top of page

Why Men Don't Want to Get Married Anymore

by Kimberly Perez

Marriage is on the decline and it's a scary thought. According to DoULike, around one in six couples are choosing to forgo the traditional way of getting married altogether. Imagine dating a man for years, cohabitating, and giving the relationship your all without him ever having to "put a ring on it." They want the kids, the house, and the intimacy that goes along with being married, but according to new research, a lot of young men just don’t want the WIFE. No matrimony, no wedding dress, and no big celebration with family and friends.


What about the thought of having children without marriage? It’s fine if you don't believe in marriage, but the rest of us do. Most women look forward to tying the knot with the man of their dreams, but what will happen if millions of men refuse to get married? Here are a few reasons, according to a study conducted by “The State of Our Unions,” of why men don’t want to get married anymore.


"The State of Our Union," which monitors the health of marriage in the US, surveyed men between the ages of 25 and 33 to find out whether they wanted to commit themselves to a serious relationship – and if not, why not. Most DIDN’T – and here are the top reasons they gave for clinging to their single status.


THEY WANT TO OWN A HOUSE BEFORE THEY GET A WIFE:

Men want to be financially “set” before they marry, and for a lot of guys, this means buying a home before an engagement ring.


THE SOCIAL PRESSURES TO MARRY JUST AREN’T THERE ANYMORE:

Today’s young men don’t face the same traditional pressures past generations did – from religion to pressure to have grandkids or needing a wife to look responsible to employers. Most men in the study said their parents are willing to help support them—and even allow them to move back home—until they’re ready to marry.


THEY FEAR MARRIAGE WILL REQUIRE TOO MANY CHANGES AND COMPROMISES:

A lot of men savor their freedom to enjoy hobbies, late nights out with the boys, and even the freedom from extra financial burdens. They think marriage will cramp their style and gouge their bank account. It seems younger men ironically perceive as a drawback an aspect of marriage that is associated with good health and longer life.

Related articles: How to Dry Clean a Suit


They are hesitant to any lifestyle changes that may benefit them and its central core lies with having less freedom to make independent decisions. I believe that men resist marriage more than women primarily because they believe marriage requires a substantial increase in their behavioral commitment and they don’t always feel ready for that transition.


MEN WANT TO WAIT UNTIL THEY’RE OLDER TO HAVE CHILDREN:

Women have to worry about their biological clocks, but men don’t.


THEY WANT TO AVOID DIVORCE AND ITS FINANCIAL RISKS:

Divorce rates are sky-high: 45% of marriages end in divorce, and women initiate 80% of them. Men are not marrying because, for many men, the rewards for getting married are far less than they used to be, while the cost and dangers of it are far higher. Men feel that their financial assets are better protected if they simply live with a woman rather than marry her.


They fear an ex-wife will want to take all their money if they end up getting divorced. Thus, men want to stay single—however, statistics show that 90% of all people WILL get married at some point in their lives. Young men associate marriage with increased responsibilities and with a greater possibility of financial loss. Ultimately, men know they could lose a lot, from losing their freedom to being financially exploited to losing custody of their children.


YOU'RE MORE FOCUSED ON YOUR CAREER:

Some people are generally more career oriented. Marriage and any long-term committed relationship can take up a lot of time and attention, and some people aren't interested in dividing their energy between work and romance. This isn't to say having a career and getting married are always mutually exclusive endeavors; some people just care more about one than the other.


In the past, women and feminine-identified people were expected to get married instead of having a career, so today, some of them may opt for a more career-centric life as a way of directly rejecting those expectations. Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, says, "Women's independence and gender equality is a huge factor in the long-term decline in marriage."

BAD EXPERIENCES WITH MARRIAGE IN THE PAST:

Relationships can be hard work. For some, the lack of success in long-term relationships can make committing to someone for life unappealing. For those who have trouble sustaining healthy relationships, legally binding yourself to another can be scary. Alternatively, some people may have witnessed a lot of failed marriages around them (e.g., having parents with a troubled marriage), making marriage seem less appealing.

REFUSAL TO GET MARRIED AGAIN:

The 2017 Pew report found 45% of people who've been married before never want to get married again. Some research suggests divorce rates for second marriages tend to be higher than for first-time married couples. According to the Gottman Institute, there are many reasons, ranging from potential issues around co-parenting and exes to the baggage and lack of vulnerability one can bring to a new relationship. For all these reasons, some people may choose to not get married again after having experienced one failed marriage in the past.


A PREFERENCE FOR NONMONOGAMY:

Marriage is often tied to monogamy, aka a relationship where the expectation—both written and unwritten—is that emotional and physical intimacy is limited to two people. But there is a rise in the acceptance and practice of non-monogamous relationships, from polyamory to open relationships.


The boundaries of these relationships vary depending on the individuals involved, but all include room for consensual engagement in emotional and/sexual involvement with multiple parties. These relationships are focused not always on sex but rather on the freedom to give and receive love and emotional energy to more than one person, and this is not reflected in our current understanding of marriage.


Polygamy (marriage between more than two people) is not legal in the United States, so some people who are in polyamorous relationships or other styles of nonmonogamy may choose to forgo marriage altogether because it doesn't make sense for their relationships.


YOU VIEW MARRIAGE AS A PATRIARCHAL INSTITUTION:

The institution of marriage is steeped in heteropatriarchal history, with women considered the property of their father or family to be given away in exchange for resources, alliances, and status. In marriage, the woman went from being the property of her father to the property of her husband.


Even modern marriages have some lingering patriarchal influences, including the traditions of the father giving away the bride, the wife taking the husband's last name, and marriage is treated as a marker of success among women. For some people, this complicated history makes marriage unappealing. Be wary of making decisions about marriage based on fear or family expectations.


Everyone has ideologies that are passed down from their families of origin, some based on religion or tradition. Sometimes people are survivors of unhealthy family dynamics, and to avoid recreating those cycles, they opt to avoid getting married completely.

YOU DON'T NEED MARRIAGE TO LEGITIMIZE YOUR RELATIONSHIP:

Previously, legal matrimony was seen as the only way to commit your life to another person. Couples no longer see the need to have a government's approval for their relationship: "They feel marriage is an institution that often bears no legitimacy on the foundation between them and their partner(s)." says psychotherapist Sabrina Sarro, LMSW.

YOU FEEL MARRIAGE COMES WITH TOO MANY RULES AND EXPECTATIONS:

Some expectations come with marriage that may push people to not want to get married. Some antiquated and problematic tropes come with getting married, akin to your sex life declining or your freedom is limited. Plenty of married couples would argue with this, but considering the popularity of bachelor and bachelorette parties, there are certainly some people that think fun and games are completely over once you say, "I do." Even for those who know that these tropes dramatize marital expectations, being tied to and responsible for another adult for the rest of your life may feel unappealing, nonetheless.


ONE OF YOU MIGHT JUST NOT BE THAT INTERESTED IN RELATIONSHIPS:

While some value commitment outside of legal matrimony, some are simply uninterested in relationships in general. Some aromantic or asexual people may inherently lack interest in relationships. Others might simply prefer to expend their energy on other pursuits. Most people who've been in any relationship, healthy or unhealthy, can attest that it's no easy feat. So, we should also be able to accept that not everyone values the outcome in the same way!


ONE OF YOU MAY ENJOY MORE CASUAL RELATIONSHIPS:

Sometimes marriage isn't even on the radar because there's no desire to be in a committed relationship. For some, this is hard to understand. We've been conditioned to believe that there is someone for everyone and that you couldn't possibly be content living into old age without a romantic life partner. We're seeing more rejection of this idea, with folks being completely comfortable having a lifetime of solely casual relationships.


HE IS WILLING TO GET MARRIED TO THE RIGHT PERSON, BUT OTHERWISE, IT'S NOT A PRIORITY:

Some people are open to marriage but don't actively seek it. They may not want to get married in any proactive way, but that isn't to say that they're actively opposed to marriage. In other words, if they found themselves in a meaningful relationship with someone who wants to get married, they'd be willing to do it. But otherwise, marriage isn't a personal goal or desire of theirs.


Some people do change their minds about marriage, and that's OK. There is plenty of time to make decisions about the collective future of a couple. Some people may want to wait until they are settled either financially or emotionally, and others may simply change their minds over time or in specific relationships. People may judge or rush your decision, but no one is required to decide before they are ready. Because we are always changing, adapting, and growing, our opinions have the ability to as well.


How to deal with other people's reactions:

BE HONEST FROM THE BEGINNING:

While marriage talk may not arise in the very beginnings of a relationship, you must be upfront with your potential partners about your feelings, even if you know they may change. Social Worker and therapist Krysal Kavita Jagoo, MSW, says it's important to "communicate that transparently from the beginning and throughout their interaction with potential and current partners to reduce the odds of any misunderstanding for all parties."

KEEP LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN:

Remember that you are allowed to change your mind! It's 2021, and many are not only open to not getting married but to nontraditional relationships as well.

WHATEVER YOU DECIDE IS VALID:

"Marriage is not the only option, and it certainly doesn't have to bear so much weight on your relationship! Your relationship is valid and legitimate without the institution of marriage recognizing or acknowledging that," Sarro says. "You do not need to justify or explain your choice or your relationship's choice for not wanting to get married."

Related articles: How to Wear a Belt Bag?


IT'S OK TO LET PEOPLE KNOW YOU DON'T WANT TO GET MARRIED:

People will always have their opinions, but you can rest assured that your feelings are valid and that you are not obligated to work on anyone else's timeline or definition of commitment.

4 Comments


I am a 33 year old male. I have tried to date and I've only ever been on 4, 1st dates 2 of which turned into a 3 week and a 2.5 month relationships. The 2.5 relationship was with a woman 10 years older than me. She was a 40 year old virgin


I try and I put myself out there. I'm by no means ugly, I have my life together, college education, I make 100,000 a year, i drive a really nice car. I go to church. I'm not perfect.


But, when I get to know a girl and then ask her out or go for the kill and ask them out at the end of the (1st time…


Like

Timothy Wenners
Timothy Wenners
Jul 05, 2022

Never sign a contract where the woman is rewarded for breaking it.

Like
Replying to

"Say it with jewelry,

Say it with drink,

But always be careful

Not to say it with ink..."

Like

Green Gun
Green Gun
Mar 07, 2022

Oh, yes, she's strict, devout, and has no taint

Of worldliness; in short, she seems a saint.

But it was time which taught her that disguise;

She's thus because she can't be otherwise.

So long as her attractions could enthrall,

She flounced and flirted and enjoyed it all,

But now that they're no longer what they were

She quits the world which fast is quitting her,

And wears a veil of virtue to conceal

Her bankrupt beauty and her lost appeal.

Like
bottom of page