The trend of men avoiding marriage is becoming only prevalent with time. Wonder why men don’t want to get married anymore? We’ll look at the different reasons behind this trend catching on with such rapidity in modern society. With the rise in live-in and polyamorous relationships, people are not only delaying marriage but are considering doing away with it altogether. The relationship between men and marriage is quickly changing.
In fact, studies suggest that men are more likely than women to have never been married. Also, the median age at first marriage is now 29 for men, up from 23 for men in 1960. What are the reasons behind these statistics? Let’s find out.
10 Reasons Why Men Don’t Want To Get Married Anymore
“I don’t even want to get married. Instead, I want to move to Ecuador, get a house by the beach and live my dream life with a couple of dogs and a closet full of the finest wine.” Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Married life brings far too many tribulations, responsibilities, arguments, and in some cases, restrictions.
Men who never marry can sometimes end up living happier and more satisfying lives. So if you’re on the fence about whether marriage is the right choice for you, irrespective of your relationship status, we can help you out a little bit. You need to understand why marriage is not important as it is made out to be. Here are 10 reasons behind men avoiding marriage that you should consider as well vis-à-vis your own wants and needs.
1. “I don’t need paperwork to affirm I’m in a relationship”
Caseylsh, a user on Reddit, says, “The concept of marriage was created by religion. A unification under god. Before the tax benefits. That’s why the Christians were so upset about gays getting married. I am not religious. And I frankly don’t see the legal benefits of marriage as worth it. Humans existed and started families for literally hundreds of thousands of years before someone came along roughly 5,000 years ago and made it ‘official’.
“I do not need paperwork to affirm I’m in a relationship. I also don’t need more paperwork should I choose to not want to be with that person anymore. A perfectly reasonable and human thing to do. There are billions of people on this earth, it’s stupid to pretend someone might like me forever.”
One of the reasons why men don’t want to get married anymore is the idea of “forever” and “happily ever after” may seem too idealistic to be real to them. This can be especially true of men who grow up in dysfunctional families and have seen first-hand the toxicity an unhappy marriage can breed. Some men fall in love but don’t need a marriage certificate as proof of their commitment to their partners. Also, some men just don’t think that marriage is worth all the hassle.
Related Reading: 9 Awesome Benefits Of Not Getting Married
2. Women’s independence and gender equality
Marriage rates are dropping, according to studies. In the US, 340,000 fewer marriages took place in 2020 than in 2019. The drop of 16.8% is proof enough that men are avoiding marriage. But why is this happening? Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, points out, “Women’s independence and gender equality is a huge factor in the long-term decline in marriage.”
As the structure of society is changing fundamentally, the roles of men and women in marriage are also undergoing a major transformation. Men are finding it difficult to adjust to a world where patriarchy doesn’t exist anymore. Giving up power is not easy after all. This is exactly the reason behind so many failing marriages.
Some men feel that laws are biased against them. In fact, there has also been a rise in men’s rights groups such as Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW) and the Manosphere, where men in droves complain about the unfair treatment meted out to them in relationships and family courts. For this reason, millions of men don’t want to get married and are opting out of marriage altogether.
3. Why men don’t want to get married anymore – A deadline for dreams
The 20s are a time to chase your dreams, and at this stage, you may not even be sure about what you want in a relationship. A lot of young men these days don’t want to get married because of the apprehension that it’d put a pin in their goals and life plans. The silver lining for men is that they don’t have to worry about their ticking biological clock as much as women. But, on the downside, there’s societal pressure on many men to become financially stable before getting married. These factors contribute to men not marrying these days.
4. Marriage changes men in fundamental ways
According to the work of sociologist Steve Nock, marriage changes men in fundamental ways. In his book Marriage in Men’s Lives, he discussed how men’s belief systems about themselves and their wives change when they cross the line. His argument rests on the potency of the social role of the husband. In general, he argued, men begin to see themselves as fathers, providers, and protectors when they transition into marriage.
After marriage, men work more, spend less time with friends, and are expected to take care of others. Men have an inner view that after marriage — but not before — their partners have the right to tell them what to do. And this could be one of the overwhelming reasons why men don’t want to get married.
5. Rising divorce rates and struggle for child custody
A successful marriage is not everyone’s cup of tea. Reddit user Tincanbrain says, “Almost half of all marriages end up in divorce, which makes me question the purpose behind marriage in the first place. Plus, divorce is a long-drawn-out legal battle that saps your resources and continues to do so even after the proceedings. Sometimes, even with a prenup involved, the divorce doesn’t really go down smoothly. Marriage just feels like you’re setting yourself up for financial and mental pain in the future, so why do it?”
According to studies, 50% of marriages in the US end in divorce, and 80% of those divorces are initiated by women. Since women are more likely to initiate divorce, men usually end up paying a lot more in a divorce. The fear of being financially exploited is one of the reasons behind men avoiding marriage nowadays.
Research says that out of the total population of custodial parents, 82.5% were women. So, getting custody of their children is very difficult for men in the case of a divorce, but they end up paying alimony and child support. The fear of being handed the short end of the stick is also one of the reasons behind men being wary of marriage.
6. Waiting for the perfect soulmate
Research on why men don’t want to get married anymore found that many men were waiting for the perfect soulmate, who would not try to change them. They do want to get married but not settle for someone who is incompatible. Most people have a hard time saying yes to marriage because there is a good chance they would end up with the wrong person.
Maybe you find her silence to be charming, but with time, realize that she’s too quiet all the time and you want someone to talk to and listen to. It might be that you’re infatuated and you mistook it for love only to regret it after some time. Some men and women have trust issues and some find it difficult to share their lives with others.
Imagine being with somebody who thinks fundamentally differently from you and this starts making you dislike everything about them. You’re bound to wonder, “Is marriage worth it?” A lot of men avoiding marriage do so because they realize that the future is uncertain and to pretend otherwise is the most naive thing one can do.
7. Family involvement can put people off the idea of marriage
Family makes things all the more complicated. We all do love our families despite all the disagreements or problems. But it is not fair to expect that one fine day we get married and love a whole new family just like we love our own. If you’re unlucky, you might just find yourself dealing with your partner’s dysfunctional family drama. One can try, but it becomes very easy to find fault in a new family and it is not always easy to love them like your own.
I experienced this firsthand. Things were all lovey-dovey in our live-in relationship and I have to admit that we had a perfect equation before our families became involved and that’s when things got so complicated that we couldn’t even maintain a successful relationship, much less think about marriage. This can leave anyone wondering, “Is marriage worth it?”
When two families are forced to come together, they can bring in more problems. One big reason why men don’t want to get married anymore is that they don’t want to go through the whole process of bringing the two families together to live with a person they’re already living with.
Related Reading: 10 Family Values That Help You Forever In Life
8. Marriage means giving up independence
Many men love their independent lives (living away from home and spending their own money on all the things they want). They are busy ticking off items on their bucket lists and are so not ready to give it all up. After all, it’s a scary thought to lose identity in a marriage. Also, men don’t get married because they are beginning to tilt more toward cohabitation and live-in relationships where two people can enjoy a wholesome, intimate relationship without putting a label on it.
According to studies, the marriage rates of US adults have declined from 58% in 1995 to 53% in 2019. Over the same period, the share of adults living with an unmarried partner rose from 3% to 7%. While the number of couples who are currently cohabiting remains far smaller than those who are married, the percentage of adults ages 18 to 44 who have lived with an unmarried partner at some point (59%) has surpassed those who have ever been married (50%).
Reddit user Thetokenwan opines, “Understand that the reasons I’m about to give are from my perspective only and the perspective of people I’ve spoken to about the topic. With that said, I am not against marriage. I believe that the government has no place in interpersonal relationships. Plus, some people feel that the tradition of a civil union is outdated and in some cases sexist. Overall, marriages in America also have a horrible rate of ending in divorce.”
9. Don’t want to conform to everyone’s expectations
From the time you are born, you’re boxed into some kind of role and given responsibilities you probably didn’t even want in the first place. It starts with fulfilling your parents’ expectations. And then your teachers’ and professors’ expectations, and later on, it shifts to the expectations of your bosses. But with marriage on the cards, you now have to fulfill your spouse’s expectations too! And then if kids come into the picture… You see where this is going, right?
The list of marriage roles and responsibilities does not ever end. It’s your life, and no matter what society or your family feeds you, it’s your choice to do what you want to do with it. If you like taking and fulfilling responsibilities, if it adds meaning to your life, good for you. But if they bog you down and take away your individuality, maybe it’s time you sat down and asked yourself what it is that you want. A good reason behind men avoiding marriage in today’s age is to not conform to the expectations everyone has of them and lead lives independently.
It doesn’t have to always be that way. Take some time and evaluate if this is the life you want for yourself. You should have time to breathe easy and relax too. Don’t be bound by these social constructs of what your role in a marriage should be. This is one of the biggest reasons for men not marrying anymore. And there are barely any benefits of marriage for a woman either, and that’s why so many of them are doing away with the concept of marriage as a necessity as well.
Related Reading: Expectations In Relationships: The Right Way To Manage Them
10. No fear of loneliness
Why do people settle down? More often than not, it’s because they want to experience a lasting sense of companionship and never be alone. The fear of being alone is ingrained in us and getting married is often presented as the perfect alternative by society. We’re told that once our parents are gone and if we don’t have kids, we’d need some kind of family to hold onto.
Many men don’t buy that narrative. They build fulfilling lives for themselves, complete with platonic connections, support systems, hobbies, passions, and careers. In such cases, marriage begins to feel more of a choice than a necessity – a choice many men don’t see any sense in making.
- Young men don’t get married anymore because they can enjoy the benefits of marriage by moving in together
- The rising divorce rates and accompanying financial loss are other reasons behind men avoiding marriage
- Single men are also fearful of losing their independence and the consequences of being in a serious relationship with the wrong person
- Men don’t have to worry about their ticking biological clock as much as women
- Family involvement is another reason behind men not marrying
To conclude, everyone’s timeline is different and you can get married whenever you want. Even if marriage is not your priority, it is totally all right. Your relationship can still be equally special, without putting a legal stamp on it. You don’t owe an explanation to anyone. If it makes you happy, it doesn’t have to make sense to others. Follow your gut, that is all you need!
This article has been updated in November, 2022
Some are choosing their financial independence. For some, getting married brings a horde of responsibilities that they aren’t ready for. The horror stories of others’ divorces and declining marriage rates have made the idea of marriage a scary concept, instead of being a big celebration.
There are plenty of problems that you can avoid, those that are specific to married couples. You don’t have to deal with a whole new family, you can save up a lot of money for your good health and never have to worry about the hassles of fighting with your ex wife about child custody.
The answer is subjective. These days, men not marrying is common because of the imposed responsibilities that come with it. But also, so many married men are happy with the stability that being a husband and father brings. At the end of the day, it is a personal decision.
Why should it not be? If it’s a personal preference and something that a person wants, then there is absolutely no reason why they cannot lead a single life. Besides, there are many people who are happily single out there too. There are several advantages of living a solitary and peaceful life, devoid of all the conflicts and responsibilities that inadvertently come with partners and kids.
Even though we have forever been told that it is, let me break your bubble and inform you that it is not. Lasting independence and having all the time in the world for your dreams are just a few of them. Moreover, breaking away from society and doing what you please has its own thrill.
You do you! Do what you please and lead your life as you want it to. Don’t give in to the demands and responsibilities that society will try to throw on your back. Always think of all the advantages and disadvantages of the decision that you make. It’s easy to go with what everyone says, but you might regret it later, but then you won’t have as many choices as you have now.