A former bachelor talks about what it's like for men after they tie the knot.
A few years ago, I would've never written this article. Never!
I was single in New York City for over 25 years—call me a late bloomer. That’s not a world record, and I'm sure many of you ladies know a lot of guys in the city who are not interested in marriage. But I managed to remain single longer than all of my friends and colleagues, and lucky for me, I met the right woman. One year later, to the day, I popped the question. And another year later (almost to the day) we got hitched.
Now, with a few years of married life under my belt, I have some new insights for guys about marriage.
I’m really glad I first dated to my heart’s desire, and I’m even happier that I found a wonderful partner. Quick disclaimer: I realize that every marriage—like every relationship and snowflake—is different, so I am only speaking of my experience. Here are three perks of married life that convinced me of the virtues of this age-old institution:
1. You Instantly Have A Better Diet
For some reason, I stopped eating beef, pork and lamb the evening I met my wife. Knowing that she was a vegetarian, I didn't order my usual bloody cheeseburger on our first casual date, and I've never looked back. Recently, I stopped eating poultry, too. Thankfully, my wife never asked me to change my carnivorous habits, but she noticed my mealtime choices, and on her own, she met me halfway by shifting to a diet that now includes fish. I know she'd prefer that we both existed on veggies and various forms of non-animal protein, but she is a very wise and giving person, and it's working out nicely. I feel great!
Hey, I did the whole bachelor thing—you’ve probably dated a guy whose staples were ketchup, toilet paper, beer and ESPN. I pigged out at business dinners and worked out enough to maintain my fitness, but it took a woman’s touch to gently guide me to healthier dietary choices. The bonus is that my energy level is way up, and I don't miss the meat or the bacon. That’s just me. But I attribute it to my wife’s quiet leadership by example. She has the metabolism of a hummingbird, loves to eat and is an amazing cook. So, there's always great-tasting food in our home.
2. You Have A Sexy Best Friend For Life
If you're a married guy, and your wife is not your best friend, that’s a red flag. Healthy couples like to spend time together. I’ve been in a few relationships where we spent most of the time rumpling the sheets. No complaints, but eventually we had to get up and go out, and that’s when the issues surfaced. You can have great sexual chemistry and not much else in common. Maybe that's ironic, but I took it for what it was and went back for more.
Thankfully, my marriage is robust in this area too. Another blogger asked your Guy’s Guy to write something about what men want. Brilliant topic, but the answer is short. In fact, it's only one word: More.
Yep, that’s what men want. For me, and I am sure for other guys (see Mick Jagger), ‘more’ meant a variety of partners. I get it. That said, I always recalled reading a quote by a handsome, professional football star who said he learned that you can go deeper with the right woman than you can by sharing your swimmers with a half-dozen ladies. It stuck in my mind and I finally realized that he was right. Of course, I took my time to find out. In fact, I took as much time as possible to find out, but eventually, I did.
3. You're Health Is Better Overall
I’m sure you've all read about the studies that claim married guys outlive their single counterparts. Men are lonely, solitary hunters. That’s what we do. And, most of us do not eat that well. We do not get enough sleep. And we spend too much time watching sports, drinking beer and chasing women. That’s after spending ten hours a day competing in our jobs and dealing with the stress that comes form urban living, high-pressure careers and a bad economy. Of course married guys (if they're with the right woman) live longer.
I can go on and on, and I'm not trying to score brownie points with you or my wife. I’m just doing what Guy’s Guys do. We call them as we see them, and we learn from our mistakes.
So next time you hear one of the guys (especially if he is over 40) crowing about how much he loves his single life and prowling the bars in the city, ask him a few questions about all of the above. You may get an interesting response.
What do you think are the benefits of being married?
This article was originally published at On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness. Reprinted with permission from the author.