People want to know why it's hard for kids to connect nowadays, enough to get married. Here is my two cents.
First let's establish that it sucks to be alone. It does. True it also sucks to be with the wrong person. And true we all benefit from time to find ourselves. From **not** rushing to marry the wrong one.
So people, when alone, are lonely and they seek companionship.
However when they have all kinds of substitute satisfaction available they are less likely to want marriage, particularly at a young age.
That is a bad thing, because people are ready for sexual relationships when they hit adulthood. And naturally, loneliness can push them into a lifestyle that is not spiritual.
Nobody talks about this.
A significant reason why boys don't want to commit? Aside from the emotional trauma of divorce, it's porn. Which provides instant gratification, substitute satisfaction.
As does the availability of girls who don't require any commitment.
Porn has a broader effect in our culture. It leads to unrealistic expectations. Girls are starving themselves to look sexy before they even hit puberty. And then to actually have sex by the time they're teenagers.
This is totally sick. But it's considered "normal."
Meanwhile, girls are studying their asses off to make grades and grad school and great careers. Yes they want to learn. But also, they can't count on a boy. Even if they get married, they can't.
The pressure is ridiculous. It's crazy-making.
Why is marriage optional for boys?
Because the girls they see all the time are beautiful, eternally young and maintenance-free.
Whereas real girls are a pain in the ass. They are demanding. They get PMS. They get fat. They make them come home on time. They want babies. Etc.
Nowadays, boys can have a long term girlfriend and "see how it goes" and no financial commitments.
Girls naturally (yes, naturally) want a family and babies and a man to be there always.
For men it is not the same. Some feel it but many don't - especially if they can get sex and companionship with lower risk.
Our contemporary culture endorses that attitude!
Sure, theoretically girls equally as boys can "hook up" and walk away. But when a boy does it, he is applauded. When a girl does it, not only is she socially shamed (yes, still) but she is also abandoned because a little piece of her falls in love.
I don't care what they show on TV, boys are much more into temporary relationships than girls.
That is why the Torah says a man - a man not a woman - must leave his father and mother, marry and have kids. Not a woman!
The nature of a woman is to have a lot of female friends and still want a partner committed to her and her alone. But the nature of a man is to want to be free - with a girl here, and here, and there, and elsewhere.
Of course you can say these are simplistic generalizations - I can live with being simple.
I do believe in what Freud said - to love and to work - everyone is entitled to love and marry. And we should accept all expressions of sex, gender, transgender as natural.
Here is what feminists don't want to talk about because marriage is supposedly "oppressive" by nature and especially if you're young.
We have a generation of wonderful but confused and aimless kids because we are afraid to give them the direction that yes, marriage is better and it's not the same thing you see on TV. Real people get sick, they get ugly, they are smelly, and they take work!
The work is worth it, even if it's hard.
The lack of focus on equipping young people to marry - socially, emotionally and financially - is a social crisis. Not just for Jews but for everyone.
It is really a bad situation for boys and girls alike.
All opinions my own.