the LGBTQ+ community. 

Abuse awareness

With conversations around abuse becoming more widely accepted, we are slowly realizing that it is an epidemic. Unfortunately, there are several forms of abuse that are the result of our environment and the people in our lives.

We’re discovering that many of us have either been in abusive relationships or been abusers in our relationships. I’ve lot count of the number of people I’ve talked to who have come to this revelation and been shocked. Myself included.

The reason we are slow to realize we’re in an abusive relationship could be twofold. It’s important to remember that abusive behaviors often mask as healthy intentions. But we’ve been conditioned to believe toxic patterns are signs of love. Consequently we dismiss our own feelings or instincts.

Yet still we do not value the benefits of being single and healing without being in a relationship. We equate happiness with relationship status, with complete disregard for the quality of the relationship.

Almost as though it doesn’t matter if your relationship is toxic, so long as you’re in one. It’s likely that people would be happier if we normalized being single. It’s also likely that relationships would be healthier too. Arguably, people would enter into them when they were ready to as opposed to when they felt pressured to.


There have been several feminists who’ve commented about how women are now empowered. Empowered in marriage like never before and they’re more willing to walk away from a bad one. This is simultaneously true and false. 

Also, the option of divorce is not available in most parts of the world. Likewise, choosing who to marry is not an option in over half of all marriages globally. So, to be clear, we’re talking about the people who have privilege of control in these parts of their lives.

Over the years marriage has declined along with divorce rates. Fewer people are getting married. So naturally we should see a decrease in the number of individuals looking to exit that arrangement. 

It is difficult to find statistics on gay marriage. For that reason, I will focus on statistics relating to heterosexual marriage but will include the LGBTQ+ community anecdotally.

The reasons for the decline in both marriage and divorce are complicated, but the largest factors boil down to; online dating providing more options. People feel less pressure to simply settle down.

Money changing hands

Women in the West are largely able to earn their own income. Therefore women are less dependent on someone else to provide for them financially.

Separately, people generally are less able to afford to get married in the first place. Weddings in America & Canada are costly, averaging $30,000+. Consequently, most opt not to marry and simply live in common-law relationships.

There are certain legal entitlements for common-law relationships, which vary by location. Yet, they are seldom leveraged when a couple separates. Secondly, the separation is obviously not recorded as a divorce.

To say that heterosexual and bisexual women are leaving bad marriages because they refuse to settle for less is incredibly misguided. For all the reasons I’ve listed, but also because they simply aren’t.

Domestic abuse and domestic murder of women is rising. This would suggest the opposite of the prior claim, that women aren’t leaving bad relationships-whether they be married or not.

A more accurate claim would be that we are exposed to these examples more than we used to. We hear of heterosexual and bisexual women leaving bad marriages at an increased rate. Any other claim along this line of reasoning is ill-informed. 


There has been stigma around divorce for a long time and often times we view it as a failure. It isn’t. People get married for one reason, but divorced for any number of a thousand reasons. However, recently there has been a decline in both marriage and divorce. A significant point that’s often overlooked is socioeconomics and economics. 

As people are able to date online they are afforded more potential mates than previous generations. Naturally, they become more discerning for who they want to spend the rest of their life with. 

People are more willing to date further into their life. Rather than to rush to the altar with the first person they meet. This is causing people to not only date for longer, but to also marry later. Statistically, marriages that occur later in life are more likely to be successful, thus reducing the rate of divorce naturally. 


The economy is horrific for Millennials and even worse for Gen Zers. And yet, women still have better financial independence than previous generations overall. This grants us the freedom to typically marry out of love and a genuine partnership. Rather than marry out of good business sense.

I would argue that this, in turn, makes their partner feel more committed to the relationship. They understand their partner chose to be with them out of love rather than due to their wallet. How could that not make you feel more committed? 

This does not mean I’m discounting the wage gap. I’m merely pointing out that women have financial independence that didn’t exist for their predecessors. The generations who are of typical marrying ages are Millennials and the older Gen Zers.

They’re also the poorest generation and weddings cost an average of $30,000 in Canada and America. Who’s going to pay for this wedding when almost two-thirds of Millennials can’t even afford a down payment on a house

The Next Step

Yes divorce rates are declining, but the majority of the reasons why are nothing short of concerning.  Yes dating has become more flexible and people have access to potential partners they have aligned beliefs and values with. But the trade off is a lower level of safety.

Like just about any social issue, marriage, divorce, and dating are all complex topics. We can look exclusively at statistics, but that would be negligent of the social components and legislative elements at play. 

I’d love to know…

How has your online dating experience compared to the norm?

What are your thoughts on marriage?

Can you share some of your favorite *PG rated!* pastimes to pursue alone?