Why Men Marry Some Women & Not Others: The 'Reasons' Will Shock You

I’m gonna share this with y’all because it’s just too rich to not tell someone. I am chatting, right now as I type, with a dude who claims to be interested in dating me, another Facebook friend who is enamored by my apparent ability to be charming in the few lines of a status update. Real life, eh. But social media, I’m slaying ‘em. Anyway, he just told me that among the other qualities I appear to possess, I’m pretty, but not too pretty, and that’s one of the things he likes about me.

Join me in a long, blank stare, won’t you?

It’s not that I think I’m gorg. Far from it. But is that the kind of thing you say to a woman when you’re trying to win her over? Can’t fault the man for keeping it really real, I guess. 

That leads me to the original intent of this post, which is not to divulge secrets about socially clumsy come-on lines. I stumbled across an email a friend sent like three years ago, six pages of findings from 2,000 interviews and research that were part of a book outline by author John T. Molloy. The title of the book itself was inflammatory: Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others.

In true Janelle fashion, I’d printed out the email with the intent to read it later. But it’s funny that it should reemerge now, considering Molloy says, statistically, women who are a) over 35 and b) overweight are much less likely to get married.

(Looks at my birth certificate. Looks at the bulge hanging over the waistband of my Hello Kitty pajamas. If both of those are true, seems like my chances are pretty slim. I, on the other hand, am not. I mean, I’ve got a few years until I’m 35 but it doesn’t look like I’m riding on the fast track to romance. That and I love starches far too much to ever be considered thin.)

There are other guidelines Molloy says women should take into consideration in order to get hitched.

1. Insist on it.
2. If you find yourself in a dead-end relationship, move on.
3. Love yourself first.
4. Commit yourself to the idea of getting married.
5. Keep in shape, watch your weight, and take care of your appearance.
6. Time is running out—use time wisely in your search for the marrying man.

I guess for us gals approaching and beyond that 35-year mark, #6 should be boldfaced, highlighted, and set apart in strobe lights.

There’s more age-based pandemonium. Molloy also attests out that a man is less likely to marry after the age of 37-38, even less so after he turns 43. Another time-crunch kicker: most men propose after 18 months, he says. If at the end of 22 months, he hasn’t coughed up a ring, chances start to dwindle, and they plummet after 3.5 years. Beyond 7, you might as well pack up those white-gown-wearing dreams and move on.

Then there’s this: If a woman is convinced that marriage is essential to her happiness, she is more likely to marry. Oh. And yet I’ve heard so many stories about a gal—living her life, not hating her singleness—just stumbling across The One. If you’re convinced that marriage is essential to your happiness and then you never wind up getting married, does that mean you’re destined to be incomplete? Or sad? Or sad and incomplete? Awww.

Basically, these “reasons” why some men marry some women boil down to a thin, young woman finding a dude who’s at a point in his life where he’s ready to settle down. And really, did anyone really need a book to tell them that? A show of hands, please.

I’ve already bemoaned the overwhelming number of folks, particularly guys, positioning themselves as relationship experts just so they can make a killing off of telling women what’s wrong with us and what we need to do better in order to get married. The book was published back in 2004—well before this influx of know-it-alls started capitalizing. I’m just way late reading my notes. But really, is any of that information news to you?

What makes someone marriage material in your book?

Image via Maggiejumps/Flickr

commitment, dating, dating mom, love, marriage, online dating, proposals, single moms, weddings


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the4m... the4mutts

Oh, what.ev.er.

Damn near every friend I have, and myself, were married when we were thin, childless, loved ourselves, bla bla bla. Then we all got divorced and are now in long term committed relationships with men over 35. I will be 30 this year, and have NO intentions of ever remarrying. I am perfectly content with my 5yr relationship with my 38y/o significant other.

Then boom, he has proposed to me 6 different times THIS YEAR. He wants to marry me by the end of the year.

I am 30, have 4 kids (3 from xh, one from s/o), am 150lbs @ 5'4, have insecurity issues with myself since some bad mix of medications LITERALLY drove me crazy about 2 yrs back, I have no steady career, etc, etc, etc.

But this man, who is in shape, getting older, has a fantastic job, wants nobody but me. He said he had been waiting until the 5yr mark to propose, because all his previous relationships ended before 4.5yrs. He wanted to make sure "we still had it" before asking.

And you know what else? All those same divorced friends of mine, are fatter than me, older than me, insecure with EVERYTHING, some hate theirselves, and they're in the same boat with men that want to marry them now.

Dont take these silly things seriously. Not everyone fits the mold, find someone who stands out.

Lovin... LovinJerseyMama

I'm 27, been with my boyfriend for six years now and we have two kids together. We are both very content where we are at without the title of spouse. Will we ever get married? Eventually I'm sure. But being married doesn't guarantee happiness, stability or security. Instead of demanding marriage to make your life "complete" why not just enjoy the ride? You can't bring that ring with you when you're dead! 

nonmember avatar Lilac

I think this only applies to some women.

nonmember avatar ariaf

In my opinion, this article is bogus. Marriage is about finding the right person regardless of any of your faults. I see where they are coming from by saying you basically need to limit your faults but like I said the RIGHT man won't care.

Also I think men and women both sometimes need to lower their standards. Well not necessarily lower their standards, but just aim for someone who is on their own level.

KenneMaw KenneMaw

I disagree with the mind set of wanting marriage - men sense that and run away, unless they are really looking to find 'the one'.

nonmember avatar marriedchick

I think it's good advice. I'm sick of talking to single women who say they want to get married and are getting older by the minute but think that the right guy is going to just fall into their lap. If a woman wants to be married, she should take care of herself and not waste her time with guys who aren't looking to be married. The good guys usually get snagged early, so if you want one, get in there while you're young and stake your claim!
All my male friends tell me that if a woman hasn't been married by 35, they'll steer clear of her because there must be something wrong with her. After age 35, a divorced woman is more desirable than a woman whose never been married. If you're the type of girl who is not interested in marriage and is willing to settle for less, I guess the article wasn't written for you.

teddy... teddysmama09

When my husband came into my life I was determined to stay single. I had been engaged previousely to a man who left me high and dry on a curb 3 days before our wedding. After that experience i was a little turned off marriage. I didn't want a man in my life; I just wanted to travel, volunteer and be myself, by myself. I went to Europe, where I worked, volunteered and was living my dreams.

Then along came a wonderful man who understood my position. He even waited for me as I took the time I needed to come to grips with who I was and what I wanted. He was 36 and had never intended to get married either. In time we realized we loved eachother and wanted to be together. He was 38 when we got married.

Angie... AngieHayes

I think men, and women, are becoming too picky in what they want in a  partner. 

godde... goddess99

I was 35 and over weight when I married my 22 year old husband.

nonmember avatar Chels

What works: Not making marriage/big wedding a goal. Giving him the chase. Not wanting children right away or ever - a cute little baby makes him less cute suddenly and can destroy the romance quickly. Not making money so important and just enjoying life and travel and not pressuring him for expensive gifts. And having a sense of humor and not taking oneself so seriously. Not being so selfish and not trying to be the center of attention always - so many women think everything revolves around them. Never, NEVER, putting him down.

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