Do Women Want Weddings, Marriage and Kids More Than Men Do? Relationship Advice
Do you think it's possible there is a huge disparity in the desire to wed based on gender? I honestly feel like - be it genetics or society - most or all women have this image of having a ring on their finger, a huge house with a yard, and 2.5 kids come 30, and that most or all guys would rather not fork $3000 for a rock, $10,000+ for a wedding, a mortgage on a house they'll never pay off, and 2.5 very expensive mouths-to-feed. Howard Stern once quipped that marriage ruins everything, and that if you really care about eachother then you'll realize you don't need all that aggrivation to show it, and - being a guy (bias) - I really have to agree with him. OK, so they want progeny to prolong the species. Why does reproducing and committing to monogamy require a massively expensive ring and a ceremony no one can actually afford plus months of aggrivation preparing for the wedding...by 30? I'm 24, and if I had a kid now or any time in the next 10+ years, the poor thing would literally starve to death - at $180 a week I mean that in the most sincere of terms with no attempt at euphamism. Anyways, now I'm rambling; do you think the disparity exists? More important, I'm finding it tough to find any actual articles that discuss this from any sort of scientific standpoint; do you know of any? Thanks!
a rose by any other
Dear a rose by any other,
I don't know of any scientific studies or standpoints on this, but I appreciated your comment on my hub - When Your Girl Wants to Get Married and You Don't, and I thought I'd move the discussion over to it's own space.
I know women and encounter tons of women through my articles that are so focused and obsessed with this path of wanting the big ring, big wedding, marriage, house, and family by a certain age, that they will defend, argue and rationalize beyond comprehension. As you're saying, I don't encounter many men that are that way.
If you've read any amount of my hubs, you know I think it's impossible to be a good partner until you are a good You. I think a person's 20's should be spent dating different people. They should be working on their career, their interests, their hobbies. We do so much major growth during out 20's, both physiologically in our brains, and psychologically in our minds, that we should be enjoying life and all it's experiences. We should be discovering and re-discovering ourselves, and happy to spend time alone as well as with varying social circles.
There are so many parts to your comment that it's hard to figure out how they got all lumped together, but they have. I admit that it baffles me why dooming societal mores have such control. The ring, the wedding, the need to get married, buy a house, and then desire to procreate - all separate issues, yet all seem to follow one after the other.
You would think a big part of these focuses would surround romance. But it doesn't. Women and men work entirely differently in that department. In a poll I did 3 years ago, most of the women that responded said they would break up with a guy they loved who didn't want to get married, to be with a guy that they didn't feel very strongly about but did want to get married. This was nothing scientific, but it does correlate with women I know and with comments and emails I get through Hubpages.
Someone brilliant once said women are looking for a promise of forever, while men are looking for a buddy they can have sex with. I think, women don't think twice about the house and the big wedding debt and breeding, because this all digs in, and creates a somewhat trapped life from which escape would be hard. I'm not saying a woman wants to trap a man with these things. I'm saying, she is unafraid of these things because she wants to be trapped with him in the life she envisions. Kind of like handcuffs between you and your mate representing how you're in this together forever and ever.
The problem really comes in when handcuffed people have to deal with reality. Eventually, the bills are piling up, the job hours increase, the lack of time together adds stress, the babies aren't just cute - they are pooping, and needing, and eating, and getting sick or needing a ride or dating a gangster, or whatever it is that life throws at you. And being tied to it in a big dooming way is no longer the happy image she had conceived. It becomes more of an anchor dragging you both down. The reality of kids is not something many people really get prior to popping out the puppies. The truth is once you have the ring you're still paying off, the wedding you couldn't afford, the house you can't afford and the kids, there is no speedboat, or vacation in Italy, or taking art classes, or impromptu ski weekends in Tahoe, or throwing big crazy parties, or sex in the living room, or sleeping in, or thinking about yourself first.
This is one of the reasons I say people in their 20's shouldn't get married. You don't even know what you're giving up. You don't realize in your 20's that you can't get that list of things you don't even know if you want, without giving up an entire lifetime of things you haven't even figured out you don't want.
I believe you're right, it's a gender thing. And I don't know why. It was something I never really wanted or understood. But it doesn't have to be that way.
I'll be 44 this year, married 12 years, together about 14. When my husband and I got engaged, he spent about 2 weeks salary on the ring. It was exactly what I wanted. Our wedding reception was a big outdoor barbecue/clambake. 250 people, tons of food, great music, very casual. We didn't want children. We are big animal advocates and spend a ridiculous amount of money on our dogs, all rescues, and on animal charities.
We're both highly sexual, and we're both partiers. Let me give you a couple examples of what our life is like. When we were together for about a year, he pulled up one Friday evening with a trailer and two snowmobiles and said let's go. He spent the little savings we had on it. God we had fun on those sleds. We were in Upstate New York or Vermont almost every weekend that winter. That type of thing is just what we do. We both work for ourselves, and work hard, but we also play hard and can kind of come and go as we please. Just last Spring we decided to take one of those last minute cruises you can find online. We booked it and sailed a few days later. We went to Belize and Mexico for 5 days on a moment's notice. We did the quad riding through the jungle excursion, we danced on the bar at Senor Frog in Cozumel. When we got off the ship the bar bill was $1600.
My husband is my best friend, my lover, my partner in crime, my hero, my soulmate, the love of my life.
I love being married. I love my partner. I am doing what I want to do for a living as a writer, and with my life in animal rescue. We travel, we go to concerts and dance clubs and art galleries. We play paintball and go on long snow mobile rides. We laugh alot.
I really love my life. I wish the same for you. Not the life I have. I mean, I wish for you that you will love your life. That you will figure out what it is that you want, and that you surround yourself with people that will support your choices and celebrate your path. Whatever those choices are, they are valid. You are allowed to be happy. You are allowed not to want what others think they want. I hope that if you want to, that you find that special someone, and that they love you for you, and not for who they can change you into being, or who they hope you will one day decide to be.