Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Ask a Man: Men Want Marriage, Too!
Lately, I've been running into some men who say they want to get married and meet Miss Right.
Up till now, I really didn't think men even thought about it. Most of the men I've met have stated they really enjoy being single, and don't know when (or if) it will ever happen for them.
But in the past month or two, I have encountered two men that say they are looking for marriage. (I preface this statement with the phrase, neither of them live in Atlanta!)
The first is a divorced dad of two. Been married twice. He said that he was tired of giving his all to women and not receiving that same affection in return. That most of the time, women are interested in what you can do for them, but not what they can contribute to the relationship, or to supporting you as a man.
When asked what men think about the concept of soul-mates (because I hear that word used all the time from women), he told me, "Men really think of soul-mates as it pertains to one person, not overall commitment as a rule. The relationship has gotta be taken to a certain level. He has to want to lock her down. What makes the ready light come on for us, is the thought of her being with someone else."
When asked about what makes him want to "lock it down", he replied,
"Stability, Sexy Appeal, Financially stable, Homemaker, Supporter, and Listener.
Women don't listen enough, and I think women want the truth but don't really wanna hear it. They wanna believe men don't think like that. You ladies have an idea of what YOU think we should be thinking. "
You know what? He's exactly right. Us women do think we understand what men are thinking, when really we haven't a clue!
These things on his list, I rarely hear women talk about. They think men are concerned with education, or stretch marks, or hair, or earning potential, or whatever fifty billion things we obsess over. None of these things even made the list!
(Granted, he is just one guy, not the spokesperson for the entire male population.)
So, I asked my best guy friend. He is single, never married, and no kids.
He told me, "I'm looking for a woman that is hot, and doesn't get on my nerves!"
But he also agreed with the first guy's sentiment.
Men, just like women, are looking to settle down and meet the right girl.
He says, "it all matters about timing. If you say to a man that you're interested in getting married and all up-front, we listen and keep that in mind. If it becomes a reoccurring theme of your discussions, however, it means that you're pushing and guys don't like that. For a relationship to work, you have to be at the same place at the same time. For either the man or the woman to push it means you're more likely to lose the whole deal."
He also says, "I believe every man wants to get married one day. But you can't force it. Relationships are all about bending and compromise, but it should definitely be on both ends. Unfortunately, you usually have a relationship where one person is always thinking about how much they bend and compromise and not taking into account how much the other person might be bending and compromising.
"I think it's a miracle if a person finds everything that they desire in one person. Most of us HAVE to bend and compromise to make a not-quite-perfectly-round peg fit in the desired hole. Usually, there's a lot of resentment that comes up from one person about how much they do for the relationship that turns into yelling that sets off the other person thinking that all they've been doing isn't appreciated and then, it's on and it's not gonna be pretty.
"To be honest, I think that when you meet someone, you have an idea of what you want, but if the person you're looking at doesn't fit perfectly, give them a chance; you might find things in them that weren't on your list, but you're glad they have them. At the end of the day, men and women put their needs first and that's not only problematical, it's not Christian, either. I'm not saying marry someone because it's what they need even though you won't be happy, but take the time to appreciate what each of you do in a relationship before you become resentful. And don't discount what they do because you don't feel the same about whatever it is as they do. Personally, I feel like anything anyone does in my relationships is important and appreciated.
I don't believe that anyone should have to put in more work than the other person. A marriage is a partnership. Men and women are different and have different roles, but none of the roles is more important than the others. Men are supposed to be the leadership of the household, but without the support of his wife, it would all fall apart. I believe that husbands should cater to their wives as wives should to their husbands; not in some stupid, ego-filling way, but in love and respect and appreciation to the other.
I don't know about any shortages, but treat all people well. The media will use fear to drive us to consumerism in all cases and that should be dismissed. I say relax and put your effort and energy into the things of God."
He also thinks my Holy Grail/Wolfpack theory is fundamentally flawed.
"Please, PLEASE stop talking about hunting! It's not about that at all. It's all about personal preference. Some men like it when you pursue and some men think they should do it exclusively. I can tell you personally that I hate when I put energy into spending time with someone and they act like they can't call me. I feel like if you're interested, you'll make an effort if I am. Relationships are bad enough without coming up with some flawed formula to apply to every single one. Each person is different and should be treated accordingly. If you want to be chased, wait until a man chases you. If you don't, go after the man you want. Please stop coming up with these ideas or listening to people that give them. There are good men and bad men, good women and bad women. If you're lucky enough to find someone good and that fits with you, it's a serious blessing! Focus on God!"
There you have it, ladies and gentleman. Two men's perspectives on dating and marriage.
I hope there are many other men out there like this.