In Japan, the number of men and women choosing to marry later in life is on the increase and has reached a figure that can no longer be ignored. When it comes to the Japanese male demography, just why are so many choosing the single life? My Navi News asked 300 of its male readers the following question:

“Have you ever thought ‘Marriage isn’t for me’ or ‘I prefer the life of bachelorhood’?”

The results obtained were a little on the unexpected side:

Yes: 39.7%
No: 60.3%

The men who replied ‘yes’ were asked their reasons for snubbing a life of marital bliss. Their answers in full after the break.

  • Married men don’t look happy

“When the boss grumbles about his family, it makes me think that I’m better off single.” (27, Technician)

“Just looking at my married friends and how day by day they become more and more emaciated makes me think that I’m lucky to be single.” (25, Creative Arts)

“Hearing about the cruel way that some wives treat their husbands turns me pale with fear.”(25, Creative Arts)

“To me, married men just don’t look happy, and the more time passes the more this look of unhappiness becomes apparent.” (36, Finance).

  • Not being able to spend your earnings freely:

“Handing over all of your earnings to the household and being given ‘pocket money’ by the wife leaves me muttering ‘You’ve got to be kidding!’ under my breath.” (28, Medical care, welfare-service).

“Rather than having your wallet squeezed of its last dime, spending your earnings as you please has got to be the more appealing option.” (24, Communications)

“All your hard earnings, in the blink of an eye, disappear into the oblivion that is the housekeeping!” (24, Medical care, welfare-service)

  • Financially-speaking, bringing up a family is difficult:

“My job’s not a fixed contract, so I can imagine that bringing up a family would be a bit of a struggle.” (27, Education).

“My paycheck is too low to support a family. ”  (27, Machinery)

  • Playing happy families with your partner’s parents is a bother:

“Keeping relations with your partner’s family is bothersome to say the least.” (45, Automobile industry)

“Putting up with the nagging from the other half’s parents takes its toll.” (33, Machinery)

  • Partner interfering with your everyday life:

“I like my own space and I can see that if I were to get married I’d lose a lot of my free time” (45, Other)

“Going on dates is admittedly a lot of fun but I’ve lived the single life for many years now. I don’t think I could bear someone else entering into my own space.” (34, Education).

  • Just thinking about the shackles of marriage makes me squirm:

“From impressions alone, marriage means throwing your hobbies out the window.” (25, Machinery).

“Being tied down creates unwanted stress. To put it simply, being on your own gives you the freedom to do what you want when you want.” (31, Machinery)

“I like drinking and gambling but tying the knot would surely mean an end to all of this.” (26, Real estate)

  • I need my own space:

“After the stress of work, being able to unwind alone in peace is what it’s all about for me.” (43, Electrical, gas, oil business)

“When things get busy with work and you’re not getting home ‘til late, the last thing you want to do is keep company with the the other half.” (30, Transportation)

Other reasons included:

“Those living the single life seem to retain their youthfulness longer.” (28, Transportation)

“Just looking at my own relatives and how peculiar they are makes me think that leaving any offspring would be a mistake.” (36, Medical care, Welfare).

“I’ve got too much of a mother complex. I can’t see myself breaking away from my mother for the sake of, say, a partner.” (33, Medical care, welfare).

“I can cook better than most housewives and I’m not afraid of housework either. I’m also pretty good at my job. Bringing someone into what is essentially a more or less perfect lifestyle is simply unnecessary.” (56, I.T)

On a concluding note:

The total percentage of men that replied “marriage isn’t for me” or “I prefer the life of bachelorhood” was a whopping 39.7%! This figure exceeds the percentage of female readers that replied “yes” to the same set of questions. When it comes to the single men out there, the heavy burden of providing not only financially but also emotionally for the family makes many think twice about marriage. Once you’ve embarked on the road of tying the knot, to a degree, indulging in your own interest and desires becomes increasingly difficult. This apparently leaves many a little indecisive about things.

Next are the complaints about married life that come from existing married couples; this seems to create a negative impression when it comes to the act of marriage itself, with most single men admitting that “most married couples don’t look happy”.

The idea of being deprived of your freedom is also a big factor in deterring many singletons from walking down the aisle. Not being able to go drinking with your friends, or pursuing your favorite hobby that’s kept your life so fruitful for all these years makes many lose interest in the idea of marriage completely . The idea of your hard earnings being reduced to “pocket money” is also something that sends warning signals.

Watching your friends- who during their single years had so much fun at drinking parties- suddenly being forced to leave early due to their wife’s incessant nagging brings a quick end to the night. This “creates unwanted stress” and a level of freedom comparable to little more than house-arrest, surely can’t be the ingredients of a happy life. “If this is the shape of marriage, perhaps a single life is the better option?” seem to be the type of thoughts running through the minds of many who replied “yes” to this questionnaire.

Apart from those men who spoke of not having confidence to bring up a family due to financial circumstances, the majority of men and women from both marriage questionnaires seemed to share similar opinions. Up until now, the society in which we live has, perhaps on the subconscious level, made us all believe that marriage equals happiness; but the above findings suggest to some degree that is not always the case. Being altogether a very subjective matter, the opinions on all this will undoubtedly be varied. But what you think? Let us know by leaving a message below!

Date of questionnaire :  14- 20 December, 2012

Target group: My Navi members

Interviewees: 300

Questionnaire method: Internet survey

Source: マイナビ ニュース