July 10, 2013

I realize my last several posts have been very “rant-ish”. And perhaps I should just stop reading the Atlantic.

This kind of article – or rather the comments that come with an article like this – make me sad. The article itself isn’t bad. It points out an expectation mismatch (somewhat unsurprisingly) and points to the fact that couples that live together before engagement tend to have worse marriages (also somewhat old news). What gets me is the comments. Apparently living together is apparently the new way to get girls to sleep with you. Well, in case you didn’t know – there are a lot of women out there who will sleep with guys without living with them. Amazing, right?

Beyond that, I was surprised at how many comments seemed to indicate that marriage is a bad deal for the males. Is it really because guys look at marriage and think “…but the divorce could be so bad for me”? Do men really have this fear that women are going to rip them off and that they’re somehow getting the short end of the stick? In fact, one of the comments goes on to say all the “cards” that women apparently hold are having babies, lying about abuse, or asking for help with chores. So are we arguing that you shouldn’t choose to marry a lying, cheating, lazy person? Because I totally agree. If you’re living with a guy who keeps dragging out the expectation of getting married and isn’t committed – I think that counts as lying, possibly cheating and totally lazy (or at least mostly unreliable). And I think I’ve seen more women give things up for relationships than guys; the girls I know have almost always been the ones to move, change jobs, deal with employment gaps, etc. But boo hoo because as a man you might have to pay some extra money (that no doubt, you are probably making more than your female now-single-mother ex).

Anyway, not to get too hung up on one comment. I am totally for people who don’t want to get married or have kids. If you’re happy being single – wonderful. If you’re happy being in a committed relationship but not getting married – awesome. If you’re happy married without children – that’s great too. But if you’re living for years with a woman who wants to get married and have kids – unless this topic has magically never come up – yes, it’s expected that you’re getting there. Otherwise, yes, it’s a huge waste of time. If I suddenly found out at 33 that guy I’ve been living with for 5 years doesn’t really want to get married – what am I suppose to do? Scramble to find a guy, get married and have a kid in two years? Are these people not adults? Is there no conversation about expectations once a relationship hits a certain point? Am I a weirdly excessive planner with my life?



  1. If the relationship ended after 5 years at 33, then that means they started dating when she was 28. I can see how for some girls that might already be an age where they’re panicking about marriage and kids.

    Perhaps she saw it as kind of her last shot, and was just really hoping her boyfriend would come around. Him leading her on, and asking her to move in probably made it that much harder to give up on it.

    Maybe I’m just sympathetic, because I knew girls back in Utah who started panicking about this at like 24. I think some of them really rushed into a marriage because of it. (One of them married after dating for like 6 weeks.)

  2. The internet is full of weird men’s rights advocates who love to post on articles like that.

  3. I think the ending of your post is the key part – planning. Or rather, I think many people are lazy/afraid to bring these topics up for fear of disrupting what they currently have. Humans like status quo and hate change (as a general rule).

    Of course, marriage (like sex) is something we’re supposed to pick up by osmosis if we don’t have parents who like to prepare us for the world. Thanks to my parents, I had conversations about marriage and kids with Danielle from the beginning (of getting serious, not our first date). Of course, the nature of the questions change as the relationship matures, but I think once you’re exclusive, it’s a fair topic to bring up. That way there aren’t any surprises. Danielle and I have long discussed how many children we wanted and I think if we end up at that number – for anyone to complain would be disingenuous considering how often we’ve talked about it.

    Of course, in addition to all I said above about parents and fear and all that – there are just man-children (and perhaps in some corners of the US women-children) who refuse to grow up and see marriage as growing up. Frankly, marriage didn’t make me grow up, having a kid did.

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