How to Have a Successful Long-Term Relationship Is the Most Pressing Issue of Our Time, Part 1

The following post is the first of a series of posts on modern American dating and young people’s inability to form lasting attachments that potentially lead to marriage.

Remember when dating was fun and relatively easy to do? Remember when it was viewed as a step toward a committed relationship or even marriage?

Tell that to anyone under 40, and they’ll look at you like you have three heads.

Over the past week there have been numerous articles—here and here and here, for instance—outlining the problems of modern dating.

According to the one in the Wall Street Journal, Generation Z, most of whom are currently college-age, is “uniquely bad at dating.” The men and women of this generation are less independent, less resilient and more sheltered than previous generations, it says—and these factors make this generation “romantically challenged.”

That may very well be true, but it’s hardly the end of the conversation.

There are numerous factors at play that explain why men and women under 40 can’t sustain love, or why they can’t manage to get married and build a life together. In my next few posts, I will outline those reasons and offer solutions for how parents and educators can help young people correct what I personally consider to be the most pressing issue of our time.

The first and most obvious is that Generation Z, as well as the Millennials who preceded them, have been given zero guidance and encouragement when it comes to building a relationship with the opposite sex. Women in particular have been explicitly and repeatedly told to do just the opposite: postpone marriage as long as possible, while enjoying the supposed benefits of commitment-free sex, and make a career the center of their lives.

Given this cultural script, why wouldn’t we expect dating to die and relationships to fail? We specifically moved women away from this goal. It’s not their fault—it’s the fault of the adults who failed them.

If a woman’s professional life is considered the #1 most important thing, there’s no reason to date in the traditional sense of the word. The purpose of dating is to determine whether or not the other person is a match, potentially for life. Why go through all the rigamarole if marriage isn’t on your radar? Might as well hookup until you’re ready to settle down.

That’s the dumbest plan I’ve ever heard. The perils of casual sex are manifold, as I’ve written about over and over and over and over again.

One comment from that same Wall Street Journal article by a 50-something woman named Marie perfectly sums up what’s happened with sex and relationships over the past half-century:

“My parents’ generation: dating, marriage, sex.

My generation: dating, sex, marriage.

Now: sex, dating, marriage (maybe).”

She’s right: that’s exactly where we are. In the December 2018 cover story for The Atlantic, author Kate Julian wrote a lengthy essay on the trend of young people putting relationships on the back burner.

That may sound like a problem for the modern generation to worry about, but in fact it’s a problem we should all worry about. Almost all of America’s social ills and public policy stem from the health and well-being of relationship and family formation. When that breaks down, everything else does, too. Ergo, the root of America’s gravest social problems is marriage and family breakdown.

And where did that breakdown begin? Fifty years ago, with feminism.

It was this generation of Baby Boomer women that failed at love. It was this generation that taught their daughters to be resentful of men and marriage. It was this generation that told young women sex was no big thing. It was this generation of women who told their daughters and their students to suppress their desire for marriage and to instead focus on getting degree upon degree and making work the center of their lives.

Not only does this message go completely counter to women’s natural instincts, it destroys any possibility of men and women coming together to form families that sustain us as a nation. Indeed, nothing good has come from this plan—not for children or for families, not even for women themselves. The research has been done: Modern women are far less happy than their mothers and grandmothers were.

No social ill we address in this country matters until we address the complete destruction of marriage and family formation. A woman named Christina asked the perfect question on my Facebook page:

“Feminism has ruined women. The question is: Are things too far gone to be fixed?”

I say no. What say you?

Suzanne Venker

Suzanne Venker is an author, columnist and relationship coach known as The Feminist "Fixer.” She helps free women from feminist lies so they can find lasting love with men. Suzanne's newest book, WOMEN WHO WIN at Love: How to Build a Relationship That Lasts, will be published October 2019.

Reader Interactions


  1. Prior to 2016, I would have said no, this has gone too far. But Trump being elected, aside from being a disaster as both President and a human being, demonstrated that people are willing to push back as a group against the radical left, and that gives me some hope. But changing an established cultural mindset isn’t easy at all. There is an ever widening gulf between the genders, filled with distrust, disrespect and resentment, and even thinking of ways to overcome that is pretty intimidating.

    • Here we go again with another never-Trumper. It’s Trumps fault that our society is inept! It’s Trumps fault I dropped my coffee this morning! This is nothing but a pathetic and pitiful excuse for the behavior that society “accepts” today. Let’s get real please – this is something that has been YEARS in the making. It has been happening since the feminist and social revolutions of the 60’s and the chickens are finally coming home to roost. It’s time for people like yourselves to have an out of body experience and truly and honestly look at yourselves to understand what the problem is. It has nothing to do with politics or whoever the President is, or what the temperature is outside, or what you ate for lunch. It has everything to do with the way we are raising our children and how we are indoctrinating them from school age. Lose God in society, lose society. It is that simple. Without God as the focus we are teaching our children to hate, be disobedient, and disrespectful human beings. Disrespect for themselves as well as others. We as a society need to start learning (or relearning…should I say…) this basic premise of life. Once this facet is regained all of the other issues will go away.

      • HappyConservative, I’m sorry it offends you that someone doesn’t worship at Trump’s feet. That, however, had absolutely nothing to do with the point of the previous comment. Read, please.

        • No collusion 🙂 Eat some humble pie. In fact, it is the left that has been perpetuating this ungodly lifestyle for decades, anything goes, right?

      • You should probably go back and re-read what she wrote…because what you think she said about Trump is not at all what she said. Yes, she said he was a disaster as President, but in no way did she blame him for any of the problems discussed in this article. What she said was, that she would have thought our society was too far gone to come back from the feminist nightmare, except for the fact that Trump was elected. His election gave her hope that people are willing to push back as a group against the radical left.

      • HappyConservative – you get it 100%. Sorry about your coffee this AM; wish it had landed on the lap of the dog above your comment…

        Brychan clearly does not and is yet another “Trump derangement syndrome candidate”. What the hell is wrong with you libtards anyways? Take ownership of the disaster that is the world you, YES YOU, have created. Suppose it’s Trump’s fault your husband left you for another women and that the batteries are dead in your vibrator with rechargeable batteries…

  2. Too far gone to fix?
    Probibly not but but I doubt I will see it fixxed in my lifetime. My only hope is that young men will take on the moral responsibility of restricting sex and make women earn it. (ie: MGTOW, “NOT WITH MY SPERM”, etc.)

    • You have it backwards, it’s women who are the gatekeepers of sex. Men will always do what is necessary to get sex, women decide who gets it.

  3. To deal appropriately with feminism issues, we have to look back to further to the root cause of feminism.

    Otherwise history will repeat itself.

    What caused women to rebel against societal norms?

    Having said that, I don’t agree that feminism is the initial or true cause of current dating/marriage issues.

    It always goes back to the love of money. Even if there were no feministic movement, our culture would have been hard bent to return to living on one income.

    So it’s like this. After WWII, men wanted women to keep working for the dual income, women didn’t want to keep working but both men and women wanted the money. This kept employers happy, because women would work for less.

    The problem could be solved if men treated women with more genuine love and if our government would set up incentives and breaks to families and employers that enabled moms to stay home with their children.

    • Marie I love how you acknowledge the problem is greed. What we need is to fall in love with a simple, family and community orientated life. This is very beautiful and attractive. But the narrative we tell our children is a performance based criteria for success which is poisoning our society with stress and more greed. My family of three have been living in a single salary equivalent for 10 years. It can be done and we love it.

    • Yes, materialism is a problem…but equally problematic is the fall of the dollar. In the 50’s and 60’s a family could live quite comfortably and even save on one income – when that changed women were forced to go to work.

  4. Hmmm, from an “older” than dirt perspective? God’s way is the right way. In the “olden” days you dated, married, sex, children all under the umbrella of Christian teachings..much better stable life for one and all, especially children.

  5. I can personally attest to this. I find it increasingly difficult to find a meaningful relationship, and I think part of the problem is that women nowadays are taught to distrust men, and the fact that I never learned how to flirt. Everything I know about romantic conversation, I learned from dating sites. Which,as everyone knows, tend to give women more options and more deciding power. As a result, I’ve been single for almost a year and a half, and not by choice.

  6. I completely 100% agree with everything you said. I’m 57, not a feminist, and have been saying this for years. Raising our family has always been my priority. I’ve also said that if more women stayed home there would be more jobs for our men to support the family. We live in an upside down world that has lost it’s way.

  7. I think Feminism is much less a problem today then it was 50 years ago. From what I’ve learned about relationships all those decades ago, there were more problems with how men and women related to each other, then what we face in relationships today. I know that there are parts of the world where problems still remain between the sexes and therefore feminists have valid ground to stand on for these women. But generally speaking I think Feminism is over-emphasised in the media, to be made out to be a much larger problem, where one really doesn’t exist today.

    I think it is a good thing that women were encouraged to have a career, but I don’t think the aim there was to have a career ‘instead of a family’. I think over the generations there have always been, (and still are) those who understand the importance of a relationship and building a family.

    It is a very complex issue with many factors to be considered as to why our approach to dating has changed so significantly. I myself have a full time career and sometimes wonder if I would miss being at work when I start a family, but to answer that, I know from the experience of others that being a mother can provide you with an abundance of joy that can’t be found in a career. (And I can always return to my career later in life). I also have friends who just aren’t interested in having kids, so it is a very personal choice. These days we seem to have more opportunities in the work force and also to travel while we are younger, which is another reason why people may choose to settle down later, I guess the question is will they regret these choices?

  8. Feminism is not what it is to be! Women far greater than myself and far greater than feminist in today’s society has fault the good fight for equality and guess what ladies?! We won!! Feminism today isn’t about equality ots about superiority! I believe in a man being a man and a woman being a woman! This is a partnership not up for debate if you want a traditional family to be successful in today’s society so stop pushing the liberal bullshit and ladies return to your place “not the kitchen” but to the side of a man and raising your families and tending to the home don’t let schools and colleges raise your children you’ll be glad you didn’t later and so will they!! Coming from a mother of 5 who’s not on the left or the right but believes in the very fabric of what this nation was founded upon and preserving our children’s future!

  9. It is that too often I think we are looking at where we are with turning young women around – and far too little thought is given to young men – and the reality that they are looking at their fathers experience, and their mothers view – but not that alone. They have been told in many ways, that society does not care what happens to them, and watched as all care about girls. The reality that there is a growing concern about boys is good – except it is easy to suggest that it is really all about “a shortage of marriageable men” which does not say to boys – that there is actual concern for their well being.

    It is not just that we have pushed male toxicity, or created the presumption of his guilt in the college monkey courts, it is also that there is 0 concern with regards to him being a victim. It is that young men know boys are the majority of victims of child abuse, and mothers the abusers- and yet they see the caricature of dads and girls. It is not just that men are painted as buffoons, it is that violence against them -by women is celebrated not condemned. It is that the CDC report on domestic and sexual violence is discussed at length – except where it is what affects boys. It is that a growing number of men, especially young men – understand that like in the 2010 study – where in 2010 there was massive discussion – right up to the bottom of table 2.1 and page 18- mysteriously – it was as though page 19 and table 2.2 did not exist. This constant endless denial of the idea – of boys are also victims – girls also perpetrators – especially when it is women and girls pushing the narrative – is extremely alienating – as it sends a very clear set of messages. A- you are other (not exactly partnering stuff) B-we do not care when it hurts you (well clearly not partnering stuff).

    When this is combined with so many other things – well the message is more than just a little dangerous. There is a screaming need – to show boys we care – and that needs to start with holding female perpetrators to account – teachers who molest, when they are female are being said to have sex with – not rape boys – and the consequences to the teacher are well… It needs to start with actually saying that what is not acceptable for men – is not acceptable when women do it either. Sorry, but the silence so often is shocking – it is that Sharon Osbourne’s Penis rant – is not a screaming exception – just more visible, and boys saw their mothers laugh at a man – that may as well have been them. It would send a message to millions of young men – if Osbourne and CBS were held to account – even if a little late.

  10. “Are things too far gone to be fixed?” The mere fact that you can ask that question means they aren’t.
    You are not separate from others. Your decisions affect the whole. If you decide to be honest, to commit to a long term relationship, you affect everyone else.

    I see young people who understand the damage feminism has done. My father was of the WW II generation. When he was a lad, in the 1930’s, there was no dating. A lad who was respected, of good family, …might… be able to walk a lass to church, if her parents trusted him. Maybe. And if he was really good, he might even be able to walk her home. The sermon was the high point of the week, and it was dissected over tea, after church. The book is Not in Vain, by Leon Standifer.

    In my father’s day, parents warned their daughters about bad boys, and their sons about vampires. This evaporated in the late 60’s. Nowadays colleges tell parents to let their children make mistakes. How stupid. I prefer to seek out wisdom, to AVOID mistakes, myself.

    I am delighted when a woman tells me she is a feminist. I’m as delighted as I would be, to find a sign clearly labelled “live minefield”. I know to turn 180 degrees, and move rapidly away. Some years ago, I was in a class, with some rabid feminists. I listened to them talk. They had nothing but poisonous things to say about men. I knew that I would only smile, if spoken to, and say as little as possible. I don’t play with poisonous snakes, or hand grenades with loose pins, or feminists. Towards the end of the class, though, they started talking about how much they would like to find well off, attentive, committed, loving husbands. I thought I had blundered into the mental ward. I couldn’t believe it. After running all that hatred through their nervous systems, and that is a very real energy, by way… then they want to find a man? That’s like a Triple K-er going out wearing his sheets, to court a black woman. Yes, that is a precise, accurate comparison. The kind of guy they said they were looking for is a guy who has options. Being around women who run massive doses of hate through their system- for him- is probably not on his agenda, do you think? Gloria Steinem, and many of the feminists of her era, did have some trauma from men. They took revenge… but you see, there is concatenation- they took revenge on men… and it spread to women… everything is connected. Buddhists talk about the chain of violence. There are really 2 choices in life: kindness, and violence. Violence doesn’t just happen. It was triggered by other violence… in a chain, that reaches from person to person, until one aware person decides to break the chain, by letting the violent wave… just die.

    There is more than one way, in Chi Kung, to simply cut off sex drive. I’m amazed at the number of American men who have done just that, spontaneously. A neighbor is 70. His ex drove him crazy. Oh, he could have 12 women in his range around, if he wanted. He doesn’t want it. He’d rather watch football, and drink his beer.

    Feminists raised the price of marriage, and lowered the price of sex. Wow, is it any wonder that Tinder is prospering?

    The brother of a friend of mine went to the hospital. The woman he lives with showed up, introduced herself as the girlfriend, to the family, and left. Another woman showed up, introduced herself as the girlfriend… and left. Another woman showed up, introduced… and left. Another woman… yes, he was running 8, count them, 8, women. He was 42. The youngest was about 30, the oldest 60, and I was told the 60 year old looked better than the 40 year old. He’s black. Watch black people carefully- the welfare system was set up to tear up black families- look at Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s report on the Negro family, of the 1960’s. That is what feminists will see, in the future.

    Women do not understand how they lower their value. Tattoos cause cancer. Surprise! Women eat half the lipstick they put on. I wonder how that helps liver function. The red shades of fingernail polish, especially those from China, use lead salts, which means the polish is a lead delivery system. Whatever a woman puts on her body is absorbed into her bloodstream.

    Feminists seem to have this idea that they are incredibly attractive to men. Seriously, I’ve seen this a lot. They aren’t. They can’t understand why this isn’t true. It’s very simple. What attraction does a rabid dog have for you? None. You get away from it, as fast as you can.

    I had an uncle/aunt who saw their 74th wedding anniversary. They were totally dedicated to each other, they long outlived their siblings, they had a great relationship. He always saw the young lass he’d married, even when she had grey hair, just as I see my daughters as the babies they were, when I first saw them. I’m not even sure he ever saw her grey hair.

    A really good marriage forms a soliton, a standing wave form. It gives out more energy than is put into it- because it is at a higher level of order. People who are smart understand this.

    Suzanne, we are not beyond hope. You see, the Russians and Chinese, each, after their revolutions, decided the state could take better care of children, and that sex should be as easy as drinking a glass of water. But the state pays full retail. Families don’t. And it didn’t take all that long for the governments to get more conservative about marriage than they were before their Revolutions.

    Suzanne, you imply that one person’s choices don’t make a difference, in your intro. This is not so. You have made a decision to spread certain ideas. You are casting concentric rings of influence, to people you may never meet. 7% of women in American identify as feminist, now… the radical feminists have alienated many women. Look at Karen Straughn, and Cassie Jaye’s videos, among others. Each of them are one person, but they are having quite an effect. Why? Because they simply speak the truth.

    The #metoo movement is making men much more cautious. I won’t train a woman, at work, unless I’ve known her for years. I know men who would never rescue a woman from a criminal attack- they know they might get charged. I know men who, if they saw a child running into the street, would do nothing- they know they might get charged.

    If you want to see the effects of feminism, put MGTOW into youtube, and see what you find. I’m running into more and more men who are going their own way.

    Feminists hate men, with a passion. The problem is that artillery is not selective. It falls where it falls. Some women understand that destroying men casts concentric rings far and wide. Feminists hurt women more than men.

    Men can live alone, and be quite happy with that. Women… have cats. And psychiatrists. Feminists have hurt women much more than they’ve hurt men.

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