There are a billion times 10 reasons why I think it's important for women to have men as friends. One of them is because, if you really want to know how a man thinks, although everyone is an individual, other men are gonna give you a much more realistic (and reliable) perspective than other women will. This includes when it comes to the topic of marriage.
Now before you roll your eyes and say the last thing (most) men want to think about, let alone discuss, is marriage, I've done some (statistical) digging around. From what I've found, that's simply not true. Men tend to fall in love at first sight far more than women do. Men crave romance far more than they are given credit for. And, once a marital union actually does come to an end, guess who ends it first, the most? Women (70 percent of all divorces are filed by women). Since some studies reveal that married men live longer, make more money and have better sex than single fellas do, that alone explains why they're not so quick to call it quits.
But after reading a feature on Today's site about what makes men want to marry certain women and not others, I decided to conduct a personal study of my own. I hit up a few single, married and divorced men—all handsome, all successful and all good guys—to share with me what life, love and the pursuit of marital bliss (or at least relational contentment) has taught them about what truly makes a woman someone they want to wife up.
Christopher, 48, Married
"Something that's really attractive to me is a woman who carries herself well in public. I'm not just talking about her appearance; a lot of women are great at that. I mean, someone who knows when to put her game face on. Whatever transpired at home or even on the way to where we're going, she doesn't feel the need to share it with others—whether it's with her words, her facial expressions or her energy."
"Men feel safe when the woman they love knows that their business is their business."
Stephen, 35, Single
"I'm looking for someone who's on the same vibration as me. I used to be the kind of person who thought that so long as I was attracted to someone and she was attracted to me that it was a true connection. Now I realize that we need to agree on certain things—ethics, values, faith. It's also important to be open to growth and to be able to receive new information without putting up a wall. I am always pursuing growth. Marriage material, to me, is a woman who can complement that because she's pursuing her own evolution too."
Marcus, 52, Divorced
"People really underestimate the power of interdependence. I'm drawn to a woman who knows that our relationship exists because we need to be able to lean and depend on one another. But, at the same time, she's still self-aware enough to be able to stand on her own."
Stephen, 46, Married
"A woman who takes on personal accountability for her actions is really attractive to me. I once heard my pastor say that a lot of us have a tendency to rationa-LIE our way out of things instead of taking ownership for what we do wrong. We'll deflect, shift blame, manipulate—do anything but say 'I was wrong. I apologize.' A lot of precious time can be spared if when you know you made a mistake or even did something that you knew was going to cause conflict that you just…own it. Otherwise, I start to wonder if there is some sneakiness or deception going on. And that leads to a breakdown in trust."
Jay, 50, Married
"Something that I didn't really consider before getting married is how important it is to be with a woman who truly believes in you. I don't just mean when it comes to supporting your dreams and goals."
"I mean someone who can look past your flaws and imperfections and still have your back. My wife does that and it's a real confidence-builder and super-empowering for me."
Aaron, 36, Married
"It's important for a woman to see sex and affection as more than just a desire; those are things that she needs to need just as much as I do. Some women use sex as nothing more than a bargaining chip and that is something a man can sense from a mile away. Marriage is too much of a long-term and serious commitment to be with someone who isn't as into intimacy as you are—or isn't at least willing to explore getting there."
Javis, 30, Single
"It's beautiful when a woman is really strong in her faith. Once you get married, so many things will test your love in your partner, sometimes even your faith in God. When a woman isn't swayed by trials or even her emotions during the hard times because she is unwavering in her faith, she is priceless."
"A woman who isn't enslaved by her feelings is golden."
Bryant, 28, Single
"I think a woman who encompasses peace is major marriage material. I think it's a misconception that men are afraid of commitment. What we're actually 'afraid' of is getting with someone who is going to bring anxiety and stress into our space—a woman who will make us feel like life was sooo much better when we were single. When we know that a woman is secure in herself and she thinks that 'home' should be synonymous with relational tranquility, we'll put a ring on her finger in a heartbeat!"
Wyman, 32, Married
"A woman who is sexy and knows it is marriage material to me. Sexiness isn't about looking like a cover model, being a size 0 or having long hair or a big butt. Sexiness is knowing what makes you different from everyone else and wanting to show that off, in and out of the bedroom. You can't be sexy and not be confident at the same time. Sexy women have sex with the lights on. Sexy women always have something spontaneous and a little mysterious up under their sleeve. Sexy women can draw you in with their eyes alone."
"Never underestimate the power of a truly sexy woman and how she can satisfy you in a marriage."
Donte', 39, Divorced
"Someone who embraces her femininity and respects my masculinity is fire. In my first marriage, it started to become more and more apparent that my wife wasn't looking for a man. She was looking for a woman who had male genitalia. Men and women are designed by God to have different approaches and feelings about, pretty much everything. Embracing that is what creates our balance. A woman who doesn't fight against that is one in a million."
This is some good stuff worth pondering. So, the next time you and your girlfriends are having a wine down and the topic of marriage material comes up, use this article to bring up some thinking points or FaceTime some of the men in your life. What they say just might surprise you. At the very least, you can trust it because it's coming from the male's perspective.
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