Unfortunately it has more to do with you finding that right person than you may think. As James Carville said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” In a world that is rapidly shrinking, with the world’s economies increasingly interdependent on one another—what happens when U.S. jobs are lost to nations like China, there is a direct impact on our individual citizens.
Economic professors from MIT, the University of Zurich, and the University of California at San Diego looked at the connection between our opening of trade with China and Mexico that allowed US companies to tap cheaper labor across borders, and the U.S. drop in marriage rates, where the share of married women ages 25 to 39 fell by at least 10 percentage points across all socio-economic levels. What they found is that manufacturing is an economic foundation on which a lot of other social arrangements rest. Therefore, when these jobs disappear, there is a reduction of marriageable men. This is because the value of heterosexual men tends to be tied to their employment status because women are likely to reject a man who is not financially stable and able to contribute to the finances of a partnership. Yes, research shows that money does matter—but don’t assume it is because women are shallow, it’s more about survival instincts.
Notice that this research does not say that a man has to be a high earner, he just needs to have a stable job that can pay the bills. For most women, this is enough to provide that sense of security. Birth rates among married couples also go down when the unemployment rate increases, which makes a lot of sense. However unmarried birth rates can go up—maybe because pregnancy can be unplanned and some women may feel they have no choice but to have their babies.
So for any guys out there who worry she is only interested in your earning potential—there is only a little truth in this. For women who think money “doesn’t matter,” it does. Your future health, security, and family stability requires that you choose with your head as well as your heart.