What will happen this time around? I fear women will feel they have to ‘play by men’s rules’ in order to find a partner.
What would that look like? Well, it could shift us towards promiscuity. If a man wants casual sex, a woman may feel huge pressure to go along with it — even if it goes against her principles. The option to play ‘hard to get’, or take the time to decide, could be lost. This may be particularly difficult for middle-aged women, who face being thrown into a competition with younger rivals. There are already seven million singles aged over 50 signed up to UK dating sites. In hard times, it is more apparent how relationships are driven by supply and demand. If there are fewer desirable males around — men who are handsome, well-balanced and have a decent income despite the pandemic — then they have the power to make the rules.
But what about all the financially independent women? They may have previously cared less about how much a man earns — but a report by Exeter University found women are almost twice as likely as men to have lost their jobs.
Researchers found seven per cent of women have been made redundant in lockdown, compared to just four per cent of men. This means that many women will be forced to rely more heavily on support from a partner.