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Do today's men have commitment issues?

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by Laila619, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. kenny
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    by kenny » Jun 4, 2014

    My SO is beautiful and smart but I don't want to marry ...

    Why do you assume everyone wants to marry?
    People vary.
     
  2. Laila619
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    by Laila619 » Jun 4, 2014
    Oh, I know not everyone wants to marry.

    But I would hope that if a man knows his girlfriend wants to get married and he does not, he would tell her that and not give her false hope (i.e. "be patient, it's coming"), or look for someone else who also does not want to marry. Not wanting to get married is not a problem. But when two people in a relationship want two different things, then it becomes a problem.
     
  3. CJ2008
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    by CJ2008 » Jun 4, 2014
    Yes!
     
  4. kenny
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    by kenny » Jun 4, 2014
    I totally agree.

    Is that what's happening with your friends?
    You dind't mention that in your OP.

    Have your women-friends spoken up?
    If not, their fault.
    Expectations are better communicated rather than assumed.

    I'm really having difficulty blaming this on "a commitment issue men have today".
    Takes two to tango, or not.
     
    


    


  5. Nyc2chigal
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    by Nyc2chigal » Jun 4, 2014
    Love this post, thanks Kenny!
    Women these days have modern expectations of men, as well as the traditional ones.
    Seems unfair, honestly.
    And whiny, in my opinion.
     
  6. Nyc2chigal
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    by Nyc2chigal » Jun 4, 2014
    My assumption is your friends never really made the marriage talk a priority early on.
    Is this correct?

    If not, then they don't have anyone else to blame except themselves.
    If they did, then it sounds like the guys had a bit of a change of heart, possibly? Stalling, perhaps?
    It happens. People change.


    When my husband and I started dating, we made our intentions for the relationship very clear.
     
  7. Maria D
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    by Maria D » Jun 4, 2014
    Maybe THEY are the ones that are commitment-phobic and either deliberately or subconsciously choose men who don't want to marry.
     
  8. Laila619
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    by Laila619 » Jun 4, 2014
    Kenny, yes, they've had talks and all the men invariably say some form of "relax, it's coming" or "be patient, enjoy the process" or "it will happen, don't worry." Something like that. Seems a little vague or dismissive to me.

    The LIW forum here on PS is filled with ladies waiting for their guys, and I don't think it's fair to say those ladies are whiners or outdated if they don't want to propose.
     
  9. Laila619
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    by Laila619 » Jun 4, 2014
    Yes, that is a good point...maybe they're subconsciously picking men that are wrong for them. Maybe they like a guy who's a challenge.
     
  10. Maria D
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    by Maria D » Jun 4, 2014
    ???

    The ones who are complaining that their guys are taking too long and who are not taking their future and happiness into their own hands are most certainly outdated whiners!
     
    


    


  11. Circe
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    by Circe » Jun 4, 2014
    I'm only halfway through the thread and therefore waiting to take it all in, but ... this CRACKED. ME. UP. Well said, Monarch. :appl:
     
  12. Laila619
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    by Laila619 » Jun 4, 2014
    But not everyone is complaining! Some ladies are just dating and waiting. And if their guy is saying "be patient, it's coming soon" then the woman probably believes him and doesn't see the need to propose herself. I do agree with you that after a certain point, it's best to cut your losses and move on. No one has to wait forever.
     
  13. Circe
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    by Circe » Jun 4, 2014
    And, again, threadus interruptus, but ... WELL SAID.
     
  14. Laila619
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    by Laila619 » Jun 4, 2014
    I chuckled too. :bigsmile:
     
  15. nala
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    by nala » Jun 4, 2014
    I have never been proposed to. I brought up the idea of marriage because I wanted to move to the next level, and he happily agreed. I wanted to pick my ring and since we were already living together and sharing expenses, we paid for it together. No proposal. No surprise. But guess what? We have a great marriage and we had a great wedding. And when friends asked how he proposed, I said, it was actually my idea to get married, and he was elated to do it. I don't lie about it because I feel proud that I was proactive in this important decision. Just like I was proactive about my education, my career, the purchase of our home, having only one child, etc.

    I saw many friends who waited and wanted to be patient and surprised with a proposal (they thought it unladylike to ask) only to get to the point in their relationships where they threatened to leave if they didn't get a ring, and lost their "ladylike" behavior. Some got their ring, and some got dumped. Even those who did get the ring have confided in me that their husbands throw it in their face...that they were forced to marry them.

    Moral of the story? It depends on how you have the talk; many posters seem to agree that the person must be clear about the expectations early in the relationship. If a person waits too long, you send the message that marriage isn't that important to you and when you finally mention it, it almost seems like you were misleading the other person by never bringing it up before. Now, if you have had the marriage talk and the party doesn't agree, then IT'S TIME TO MOVE ON BECAUSE HE OR SHE OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT WANT TO MARRY YOU AND NO AMOUNT OF WAITING WILL CHANGE THAT!!!
     
    


    


  16. Laila619
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    by Laila619 » Jun 4, 2014
    I like your story, nala. I am sad for your friends, that is so not cool that their husbands would do this! No one held a gun to their heads.
     
  17. movie zombie
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    by movie zombie » Jun 4, 2014
    a lot of truth in that.
     
  18. livannie
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    by livannie » Jun 4, 2014
    :cheeky:
     
  19. perry
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    by perry » Jun 5, 2014
    Oh my! And we are talking about the LIW's too....

    For the record I was once on that thread as a GIW for a lady I identified as "D"

    She would not commit and I moved on and exited the LIW thread.


    But, as a recently married man - to answer the original question.

    Actually yes, men in general have a "commitment" issue compared to the past with marriage. The biggest reason for it is how the legal system treats them once married and if there is a divorce. Something like 3/4 of all divorces are filed by the woman; and the courts tend to heavily side with the woman's position in divorce. The legal system is not balanced; and marriage is a huge risk for a man that it was not 30 or 40 years ago. This is a common area of discussion among the various men I know; and the most often cited reason that so many men are totally unwilling to ever remarry after divorce.

    So add that to all the other issues being discussed. Things have changed a lot in the last 40 years.

    Of course, there have always been men who would not commit; nothing new. But, there no longer is any real major benefit to marriage either; and woman's expectations have changed as well.

    Have a great day,

    Perry
     
  20. Dancing Fire
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    by Dancing Fire » Jun 5, 2014
    Just peed in my pants!... :lol:
     
  21. Rhea
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    by Rhea » Jun 5, 2014
    From what I've seen, marriage happens, it just happens much later. DH's group of friends have all been dating since university and are now in their early 30s. After university they graduate, get jobs, and flat share with friends for a couple of years. In their mid-20s they move in with their boy or girl friend and live together until they hit about 30-33 when they suddenly buy a house, get married, and have a baby all within the space of about a year. We've seen it happen with 6 of his friends over the last couple of years. It's very different to most of my friends in the US who would only live together a short time without a commitment, wanted to be married before buying a house, and wanted to be married for a few years before trying for children.

    I also think it's just as much the women as men in many cases. T wanted to finish her PhD before getting married - her husband S didn't care about finishing his first and therefore they married between their two vivas. R won't marry M yet because R wants to finish her PhD and is hoping to get a job offer. I think in both these cases, with both members of the couple having PhDs, the women are quite vocal about wanting to finish their check list of goals.

    In two other cases, K and another R put off marriage because of all that it entails. R makes quite a bit of money, and joking about it at another woman's hen do, commented that she wasn't yet ready to have a joint account and stop shopping for clothes. Before marriage she felt she could spend her earnings her way entirely. K got married 2 years ago and has a 1 year old. R just celebrated her 1 year wedding anniversary and announced they are expecting a child in 6 months. The best men's speech at R's wedding contained a lot of jokes about her husband being ready 5 years before her and having to patiently wait until R said yes.

    It's not just the men waiting to commit, it's the modern women. As an outsider I find it in stark contrast to my US friends while my English husband just sees it as normal. I think dating in our friend's cases very much puts the woman on equal ground. It gives them the freedom to move around to complete education or spend money their way and gives them a bit of an out of the boyfriend can't or won't come along. Not to say that any of these women are mean and dismiss their partner's feelings, just as the partner they hold a lot of power that they seem to feel they might not as a wife. The R working on her PhD is doing so in Sweden and New York and it's very much a case of, I need to do this, I'd like you to be there but if you can't or don't want to come then that's fine. An attitude I have yet to see with any of my married friends. These women have to make compromises when they marry and aren't exactly rushing into it.
     
  22. Stephny691
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    by Stephny691 » Jun 5, 2014
    I didn't want FI and I to get so comfortable in where we were that we forgot we had things we wanted to do as a couple (buy a house, get married etc).
    So around October 2013, I just said that's it. We want to get married, to get married we gotta get engaged. We went away for the weekend before we told anyone and while we were there I asked HIM to marry ME. I said we've never done things 'traditionally' so I'd hate to start now. And that's what we told everyone when we showed them the ring, that I asked him.

    I never doubted that we were going to get married, not for one second. But life really gets in the way of living and I had to sit him down and say, you know what, we're not going to wake up one day and magically be married, so if we want to get married- we've actually got to take steps to make that happen.

    I really think people forget that in order to do stuff- you actually have to DO stuff. Maybe that's what these guys are going through? 'Oh I'll just get this project over with at work, I'll wait till I can afford X ring...'?
     
  23. Lady_Disdain
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    by Lady_Disdain » Jun 5, 2014
    Whether women or men should propose is a red herring. If the men don't want to get married, they aren't going to propose and they are going to answer no (or "in a little while, honey") to a lady's proposal.

    Proposing is, honestly, just a formality in most cases. If the ladies are talking to their SOs about marriage, about engagements and about when these things are going to occur, to the point where they hear "I am not ready yet" as an answer, they have asked their SO to marry them. Pretty words or not, they have proposed and heard their answer.
     
  24. LaraOnline
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    by LaraOnline » Jun 5, 2014
    This is a bit of a push button issue for me.
    As an institution it signifies such a high level of optimism and positive life planning that I feel my life would be far the poorer if my man hadn't been sure. I'm glad my man bothered enough about me to go to the effort. He didn't have to I guess. :s
    No house contract, sexy holiday or even Saturday cup of tea in bed could ever compete with the fact that he gave a stuff.

    So why did I care? Ultimately it was because i wanted to plan my family properly - which means planning for the years of contraception as well as the years of parenting - I didn't want to be forced to delay delay delay and On the opposite side of the page I didn't want to have to negotiate a forever child without a forever father to that child.

    Back on topic lol I agree men think marriage when they want kids. Crucial point.

    Women may not admit to themselves that marriage usually equals kids. They want marriage to express a couple's romantic love. That may mean they are kidding themselves!
    But high social expectations for contraceptive use and passing-commitment sex definitely makes the social environment for marriage-minded (but not specifically child minded) women less fertile (lol) for a proposal in my view. Modern women may in my view feel that to be socially and sexually 'normal' they must appear happy for open ended child-free sex but I feel many try to 'counter' the pregnancy risk not by discussing marriage up front but by trying to negotiate after the relationship had been formed. This can put them on the back foot. After all, responsible contraception carries a pretty low risk, right? So what's the problem?

    Modern family law might eventually bring our men to change their way of thinking about with holding commitment as the risk can no longer be fully outsourced to women's. Esp since the invention of modern DNA tests. Or on the other hand (more likely) better just to with hold and let the law sort it out if unplanned pregnancy ever happens. The current media preoccupation with women's difficulty I achieving pregnancy later in life may also bring some social changes to bear.

    In my view, studies on female hormonal responses to regular sex also have an important bearing on women's desire for marriages d why they cannot just walk away.
    Oxytocin and other hormones released in sex bond a woman to her sex partner. Why? Because the body thinks a baby is coming within the year. After say three years without children this hormonal bonding decreases. Result? The 'marry me or I leave' ultimatum. Lol.

    Eek.
     
  25. Circe
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    by Circe » Jun 5, 2014
    So having fulminated a little .... just going off the comments, I feel like there are two distinct schools of commitmentphobe.

    In the first category, we have the apparently "traditional" types, who, if they get what they want from a lady, will apparently string her along indefinitely. I've actually met guys like this who are perfectly self-actualized, politically conscious, etc., etc., but they're serial monogamists, and they don't tend to leave their relationships until they find a better prospect (who, often as not, they DO wind up marrying ... I think possibly because the excitement of a new relationship makes the old one, with its patterns and routines, look really boring and they extrapolate to believing that New Relationship will always feel this awesome). I don't think it has to do with premarital sex, per se.

    As an aside, can I just say ... I wouldn't have any respect to loose for a man who lost his respect for me because I wanted the same thing he did. Because I would have been out of there like a bat out of hell at the first sign of either the attitude, or, frankly ... even the belief that that was somehow the superior stance. If I'm going to be monogamous for the rest of my life, I most definitely want to be certain we're compatible in every way. If I'd stayed with the first guy I dated - who I was engaged to, FWIW, and that after living together and providing free milk and all of that - I would never have known how awesome it is to be with somebody whose libido matches mine. I would have felt perpetually undesirable and/or weird. No thanks! Much happier that I sampled the goods over the years to find the one that was just right in that as much as in anything else.

    But, anyway: I think the first category is less "traditional" than what they're being described as, and more just ... selfish, with poor long-term planning and/or a tendency to let the tides carry them instead of going out and actively pursuing whatever it is that they desire. If any of your friends are with guys who also do this in other categories in their lives - they never make new friends, they're not exactly happy in dead-end jobs but they don't pursue others, either - then I'd worry.

    Otherwise? I'd consider the second category, the so-called "modern" man who just wants to screw around, care-free and la-di-da, possibly living in his parent's basement, but possibly doing quite well except for the refusal to grow the hell up. You know what I mean - the man-child, the guy with Peter Pan syndrome, the one who's genuinely terrified of commitment because it means responsibilities ranging from agreeing not to screw somebody else should the partner change to being wholly responsible for another human's life, should they choose to have kids. I've never met that guy. I'm not sure if he's a myth, like a unicorn - doesn't exist, frequently confused with a goat, like a goat, liable to eat cans - or a boogeyman (like the apocryphal "bra-burning feminist," a kind of Frankenstein cobbled together from a slew of social fears), or if this is a for-real thing I just happily managed to dodge.

    And if I did ... well, I can't speak for anybody else, but I can tell you that for me, being really up-front about all the things dude was going to have to accept about me, and step up to himself, helped to weed out the wankers. Don't wanna date a bisexual? Pass. Problem with feminism? Pass. Unrealistic expectations about what I'm willing to do to meet conventional standards of beauty (i.e., NO I WILL NOT VAJAZZLE)? PASS. And on their side, I needed them to just be grown-ups - no game-playing, meeting basic ... developmental bars, for lack of a better term ... and, yes, either being willing to commit, or saying that they weren't in that space, right up front (still didn't date those guys, but, hey, at least I sort of respected them).

    And FWIW ... I did propose to my husband. The fact that I could without running into any patriarchal nonsense was actually a huge selling point for me. But that doesn't mean that I expect every other woman to do likewise ... I feel like it's one of those things that you'll humor your partner on if it's really important to them (male or female). Sort of like role-play. But, just as you need to find that specific person who wants to play the d'Artagnan to your kinky Cardinal Richelieu, y'all need to be sure you're compatible pretty soon into things AND keep seeking enthusiastic consent, or things are going to get awkward.
     
  26. aljdewey
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    by aljdewey » Jun 5, 2014
    I think there are a few things at play in the general discussion.

    While some men do know early that establishing their families are a priority to them, I'd say men generally have never had the same urgency about marriage/family because they don't face the biological limitations women do.

    I think that's been compounded significantly by the rising costs of a college education. When my parents married in the early 60s, a college education was desired, but not necessarily required to have a career. The draft was a real thing, and people had to get their stuff squared away a lot sooner. When I went to college the mid 80s, a degree was becoming more necessary, but most of us could still begin our independent adult lives while satisfying loans.

    Today, many come out several tens (or hundreds) of thousand dollars in debt, and it's taking much longer to get to a point of really feeling financially stable or making positive strides. I can see this being a contributing factor in many's decision to delay marriage into their 30s. This has signficantly shortened the window of opportunity - women's biology hasn't changed, but society's mental timeline for when to marry has.

    All of this makes it pretty important to gauge where you are on the 'readiness' cycle, and if you're at the point of being ready for marriage, you shouldn't be afraid to have those discussions with your partners. You should be looking for the 'no' as much as for the 'yes'; if his timelines don't align with yours, it's better to know that and move on early. No sense wasting time with those who don't want what you want or who don't want it until much later than you want it.

    For Laila's friends - they are not helpless in the relationships. If I talked with my s/o about wanting to marry and my s/o said "be patient' and 'it will happen' with no expectations for a compelling event, I'd take that as a cue that I'm not 'the one'. If someone said "I want to finish my degree" or "I want to xyz', then I know how to set my expectations and it's my choice to decide if I want to wait for those things to happen or move on. If they choose to take the path of hoping and waiting, that's their choice/decision, and they get to live with the outcomes of those choices.

    I did live my husband for a year before we became engaged; when he asked how I'd feel about living together before marrying, I said I'd do so if we both were on the same page about expectations. Having been married previously, he needed to know that I could be happy living with him day to day, and he felt that would be clear within 6-12 months, but he was clear that he wanted marriage up front. If had hadn't been, it probably wouldn't have happened.

    When I agreed to move in with him, I told him I wouldn't sit around forever waiting for him to decide I was what he wanted and that I would move on without notice if our relationship stalled. He proposed 13 months after we moved in together. We had set expectations with each other, discussed what we saw for ourselves before we moved in, and followed through. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been sitting around after the 18-month mark without having another discussion about where we both were.

    If you get involved with someone, you should know up front what they want and when they envision getting there. Some people may never want to marry, and if so, being with a smart and beautiful woman isn't going to magically create that desire.
     
  27. CJ2008
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    by CJ2008 » Jun 5, 2014
    If everyone did this, I bet there would be a lot less people waiting - both because for some, they'd have a clear answer that they need to walk away now, before getting more involved, and for others, because they'd have a timeline of x time, making it easier to walk away or at least when to have the next conversation. It gives you something to hold on if things are not turning out as was discussed.
     
  28. Laila619
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    by Laila619 » Jun 5, 2014
    So true. I suspect even if these women *wanted* to propose, the guy would just say he still wasn't ready yet.
     
  29. kenny
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    by kenny » Jun 5, 2014
    Such women can choose to break up and move on, or stay and wait.

    Since either path is the woman's choice they should take responsibility and stop whining, as if they are helpless victims and their perceived predicament is all the man's fault for denying what these women have earned and are entitled to by being so smart and beautiful.
     
  30. Laila619
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    by Laila619 » Jun 5, 2014
    Again, nobody is whining! I think I'm more annoyed by their situations than they are, hence why I started the topic to find out if these situations are common. Would they love to be engaged? Yes. Are they happily dating their guy and in love? Yes. It's *obvious* they can choose to move on, which, incidentally is what I would do, but that's irrelevant since I'm not the one in their relationship. Easier said than done when you are in love, oxytocin-bonded, and have a lot invested.
     

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