Is It True That Men Don’t Want To Get Married?

June 18, 2012  |  

Last week, I finally got around to watching the HBO show “Girls,” which not a bad show. It’s well-written, funny and sort of like “Sex and the City” before Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda and Carrie got careers, fabulous apartments and a budget for decent clothing.

Anyway, I was watching one episode in which Hannah, the main character played by “Girls” writer and director Lena Dunham, was at this hipster warehouse party where she saw Adam,  her friend-with benefits. This is the first time that Hannah saw Adam outside of his apartment, let alone fully clothed. Instead of going over to say “hi,” Hannah opts to spy on him as he dances with a couple of lesbians. Later in the night, one of the lesbians named Tako (like Taco but with a “k” because the “k” matters, okay?) finds Hannah by the bar, introduces herself, and asks Hannah if she knows Adam through Alcoholics Anonymous. Hannah does not know him through Alcoholics Anonymous—she does not even know he is in Alcoholics Anonymous. Tako is shocked because according to her, AA is a major defining thing in Adam’s life.

Later in the episode, Adam and Hannah go off on a “scrapping mission” to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. After falling off the handlebars of his bike, Hannah confronts Adam about keeping secrets from her including his membership in AA to which Adam replies:

You never ask me anything besides ‘does this feel okay?’ or ‘do you like my skirt?’ or ‘how much is your rent?’ I’m not gonna f****n’ talk your ear off about s**t you don’t ask about. You don’t wanna know me. You want to come over in the night and have me f**k the dog s**t out of you, then you wanna leave then write about it in your diary. You don’t wanna know me.

Dumbfounded and somewhat obtuse, Hannah replies: Do you even think about me when I’m not there?

I thought this was interesting for a number of reasons, but mainly because it reminded me of how sometimes men get the short end of the non-committal stick. Society has led us to believe that men are dogs, prone to run away in droves from relationships, let alone the marriage altar. Those men are loveless creatures, who would rather live their lives in perpetual bachelorhood than to be hitched to one woman in holy matrimony.  I can see how some of this narrative came to be. You can just type into Google, “why men won’t marry” and you’ll get back a litany of new articles, videos and blog posts written by folks, mostly men, which seem to perpetuate this idea that men only couple up mostly out of convenience (i.e. “She’s been there for a while, plus she can cook so why not?”) or under duress (i.e. “She’s pregnant and I’m the daddy…”).

But is this meme true for most men? What if, like Adam, they would like to be in a relationship but feel like the women in their lives are just not interested?

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