“Looking for Love” is an episode in Tonight Insight which discusses the changing relationship and dating patterns between men and women in Australia, characterized by the increasing number of men and women who prefer to stay single or to delay marriage and serious commitments. Hosted by Jenny Brockie, the episode reveals the gender divide wherein men are having a difficult time coping with the changes in women’s expectations of their partners that have resulted from changes in women’s social and economic status.
It argues that increased access to education and livelihood opportunities has redefined women’s role in society which enables them to set their own benchmarks in relationships. The tension results from the fact that men continue to maintain the same values and expectations from women and from themselves, that is, men see themselves as the dominant factor in the gender power relations, while women have begun to assert themselves and to challenge the prevailing gender roles and expectations.
The strength of the episode is that it provides a balanced account of the issue by enabling both the men and the women to share their viewpoints on relationship and partner expectations. The show freely explores the topic from various perspectives, incorporating the viewpoints of experts from different fields, such as academicians, dating experts, and researchers, to substantiate the personal opinions of the audience.
As a result, the episode comes out as an interesting study of Australia’s contemporary dating scene, wherein men are increasingly pressured to earn more and to be better educated because of their own perception that women have developed more stringent standards in choosing their partners. Unfortunately, the episode is bogged down by the lack of focus and organization in its discussion.
The article raises too many points that are not adequately clarified and are only superficially discussed. For instance, it begins the discussion by arguing that relationships falter because of the inability of men and women to communicate on an even level but this point is not succinctly explored as the discussion moves on drastically to women’s expectations from their partners.
Hence, most of the major points such as the biological and sociological explanations of the gender divide in relationship expectations are not discussed in depth and are left hanging in the air. Another weakness is the failure of the episode to provide a meaningful insight on how the gender divide can be resolved, except for a short note on the importance of negotiation in making marriage work.
However, even this concluding remark appears completely off the point as the discussion is about the relationship pattern of today’s generation which tends to delay marriage altogether. As a result, most of the points raised in the show are left scattered about and are not synthesized to provide a comprehensive picture of the impact of social and cultural changes in relationship expectations to the changes in this generation’s life-stages in terms of dating and relationship decisions.
Thus, “Looking for Love” can be perceived as a balanced discussion of the gender divide in contemporary dating scene’s rules and expectations that could have been made more interesting and more substantive in its discussion of men and women’s relationship issues if it was careful about its focus and its objectives in the discussion. Likewise, the episode and its audience could have benefitted more from the discussion if the most important points and opinions raised were synthesized into a comprehensive analysis of the differences between men and women’s perception of their roles in a changing society and culture.