Why do women find it harder to find a new partner?

Is love the answer to all questions? Not quite. It also provides quite a few. Psychologist and couples therapist Oskar Holzberg answers them all.

Why are women more difficult to find a new partner than men?

In a nutshell:

… the experienced cook chooses more specifically at the weekly market than the guy with a lot of cabbage.

Now in detail:

Indeed, it appears to be so. After their first marriage or the end of a long-term relationship, women are more likely to remain single than men for longer. That says a look at the circle of acquaintances, that also says the statistics. Middle-aged women prefer to walk solo: five years after the marriage ended, three quarters of men in the age group between 40 and 60 are remarried, but only half of women. Among those over 60, it is still half of men, but only a quarter of women. The observation that men live in a partner again after a breakup can be found in numbers. 50 percent of men, but only 30 percent of women, gave up an old relationship for a new one, so they switched straight to the new love nest. And the survey of a dating platform showed that women feel ready for a new relationship after 15 months, but men only need four months for it.

For the Swiss psychologist Pasqualina Perrig-Chiello, persistence in old role models is the reason why men rush back into new relationships so quickly. They haven't learned to admit weaknesses. You cannot be vulnerable. To put it bluntly, they actually don't even allow the thought of being abandoned. That's why they don't mourn. Instead, like James Bond, they get up again after the knock-out and repair their battered self-esteem through a new partnership. In addition, they usually lack a social network to catch them up. The buddies only nod, the emotional discussion is missing. So they are looking for the intimacy of a love relationship again in order to stay emotionally alive.

Women can allow themselves to be more choosy. And they are too.

Women, on the other hand, are less dependent on a partnership for their joie de vivre, they rather live in an active network of friends and contacts. You can allow yourself to be more choosy. And they are too. On the one hand, they often do not want to return to the role of provider and service provider, which they usually fulfilled in marriage and family. And, depending on their understanding of their roles, they are usually looking for someone who is at least on an equal footing in terms of age and education. But more and more well-educated women are facing more and more less well-educated men.

How we bond is not only determined by biology or our personal story. As the sociologist Eva Illouz emphasizes, it is also a cultural behavior. Since men also date "downwards" when it comes to education and age, the "marriage market" is tight for women. Men are more likely to form relationships in which the partners have a lower social status or level of education and are younger than themselves. The professor who marries his graduate student or the sugar addys are not just clichés. Because of their voting behavior, men have a greater choice of possible partners. And since, as we also know, they benefit more emotionally from a love relationship, they anchor accordingly faster in the marriage port.

Oskar Holzberg is a couples therapist and writes the column “Questions of love” in every BRIGITTE. So there's no question that he's the perfect writer for this piece.

Oskar Holzberg, 66, has been advising couples in his Hamburg practice for more than 20 years and is repeatedly asked questions about relationships. His current book is called: "New Key Sentences of Love" (242 pages, 20 euros, Dumont).

Would you like to read more about the topic and exchange ideas with other women? Then take a look at the BRIGITTE community's "Love, Relationship and Personality Forum"!

Get the BRIGITTE as a subscription – with many advantages. You can order them directly here.

BRIGITTE 20/2020