It’s true, today more than ever men are in no hurry to commit to long term relationships with women. And while some women continue to seek ways to get men to commit to them, others are simply fed up and are no longer trying. These women have taken the stand, “it’s a man’s issue, let them deal with it, and we as women have to get on with our lives with or without men.”
Many women are convinced it’s just a man’s thing to experiment with different sexual partners until well into their thirties before settling down in a committed relationship; but it’s more complicated than that. And if women were to pay close attention to what men say and do, they may understand how wrong some of their assumptions about men are. For example, although men like to sow their wild oats, they soon grow tired and long to settle down with a single partner.
In 2002 a Psychological Studies report put out by the University of Southern California showed 99% of college men and women said they wanted to have a committed relationship in the future. Most of the men however said they would like to put off commitment typically for a period of five years. This variation from tradition is typical among young men of all walks of life today. In times past men began to consider marriage soon after graduating from college, trade schools or apprenticeships and were gainfully employed.
So what social change has brought about this new behavior in men?
Why are men not anxious to rush out and find the woman of their dreams so they can get married and settle down? The short answer is because they don’t have to. When asked, men gave several reasons why they were not ready for a committed relationship. But I believe there are four factors which significantly influence modern men’s attitude toward commitment.
1.Men face little social pressure to get married because unlike in times past it is a lot easier for a man to get sex without having to say I do. Women can no longer effectively entice men with the promise of sex as an incentive for men to commit to them.
Why: Simply because men can get sex (the number one reason why men married in the past) from a number of readily available sources, in many cases with no strings attached.
2.Men dread the possible consequences in the likely event the relationship does not work out. The emotional suffering caused by a break up could be devastating to men, but they express more concern for the risk of financial losses they may suffer if and when confronted with divorce proceedings.
3.It is men’s nature to delay anything that can cause drastic changes to their lives. And although men have always been aware of the changes that marriage brings, they accepted them as part of the territory; “when a man marries his troubles begin.”
But whether or not today’s men are aware of this old saying, one thing is certain. They are not ready to be plucked from their comfort zones and thrown into a life of responsibility, compromise and sacrifice. And by their own admissions this is the life they believe awaits them whenever they decide to take what they consider the final plunge.
4.Before they take that final plunge however they want to be sure they are making the best possible choice. As one man puts it “Imagine how I would feel if someone better comes along and I’m already in a committed relationship?”