So why do men marry some women, and not others? According to Molloy, the answer is pretty simple: he’s not the marrying kind.
He’s Just Not Ready Yet
Most (but not all) men tend to feel ready several years after completing their education, whether it be high school, college, or graduate school. First, he’ll want to build his career, have fun, and date around. After that comes marriage.
Men who say they have fun dating and being single typically are not ready for marriage yet (no duh). The majority of those who are ready tend to stop hanging around the singles scene. They don’t go out solely to meet women anymore. In the back of their minds is their desire for something more, though they won’t readily admit it’s because they’re looking for marriage.
Straight from the article: “There is a point at which men are likely to be ready for the next step, but the specific age depends on the man’s maturity, education, and profession. … Once a man decides he’s too old for the singles scene, that part of his life is over, and he is more likely to marry.”
He May Not Ever be Ready
There are also men who may become bachelors for life. After a certain age – generally in the late thirties to early forties – if the man has never been married before, chances are he’ll never marry. He’s gotten used to the bachelor lifestyle and likes being on his own. This isn’t an absolute rule by any stretch; it’s just that the chances of them getting married drops drastically.
Then there are the stringers. Molloy describes a stringer as a man who “likes having a woman, sleeping with a woman, eating with a woman, possibly sharing his life with a woman without ever making a real commitment. He often tells women, up front, he never intends to marry, so if and when he decides he wants to cut out, she has no reason to complain.”
They want the companionship, but not the commitment. The dinner & dessert, but none of the dirty dishes. And they are often repeat offenders. If he has had several long-term relationships, chances are, he’s a stringer.
He’s a Diamond in the Rough
Molloy identifies another type of man: the diamond in the rough. This is the man in his late thirties to early forties who’s given up the idea of marriage – but not because he’s an eternal bachelor. It’s because he’s lacked one of three things: looks, height, or social skills. He’s been rejected and even demeaned so often by women that he doesn’t think he’ll ever meet someone.
While some women say they can overlook the looks and height, many have a hard time with the lack of social skills. And indeed, this lack limits his exposure to potential mates. But the few women who can see past this and bring a timid guy out of his shell, they’re often rewarded with a loyal lifelong partner.
His Parents are Divorced
Another unfortunate factor is the stability of the marriage of the man’s parents. Same goes for women as well. “We found that many single men and women in their late thirties and forties were products of divorce. With the men, in most cases their parents’ marriage broke up when they were young, and it seemed to have affected the way they looked at life.”
Many don’t believe in the institution of marriage. “It’s not all it’s cracked up to be,” they say. While living together is fine, many think that getting married will kill the romance of the relationship. This isn’t a blanket rule for all children of divorcees, of course. But it can be a pretty important determinant.
He Isn’t That Similar to You
Again, while not a blanket rule – men tend to marry women from the same socioeconomic background. The same goes for religion and politics. The more strongly the man holds his beliefs, the more likely he will tend towards a mate with similar beliefs.
In more independent- and individualistic-minded communities, men who live at home with their parents are less likely to marry than men with their own places. This can vary significantly with different cultures, of course.
If the man’s friends and older siblings are all unmarried, he is less likely to marry. The follow-the-leader syndrome can have a significant impact on the male psyche. “Seeing their friends marrying had clearly caused a change in their thinking. Those who said none of their male friends was married were two to three times as likely to tell our researchers they were not ready to marry.” Same goes for siblings.
What Does This Mean for You?
“To dramatically increase your chances of marrying you must seek out and date the marrying kind,” concludes Molloy.
These findings are all based on market research and statistical analysis. But there will always be exceptions to these findings. Just because you meet a man who’s in his late thirties, has divorced parents, is a Republican (and you’re a Democrat), doesn’t mean he’ll never marry. However – the statistics are against him.