Today, men may not be in a great hurry to get married. Despite the reluctance, marriage is still something that is sought after, albeit in the later years of a man’s life. The average age of marriage in the United States for men is 28, compared to 26 for women, according to 2011 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The major factors that influence men to marry include love, financial stability, as well as personal and family considerations, according to the article, "Marriage and Men's Health" in the Harvard Health Publications.
Marrying "The One”
More and more men are choosing to marry "the one." In a survey conducted for “State of Our Unions,” most participants admitted to waiting to find their soul mates before they married. This "soul mate" model of marriage involves both individuals in the union sharing in personal, financial and emotional growth and is becoming ever more popular among men who have completed some amount of tertiary level education, based on the report, "When Marriage Disappears: The New Middle America" published by the National Marriage Project.
Marrying When Financially Stable
Money is a major determining factor in men's decisions to marry. Wealth and the possession of assets such as monetary investments, a car, or a home played a significant role in men who had made the decision to be married, as revealed in a study carried out by researcher Daniel Shneider, Ph.D. of Princeton University, entitled, "Wealth and the Propensity to Marry." The reasons for such an influence may vary, but could include the economic stability and affluence that wealth and financial stability provide.
Marriage as an Accomplishment
Some men regard marriage as a capstone to their life goals and accomplishments. After having acquired higher education or skills training, settled into a career, or obtained a good job, and having acquired financial assets, men are more likely to get married, Shneider says.
Marrying to Be a Father
One common reason for men getting married is fatherhood. The participants in the “2002, State of Our Unions” study saw this as being quite important and were holding off on marriage until they deemed themselves to be ready to father a child. The more current trend has been for men to cohabit with a partner for a few years and even have a child before marrying their partners to provide a legally and financially stable family unit. This is commonly termed the "Great Crossover," according to the 2013 "Knot Yet" report sponsored by the National Marriage Project of the University of Virginia.
- Psychology Today: What Makes Men Get Married?
- Harvard Health Publications: Marriage and Men's Health
- U.S. Census Bureau: Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2009
- Wealth and the Propensity to Marry ; Daniel Schneider
- National Marriage Project: State of Our Unions: When Marriage Disappears: The New Middle America
- Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images