The recent Singles in America survey by Match.com delivered the surprising results.
Of the survey’s 5,000 respondents, 31% of men, compared to 23% of women, admitted they would consider marrying someone who ‘has everything they are looking for in a partner’, but with whom they are not in love.
21% of men went even further, confessing that they would commit to someone they are not sexually attracted to.
Contrary to what popular culture suggests, mature men, and young men in particular, are only too happy to settle.
Whether it is a resignation to believing there may never be ‘the one’ or a case of domestic pragmatism, men are willing to commit and live a life with a woman they feel is not 100% ideal.
Counter-intuitively, the urge to marry was even stronger for men in their 20s than for those in their 30s, but rose again for men in their 40s.
The apparent resignation among men to marry for the sake of marrying – and the company, support and security it offers – rather than for love and true attraction does not come as news to some men.
Tom Fant, a healthcare consultant, says, “The idea of being alone in life can be so overwhelming. Soul crushing for some.”
“Men certainly aren’t immune to it, even if most of us like to pretend that we are too strong to be scared, lonely, or, even worse, insecure,” he says.
Nick Soman, 32, founder of LikeBright, sees marriage prospects dwindling with age. He is brutally honest about ‘horrible’ singledom.
“People start looking at you and thinking, ‘You seem like a decent dude. Where’s the woman?’,” he says. “You’ll go to these weddings, and you’ll be at the increasingly declining table of the singles. There’s, like, three guys and a girl. You’re all kind of looking at each other like, ‘Wow, these odds are pretty bad.’”
Tony Richards, a DC radio personality says, “For years, women were trying to get out of the house, but now all these grown men are dying to get back into [it].”
He also suggests that the poll reflects a maturity in men. “Are you always madly in love with your wife? No. But you do have to really like each other, and be compatible. And respect is important.”
The same poll finds that only 44% of men, compared to 50% of women, believe that bad sex can end a relationship. Women still put emphasis on education and career success when picking a mate and the economy has not changed their dating habits.