IS HE MARRIAGE MATERIAL?
Is HE Marriage Material?
By Marc Alexander
You’re six months in and everything is cool. It’s more than cool, its damn near blissful. He seems to be attracted to you, he’s honest and he’s introduced you to his friends and family with no hesitation as his “girlfriend.” Not his “friend” or “chick” but good old-fashioned, sturdy “girlfriend” and you like that a lot. He takes your hand in public and has voluntarily un-friended his old flames on Facebook. He is saying through his actions that you mean something significant to him and he intends to stick around. Even though you two haven’t had the conversation yet you have started to make an evaluation of him – engaging in an inner-dialogue that says “Could I theoretically be with this dude, doing things, until death do us part?” You can’t help but wonder: is marriage material?
Assessing whether or not a man is marriage material has to be one of the most thorough vetting processes a women will ever engage in. What would be more important: a hairstylist, a gym trainer, a hair colorist? No, figuring out if the one you are with would be a good life-partner must take all of your observation and cognitive skills. Otherwise, things could turn out very badly and cost you a lot of time, money, and heartache.
If you are seriously considering becoming legally bound you will want to know, as best as possible, his minutia and idiosyncrasies. You’ll want to know how he feels about politics, if that’s important to you, and how he reacts to adversity. Is he a pessimist or an optimist, a complainer or a doer?
As a famous comedian once said, when you date somebody, you date their representative: the shiny, happy person who they want you to think they are. If you are seriously considering marriage, you have to get beyond the “reception area” boyfriend and get to the “boiler room” boyfriend: the one with the dirty jump suit and monkey wrench in his back pocket. You want to know that if things get tricky he will have your best interest right up there with his.
It may be a running joke that men are simple beasts who only need sex, food, and football to be content, but the reality, most of the time. is that men are complex and emotional. Men may not cry a fountain of tears over every little thing, but over the span of a marriage, the onion gets peeled and you don’t want to find any game-changing surprises inside the acidic folds.
Another important fact to remember is that determining whether or not someone is marriage material is both specific and subjective. Simply put: one cannot be marriage material by oneself.
One lady’s Chicken McNuggets may be another lady’s Duck a l’Orange. Ask yourself tough questions. Does he do the things that are important to you? Do you share the same core values? Does he have a sense of humor and, if so, does it match yours? And for the love of James and Florida Evans find out his perspective on having and raising kids. So many marriages head south because mommy finds out that daddy’s spin on fatherhood is to the right of Fred Flinstone’s, and his level of participation is not going to change. Ever. If you feel that all aspects of parenting should be a fifty-fifty split, be sure that he feels the same way before you throw those pills or condoms away. Having kids is tough enough without ending up angry and resentful in your SUV in between soccer practice and ballet while your husband is home on the couch watching another “Game of the Year” on TV.
Ladies, I will end by saying there is no foolproof test to find out if a man is one hundred percent Grade “A” marriage material because, as we all know, people change depending on circumstances and pressures. But being observant and having a lot of varying scenarios to pull your observances from are the best way to go. Only after determining that your man is marriage material – specifically suited to your marriage material – should you approach the altar with both eyes open and a heart full of hope.