Friday, February 18, 2011

The Myth of the Noncommittal Male

Answer this question: are men or women less likely to commit to a long-term relationship?

You said men, didn't you?

That's the prevailing wisdom, but that's not necessarily correct. According to what TIME magazine calls "the biggest study of single people, ever," single men are just as likely to want to get married as single women.

Shocking, huh?

Not if you understand men. Yes, sometimes they can be flakey, elusive and hard to pin down. But once a man falls for a woman, he REALLY falls. And that's when a man is MORE LIKELY to want to commit to a long-term relationship than a woman.

The aforementioned study surveyed 5,200 people ages 21 to 65+ to find out why people commit to marriage-- and why they don't. The study was funded by and carried out by independent researchers. The findings showed that men were more likely to want to get married when they were younger (in the 21-24 years-old range) and when they were older (about 55 to 65). In between, women were more likely to say they wanted to get married. But throughout the entire 21-65 years curve, the difference between men's and women's desires for marriage weren't all that different.

Other interesting info from this study:

-- More than half the single men ages 21 to 35 wanted kids, while only 46% of women did.

-- Women seem to value their independence more than men. For example, 66% of women in a relationship have their own bank account, while only 47% of men do.

-- Women are pickier about whom they date than men are. 83% of men are flexible about the religious beliefs of their dates, while 62% of women are.

Is the 21 century really a brave new world for dating and commitments? Perhaps. Our post-modern society has given women lots of options besides marriage. Many women are opting for the career life rather than the "mom and wife" life. And there's nothing wrong with either choice.

So ladies, if you think that men are all a bunch of jerks who run away from any sign of a long-term committed relationship, please think again. Don't paint us all with the same brush. Some of us are just fine with making commitments-- including saying goodbye to dating and "I do" to marriage.

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