Either by coincidence, fate or whatever, in the last couple of days I have stumbled on over three different conversations on Twitter involving women trying to unravel the logic behind how men “choose” their brides. Let me start by quoting one of the ladies on one of those threads:

“Its absolute madness. No one can tell me these men don’t just cover their eyes and randomly pick one woman on a list.”

Incase you are wondering, the genesis of this particular conversation was a news headline about a certain guy who broke up with his girlfriend of eight years and then proposed to another in less than eight months.

Ouch. In any world, you would agree that this kind of behaviour warrants such a remark but having successfully gone through this proposal/engagement phase myself, I decided to put some serious thought behind it to see if there really is any form logic to the process of ‘bride selection’ for lack of a better term.

The short answer is no.

What then what am I doing here? While trying to figure out this process I discovered some things common to a lot of guys who have gone through this phase and today I will be sharing some of them as a way of starting our conversation.

Every marriage is transactional

Whether you like to accept it or not, the fact remains, every marriage is transactional. Let’s not think about transaction only in the form of money – when a couple come together, everyone brings something to the table – no matter how little. It could be your family name, it could be your job, it could be your potential to blow and it could just be your looks. The point here is for you to know, understand and accept that no matter who it is you’re hoping to get hitched to, it’s all going to start off with a transaction.

The major benefit of accepting this hard reality is that it allows you to make the effort to determine what your prospective partner is selling and what they are looking to buy. If you as a woman is fortunate enough to realize these things on time and you discover that you lack one of the key assets your potential partner is looking to buy, perhaps you could try to get it and if not, this knowledge could help soften the blow if things eventually end.

A man is only ready for marriage when he is ready

It has nothing to do with age, money or even news that you’re pregnant. A man is only ready to take the plunge into marriage when HE is ready. On the surface it may seem like some of the things I mentioned earlier influence a man’s decision when it comes to marriage. For instance, you’d assume a guy would probably feel left out if all the four other guys in his rat pack get married and he turns out to be the proverbial ‘last man standing’. But you see, men are completely different from women. The things that drive us, the things that motivate us are completely different. This is why married men don’t stop hanging out with their single friends even after marriage. Making money is a major motivator for men and whether you’re married or single has nothing to do with your ability to contribute to a moneymaking venture.

Age is another popular one. For whatever reason our society has come up with the golden age of 30 as the benchmark for guys to start considering marriage (please note, I said considering – society thinks very differently about this age for our women). But I have met quite a number of guys who got married much earlier – 28, 27 and even 26.

Lastly, I’ll talk about children. For many years I remember telling all my female friends that one of the greatest mistakes a woman can make is to think she can force a guy into marriage with pregnancy. First of all, with the level of irresponsibility out there nowadays, I’d say any chic who knowingly gets pregnant for a guy with the hopes of making him marry her is not only silly but also brave. Secondly, being a baby daddy is one of the ‘coolest’ things out there nowadays so please rethink this strategy.

On the flip side, the one thing I’ve seen which has direct or indirect impact on a man’s decision towards marriage is his father and how he was raised. But even with this, there are no absolute patterns. Contrary to what most think, I have noticed that many guys who come from broken homes usually don’t mind getting married early enough. However, this desire is also impacted by other factors and this is probably why it doesn’t lead us to a pattern.

Every thing you do before he’s ready kinda matters but also doesn’t really matter

This is the hard bit to explain but let me give it a shot. If we all agree that marriage is transactional and a man is only ready when he is, then it means he never really assesses the women in his life for marriage until he is ready. Yes, you may have been together for 8 years before he gets to this point of realization but truth is, to him, what you would probably consider a sizeable investment is merely a piece of the portfolio he’s looking to acquire at the transaction table.

Now I did say, the time you spent together prior to him reaching the point where he makes the decision “kinda” matters and this is why. While considering this transaction, he is looking for the person who has the assets he’s interested in acquiring. Some of these assets could be loyalty, patience, great bedroom skills, good paying job etc. It is important to note that time or rather; length of relationship isn’t one of these assets. Instead, time is probably the unit through which he measures all these other variables.

Let me break this down. If I want to know how loyal a chic is, I’d need to evaluate her over a period of time but again, it is important not to focus on the length of time. Your focus should be on what happens during this period of time. For instance, if a guy had one girlfriend for 3 years and another for 8 months, one could easily assume the one he had for 3 years was more loyal than the other but this isn’t the case. In that 8month period, the relationship could have gone through more tests than that of 3 years.

With this in mind, it is easy to see that even though time plays a major role in a man’s marriage decision-making process, women need to start looking at it from a different perspective.

I don’t have data to back this but I’m pretty sure that there are a whole lot more men who end up in unhappy marriages compared to those who brake off long-term relationships to marry other people. I’m a student in the school of no regrets in life and I try hard whenever I get the opportunity to preach this gospel. However, I can only imagine how crazy getting zero returns from a 5,6,7-year long investment is.

If prior to reading this, you have only considered time or length of relationship as an asset in the marriage transaction then I invite you to consider all I’ve written here and let’s discuss in the comment section below.

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