“Often a man gives up his dreams: dreams of being a bachelor and dreams of the work he desires. Not only is he giving that up, but, if marriage and family have been your priority, you’re getting your dreams fulfilled.” Men Made Easy
We laugh and joke all the time about how men don’t want to get married. But men do get married…all the time; two and a half million of them every year. And how many adult men (who are straight) do you know who have never been married? Hardly any. But there is some truth to the jokes because men do seem to drag their heels and put it off as long as possible.
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At the core of this issue is how differently men and women view marriage. For starters, most women are preparing to get married from day one, when they first fell in love with their daddy. Didn’t you and your friends pretend wedding? By contrast, how many little boys were playing wedding? For women, getting married is a dream-come-true; the culmination of the fantasy that began the first time they heard a fairy tale with a prince in it. Isn’t that what princes are for, to whisk the beautiful maiden off to his castle to live happily-ever-after? Sure, some of you are into your careers and postponing marriage, but if you follow any conversation between women, eventually they’ll get around to talking about men and their relationships with men.
In my research for my book, I discovered the two reasons that a man doesn’t get married:
He’s not ready.
You’re not the right one.
That’s it, there only two. You could be the right one, but if he’s not ready, he’s very likely to let you go. He may come back, but by then, you’ve continued with your quest and found a man who is ready. You see, men don’t fantasize about getting married. They know it will happen one day, as part of the process of growing up. But they usually don’t want to rush it unless they’re the type that lives in the moment and doesn’t pay much attention to the consequences of their actions. Most men are outward; they set and achieve goals, solve problems, accomplish things in the world.
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They don’t sit around and daydream about what life will be like when they’re married. They’re too focused on being successful and creating security for the future. It’s the hunter instinct. Plan ahead and make sure everyone is safe and well-fed. If either of those things aren’t handled, he’s considered a failure. Not okay for a hunter. That’s why most men need to have a secure, stable job before they “take the plunge.”
So when a man gets old enough to think maybe he should start considering settling down, getting married and having a family, it’s a nuts-and-bolts decision, not a fantasy-come-true. Yes, he likes being married, likes the home a wife creates, his stature that grows among his peers and in his community and the stability it brings. But he also sees marriage as the time he gives up his freedom.