Man-xiety: Why men are afraid of marriage
Do you really think single women are the only ones stressing about their shrinking marriage options? According to my keen observation, single men in their 30s also face a similar dilemma of wanting to get married.
Men in their 20s continue to live in a bubble where they think they will be young forever. But in their early 30s, they see an old man who has a sound career but is in a relationship which is going nowhere and looks at other men of his age who are already fathers. There comes a point in their life when they worry that if they find a partner now, by the time they get married and start a family, they will probably be 45 when their first child goes to kindergarten. And this sends shrills down their spines. I know men who are in their early 30s and wish they weren’t single. I think it is becoming as stressful for men as it is for single women.
I have a good looking male friend, 29-years-old, who has lost love quite a few times. He has the looks, is well-educated, creative, earns well and is modern but grounded. In short, he has all the traits that are required to be considered a ‘potential marriage candidate’. But he is still single. I know he is scared of being alone and wants someone to love but has been pushed to a verge where he is afraid of commitment now.
After talking to a lot of people, I have concluded a few reasons why men do not get married till after their mid-30s, even if they want to get married much earlier. To be honest and upfront, the main reason for the rise in this predicament is that women have become materialistic. They do not want love and companionship as much as they want someone to pay for their retail therapy, take them out to new restaurants and provide them with a hassle-free lavish life. All you women who are gasping at this statement know that there is some truth to this statement.
Is it really the end of their ‘bachelor life’?
Men do not want to get married because they believe they will have to choose spending time with their wives over their friends. Some are even afraid of marriage, parenthood and the responsibility that comes with it. They delay marriage because they want to settle in their career first as they are afraid they will not be able to pay for the grand wedding, the best wedding photographer, the bride’s Louboutins and Jimmy Choos for the wedding and of course the shaadi ka jora (wedding outfit) which is only worn for a few hours but costs a fortune. They are afraid that after spending, rather wasting, their hard earned money on wedding festivities, they are still expected to buy designer lawns, take pampering holiday trips to Turkey and Malaysia, all because that’s where one of friends went after the wedding and all her friends are wearing Sana Safinaz and Asim Jofa lawn outfits.
Ladies, it’s time to come up with a new check list
I don’t know how to put this but the checklist women have for their eligible partner is disturbing and trivial. They want to know how much money he makes so that they can calculate the number of shoes and bags that will be piling up in their closet. It’s like it has become a ‘shortcut’ to a lavish lifestyle they’ve been accustomed to or dream of. I know having a good education and sufficient earning is essential but that is not what I am referring to.
Women’s priorities have changed. From the times when it used to be about finding a decent man who could provide you with stability, love and care, it has now become about how much he can provide. And for this very reason, men have now become unsure of the whole constitution of marriage and question its very foundation. Even though the women they end up marrying sincerely love them and are good wives, men sometimes wonder if it’s because of what they can provide is why the marriage is working. And looking at the check list, men are put off from marriage as they feel it will only be a life of providing and materialism.
A wedding to be remembered
Men these days think twice before getting married especially when it comes to affording a marriage, monetarily not responsibility wise. Some men even end up postponing their marriage plans so that they are able to afford the wedding ceremony the wife-to-be and her family so desires.
Everything is new to them also
Men are afraid of losing their personal space too. Yes, given the fact that it is the woman who leaves everything behind and moves into the guy’s house but we also need to understand that he has to share his room and his space with someone else, something which he hasn’t done in a while since he shared a room with his college roommate. Also, men aren’t used to answering to their mothers about their activities or what time they’re coming home. All of that suddenly changes, and every action has to be justified.
So give him time to become accustomed to this new relationship and change. Stop asking questions and keeping a track of what time he left work, how long the drive from work was and what time he came home.
As a wife, one also needs to respect his family and his family values. He already has to constantly prove to his family, and mother in specific, that his love for them has not changed just because he has an additional important person in his life. He has been living in the same house with the same people for approximately three decades. So, try to understand his situation and cut him some slack instead of taunting the person that his priorities need to be altered.
Yes, we live in a male dominated society and men have more prospective options than women do, but it does not change the fact that men do not want to stay single and ‘be in a relationship’ forever. Woman need to realise that they are educated and can earn and live on their own. If they are looking for marriage and someone who they happily want to spend the rest of their lives with, it should solely be for partnership and love, not for his money.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.