What Married Men Wish All Single Guys Knew About Love & Relationships

Photo: nata_fler/ Shutterstock
married couple

I need to be brutally honest before we begin: There is no one on Earth I'd rather listen to than a married person when it comes to advice about love sex and dating. 

It's because sometimes I refuse to believe that a person (let alone a man) in a healthy committed relationship could be objective enough to remember just how hard dating and finding love can be when you're out there every day struggling to find "The One." 

The truth is you should do what I say and not what I actually do, because it turns out that married men actually have a lot of experience in this whole romance thing

Sure, they might seem like they've got everything all figured out right now, but the truth of the matter is that they were once exactly like every other guy out there: scared, wandering, panicked, and confused.

RELATED: Married Men Answer 20 Very Personal Questions About Their Wives

If I was dating a man who was struggling with making the leap to commit when it comes to marriage, I would zip my lip and send him to go spend some sort of manly weekend with the married guys I know.

They could all just go around chopping wood and catching fish with their hands and talking about the fine points of compromise. Then they would probably all have a farting contest and leave the camping trip early to play video games. 

Men can talk to their single guy friends all they want, but, at the end of the day, if what they want is a happy, healthy, long-lasting relationship headed toward marriage, it's their married friends they really ought to be listening to. 

You might not be allowed to give him an ultimatum, but the married men in his life can speak to him honestly about his fears without potentially destroying your union. They might be decent men now, but every married man was once a guy who asked for some woman's phone number and waited three days to call her. 

Should you doubt me, listen to this amazing relationship advice for single guys from married men that I know. (Then forward this to your boyfriend. Trust me, he'll get the hint.) 

Here's what married men wish all single guys knew about love and relationships:

1. Date your best friend

“Find your best friend, because when the muscles wilt, skin sags, and sex decreases you should be with a person that makes you happy unconditionally.”

2. Don't be desperate

“Desperation isn't attractive. If you are freaking out about being single and are desperate to get married/laid/snuggled, everyone around you can tell and will generally be less inclined to take you up on any of that, no matter how hot/cute you are. Instead, it's best to relax, focus on feeling good about yourself in other ways, and be social without the need/expectation of touching someone else's naked body at the end of the night. Developing self-confidence is very attractive.

3. Can you see a future with them

“Ask yourself; do you want to grow old with this woman? Have children with her? Share every joy and sorrow with her? Do you trust her to put you first in her heart? Will you be happy with her as is for the next 60 years?"

4. Don't have doubts

"If there is any doubt in your mind, don't get married. Don't do this out of convenience or because she is pressuring you. Only get married if every cell in your body wants to be with her. This is your life you're talking about, yours and hers. If you can't give her what she needs with your whole heart let her find someone who can. Getting married and having that marriage fail will crush her far worse than a failed engagement.”

5. Don't rush it

“I'd very much advise against rushing into marriage. Getting married is one of, if not the biggest decisions in your whole life. You owe it to yourself, your girlfriend and anyone else involved (future kids?) to make this decision clear-headed and not pressured.”

6. Be money smart

“Some practical advice: Stay out of debt, find a job or career that can sustain a family, and build up your savings. One year of hard work before marriage is worth five after marriage.”

7. Spend your time wisely

“Learn to do without. Whether that is food or that cool video game that you wanted. Learn to spend time wisely and for others. Once you are married, you will have less time for yourself and once you have kids, that time will dwindle even further. If you learn to spend your time wisely now and spend it in service of others, it will be that much easier later. You can practice by volunteering at a parish or food kitchen or something similar.”

RELATED: The Future Of Marriage (From A Couple's Therapist Of 14 Years)

8. Be emotional

“Don't be afraid to be authentically emotional.”

9. Make sure they're the one

“If you think you've found 'The One,' ask yourself if that person would stick with you through thick and thin. The good AND the bad. If you're even a bit unsure, he/she may not be 'The One.' ”

10. Don't mess it up

“If you're still young and find yourself in a good relationship, don't mess it up for the sake of 'playing the field.' Quality beats quantity every single time.”

11. Listen

Listen to understand rather than listen to respond. I think this goes for any relationship advice, but it's super easy to listen to your wife trying to figure out how to respond, solve a problem, critique her issues, etc. Sometimes the wife just wants to rant and if you're busy figuring out how to respond, you're not listening.”

12. It's not a guarantee

“Getting married isn't a finish line. Just like you don't magically get 'in shape' one day and stop hitting the gym, you don't have a guaranteed relationship.”

13. Take time to romance them

“Take the time to woo them on a regular basis. Small gifts, thoughtful tasks, and date night. It's easy to fall into a comfortable rut, but it doesn't help anyone.”

14. Know how to communicate

“Realize that your S.O. communicates differently than you. You can avoid a lot of anger and arguments by knowing the difference between frustration vs. confrontational intention.”

15. You have to be yourself

“If you can't be yourself around someone, they aren’t right for you.”

RELATED: 4 Simple Ways To Protect Your Husband (Even If He Doesn't Need It)

16. Don't be complacent

“Don't get complacent. It's your biggest downfall."

17. Never stop wooing them

"It's so, so easy to forget how to woo a woman once she's 'your' woman, but you should wake up every morning and evaluate how happy you are, and how lucky you feel — and let her know that.”

18. Set boundaries

“Establish boundaries very early on and stick to them. My wife is a great person and I love her, but her family is extremely pushy, domineering, and controlling. They show up whenever they want, stay over for days or weeks at a time, clean up our house to their standards, borrow money from her, call during dinner, etc. Every single cliché you see in goofy romantic movies. Now it's getting hard to break up that dynamic without looking like the bad guy.”

19. Be honest

“If you want to be truly happy in a relationship be completely honest from the beginning. This doesn't mean tell her everything on your first date, but don't lie about things that may be important to you just because you think it might get you laid.”

20. Learn how to cook

“Learn how to cook. You'll save lots of money. And nothing impresses a woman like a guy who can cook and actually enjoys it (you'll have to do that too). And not like one or two things either. I mean like know how to cook at least enough meals to make a month's worth of dinners without repeating more than one or two dishes. And a clean bathroom will get you a lot more play than flowers.”

21. Talk things out

“Talk about things. Sitting in moody silence for hours (or days in extreme cases) will only eat away at the relationship. When I say talk, I don't mean try once and then give up, I mean push to get everything out in the open. Whilst it might be awkward, to begin with, it can feel cathartic when you're over whatever it was. And I say this because it's somewhat surprising how many exchanges you can have that are the result of misunderstandings.”

22. Work on your potential

“If you want to marry an awesome person, see to it that you are doing everything you can to be awesome. If you have lots of 'potential' but aren't actualizing it, start there.”

23. Take it seriously

“Do what you want when you are young when you find the women you want to marry, take it seriously, don't cheat don't mess about. Be honest with her.”

24. Love every version of them

“You remember that trip you went on as a couple where nothing went right? You were both hungover, your activity got rained out and you had to bust your butt to make your flight. How was that? That's your life when you have 2 kids and 2 jobs. Can you be happy with that version of her?”

RELATED: Men With These 11 Personality Traits Are The Most Attractive To Women

Rebecca Jane Stokes is an editor, freelance writer, former Senior Staff Writer for YourTango, and the former Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek. Her bylines have appeared in Fatherly, Gizmodo, Yahoo Life, Jezebel, Apartment Therapy, Bustle, Cosmopolitan, SheKnows, and many others.