In a groundbreaking new study*** sure to be embraced by well-meaning extended family members and meddlesome neighbors at holiday parties everywhere, scientists at Falsch University* have confirmed what many have suspected all along:
Pressuring over-30 singles and childless couples to speedily embrace more traditional life choices totally causes those people to run out and get married or have kids right away.
“Regardless of your reasons for being single or childless, the pressure appears to be equally effective,” said Annika Lerner**, the leading author of the study. “Some people have made a conscious decision to defer or forego marriage and kids due to lifestyle preferences or financial reasons. For others, the delay may be unintentional because they are grappling with personal issues that they do not care to discuss at parties, like infertility or past relationship traumas.”
But, say the scientists, family members and acquaintances who have difficulty minding their own business need not trouble themselves with having any sort of empathy for these reasons, science now tells us. Following a significant enough dose of pressure, single and childless subjects were found to instantly either change their minds entirely or spontaneously overcome whatever obstacle had been plaguing them.
Compared to a control group that was allowed to enjoy the season’s gift-giving and merriment in an environment of indifference to or even support for their choices and circumstances, pressured subjects were overwhelmingly more likely to find themselves in nurturing long-term relationships or parenting children within a few months.
Study subjects in the pressuring role had an equally diverse set of motivations for their questions and prodding.
Many had nothing but the best intentions, like desiring to help someone they care about. “I just couldn’t imagine my life without my husband of thirty years and our three children,” said one pressurer, 51, whose long-term domestic bliss was confirmed in a pre-study screening. “I want to make sure my 37 year-old niece doesn’t miss out on this joy before it’s too late.” The oblivious niece, who obviously had never before contemplated that she might be missing out on something nor that a metaphorical clock might be ticking, was married by spring.
For others, the motivation to pressure may not be as well-meaning, coming from a place of judgment, jealousy or fears about their own life decisions.
“The great news for acquaintances and family members is that neither your reasons nor those of people who live differently than you make any difference,” said Lerner. “If you want someone to choose a different path for their own life, just lay on the pressure this year. Direct or passive-aggressive, it doesn’t matter. With enough of it, they are nearly guaranteed to get over themselves and do exactly what you want almost immediately.”
*Not a real university
**Not a real person
***Not a real study
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Mary Schlaphoff
Editor: Emily Bartran