A NEW study has revealed that more and more single Australian women consider their career and financial security more important than getting married and settling down, with 66 per cent claiming they'd prefer a promotion over a proposal.
With most respondents agreeing that it's better to wait for financial security before getting married - even if that means a long engagement.
The survey, commissioned by Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to mark the DVD release of The Five Year Engagement, also found that 82 per cent of unmarried women aged 25 and over would rather have a big bank balance than take a walk down the aisle.
Almost three quarters (71 per cent) of those surveyed claimed to prefer a holiday over a husband.
Relationship expert Dr Nikki Goldstein said the survey results show women often fear becoming a wife and mother, often because they feel their life could be instantly put on hold.
"Similar to the stereotypical power women of the 80s, society has seen the rise of the 'alpha female', a woman who wants to call the shots in the relationship and not be pigeonholed as 'the wife'," Dr Goldstein said.
"Furthermore, having children is likely to be more disruptive to a woman's career than a man's.
"For career oriented women, love is certainly changing."
Yet it seems that this modern approach to love and marriage is not confined only to women.
The results revealed 39 per cent of unmarried Australian men and women believe that getting married too quickly can slow down or halt career progression, while 61 per cent said that they would prefer a long engagement over getting married quickly.
"With the divorce rate at 40 per cent in Australia, it's no surprise longer engagements are becoming more commonplace and are often being considered as a 'trial marriage'," Dr Goldstein said.
"Indeed, 59 per cent of unmarried men and women believe that a long engagement is important to confirm they have chosen the right partner, further evidence that more couples seek to take the stress out of their relationship by having enough time to plan their wedding and put the training wheels on long term commitment".
So what of the wedding itself and the cost involved in creating the perfect 'big day'?
89 per cent of unmarried Australians feel that a 'dream wedding' is not worth the cost, with the average estimation of the cost of a wedding being $18,485.99.
This is just over the average spend of those married in the last five years at $16,545.29.
The study results perfectly mirror themes from romantic comedy The Five Year Engagement, starring Emily Blunt and Jason Segal, in which work constantly seems to get in the way of marriage.
- Research was conducted by Lonergan Research among 1,054 Australians aged 18 and over.
- Researchers asked respondents who are currently single, engaged or married to rate the importance of goals.