Our fathers and grandfathers had a certain type of woman in mind that fit the criteria for "wife material". She was more of a homemaker than anything and she was nurturing to him and his potential children. Decades later, millennial men are now in the position to make this decision and there seems to have been a shift in what they consider marriage material. It doesn't appear that they're looking for housewives and homemakers-- they want something more (if anything at all… but that's a different post). It appears that they are looking for a hybrid of what was and what currently exists.
The line "get you a girl that can do both" strongly applies here. It appears that millennial men that do want to be married want a hybrid of a housewife and a career woman. The woman that can kill it in the boardroom and kill it on the stove is the chosen one. Things have changed from our grandparents' and parents' generations. Women have more of a voice and are accomplishing more in all aspects of life. Because of this, we’re now expected to juggle more in terms of relationship roles.
We are admired for our persistence and accomplishments by our counterparts, but-- are held to a different standard. They want us to have our own career and be able to “bring something to the table” financially. Personally, that’s not a problem for me (because I love being able to provide for myself), but for some it may seem unfair. It’s an added responsibility to what was required of our mothers and grandmothers. Traditionally, they only had to manage the home and now we are expected to do both.
Has this development created men who are more dependent or are they really looking for partners now? If you could choose to be with someone who would decrease your financial burden and act as a nurturer, wouldn’t you? There are also those men that believe that THEY should be taken care of (financially and emotionally), but we won’t even consider them in this post. They aren’t on OUR marriage material radar in the least! However, all of this makes the “race to the alter” a little harder for us millennial women though.
What’s a millennial woman to do and how do we maneuver this situation? We play on the partnership aspect that our counterparts want. As a partner, they can meet us halfway with home responsibilities. The key is to make sure your approach isn’t emasculating. They’ve already acknowledge that our role has shifted, so they most likely won’t be opposed to the idea of shifting their role as well. All of this supports the shift of the entire marriage construct. We (as the business women we are) must position domestic responsibilities as a part of the negotiation for this “new and improved” wife these guys are pursuing.
Shifting and balancing responsibility is the key here. The last thing we want to do is turn the new generation of men into coddled boys. The goal is to be partners and not mothers or caregivers. So, while they want us to be homemakers AND business women—they must be career men and domestic partner. It’s a fair trade. 😊