Mike and Holly just celebrated their five year anniversary. It was a wonderful date night on the town.
“You guys are so perfect for each other!”, their friends told them all the time. They have great relationships with one another’s parents, and they are madly in love. On the walk back home from their anniversary date, they pass a bakery. Holly looks in through the window, and smiles at Mike. He smiles back, and the two of them go in and enjoy a cupcake together. A few blocks down, they pass a bookstore. Holly loves her gossip mags. She looks back at Mike again, and again, Mike obliges. They go inside and she gets what she wants.
Almost home now. They pass a jewelery store.
Holly doesn’t want to seem presumptuous, but she can’t help herself. In the window, there are necklaces, bracelets, and RINGS.
Oh, the rings!
It’s a shiny sea of gold and diamonds. She takes a minute to stare them all down. And then, she turns back to Mike with that same look on her face. But Mike isn’t there this time, giving her that raffirming smile.
Mike is pretending to take a phone call a few feet away.
He is talking nonsense into a piece of plastic and glass that isn’t even turned on. (Holly made him turn it off, for tonight was supposed to be special.) He continues his phoney call as he waves for Holly to keep walking with him.
This is obviously fiction, but it’s very much grounded in reality.
Ladies, marriage is not an end-game for men as much as it is for a lot of you.
I know far too many women who think that their ultimate life goal should be to find a good man and have him support them for the rest of their lives. They don’t marry for “love”, they marry because that’s what they’re “supposed to do”.
Now before you get all riled up and call me sexist, I can definitely say that there are exceptions to that statement. There are a lot of independently-minded women that want success in the workplace over a man to cater to their every whim. And I’ve seen my share of hopelessly-romantic men that will probably try to wife up the next girl that even gives them a glance.
But, even in the best of relationships (like Mike and Holly), sometimes men just can’t seem to want to take that next step.
I’m here to give you a few reasons why:
1. If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It: Why mess with something good? If two people are in a happy, healthy relationship, why add superfluous stress and money problems? Many men see marriage as just a piece of paper that says “we’re together!”. In reality, we don’t need that. We’re just happy to be with you. No need to get lawyers, planners, and weird family members involved.
2. Weddings are Terrifying: We know that some women spend their whole lives dreaming of their picture-perfect wedding day. That scares the shit out of men. What if we can’t deliver it? What if our best attempts at planning and financing a wedding just don’t live up to what our beutiful brides wanted/deserved? Countless TV shows and movies have shown us that trying to make a wedding happen out of thin air is full of problems and can be very expensive.
3. Variety is the Spice of Life: This is the part where I’m supposed to say the cliche “who wants to only sleep with only one woman for the rest of their life?”, but as trite and kind of douchey as that statement is, it’s SO TRUE. I consider myself unlucky if I sleep with the same girl more than once, so the thought of being lawfully regulated to be with one woman for the rest of my life sounds like a terrible life decision. A lot of men will outwardly reject this statement, but also know it to be true.
4. We’re Barney Stinson: Blame the show How I Met Your Mother and other pop culture TV for this one. So many characters in the Hollywood spotlight that are made to seem “cool” have taught us that marriage is full of unhappiness and problems. There are a number of popular sitcoms that are based around the fact that our male lead is a working man that just wants to drink beer with his friends but never can because his nagging wife always wants him to go to Ikea or something. And then we have Barney Stinson, one of the most popular characters on TV, who has made it his mission to be the “cool bachelor that sleeps with a different hot girl every night”. What guy wouldn’t want that?
5. Your Problems Become Our Problems: “Hey! Since we love each other and stuff, we should plan a stressful wedding and sign a bunch of papers just to prove it! And then after that’s done, you’ll be responsible for helping me get out of student-loan debt and fixing my terrible car every time it breaks down!” Yeah. We know you ladies have baggage. We do, too. But let’s not combine our baggage into one big pile of fail. We don’t want your debt, and you don’t want to call our crazy mothers “mom”. Let’s just fix our own problems.
6. Kate Upton Exists: Sure. We have a 1-in-3,000,000,000* chance of ever bedding her. We get that. We’re not naive. But when we get married? Those odds fall to 0-in-1.
*Could fluxuate depending on luck and “Brad Pittness”.
Ladies, these statements might be a bit scary. But Google tells me that there are still over 6,000 weddings per DAY in the United States. What this boils down to is that those of us who are “good” want to do whatever it takes to satisfy you. Even if it includes putting up with everything listed above. Your happiness is our main priority. And with that many people getting married every day, you should never feel hopeless.