Being Christian presents unique challenges when looking for love, and as Christian women outnumber men, some are realising they may never have families. Source: ABC News.
At 32 years of age, Anna Hitchings expected to be married with children by now. But over the past year, she has found herself grappling with a realisation that she may never tie the knot.
“But that’s a reality I have to deal with,” she says. “It no longer seems impossible that I may never marry. In fact, some might argue it may even be likely.”
The “man drought” is a demographic reality in Australia – for every 100 women, there are 98.6 men. The gender gap widens if you’re a Christian woman hoping to marry a man who shares the same beliefs and values.
The proportion of Australians with a Christian affiliation has dropped drastically from 88 per cent in 1966, to just over half the population in 2016 – and women are more likely than men to report being Christian (55 per cent, compared to 50 per cent).
Ms Hitchings is Catholic. She grew up in the Church and was a student at Campion College, a Catholic university in Sydney’s western suburbs, where she now works.
“I’m constantly meeting other great women, but it seems to be quite a rare thing to meet a man on the same level who also shares our faith,” she says. “The ideal is to marry somebody else who shares your values because it’s just easier.”
But not sharing the same faith isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. Her sister is married to an agnostic man and while “he’s great and we love him”, Ms Hitchings is quick to admit there were some difficult conversations that needed to take place early on.
The Church also provides a place of hope and empowerment for single women, giving those like Ms Hitchings the confidence to live a life that doesn’t start and end with marriage.
“I very much hope I do get married – I really hope that happens – but I don’t believe that my life is meaningless or purposeless if I don’t get married either.”
For want of a lot of good men (The Catholic Weekly)