Are statistics about the odds of women finding love and happiness getting you down?

Don’t fret — get smart and think about you instead!

Virtually all of the women in my study for my books said they had trouble “turning down the background noise” about what statistics and society said about women’s chances for happiness in love, life and work.

Turning Off these Messages that Can Jam Your Head about Love!

The good news is that you can listen to the information while still taking charge of your life.

1Women with post-graduate degrees have a higher divorce rate. (This information is based on the 2006 findings of Washington and Lee University’s law Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson’s study of 100,000 women.)

What you say:

It’s true — but so what? This increase is only a bit higher than the national average which now is below fifty percent. Besides, this increase probably reflects a woman’s greater economic freedom to end bad marriages since she can now support herself financially.

2The marriage rate is down, especially in younger adults. The 2011 Pew Research Center discovered that only slightly more than half the United States population is married.

What you say:

So what? Younger adults are most likely delaying marriage, in part, to complete advanced training and education.

3. White women with college degrees are less likely to marry. In 2010 economist Betsey Stevenson and graduate student Adam Isen of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania presented this finding to the Council on Contemporary Families in a paper, “Who is Getting Married?”

What you say:

So what, again! When these women get married, they are less likely to get divorced.  And black women with either some college or college degrees are more likely to marry than less educated black women.

4. Only thirty of 1,000 women in the ages forty-five to sixty remarry in a given year. This information is based on the 2006 findings of Washington and Lee University’s law Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson’s study of 100,000 women.

What you say:

So what? This information is only within a one-year span. This statement is similar to those say that every three second someone in the world is (fill in the blank).

5. Twenty percent of couples who divorced co-habitated. The 2011 Pew Research Center found that the rate of people thirty to forty-four years old who co-habitated before marriage and then divorced has increased since 1960.

What you say:

This divorce rate does not mean I shouldn’t live with someone. Only twelve percent of couples who moved in together after they became engaged got divorced.

And preliminary research from the U.S. Census Bureau is now indicating that living together may not be a factor in divorce.

Couples who live together with the intention of getting married and who live together to save money have a greater chance of staying together!

Statistics are only as good as the methodology and the analyses. Statistics consist of data about populations — not necessarily about the fate of one person — me! As the famous American author Mark Twain said, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

6. You should wait and wait for Mr. Right!

The cultural message for women is: Anything short of perfection is settling. So don’t marry or fall in love with anyone who doesn’t fulfill your Check List.

What you say:

Settling requires a person to sacrifice values, identity, and unique needs.  Compromising means that I don’t get everything I want in a man, but that I do get most of the things that are most important to me.

Besides, who is perfect? Would I want a man to reject me because I don’t like golf or don’t look like the airbrushed models in magazines? Of course not — so why reject a man for similarly small reasons? 

Smart couples know how to thrive on the differences in looks, religion, race and ethnic background. What I should never sacrifice is mutual respect!

7. A Woman Doesn’t Really Need an Intimate Relationship.

Oh, you’ve probably heard the famous line: “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”

What you say:

Virtually every study about well-being shows that social connectedness, love, and mutually satisfying relationships are good for your health and sense of well-being. The secret to happiness is not whether I have a romantic partner but that I am not only open to the idea of falling in love but that I do not avoid social events and meeting men.

Never volunteer to close a door on opportunities to grow and change in your life. You might be closing it on happiness!

8. Love usually happens when you are not looking — and if it’s meant to be, it will happen!

These words assume that the universe is a benevolent place that always looks out for you. You don’t have to do anything but wait for it to happen!

What you say:

I’m in charge of my life. I know I have to be brave enough to face my fears about love — and get out there and meet men. If I fall for these beliefs, I am just using them as a smokescreen for my fears of not recovering if I get hurt again.

9. “Lean in.” Don’t stop building and striving for career success — or else you will fall behind in your profession.

What you say:

Well, it’s good advice if you don’t have anything else in your life such as kids, partners or ill family members — including you! If I can’t sustain high levels of work and career energy, I can stay atop of my field by volunteering or taking courses.

10. Strive for work and life balance.  This message assumes that everything in your life is equally important at the same time!

What you say:

It may not be wise to think I can juggle everything all at once and at the same time! I will roll with the changing demands of varying children’s needs. I can do different levels of several things but not 100% of everything!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. LeslieBeth (LB) Wish is a nationally recognized psychologist and licensed clinical social worker #7132, honored for her pioneering work with women’s issues in love, life, work and family. The National Association of Social Workers has named her as One of the Fifty who has contributed to the field. She is the subject of biographical entry in many Marquis’ Who’s Who publications. Her latest self-help, research-based books are Smart Relationships and The Love Adventures of Almost Smart Cookie, the cartoon companion book where you can follow a year of Cookie’s love missteps and learn about yours! Discover more and check out her books by signing up on her website