Does Marriage Always Have To Be The End Goal?

Does marriage always have to be the end goal

Hi Evan: longtime reader, first time writer.

I feel like a lot of your advice and posts revolve around a central concept that MARRIAGE is the end line, the goal, the thing that “everyone wants” as a goal to long-term dating.

But what if it isn’t? My boyfriend and I have been together for 10 months, it’s going fabulously and both of us have pretty much decided that we don’t believe in the institution of marriage (neither of us want kids, which makes this conversation a bit easier than couples who do want kids, granted), but we DO believe in the value of having a long-term partner/teammate/lover in life. This view jibes with our way of thinking – we’re both independent, and “putting something on paper” and tying things up legally like that, makes us both think that something, that special spark we have, will make it wither up and die.

So my question is, is there room in your community for a view of love like this, and why does everything you say always have MARRIAGE in big bold letters as the metric to success? I enjoy your writing and your insights and humor so much, but I feel like this is an area where we don’t jibe and it frankly kind of alienates me from a lot of what you say, as this is not my own end goal. Having lasting love, yes. But why is the ring / paper so important; how/why is that “proof”? I don’t think it is.

I’m wondering if you have other readers that might feel the same way as I. That is, the whole end goal = marriage thing seems a bit too…..I dunno, conservative…unimaginative…enough for a modern era.

Thanks for your thoughts on this!
Joanne

Dear Joanne,

I recently wrote a post about a woman who was formerly against marriage (after a painful divorce), who changed her mind when she fell in love with a new boyfriend (who is still against marriage). I outlined a few of my thoughts there, and encourage you to click through to read in full.

If my advice doesn’t work for you, then you can ignore it. Really. I don’t take it personally.

But your question is a good one, because it gets to the heart of what frustrates me about writing a blog that is probably going to reach 10 million readers this year – no matter what I say, no matter how spot-on, no matter how many people agree with my worldview, there’s always going to be someone who disagrees. And not only disagrees, but feels personally indicted that a public figure is publically disagreeing.

Understandably. Nobody wants to have his/her worldview taken away, challenged, or questioned. My answer to those semi-frequent loud dissenters is usually the same.

If my advice doesn’t work for you, then you can ignore it. Really. I don’t take it personally.

I have had men argue with me, explaining why it was entirely appropriate to bring flowers on every first date – even when most women were creeped out. I’ve had women argue with me, explaining why men should give up pornography – even though most men use pornography. I’ve had women argue with me, explaining why men should never go out with them or sleep with them, unless they are emotionally healthy, relationship oriented and positive they want to get married – even though most men don’t qualify on all three accounts.

In every instance, the dissenter is telling me that his/her worldview is right, that those who disagree with him/her are wrong, and that the world should change to better cater to his/her point of view.

Yeah, sorry, but that’s not how it works.

I’m a realist. A pragmatist. A big data guy.

So if you want to hold out for a man who doesn’t believe in premarital sex, that’s fine. Just know you’re dealing with 3% of the population.

If you want to hold out for a man who’s over 6 feet tall, because height is that important to you, you’re dealing with 15% of the population.

If you want to hold out for a man who has an advanced degree, and you’re dealing with 7% of the population.

Literally the only reason I talk about marriage as the end game for most people is that, in fact, marriage is the end-game for most people.

My advice is always going to be the same: lasting love is hard to find. If you can find room for compromise, you can have an amazing relationship. But if you want the six-foot tall guy who also has an advanced degree, and also is cool with not having sex until marriage, you may have a harder time dating.

There’s no judgment there. Just an observation.

And so it goes for you, Joanne. I could not care less whether you get married one day – the same way I don’t care who has premarital sex, watches porn, or cheats on their spouses. All I want is for readers to know how their own preferences restrict their own relationship choices.

So am I happily married? Yes.
Am I pro-marriage? I suppose so.
Am I judgmental of those who don’t want to get married? Not really. I don’t fully understand what you’re rebelling against, but hey, it’s a free country: do whatever you like.

Literally the only reason I talk about marriage as the end game for most people is that, in fact, marriage is the end-game for most people. That’s not my bias. Those are the facts. 80% get married by 40 and 95% get married by the age of 55 – and no one is pointing a gun to their head.

While views on marriage are changing – younger generations view it as less important – it is far from obsolete, and you will find more marriage-oriented men on the market than 50-year-relationship-without-a-ring men.

However, if you found one, and you’re happy with your choice, I sincerely wish you all the best.

Join our conversation (46 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Stacy

    Evan,

    As usual, you are spot on.  If it works or doesn’t work for you, that’s more than fine.

    FOR ME, marriage is the end goal-don’t care if it’s society’s influence, for me, it is the ultimate committment.  Whether you fight for it or not, marriage makes it not as easy to walk away – FACT

    Society wise, it glues you together. Married couples are looked upon differently – FACT And, it’s okay if this is not important to you. You could give two shits about society, but this is simply the fact.

    There are tax benefits to getting married – FACT

    There are insurance/legal benefits to getting married – FACT

    For those who are religious, there are religious benefits to getting married – FACT

    Most people see it as the most BINDING type of relationshp that constitutes the family – FACT 

    If it was JUST a piece of paper, then what is the big deal? So, maybe it really is more than a piece of paper after all?  So, while you dont have to get married nor does it have to be your end goal. Shucks, it doesn’t always even work out. Shucks, I am divorced with two kids. But trust me, it was not easy to break that union as opposed to if we were just living together.  So if a man is going to date me, best believe he will either be proposing in three years or he will be moving on.- FACT                   

    1. 1.1
      GV1

      “There are tax benefits to getting married – FACT”.  This is not true anymore…

      1. 1.1.1
        starthrower68

        I can’t imagine, however, that people who really don’t want to get married are going to be that motivated by the tax code to have a change of heart.

    2. 1.2
      Susan C

      Love. This. Reply.

    3. 1.3
      Kathy

      If I get remarried, thanks to Uncle Sam, I could lose half of my income per month(husband’s social security) if a man decides to leave me 3 months after our vows, I would lose half of my income for the rest of my life.. Interesting rules we have..

      1. 1.3.1
        Carrie

        Agree – In community property states one could lose half ones assets if not careful.  If my partner and I married, we would jump into the next tax bracket – the well known marriage penalty.  There are potential financial consequences to getting married.

    4. 1.5
      MG

      hahahaaaa! well said! and I agree wholeheartedly. I like the concept of marriage/commitment. Its awesome when it works😊

       

  2. 2
    starthrower68

    Evan, you have said more times than I can count, to do whatever you want to do, that you do not judge. I get the sense that sometimes dissenters deep down inside aren’t entirely convinced of their own view and want you to either validate them or try to talk them into changing their mind. But folks gonna do what folks gonna do.

  3. 3
    Skaramouche

    Dear OP,
     
     
    You are right: marriage doesn’t have to be the end goal for everyone.  There are many other ways to be happy without being married.  But honestly, I don’t get it.  It almost feels as if you are rebelling for the sake of rebelling or for the sake of being what you perceive as “different”.  You’re in a happy relationship, you think this could be the long term partner for you but you don’t want to get married.  That’s fine.  On a conceptual level, I agree with you.  A ring and a piece of paper say nothing about the commitment you actually make to your partner.  Marriage, as we know it today, is two-fold to me.  The first part is the one in which you make a public commitment to your spouse and celebrate your union.  Maybe you think this is archaic and not needed.  Perhaps you feel the commmitment is in your mind and does not need public statement.  I tend to agree.  The second part is purely legal.  It marks the start of a new household, a new family or a new legal unit, if you will.  If you are against this part of marriage, I am confused.  If you think your partner is a long term one, why would you not want to legally belong to the same family?  If signing a paper will give you the right to become your partner’s closest legal family member, why wouldn’t you do it?  What is conservative or unimaginative about that?  

    1. 3.1
      starthrower68

      I’m not even sure what there is to rebel against.  I’m under the impression that there’s no longer a stigma about those who choose to cohabitate without marriage.  If there were not, then why would so many people be doing it?  I agree that if marriage is nothing more than a ring and a piece of paper, then why all the pushback?  Maybe marriage isn’t dead, but I don’t see society as a whole really pushing it and stigmatizing singles either.  Methinks the OP doth protest too much.

  4. 4
    Karmic Equation

     

    I’ve been married. I was engaged after 6 weeks of dating, but didn’t have the wedding until 2 years later. And the ONLY reason I set the date was because I finally decided that I wanted children, which was the ONLY reason I thought we needed to get married. Otherwise, I would have stayed happily “engaged” forever.
     
    But I have to admit that I stayed in that relationship longer than I would have if I hadn’t been married. But this was NOT a good thing to me. That “piece of paper” made me feel like I “had to” stay in the marriage even though it was no longer fulfilling. Now contrast that with my 6-year relationship.
     
    I stayed in that relationship because I “wanted to”. When issues arose, I worked them out because LOVE dictated that I work them out NOT a piece of paper. That’s how I felt. In other words, when I worked things out in my marriage, I felt I was “forced to” by that piece of paper; whereas when I tried to work things out in my LTR, I felt I did that of my own free will, because of love. I personally *valued* my CHOICE to work things out more than my OBLIGATION to work things dictated by that the piece of paper.
     
    But that’s just me. I wasn’t rebelling. It was just that I felt the piece of paper created an obligation within me, whereas in my LTR, I had a choice. And because I could choose to walk away anytime in the LTR, but didn’t, that reinforced that **I** valued the relationship, not because a piece of paper dictated that it was valuable.

     

    1. 4.1
      starthrower68

      Karmic, I agree but yet I don’t, if that makes sense.  If a slip of paper is that oppressive, then yes, you are better off not getting married.  But I don’t get a piece of paper dictating whether I stay in that relationship or not.  If I am in a bad marriage, I.e. abusive, repeated infidelity, etc, I’m going to leave that relationship whether there’s a legal document or not.  If two people are in a loving, committed relationship, why be in it if you already have one foot out the door?

      1. 4.1.1
        Karmic Equation

         

        Hi ST,
         
        As you’ve mentioned oftentimes, there is no longer stigma to being divorced or becoming a single parent. Therefore, “having the piece of paper” is no guarantee that someone doesn’t have one foot out the door. Women thinking that way gives truth to the “ball and chain” metaphor. Marriage shouldn’t be thought of as something to “prevent” people from exiting a relationship. Marriage should be a celebration of two people who feel they can’t exist happily without the other person integrated into their lives.
         
        Rightly or wrongly — perhaps even irrationally 🙂 — I felt that marriage “trapped” me into staying in the relationship. Of course in cases of abuse or repeated infidelity people will exit the relationship, but what about when people have grown apart? In my case, as I’ve mentioned once in a post to Julia — I’m very affected by male pheromones — of course I didn’t know this when it happened. I was on the pill when I met my ex-husband and I went off the pill about 5 years into the marriage to try to get pregnant. All of a sudden I lost my attraction for him. There was a study that said that the pill alters a woman’s sense of smell and she often marries the wrong guy. This happened to me. I’ve noticed — and mentioned — that I’ve since noticed the scent of high-testerone/alpha men. So much so I”m like a cat in catnip when they’re. Weird I admit. It’s like I get drunk on their scent. Totally irrational.
         
        Anyway, I was celibate for the last two years of marriage. I lost my desire to connect physically and, by extension, emotionally to my husband. We didn’t try counseling as I knew you can’t force attraction. It was a peaceful marriage to the end. But at 39, having lived through two years of celibacy, I decided it was was time to exit, because I realized I really wanted to have sex again — but not with him. — I didn’t cheat. But gosh, I started noticing men again and if I hadn’t exited, I surely would have cheated. Had I not been “married” to him, I would have exited the relationship after 6 months of celibacy. But I stayed in it because there’s “more to life” than sex, particularly for married folks, right? Yeah, for 80-yo’s. Heck, I’m sure most 80 yo’s were having more sex than I did from age 37 to 39. Just once would have qualified them 🙂 — So I stayed in my relationship 4 years past its expiration. I didn’t have “one foot out the door” but I stayed for no reason other than that piece of paper saying I should try because it wasn’t a bad relationship. It just was not what a marriage should be, imo. I still love my ex-husband. But not in the “forever” kind of way. No desire whatsoever for booty calls with him. haha

         

        1. Karmic Equation

          I should rephrase that to : But no desire whatsoever for booty calls with him EITHER.
           
          I didn’t mean to imply that booty calls are the reason for marriage. If they were I’d be considered a polygamist now. JK !!!

    2. 4.2
      Kristyn - with a Y

      Hi Karmic.

      The difference was your feelings in each situation.  Naybe you had a better experience/a deeper connection/something else in your LTR as opposed to your marriage.  I don’t know.  I do know that I tried to work things out in my marriage because I *wanted* to, not because a ‘piece of paper’ obligated me to work things out.  

       

  5. 5
    josavant

    So here is a question that come sout of Karmic Equation’s comment. Do you ever feel like it might be good for laws like this to force you or twist your arm to do something, such as sticking to a commitment, whether it’s marriage or something else? Of course I am all for personal liberties, but sometimes I am glad that society is there with a set of rules that do actually make me a better person than I would be if I were left to my own devices. Maybe, but I wouldn’t know, if I stuck to a marriage, I would grow personally because of learning how to compromise better or work with difficult personalities, as long as there isn’t any abuse.

    I wondier if there is anything good about marriage being difficult to dissolve, or whether it’s only bad, now that it is so much easier for us all to live independently.  Maybe that is what the OP is wondering too. Her letter didn’t seem like she was rebelling against anything, though some commenters thought so.

    1. 5.1
      Julia

      Absolutely not, some people should not be married. Some issues cannot be compromised on.

    2. 5.2
      Karmic Equation

      We don’t need to be married to “…work with difficult personalities…” 🙂 You just have to have a job and high enough on the corporate ladder to notice where some people actually DO work and others only MAKE work for others and self-aggrandize.
       
      People should marry people that help them be the best version of themselves. Martyring yourself doesn’t make you a better person. Nor does it make you grow personally. It just makes you a martyr. Not good.

  6. 6
    EmeraldDust

    One thing I do wonder about, is for all the fuss that marriage is “just a piece of paper” and societal brainwashing, why are gay people fighting so hard for this legal right ?  They are going AGAINST society by insisting on the legal right to marriage.  To gay people,  it is obviously more than just a piece of paper.
     
    But I guess this is where I get quasi-hypocritical.  At this point in my life, if I could wrangle a relationship on the terms as the OP described, that would be fine.  In fact, I’d be leery of marriage.  But that’s only because I’ve BTDT, had a child, can not have any more.  So the ONLY reason I would marry, is if I fell in love with someone and HE really wanted to get married.  (then we would work out a pre-nup)  I think this attitude is pretty prevalent in the older, divorced, already has kids crowd. Marriage is less beneficial at this age and stage of life.
     
    However, I can sort of understand younger people who don’t want children, not bothering with marriage, but a trend that I have observed is young unmarried couples having children. I totally don’t get that.
     
    I know I’ll be crucified for saying this, but Marni Batista talks about playing “the cool girl”  IRT to casual sex.  I think there is some “cool girl” play acting going on with “not believing in marriage”, especially when these “cool girls” who “don’t believe in marriage” “accidently” get pregnant. 
     
     

    1. 6.1
      Karmic Equation

      Once laws were enacted that allowed “domestic partners” to get on healthcare benefits, gay people had it made. Because heterosexual domestic partners HAVE TO get married to get benefits. Still do. I really felt that those domestic partner healthcare laws discriminated against heterosexual couples.
       
      Now that there are states that have legalized marriage, I hope they have done away with the domestic partner healthcare laws. Otherwise, gay people are double-dipping there.
       
      As with any relationship, there is always the “female” whether that person is genetically female or not. And that female “mentality” oftentimes need/want the “male” in the relationship to “prove” his love by “marrying” them. Truly, in this day and age, marriage is unnecessary. The creation of marriage was to cement power. Daddies pimping their beautiful daughters to the rich and powerful for money or goods (e.g., dowries). Marriages were to help distribute inheritances…only legitimate children inherited, bastards did not.
       
      Somewhere along the lines it got changed to people marrying for love. Probably when some enterprising business person figured out there was a LOT of money to be made at weddings.
       
      Yes. I’m a little cynical. Marriages WERE legal contracts when they were created. They were not intended to be multi-thousand dollar parties. Now marriages support an industry. Where would all the florists, bakeries, banquet halls, jewelers, wedding planners, etc., be if they didn’t promote weddings? And where would all the marriage counselors and divorce lawyers be if there weren’t marriages?

  7. 7
    Noquay

    I was married to a wonderful man and I wish I was married now. I have never wanted children so biological clock syndrome had nothing to do with it.  I understand, as an educated chick in my 50’s, this not likely and given the geographic realities here, I’d have to bail on my mortgage, job, future retirement, and leave to find someone compatible. A nasty choice. However, to me, marriage is a lot more than a bit of paper, its making a commitment. If the marriage was bad, one leaves, as no one should allow themselves to be abused and should’ve had their financial act together on their own in
    case things go south. I would settle for an ltr if given no other option but tis not my first choice. One has to still go slow, do one’s due diligence, pay attention, choose very carefully, same as with marriage. I think we tend to blast into things waaay too soon just for the sake of being partnered. I too hate being totally alone but alone is better than being with someone wrong for you, a lot cheaper too.

  8. 8
    Luanne

    The blog seems like “one size fits all” to me.  Most of it is perfect, sometimes I have to adjust what I see to fit where I’m at, but for the most part – it really does fit.
    For instance, Joanne has found the relationship she is looking for, and has fulfilled her goal.  So… the fact that “marriage” seems like the goal doesn’t matter much- she can substitute her idea of the goal relationship for “marriage” and get great information for making that relationship better.
    Or not. As the reader sees fit.

  9. 9
    dc

    I hold no judgement toward people who choose to or not get married. To each her own.

    I will say (and even after divorce) that getting/being married was a wonderful thing and I would do it again. Ours was a small ceremony, only 35 people, and we requested no gifts. It wasn’t about a dress or a ring or photo ops or fancy hair dos, but about friends and family across generations and from both sides getting together in one place. We rented a house for the weekend. Folks stayed with us. Our friends and family bonded with one another and it was a great joy to witness. 

    In short, there are two reasons why friends and family will gather en masse, even flying across the continent, on specific date in order to honor a loved one: 1) to attend a wedding and 2) to attend a funeral. Personally, I’d rather enjoy their company. 

     

  10. 10
    JJ

    Sometimes it’s depressing Reading these comments. it’s either people still haven’t found the one because they been so picky or things haven’t worked out. Or it’s people whose first relationships fail which just seems really like a bleak outlook for wanting your first marriage at a reasonable age to last. 

  11. 11
    Henriette

    10 million!?  Way to go, Evan!

    1. 11.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      7-8 million in 2014. At the current monthly pace, we’ll have 10 million readers in the next calendar year. I’m equally flummoxed. Guess that’s what happens if you blog twice a week for nearly a decade.

      1. 11.1.1
        Henriette

        Not in the least bit flummoxed.  This number represents a lot of keen insights and hard work on your end.  I’m proud of you, Evan!

  12. 12
    Jay

    I was going to write a comment on the Woman who wanted to get married after 3 months of dating a guy, but I agree with this anti-marriage article.  Society is changing, and people no longer view negatively on pre-marital sex or children out of wedlock.  If people were religious, then I would be pro-marriage.  But I think for women especially, marriage = “False Idea of Commitment.”  Besides children and sex, a woman really has to ask herself “Why does she want to get married?”  I get the sense that it is more about her emotional insecurity, co-dependence, fear of losing him, and loneliness.  Those are all perfectly fine reasons to get married, but I think Women often times think “MARRIAGE IS THE CURE AND SAFETY NET” for her problems.  She wants to marry a guy so she can have financial security, as well as to feel physically safe.  She wants to keep a guy on a chain, with the government document preventing him from leaving her.  I think every pro-marriage women wants to Trap a Guy for 20 years or more.  I think Women are seeking marriage because they fear loneliness and her boyfriend leaving her.  IMO, this is a false paradigm because they guy might not want to be legally chained to a girl for 20 years.  Many young guys don’t want to plan ahead 10-50 years.

    1. 12.1
      starthrower68

      I don’t need to be married again to be happy, but nor will I join the hook up culture.  I can be quite satisfied as a hermit. 😊

    2. 12.2
      EmeraldDust

      Ewww, I would not want to be married to a guy who viewed marriage as a death trap, ball & chain or a federal penitentiary. And I certainly wouldn’t want to marry a guy if he viewed it as way to enlist the government in his quest to imprison me either.  Yuck.

      1. 12.2.1
        Jay

        My point is that women want to marry a guy because it will prevent him from leaving her, and it will protect her from cheating.  Of course its better if the guy also wants to be monogamous and spend the next 20 years or more with her.  But in reality, its usually women who desire the “protection from breaking up” that legal marriage enforces.  Women also marry because it improves their financial position with someone to share half the bills with.  If it was just about love and the individual choice of monogamy, then there would be no reason for the government to get involved to enforce marriage.  In an ideal world, a man or woman can choose to stay in a relationship on a daily basis, without requiring the government get involved.

        1. starthrower68

          Uh, people are doing that anyway. And if someone is determined to leave or cheat he or she will.  Or they will choose not to marry to begin with.  Marriage is not some sort of conspiracy to oppress men.  Men don’t have to get married against their will. 

        2. EmeraldDust

          Jay @ 12.2.1
          Many people marry for RELIGIOUS reasons, and are seeking to involve God, not the government.
          Also, when two people co-habitate and have children without involving the government (or God, or the church) and they break up,  if they don’t agree on how to handle their on going relationship with their children, you can bet these two people who didn’t want the government involved in their union, will no be running to lawyers and the government to become involved in their break up and custody / support issues.
          I’m a heathen, well past my child bearing years , so  marriage is merely an option that I might be open to with the right guy. But if I fell in love with someone who just wants to “go steady” for life w/o involving the church or the state, that would be fine by me at this stage of my life.  Since I own my own home and do alright financially, I am not going to benefit financially from marriage, any more than I benefit from my current situation of having a room mate.  In fact, it could be financially detrimental for me to marry.  If my ex husband were to pass away (and I am not wishing that, just explaining the situation) I would be entitled to collect social security since we were married over 10 years.  If I were to re-marry I would not be able to get that benefit.  If the re-marriage lasted less than 10 years, I would be SOL.  Of course the same goes for my ex.  If I die first, he will be entitled to my social security, but if re-marries he will no longer be able to collect that, and if it is a short marriage he will be SOL. 
           
          Legal marriage no longer provides “protection from breaking up”. Nor does it provide protection against cheating.  Adultery is common place, and there are even special “dating sites” for married people looking for a side dish.  Breaking an apartment lease is probably harder than filing for a divorce.  It’s pretty easy these days. 
           
            And here’s a newsflash for you, some men actually WANT to marry.  My ex did.  Probably just to have children, but it was what he wanted none the less.  No arm twisting on my part.  I never said a word about marriage unless he brought the subject up. I know I’m not unique in that respect. 
           
          As much as I am lukewarm to marriage at this phase in my life, I really believe in in it for younger folks of the child bearing age, but only if they are BOTH happy  & delighted to do so, and not if one is a cranky sour puss about the whole thing, and just considers it some sort of government imposed prison. 
          I think for most women (and Dr Joyce Brother’s cited some survey umpteen years ago that backed this up) it’s not the government enforcement, but the CEREMONY that is so meaningful.  Even if it’s just an immediate family only deal with a  cake & champagne reception.  (I wanted to elope to Vegas with my 2nd hubby, but he insisted on having a real wedding)   For most men who WANT to get married (and I mean really WANT to get married, and don’t feel “pressured” into it ), I don’t know what their reasons are.  The ceremony ?  The government “enforcement”.  To have children ?  Anti break up insurance ?   
           
          There are men who want to get married (I think fewer than women) and I think women should hold out for a man who WANTS to marry.  It’s would be a pretty miserable marriage to have a spouse constantly complaining that his wife and the government are co-ercing him against his will to stay in the relationship.

        3. Jay

          Yeah, of course 1 of the primary reasons for marriage is religion. Another reason is that the woman does not want to be promiscuous and just wants one sexual partner for the rest of her life. I suppose that is morally acceptable, but at the same time, very traditional. We live in a liberalized society with sexual freedom, perhaps there is too much promiscuity, but do women actually want to return to the “marriages of the 1950’s.”  The sexual revolution is named because it has allowed both men and women to have pre-marital sex and have more sex partners without slut-shaming. For all the advances american society has made in feminism, it seems the last feminist resistance is in marriage, where a woman has to be co-dependent on a man for “companionship and financial security.”  Women can have careers and can live alone without needing a man to take care of her in old age.  Patriarchy is dying, no matter what these fake feminists want.

  13. 13
    Elena

    Most women are creeped out if a man brings flowers at the first date? That’s funny, as all my female friends and I think is a sweet, nice gesture. But otherwise great article.

    1. 13.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      If you’re dating online and meeting virtual strangers? Yes, flowers is a bit much.

      1. 13.1.1
        Jay

        There is a psychological component to giving flowers. First, is the man insecure and giving flowers to try to BUY her affection. I think this is why some women are creeped out because they feel that the guy is trying to buy her love and expect her to have sex with him. Second, it can make a guy lose power, because he is showing too much affection, neediness, desparateness, and no one likes desperate needy people. Women expect men to be confident and emotionally secure.  Third, women don’t know what they want, and if the guy is hot they will still want to date him. Women are used to patriarchy in dating and relationships and they expect the guy to be a bit of a bad-boy. Instead of being weak and placating a guy can give flowers but still be confident, macho, and self-secure.  Women like guys who are a little unavailable and mysterious, and not needy, its a delicate balance.  But women have more respect for a guy who can lead.  There are also less-successful women who want traditional-minded men who are the breadwinners and give them flowers.

        1. mery

          “women don’t know what they want”? Maybe it would be good for you to self improve a bit so you get the opportunity to get to know women who has better qualities.

      2. 13.1.2
        Sunflower

        I once met a guy from online dating who brought me jewelry at our first meeting.  Talk about an unnerving feeling.  Never seen or talked to him again.  

        1. Elena

          Ok… I understand that if it’s the first date and you met online, it can be to much (not talk about jewelry), but otherwise, I’ll have to disagree. I personally won’t feel offended that he brings flower as I don’t think he is trying to buy me and I won’t think he’s less confident or secure, if so it  would mean I should feel offended that he prefers to solely pay for the date, when I reach for the check, or that he picked a fancy restaurant instead of a regular pub. Aren’t you suppose to try to impress on a date? That’s why you arrange yourself and wear flattering outfit and makeup, instead of shorts and slacks and baggy T-shirts. I’m not saying to be a fake and I’m not saying that he should always pay or bring flowers, but in the beginning it’s nothing wrong, it’s actually chivalrously and nice.
          I hope I made myself understood… English is not my first language.
           

    2. 13.2
      Karmic Equation

      I agree. I too think it’s sweet, too. I did have one date do this.

      Problem is that he was insecure. Not sure if giving me flowers on a first date is a sign of insecurity…but now that my mind’s made that association, it’s possible that I might be more included to view the next guy as insecure, and maybe even look for signs, whether or not he truly is, just because he brought me flowers. Hope I’m smart enough to overcome that knee-jerk reaction!

      1. 13.2.1
        Karmic Equation

        more INCLINED… not included. Stupid typo!

  14. 14
    Simone

    Half of all adults in the US are single. So, even if most of them get married, they don’t stay that way.

    1. 14.1
      JoeK

      Do you have a source for that stat, Simone (I’d like to check it out/save it in my Pile-O-Stats for reference).
       
      I’m mostly curious about the age distribution – if people are marrying later in life, and there are more folks 18-30 than 30+, that could easily explain the unmarried stat. Though I suspect marrying later is contributing, but not a primary cause.
       
      Thanks!
       
       

  15. 15
    Adam Payne

    So… I am 6 ft 1. I have an advanced degree and I am male. No female cares about these stats. The roles have reversed or at the very least become androgenic.

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