In my twenties, I enjoyed the thrill of dating men who were most decidedly NOT marriage material (cough, cough, practically all of them). But now I'm almost 33, and that desire has changed, definitively. The median age for a first marriage is now 29 for men and 26 for women — so I'm about seven years late to the game (and my father says I've "timed out" of him paying for the wedding. Cute, right?)
It kills me to admit I think in cliches, but I'm clear on what I want: dates with men who are both "marriage-minded" and "marriage material." The former, an unabashedly old-fashioned phrase that likely makes you think of your grandmother, is actually rather useful: It simply means he's into the idea of a lifelong partnership sometime in the next few years. Or, at the very least — for those of us feeling less picky — he's not opposed to it.
As for the latter, well, "marriage material" might mean something different for each of us, but just like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said (of porn): You know it when you see it.
For those of us finally ready — after many long years of happily doing our own thing — the biggest problem is actually locating these men (or women), and, perhaps more importantly, not squandering precious time, energy or resources courting someone who has no intention of a future with you. You could try one of those new hook-up apps out there. But if you're really serious about marriage, why would you want to mess around with Grinder, Tinder, Sugardaddie, 3ndr (threesomes)... or (retch) AshleyMadison (extramarital affairs)?
Remember The Princeton Mom? She counseled her daughter to find a potential life partner as soon as possible — while still in college, preferably. And I hate to admit it, but I think she's right ... to a degree. The further you get from College and Grad School, the smaller the pool gets. The chances of meeting "The One" without a concerted effort drastically decreases over time.
Given all of this, I was thrilled when the hottest new site to the market, MarriageMaterial.co, asked me to be an advisor. Devoted entirely to people who are dating with the intent of finding a committed relationship and ultimately marriage (I count myself among those), MarriageMaterial.co is the real deal. Instead of wondering "does this incredibly hot PhD with a cute dog really want to find a wife?," you know the answer is: Yep, that's why he's on there. You also don't have to go through that awkward, often stilted conversation with your first date: "So ... what do you want for ... your ... future? And ... does that involve, you know, like ... joint tax returns?" Yeah. That date is over.
One of the biggest issues for most people on dating sites is the sheer number of "never, no way, not going to happen" profiles you need to click through to find someone who just MIGHT be promising — it's exhausting and sort of, well, depressing. Kind of like a part time job you don't get paid to do. But MarriageMaterial.co has a unique structure: their system provides cash rewards to amateur matchmakers who work on your behalf. You get to name a price for different levels of courtship — if they find you a first date, maybe that's $20, three consecutive dates, maybe $50, engagement, $500 and marriage — $1000!
Research from The National Marriage Project at Rutgers University says that people are most likely to find their spouse through an introduction from friends, family or acquaintances. Nearly 60% of those surveyed were introduced to their current husband or wife this way.
Ninety-nine dollars for an annual subscription fee to find your future mate? That's quite a deal (and much cheaper than a professional matchmaker!). But all that's secondary to the main issue which is NOT having to guess if your date is just looking for a quick hook up. Who can say no to that?