The honest truth straight from the source.
It’s no surprise that men and women are wired differently when it comes to relationships and marriage, but we’re not wired quite as differently as you may think.
Despite the stereotypes, It’s not that men don’t want to get married, but rather that they don’t want to marry someone unless they feel certain they’re making the right choice when deciding if they want their girlfriend to become their wife.
What makes a man want to get married?
Even in this day and age, many men feel it is their responsibility to provide for their family. It’s an emotional burden that they choose, not because they are forced to, but because they want to. And what such men want in return is often a woman who offers them support and encouragement.
Some men are insecure, of course. They may worry that they don’t have what it take to make it in life, either in the work force or at home. As most men are socialized to see showing vulnerability as a weakness, they may need a wife who gives validation and makes sure they feel appreciated.
Harvard’s landmark study of 127,545 American adults found that married men are healthier and live longer than men who never been married or whose marriages ended in divorce or a widowhood.
I conducted an informal survey of my own and ask men what it takes to make them want to get marry a woman, and most said they would not settle down until they find a woman who has that special something.
While all the men I polled say the answer is complex, if they had to name just one thing that makes a man want to get married, it would be …
1. Embracing his vulnerabilities.
“I knew I wanted to marry my girlfriend when she took the time to learn everything that makes me vulnerable, while giving me the greatest sense of security. I knew I could trust her with all my emotions. That’s huge!” — Jason, 32
2. Being supportive.
“I want to marry a woman who makes our relationship her priority and wants to be my primary support person.” — Damien, 26
3. Making him genuinely happy.
“In case of my girlfriend, I would say that my family and friends tell me that I look a lot happier. Not that I wasn’t before, but there’s something extraordinary about this relationship that is clearly noticeable to those who know me well. She makes me happy.” — Leo, 35
4. Having what it takes to be a good mother.
“Being with her lets me know that she wants to have kids and that she would be a good mom.” — Paul, 29
5. Being strong and stable.
“Most women want to be with a man who is already established and financially stable. I want to marry a strong woman who will be a part of my struggle, never gives up on us, and is a part of my life in the good as well as the bad times.” — Chase, 36
6. Coming from a good upbringing.
“Her upbringing is very important — the way her family raised her is a vital part of me wanting to marry her because it moulds her for life.” — Edward, 35
7. Staying fit and healthy.
“A woman in good shape and good health, so she can have healthy children with me. If I can see myself having kids with a woman, she’s the one I want to marry.” — James, 45
8. Knowing how to cook.
“Someone I could see myself being happy with in 50 years when we are old and gray with our oxygen tanks; the whole nine yards. Bonus if she can make corn bread as good as my mom.” — Victor, 39
9. Sharing a spiritual connection.
“It’s hard to describe, but someone who completely understands me, a connection beyond words. Like, I know how she’s feeling when she’s not around. It’s when I hug her that I can feel our souls connecting.” — Taylor, 28
10. Being passionate.
“When you are passionate for one another, and can go out in the world and do whatever life presents you with. Life is a dance, and so is love. Even more so, being able to tiptoe on the boundaries of reality with a partner in crime is a true sign of connectedness and unity. At that time, you do not just notice the essence of one another but become the essence together.” — Abel, 27
11. Sharing goals.
“I’d like to marry a girl who is similar to me and supports me even if we have different goals. At the end of the day, knowing that we are there for each other is the most important thing.” — Fil, 25
12. Knowing him better than he knows himself.
“When we know the other person more than you know yourself, when the other person’s happiness outweighs your own. Someone to look out for and someone who looks out for you. A partnership that allows you to kick life in the balls together as a team. Resilience in the hard times that you can’t see in someone until it’s tested. But if you need just one thing: boobs.” — Amad, 28
13. Being the one he wants to wake up to every morning.
“If I look forward to going to bed with her and waking next to her in the morning, that is when I know I want to marry her.” — Matt, 25
Anjana Rajbhandary is a certified mental health professional, researcher and self-directed writer/editor with over six years of experience in mental health, editorials, and non-profits. Follow her on Instagram.