There is a growing percentage of less marriages and more divorce, especially among Millennials. But there are far too many reasons why more men refuse to marry today. The key is understanding that many of those reasons are beyond your control. But what if I told you that you have the power to change his perception of marriage, and turn that refusal to a proposal.
In my years of dating, I know I made every mistake in the book. Let’s be honest: if you can’t say you have made any mistakes in your current or past relationships – there’s a problem. And granted, mistakes shouldn’t hurt your chance of finding ‘the one’, and the one who wants to spend the rest of their life with you. That’s why it’s crucial to recognize our mistakes, learn from them, then to accept and apply change in order to better our relationships.
But if there’s anything that I learned from dating and relationships, is that: you should not treat a relationship like a “marriage”. I say that like it’s easier said than done – which is true – but there’s a valid reason. So hear me out, as I go into explain the number one reason why more men refuse to marry.
The Number One Reason Why More Men Refuse To Marry
…they are given more reasons not to have to
First, let me generalize the definition of a marriage. It is a union, a monogamous partnership, a religious ceremony between two people, and a holy covenant before God. However you want to see it – marriage is the legal binding of two people in becoming one. It is the deepest form of commitment for anyone to make – for those reasons.
Second, this post does not consider those who just simply choose not to believe in marriage, and it’s definition. Therefore have no incentive of ever being married, and make that very clear early on in their relationships.
And there are just simply those in this world who refuse to commit on that level. Is that their prerogative? Absolutely. But I’m aiming for those who claim to believe in marriage, one day hold themselves to be married, or have toyed with the subject in their relationships. Basically, those all talk and no action. It is fear – fear of change for the worst, and sacrifice. Giving up their independence, masculinity, and sexual explorations. It has nothing to do with letting a piece of paper stand in their way.
Now let me summarize some of the most common characteristics of a marriage, whether you believe all of these to be true of your marital style or not. It is the conjoining of your financial paths, or bank accounts, becoming a ‘house wife’, or now sharing household responsibilities and tasks as one, and each abiding by trust and loyalty with struggle, deceit and infidelity – for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer.
Sure, “but I don’t have to be married in order to attain any of those characteristics in my relationship…”
And you know what, you’re absolutely right.
That’s part of the issue here. Far too many “relationships” contain marital roles without followed expectations.
So let’s get one thing straightened out: if you could care less to be married, then this post isn’t for you in the first place. But if it’s your goal one day to be married, it’s only common sense that those characteristics should not be applied to your relationship, right? I know, that sounds very black and white. And with that, it probably sounds like I’m telling you that you shouldn’t have to be faithful in your relationship until marriage. No, that’s not what I’m trying to say.
What I’m trying to say is…
More men refuse to marry because they know they can get all the aspects of marriage for free…
That’s the harsh reality, and the number one reason why more men refuse to marry. Time and time again I continue to hear this phrase pop up between the cracks. Even my husband said it when I asked him, “Why do more men nowadays refuse to get married?”
Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?
But what exactly does this mean? Where did it come from, who started it, why is it so widely recognized in society today – yet still ignored in terms of how we go about relationships?
Does allowing the “wifely” qualities and characteristics to take over, or come into relationships early on, have a negative impact on “making her an honest woman”? Are these women not seen as something a man wants for himself, realizing she is someone that anyone else could want and have in the blink of an eye?
Times are changing, and ever changing, whether we want it to or not. Less people are getting married and more people are getting divorced. But what we always fail to realize is the stiff division between men and women that remains unchanged:
“While women continue to live Love through more emotion, men continue to live Love through more logic.”
And the logic for men still stands with, “Why let a piece of paper ruin my relationship when I am already receiving the qualities of a marriage without it?”
So what am I talking about? What specific qualities are men getting for free? We need to understand, realize and come to terms with what fails us in getting more out of our relationships. It might call for a change of dating habits, decisions made in your relationships, and a reason to pull back when only one person is fully emotionally invested.
Settling in together
- Moving in together
- Buying a house together
- Staying over each other’s place frequently or for long periods
- Treating his place like it’s your place (leaving personal items, or making aesthetic changes before having moved in together)
- All of the above way too soon in the relationship
Not only acting like a house-wife, but his mom, too
- Doing his laundry
- Cooking the meals
- Doing the dishes
- Restocking the food and toilet paper
- Picking up after him
- Taking care of his needs/wants
- All of the above way too soon in the relationship
What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine
- Paying the bills
- Getting a loan together (house, car, etc.)
- Joining accounts
- Financial dependence (one sole provider in the relationship)
- Assisting in his debt
- All of the above way too soon in the relationship
Do I go into saying that we should refrain from pursuing growth in our relationships? No, absolutely not. We should not have to sit back and think, “Am I cooking too much for my SO, and that that’s why he won’t commit?”
The fact of the matter is: all of those wonderful wife-material qualities you want to show him can be taken advantage of.
Living together involves gaining all the selfish perks of companionship and, well, more sex. Acting as a house-wife, or his mom, 100% of the time gives him the perception that you are more than willing to take care of him without limitations. And being financially open together, or you being more financially open for him, lays down this subliminal law that you will be supportive in that aspect without any expectations or further commitment.
Notice I didn’t even mention sex? Why? Well, because c’mon now – we live in the 21st century. If people want to have sex, they will get sex – anytime, anywhere, any way they can. Sex has now become such an open institution in the public eye today, as society has sexualized just about everything.
It’s all dependent on the level of initial respect, values and morals, trust and loyalty you expect in someone – who views sex as a sacred act in Love, not for mere pleasure. But most importantly, it’s about the level of respect and values you hold for yourself.
So, honestly, bearing those qualities 100% of the time throughout a relationship – what reason is a man given to want or have to marry?
As I will always say in life – everything is all in moderation. As I talk with my husband on this subject, he reassures without hesitance:
You can’t dive in full throttle. Give him a little taste of what you have to offer, but with the expectation of a deeper commitment needing to be fulfilled.
Now, it doesn’t go into saying that all men are perceived as taking advantage, as I’m sure there are women who treat relationships in this manner, too. I will be the first to admit – I made the choice of bearing some of those qualities, in the time that I was dating my husband. But I learned that those qualities had to be earned – earned through the giving, loving, fulfilling commitment that I needed. Yes, marriage. And I was lucky enough to have had such an understanding partner in terms of being able to communicate my needs and expectations.
Which is part of the problem most women face in the first place.
Expressing expectations of commitment.
My husband knew my expectations fairly early on in our relationship. Granted, I didn’t bring up these expectations on our 2nd date – but when we began talking about our future and giving innuendos on living together, yes.
A | That I would not be making the jump to move in together with the intent to ‘play house‘, but with the incentive of building our relationship towards a deeper commitment.
B | And that in doing so, I was not subjected to being his ‘wifey‘, and would not be treated or expected to be like one. Meaning, I was not relied on as a cook, maid or caretaker by any means.
and C | That he had absolutely zero say in the use of my money, just as I had zero say in his. But that as our relationship progression continued, we would mutually respect and value one another’s financial paths as a whole for our future.
Having and sharing marital roles are more than acceptable in a relationship. It is a great way of ensuring you and your SO are a good fit together long-term; however, as I have said before, it needs to be in moderation. Your SO needs to know that these acts and qualities should not go on in perpetuity without further commitment.
Your relationship and commitment as a couple must be parallel to each of your growing roles, ultimately ending in the desired aspiration of marriage.
For those who find themselves already fulfilling their marital roles within the relationship, it’s important to express to your SO your desired aspirations and expectations from the relationship.
More often than not, it may be that your SO does not simply realize that your expectations are not being met. I think couples have the tendency to think that the term marriage needs to remain unspoken throughout relationships – that if it’s meant to be, it will just happen. Again, that’s called mind reading – we need to rid ourselves of that form of non-verbal communication in our relationships.
On the flip side for many, their SO may not be on the same page or have fear of expanding their commitment. As I have stated before, the fear has a lot to do with giving up independence, masculinity, sexual explorations and ultimately that you, and the relationship, will change after marriage. It’s important to reassure your SO of his fears, while standing firm with your aspirations for marriage.
And at some point, we have to remind ourselves: If your SO has no respect for your aspirations of marriage, since he feels there is no reason to get married, that is because he is getting everything he wants out of the relationship.
With that, I want to end this post with a true story:
My husband has an old childhood friend – who had a long-term girlfriend from college. They were together for years, moved across the country for their jobs, and settled in a new place in a new state together.
She began carrying on the role of a wife in their growing relationship, in hopes of igniting the next step of commitment. But he saw no need to rush into that commitment (seeing as they had been together for many happy years).
And in time, she moved out – taking a step back from her current situation – since her needs were not being fulfilled, as she was blatantly fulfilling all of his.
Today: they are now married, with kids.
Am I saying to give less and expect more? In terms of self respect and fulfilling your needs in the relationship, absolutely. Because ultimately, what more does a readily committed man want than a woman who knows what she wants and deserves?
That is where the reliance of self worth comes hand in hand, and why women with self worth have more successful relationships. More importantly, there comes a time in needing to realize that you can’t control your SO. That’s the most difficult part about being in a marriage, and a relationship. But you can have the power of changing their perception through your behavior.
So at some point you have to take a step back, evaluate your relationship or past relationship patterns, and start doing what’s best for you in fulfilling your aspirations.