By Vivian O.

First off, it’s one thing to find just about any man and another to find an ELIGIBLE one who is ready to settle down! In our world today, finding that prince in a shining armor seems somewhat elusive.

I could recall, while growing up, I was told stories of weddings of numerous “Aunts” and“Uncles” and how they’d met. And it was one of fun and nostalgia, same way I’d feel when told  fairy tale bedtime stories.

These days however, I’m pretty sure the story has changed. Finding an eligible husband for most women is becoming harder than finding a needle in a hay stack. Sometimes it entails turning some of the hays into needles!

But then, some reported finding their prince when they weren’t looking.

However, for a majority of single eligible women, a constant questions keeps propping up: How can women find eligible husbands these days?

So Where Can Women Find Eligible Husbands these days?

We get it, you aren’t an outgoing person or perhaps you only socialize on weekends. Or you’re the type that find yourself at the Grammy in downtown LA today, and a Nightclub on the East side tomorrow.

Whatever personality you are, there are no hard and fast rules to finding an eligible spouse. For those who are married, experiences abound and telltales on “How I met my Husband” sometimes get so emotional.

Sally, a middle aged New York based vendor explained that virtually all who met their husbands at some point “has a story to tell”.
Although there are raging debates on the appropriate places where women can find eligible husbands, the odds still favor offline traditional locations over online.

Even with contrasting views, it is inconceivable that there’s a growing trend of online hook-ups and dating. One just has to know where to look.

Offline versus Online theory

In theory, offline should work better than online for most people, after-all you get to touch and feel “the goods” in real time; but does it? Some have propped up arguments that it’s far easier, more convenient and perhaps better to find an eligible husband online than in traditional offline places such as the workplace, offices, malls, restaurant, social gathering, colleges, clubs and other similar places.

While there’s a school of thought that believes online meet-up zones are inappropriate for serious hook-ups that can lead to marriage, and can somewhat make one appear desperate, I believe it is a a matter of individual preference.
A couple of years back, if this topic had been raised, I’m sure there are many who would probably have agreed with that school of thought. But now, the times are changing.

Many women these days no longer keep “off limits lists” on their dating and relationship diary. And in fact, a 2015 Relationship Study in Australia released by popular dating site, eHarmony, found that online dating is increasingly becoming popular and that “finding your partner online is quickly catching up to more traditional ways of meeting partners”. In fact, 22 percent of those surveyed say they met their partners online, second only to meeting people through mutual friends at 24 percent.

However, in America today, offline traditional ways still has the upper hand. Recent research carried out by the Pew Research Center showed that only about 5 percent of Americans who are married or in a committed relationship say they met their partner online. Even among Americans who have been with their spouse or partner for five years or less, 88 percent say that they met their partner offline.

Online Social Networking and Dating Sites

Regardless of whether you are American, or Australian, you’re bound to have heard about online social networking and dating sites.

An increase in popularity and proliferation of social networking and dating sites like Facebook, Tinder, etc, meant that the dating/relationship marketplace just expanded immensely. And now, there’s a growing number of young single women turning to these sites in the hope of finding their lifelong mates.

I’ve heard of true life stories and even attended a wedding of a couple who met on Facebook. In what started out as a joke, Kim, the then bride to be had made a random search and sent a friend request to Brandy because she “liked his profile photo”.

And subsequently, they got chatting, arranged for an offline meet up place and barely ten months after, Brandy proposed. They went on to have one of the most memorable wedding ceremonies I’ve ever attended with conspicuously displayed, craftily designed gigantic laptop-esque wedding cake with the inscription “Joined by facebook” boldly engraved!

For some, like Kim, online sites may cut the deal, but far many others may have their reservations about the workability of these sites. Many have reported unpleasant experiences like hooking up with non existent playboys or what some term “time wasters”, as well as date rapists. Ouch!

Looking in the Wrong Place

First off, before thinking of a place to find an eligible husband, you must first understand what qualities you want in a man. For many women, they keep long lists of desirable qualities, but quite frankly, the shorter, the better. And so, whether you dream of getting hitched to Bill Gates or just any John Doe, it’s your call.

But first, you’d have to look in the right place.

Whether offline or online, If I was searching for an eligible husband somewhere, I’d be on the lookout for men who are as focused on their careers as I am and that means looking first right around my workplace, school, social club and even business meetings!

Although, it is becoming increasingly difficult for women to find husbands these days, it is still better to look, as in TAKE THE LEAD in the search. According to Jon Birger, author of Dateonomics: How Dating became a Lopsided Numbers Game, “for every four college educated women in our generation, there are three college educated men” compared to three women per four men a generation back. And this, perhaps, could explain the seeming increase these days in the ratios of single women over 40 to single eligible men.

Public Place Partnerships: How feasible?

In what I’ve termed “Public Place Partnerships”, a lot of women find husbands just by meeting them at what you may call traditional public places: the airport, restaurants, bars, gyms, train stations and grocery stores.

The PPP has worked for some and I’ve always wondered if bumping into Mr John Doe at these places would better the odds of finding a husband… Even if Leslie, a high school friend do not agree with me, I’d simply just designate more frequent visits there, deliberately… funny right?

Well, it would do more good if more women try this option. I’d recently read a story on how Debbie Brown, a final year college student went on to get hitched to John Higgins after bumping into him at a bar. And guess what? He’d stuck out an arm for a balance payment when she deliberately tipped over the gentleman’s drink for an awful beer spilling experience!

Learning Places: Going by the book or hook?

Just a few years back, a study was done by Facebook on how couples met, and it turned out that 25 percent met their spouses in college. Of these, the majority of women who met their husbands in college were the ones who attended colleges that were predominantly male. This is understandable as women swimming in less competitive waters would have better chances meeting potential eligible husbands.

While just a handful of universities have higher men to women gender ratio, for instance, some Tech institutes and Polytechnics, the majority others are disproportionately female. Although, the average reported gender ratio in US colleges and grad school today is 57 percent women to 43 percent men, female/male ratio is as high as 62 to 38 at Boston Uni, and 61 to 39 at
New York University.

Advice: Want to increase your chances of finding an eligible husband? Head to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (72 percent male) or Georgia Tech (66 percent male), two institutions with way more guys than girls. Wink wink!

How do Social gatherings, clubs and groups come into play?

All men were created equal, but are they really? If you’ve always dreamed of meeting your spouse at the club, or party, or any other similar place, then perhaps you may need to snap yourself back to reality and go get that party dress ready, because dreams come only for those who believe and act. These days, a lot more couples meet through organized parties than was obtainable 10 or 15 years ago, and continues to.

Side Note: Well, If you’ve already met your significant other who isn’t keen to commit, you have the right to sentence him to a short term ultimatum. I’ve had to interview Bryan Adams, 49, who says “sometimes men may act lackadaisical when not pressured. They see the pressure occasioned by an impending ultimatum to act, plan or maybe commit”.

And even Katie, a mother of two recalled her meet up experience with Ken, now her husband, at a Chicago hookup club 4 years ago. After hooking up, She’d issued a 6 month ultimatum to Ken to “retrace or go off the cliff”. She says “Whatever I did back then, I did because I was desperate, although in a subtle way, I confronted and frankly told Ken he had to take things to the next level”.

Well, for Katie, and for some others, hookup clubs and other social groups may have worked, but for many others these may well not work, but at least you’ve got to start somewhere, right?