Think it's time to get married? Maybe it's not.
I was sitting at my gate in the La Guardia airport when a 30-something, sunglassed man sat down next to me. "Ugghhh," he grunted under his breath, then shook his head. He looked at me and flatly said, "Hungover. Wedding yesterday." We laughed, and then started talking about the wedding he had attended. "I'm next!" he said dryly, which then, of course, prompted me to ask several questions about his absent fiancée ("I kind of wanted to spend some time with my boys alone."), how they met ("Bookstore."), and how he proposed ("It was time, so I asked her after dinner in our apartment one night."). Detecting the lack of enthusiasm, I plainly asked, "Are you excited?" He shrugged. "I don't know. I don't need to be married, but she's a good girl, and I know she wants to get married, so I guess it's time to just buck up."
As a matchmaker, this total lack of enthusiasm made my heart ache. I imagined how his absent fiancée would feel if she knew how her beloved spoke of their upcoming marriage. If he openly spoke to a total stranger about his marital attitude, things couldn't be good.
We no longer live in a society where marriage is the only choice. Since the stranger had opened up to me, I gave him some unsolicited advice: Don't marry her if you don't want to. It's that simple.
Here are 4 dumb reasons to get married:
- She's a good girl. So was Lassie. So are a lot of girls. No woman wants to be married to a man for such a bland reason. It's not up to you to reward someone's lack of evil with marriage. Let her be rewarded by someone who thinks she's better than "good."
- It's what she wants. She actually wants an island and a limitless shoe collection, but I don't see you changing your life course to make that happen for her. What she really wants is to be married to man who is thrilled to marry her..not a man with a "the customer is always right" mentality.
- It's what I gotta do as a man. It takes a lot of strength to make a tough decision, but the right decision isn't always the one more often taken. Not everyone is meant to be married, and not everyone makes a good husband and father. If you have to walk through life alone until you find that woman you're enthused about, have the strength to walk alone.
- It's time. You're fortunate enough to have less of a biological clock than women do. The fact that you're 35 and all of your friends are married—not a good enough reason to pop the question. Times have changed, and so should your thinking. Wait until you're ready.
Listen, the doubting airport fiancé was probably just a nice guy trying to make the right decisions in life. But marriage is serious, and is supposed to last forever—so it shouldn't be taken lightly. Respect yourself and your fiancée by having enough enthusiasm about your future life to carry it through, to the best of your abilities.