Getting married is one of the biggest decisions a person can make, and figuring out what you want in a life partner is crucial. If this is something you want in your own life, then knowing the reasons a guy doesn't see you as marriage material can be helpful. From there, you can decide what men are marriage material to you.
In many ways, marriage is becoming less common for Americans across the board. Recent research on marriage has shown an overall decrease in the number of people tying the knot, according to the Pew Research Center (PRC). For instance, almost 60 percent of people aged 18 to 29 were married in 1960; by 2010, only 20 percent of this age group was wed, according to the PRC. People are delaying marriage until later in life, or going without it altogether.
So what qualities would make a modern guy want to get hitched? Stats are great, but there's a lot to be said for getting advice from real people. To learn more, I asked men on my social media, as well as a few IRL people, about what constitutes marriage material. This informal and in no way scientific poll did shed some light on the qualities some men seek in a life partner. If you're curious what keeps the opposite sex from committing, read on to hear what they have to say.
1. You Disagree About Major Stuff
Although it borders on cliche, money, religion, and politics do matter in a long-term relationship. Making sure you're on the same side, or at least able to respect one another's differences, is beyond important. By the time you're ready for marriage, most people's stances on these things are pretty set (with some exceptions, of course).
2. Your Career Ambitions Are Different
Most of the guys in my poll voiced a desire for ambitious women with their own lives and careers. It's OK if you need time to figure out career goals, or even switch to a different field at some point. But the ambition and drive for some vocation was seen as highly important.
3. You Don't Have Much In Common
Sure, you don't have to like all the same interests and hobbies. But there should be at least some overlap in your activities, so you can share experiences. A dedicated dog lover might never pair well with someone who hates the idea of living with pets, for instance.
4. You Put Too Much Pressure On The Relationship
One thing came up consistently: it's crucial for both partners to have lives of their own, and not put pressure on the relationship as their sole source of happiness. That's a scary amount of pressure for anyone. Knowing how to care for yourself is so important.
5. Your Family Is Problematic
When asked about things that discount marriage material, one guy's answer was straightforward: he did not want to marry a woman whose family was difficult and overbearing. Dealing with problematic in-laws was a no-go.
Of course, no one can choose their family of origin, and some people get stuck with abusive, controlling, or otherwise difficult relatives. It's a hard life truth. If this is the case, are you able to maintain healthy boundaries with your family?
6. You're In A Lot Of Debt
Financial stability is a big concern for many people seeking a life partner. One person I polled said a woman with a lot of student debt would be quite the turn-off. Granted, plenty of people have taken on debt to fund education, but it's crucial to have a plan for dealing with it. Overall, personal financial responsibility is often crucial for marriage success.
7. You Disagree About Whether To Have Kids
This is a deal breaker. You have to be on the same page here, because there's no way to compromise and have half a baby. If you still need time to figure this idea out, though, that's OK too.
8. Your Relationship Is At Odds With His Career
Some people put a lot of stock in their careers. One guy I polled said that a future wife would need to be willing to move if his job relocated. It's important to know where you both stand on career questions such as these.
9. You Don't Communicate Well
The ability to communicate openly and honestly is a big factor in any relationship, especially one as serious as marriage. Talking through everything from laundry duty to life insurance policies takes some serious skill. Are you able to express your wants and needs openly?