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Deciding to get married: a man’s perspective

You’ve been on the dating circuit longer than you’re ready to admit and you’ve found lots of interested men, but sex is their interest, not settling down. You’re understandably discouraged. You certainly want relationship compatibility, but first he has to be available to go the distance, you’re done with the sprinter circuit. You’d love some encouraging news.

Wait no more! In the good news department are the National Marriage Project studies to guide you. Deciding to get married can be a big decision and  there are a myriad of reasons why a man might be commitment-phobic, but the studies also confirm that most men do eventually get married.

Here is some research that may make your day and more importantly, put some science in your search:

81% of married men surveyed agreed with the statement that they decided to get married because it was the right time in their life to settle down. The median age for men to first marry is now twenty-seven (adding another year or two for college-educated men)—a number that is at least four years older than related stats from the 1970s. Researchers believe this has to do with lengthier educational pursuits, career agendas, and a lack of societal pressure to marry at an earlier age. The important thing to remember here, however, is that most men still want to decide when they are ready to get married.  In some cases this is because a man feels pressure to be able to provide for his family and if he feels he is not ready to do that, then he will feel more hesitant to get married.  

35% of married men disagreed that they got married primarily because they were ready to have children. This goes back to the difference between the female and male biological clock. Throw out the baby word too soon and you might see your man run in the opposite direction. Although men don’t necessarily want to talk about having babies right now, they do tend to consider whether a woman they’re dating might be a good choice for bearing their children sometime down the road. In fact, 75 percent of married men in the twenty-five- to thirty-four-year-old age bracket agreed that when choosing a wife, they specifically looked for someone who would also be a good mother. 

53% of unmarried men who say their fathers were involved in their upbringing claim they’re “ready to marry.” Although it’s not an absolute predictor, studies show that individuals with strong family ties and parental involvement may be less hesitant to jump into a matrimonial situation. So, while the saying goes, “Love him, love his family,” the more appropriate saying for this I-seek-commitment situation is “If he loves his family, you can feel safer about loving him.”

55% of unmarried men who regularly attend religious services say they’d be ready to marry tomorrow if the right person came along. Studies indicate that a man with a religious belief system, whatever denomination it may be, is more likely to be pro-marriage and pro-family. That doesn’t mean a man has to be religious in order to commit, but it relates to the point again that if a man has been surrounded with positive messages about commitment while growing up, then he will also be more willing to consider it as a potential asset in his own life. 

40% of unmarried men studied claim they wouldn’t want to get married until they could afford a nice wedding. What does this mean to you? Well, if the wedding is the most important part of your marriage, you’ll just have to wait until his finances are in order (and who knows when that might be). It would be more useful to decide if this is the man you want. Perhaps calming your beau’s fears that you don’t need him to provide a fairy-tale wedding might actually get you closer to commitment. The thing to realize is that men think of commitment in tangible terms, without taking into account the other qualities that are truly the more important part of the equation. 

With the stats above in mind, you can begin to see what leads a man toward commitment but that leaves out one critical element. He’s available, but is he a good fit for lasting love? It is apparent that there is more to a relationship than being marriage minded. Indeed, while serious relationships require serious attention, the combination that offers the best odds for lasting love is strong attraction combined with a compatible match.

Want to have the odds in your favor? When you find the marrying kind, check out our assessment for relationship compatibility to discover how the pieces of love puzzles come together and how to make relationship compatibility work for you.

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