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Do Men Feel The Pressure Of Marriage As They Age?



At this point in my life, I’m six groomsman’s tuxedos in and two tuxes are already in plain sight for me for two of my closest friends’ weddings in 2014. And yes, everyone is starting to look at me and ask the question, “Do you ever see yourself getting married?” I’d be lying if I said no. I have always seen myself as a married man with a family, but unlike women, as men get older and see the opportunities fleeting, the pressure doesn’t intensify. I imagine that every man reaches a point in his life when he rids himself of the envy and stops worrying about if he’ll ever get married.

Does this mean that I’m electing out of marriage, or don’t see it as something I want in my life? No, I very much believe in marriage and family. My feelings have only changed in that I don’t see marriage as completely necessary in my life. I tweeted a couple weeks ago, “Sometimes you come to a point in your life when you realize that some things may or may not happen and that’s perfectly okay because they weren’t required anyway.”

Yes, there are times when I look back over my life and the relationships that I thought would have ended in marriage and I wonder if I’ll ever experience that again. And like my father has always taught me, I’ll more than likely experience it again because I’ll always be okay. I worry if I’ll meet someone at the same stages that I’ve met my exes in my past. But I don’t worry that I’ll never find someone who meets the companionship criteria I’ve set for myself. As I get older and experience more and more relationships, I have a good idea of what it takes for a relationship to last. As I get older, I’m less likely to jump into a relationship because I know the flaws of the past ones. For that reason, there’s no reason to worry about if I’ll find someone, I just worry that it won’t be easy and some feelings will be hurt along the way. Like most things, nobody likes to be told that they’re not the right person for you when they are convinced they are.

See Also:  There Goes My Hero

And yes, by the time most men reach their late-twenties they’ve got a boatload of weddings and friends getting married. I realize that is almost the exact opposite for some women. I have plenty of lady friends who tell me they’ve only been to one or two weddings; many have never been in a wedding. When I tell them I’ve been in six and am heading towards seven and eight, they look at me like, “Where are all these men who are getting married?” In fact, the question should be, “It seems like you know all the women who aren’t getting married, where are they at?” Unfortunately, the two may never meet. [Read the rest at: MadameNoire]


  1. Bro, this post hit home for me. I think I have been a groomsman in 5 weddings myself since graduating from undergraduate school. I get the "when are you getting married" question alot and would prefer to be married than single, but I think timing has alot to do with it. While my boys choose to get married, I choose to focus on going to graduate school because of my profession. I will admit to letting 1 or 2 of my exes slip through my hands, but things happen and you live and learn. I don't feel pressure from anyone, but myself.

    1. Peter Parker, relationships help us not to be selfish, as they are about learning to put other's needs before our own, and to forgive, basically love and support one another. Is your desire to accomplish all this on your own so you can show what you can do without a woman? More can be accomplished with a good partner. With love she can be a great partner and vice versa.

      1. Oh I totally agree with you, but when I started grad. school my ex was not very supportive of me. Why be with someone who is not going to support your dreams?

      1. Because it looks ridiculous and makes them appear immature. It's not that it doesn't fit the social norm, but maturing is about leaving childish things behind, such as "being about that life". Then they wonder why they die alone, which is something I doubt anyone wants to do.
        My recent post I’m Forever Single…I Live in L.A.

        1. So a man is immature if he isn’t ready to get married when a woman wants to be married? If you look around the internet it seems if a man isn’t ready and willing to do what a woman wants him to do when and how she wants him to do it there is something inherently wrong with his character. That line of thinking is what is immature and equals sl*t shaming in my books.

        2. Plenty of married folk in their 40's and 50's that are broke, too, so not sure what that has to do with anything.

          Although to be fair there has been studies that show that probability of doing better financially is higher if married (mainly due to tax breaks, health insurance costs, etc…)

          At any rate, that's neither here nor there. Co-sign with JustAMan's sentiment above. Seems to be a popular narrative.

        3. When Wildflower said "about that life," I interpreted that to mean partying, womanizing, and just overall avoiding any type of real responsibility, whether that means advancing in his career, starting a family or overall maturation of the mind, body and spirit.
          My recent post Christianity and the Black Church

        4. "real responsibility" is sort of subjective and a choice one makes I suppose. If a person is ok with being in middle managemenet their whole career and is not interested in starting a family by a certain age it's a choice I wouldn't necessarily be so quick to equate that to maturity level.

          Now the whole womanizing thing and partying (getting drunk weekly) then yes, I'm with you there. No argument here.

        5. Those were simply examples of "real responsibility." I'm not stating what someone should aspire to as far as their career or family, but if I met a man in his 40-50s (which I have) who don't have transportation, barely have a job and have no place of their own, who go out regualrly and are still trying to smash as many women as possible, I would consider them immature.
          My recent post Christianity and the Black Church

        6. I believe the disconnect here is what we are defining as "being about that life". To me it's just simply being able to go out socially and travel more freely than one would if they had a family…whether they're 30, 40 or 50 years old.

          If a man is 40 years old and does not have a family or serious obligations and has free time, how they want to spend that free time shouldn't automatically be casted with negative judgment, in my opinion.

      2. Because Im sure these same men probably have a few baby mama's here and there. My thing is.. if you want to procreate why not maintain get married to the mother. Now if a guy wants to run around and wear Cool Water in hopes to find the next young thang.. so be it. But don't be spreading your seed and keep it moving. I know having kids has nothing to do with this article but like it ties into the whole marriage thing.

        1. "Because Im sure these same men probably…"

          Ahhh….assumption-based reasoning tailored to a preconceived scenario already established in your mind…gotcha.

          Nothing wrong with that. I just didn't know you were lumping in all of these people having multiple baby mommas and being irresponsible when it comes to using protection and the such.

          Me, personally, was thinking more of the context of a 40 year old man being able to go out and travel more freely and socially because he is unmarried. Obviously, our definitions of "being about that life" were coming from two separate ideas.

          Oh well, happens all the time I guess.

        2. where did you get this imagery from?? I know a pharmacist in his late 40s that doesnt plan on marriage anytime soon and still goes out and parties and womanizes.. so your point?

    1. And I know women that age trying to "Eat, Pray, Love" their way into some "Sex in the City".

      What's your point?

  2. Why would a man even want to marry if he can just get some free booty in these streets? It won't be until the day he realizes that new p*ssy ain't gonna wash his clothes the way he likes, or cook his meals, or support him when he's down and all that other stuff a good woman would do, before he decides to settle down. I think it comes to maturity. The more mature a man becomes the less likely he is to really want to deal with the headache of multiple women. Until then, happy hunting!
    My recent post I get so lonely

    1. "It won't be until the day he realizes that new p*ssy ain't gonna wash his clothes the way he likes, or cook his meals, or support him when he's down and all that other stuff a good woman would do, "

      Here in lies the thing (with me at least)….more than likely if he is a man of a certain age he's been doing more than just fine cooking his own meals, washing his own clothes and having a support system. Those aren't very large incentives for me, but very nice bonuses and greatly appreciated when offered.

      A man (well, me at least) wants to marry for companioinship and starting a family and establishing something far greater as a whole that is impossible to obtain on one's own. Not that there is anything terrible or bad about being on your own, but some folks aspire to be greater.

      Being able to cook well or wash clothes doesn't necessarily define a good woman (nice qualities/traits, though, sure)…pleny of A-holes that can cook, lol.

        1. Please see third paragraph after the word "companionship"…I elaborated further.

          No shots, but just now reading the title in your "My recent post" link. I think I have a better context of where your line of questioning is coming from.

        2. None taken, I right what I feel, and in this post I am in no way attacking men, because I know many men, who realizes the benefits of marriage. However, when you read tons of articles on this site, and see many guys who…I don't want to say bash… but maintain the reasons as to why women cannot get married is because they are the issue, and women need to do this that and the other. At times it just seems contradictory in all as to why men will and wont marry. Companionship is subjective in my opinion. I know plenty of males who who could provide me with companionship, but that doesn't men that I would marry them.

        3. Furthermore, on a previous post is spoke about men wanting a woman who can cook and clean and but you're saying "well i'm already doing that, so that's not a selling point to me". You do not speak for all men just as I do not speak for all women, which I completely understand, but at the end of the day, in my eyes companionship needs more to accompany that person.
          My recent post I get so lonely

        4. It's really not the same. Companionship isn't just going to a concert or a movie. It's the day to day. Sitting on the couch catching up on your favorite shows together while eating ice cream. It's going on dates with other couples. It's far beyond what you're just doing on dates.

          Also…he said more after the word "companionship". Much more. You can't start a family and have a great relationship with just any ol' body.

    2. payne well: "Why would a man even want to marry if he can just get some free booty in these streets? It won't be until the day he realizes that new p*ssy ain't gonna wash his clothes the way he likes, or cook his meals, or support him when he's down and all that other stuff a good woman would do, before he decides to settle down."

      The question becomes are we talking about settling down or marriage? Plenty of men settle down early, stay with the same p*ssy and do all the marriage stuff with one woman, but don't actually get married.

      1. Well in this instance, i'm using settling down and marriage as one in the same because often when you are at a cookout and your uncle asks, "when are you gonna settle down" he's asking when are you going to get married, have kids, etc. I do not believe playing house(which is what you are referencing) is what most people reference in settling down.

        My recent post I get so lonely

  3. Awesome post! One thing you said really got to me. You said marriage isn't completly necessary for you. I wonder how many people feel its necessary for their life vs desired. I think companionship and loyalty are necessary. If I can have that then I would be okay with that. Wanting to be married and wanting to have a marriage are two different things. People confuse what they really mean.

  4. Interesting. As a woman in her early 30's, I was just telling my homegirl last night I'm at a que sera sera point in my life regarding marriage. I had a lot of angst in my 20's about being chose. Now? Not so much. This is not to say that I don't want to get married, that I have given up on the ideal, just that it can't consume my thoughts and my life. It seems that as we get older, while folks may not be actively pursuing or chasing, that doesn't mean that we don't want it, just that there is the realization that everything in its own time. I remain open to whatever the Universe gon' bring. But what I do know is that when love calls, you better answer..
    My recent post Help Needed

  5. At 25 years old, I don't feel pressured not one damn bit to be married lol I also don't feel that I am ready to commit to one person for life and provide for someone else FOR LIFE at this point in my life, so at this point I'm gonna continue live my selfish lifestyle and feel good about it lol now of course I do want to get married at some point, and marriage is something that I take VERY seriously, so I'm not even gonna consider it until I become ready for it. And since I've deemed myself not ready, I feel zero pressure lol

  6. Do Men Feel Pressure of Marriage As They Age?

    No. There may be the desire to do so, but rarely is there pressure (except by the woman he's dating).

  7. OK, let's reboot before the conversation gets derailed like it did yesterday.

    The topic is "Do Men Feel The Pressure of Marriage As They Age." There are comments about pushing 40 still trying to be about that life, dealing with the headache of multiple women, free booty and dying alone. This implies that all unmarried men are out there wh0ring it up with every woman they can.

    Many single men are in committed relationships or looking for them. Some men are in extremely long term relationships where they are settled down with one woman, but don't want to go through the legal hurdles of getting married. And some men plan on getting married, but not at the current time (and that doesn't mean they plan to get serious after they turn 60).

    My point is there's a median between being married and sleeping with every woman a man can find. Most men are somewhere in that median.

    1. "My point is there's a median between being married and sleeping with every woman a man can find. Most men are somewhere in that median."

      Exactly! And I'd even go so far as to say most men CAN'T sleep with lots of women even if they wanted to. The majority of men have less than 5 partners in their lifetime– its the top 5-10% of dudes who have the knowledge and power to run through lots of chicks.

  8. I think we only feel pressure if we are in an environment that gives it; whether it be active or passive.
    I come from a home of active pressure to get married, my parents are old school west indian people so they don't want any babies outside of marriage.
    I also have passive pressure because of societal expectation.

    I think that kind of pressure can be defied especially through knowledge and experience. From seeing my parent's marriage fall apart (despite their will I marry at some point) I know it's not something I will ever take lightly and intend to do it once after a long vetting period

  9. Men do feel pressure to marry. However I don't think men are socialized to define themselves through the relationships they have. Even if they are in them, the partner is usually scene as an accessory and not really a true partner. I think about that when I read one of the many articles about women getting "more than they deserve" from divorces and such.

    I've already been married so I don't feel pressure anymore. But my mom still asks about those grandkids …
    My recent post Tech Tips: @Anjuan @BrothaTech @TatianaKing

  10. I didn't even bother reading this post…y'all don't have pressure to get married b/c y'all don't have a ticking time-bomb on your ability to reproduce. If I could make babies for the rest of my life I wouldn't be pressed about marriage either.

    I was in approximately 5 weddings in 2006. As soon as we graduated law school ALL my (white girl) friends from law school were getting married. It's like Christmas 3L year – all people received were engagement rings. I NEVER cared. AND THEN I turned 30. Went in for my annual lady visit and my doctor looked me dead in the eye and was like you know you need to get knocked by 34 if you don't want a "high risk" pregnancy right? Your window is closing. At that moment I went from normal – if it's meant to be it will be person…to stalking ninjas and contemplating trapping someone just so I don't miss out on my chance.

    For me – the only thing that is PRESSURING me into marriage is being born a woman and knowing I only have a finite amount of time before I will not be able to have a child. Oh and my disdain for out of wedlock children. Maybe if I could find it in me to be content being JUST a baby mama, or give up on ever reproducing, or have enough money to freeze my eggs – then I wouldn't feel the pressures of marriage. You mean are lucky I tell you!

    1. Hiya longtime lurker here, love the site. I think you needed to read the post in its entirety before commenting. Before you bite my head off, I am a woman, 30 and single. The post was geared towards men and their thoughts on pressure to get married. It wasn’t meant to negate the reality for women. It just simply stated the thought process of a man on this subject.
      It does not nullify your valid point of a finite time for reproduction for us women. At the end of the day, as much as I would love to be a mother. I have several other titles that I love cultivating and investing my time into.
      My point is life is short, try to enjoy the journey, bumps, warts and all.

      1. Definitely was not trying to bite anyone's head off. I literally didn't even check who wrote the post. I read the title and snapped but that's because I am knocking on 33, no kids and no ring in sight. AND when I am getting married, is literally the ONLY thing on my mind lately. I don't even want to be married yet & honestly I'm not even ready for kids yet. BUT I am so terrified that I am gonna wake up one day and have the man I love and WANT to have a child with and CANT.My post was just me and my issues lashing out because this is the scariest thing ever for me.

        I controlled school, career, house, finances etc. and handle all that and did what I needed to do to end up where I wanted to be. But having someone pick em to be their wife…is TOTALLY beyond my control. I can't MAKE it happen. I can't guarantee that even being the best me I can be will make it happen. Like I am on the verge of going to the sperm bank – so I could have a kid. Then I could take my time and wait to be found…it's so stressful. 🙁 le sigh

        1. @insomniapoet

          You did that to yourself. It was not out of your control.

          You didn’t prioritize having a long-term male partner, and now you need to get lucky!

          Good day

        2. Adonis I guess that is one way to look at it…I shouldn't have focused on becoming the best me I could be…should've just been out here looking for a partner…epic fail on me.

        3. Why did "being the best me" and having a committed relationship on track for marriage have to be independent of each other? You admitted you didn't focus on having a relationship, but now it's the men's faults for having better options and looking elsewhere?

          A woman being in control of house, career, and all the other things you listed are not what most men would rank as priority when deciding a woman's level of attractiveness.

          Not trying to knock you, but the way you expressed yourself makes you seem masculine and bitter. My intuition also tells me that you lack perspective as to why you have ended up in a state of desperation. The first step to change is admitting there's a problem. Good luck to you. 🙂

        4. @Delicate Petals

          I didn't get the impression that she was masculine & bitter, and I read alot of female commenters.

          I just wanted to point out to the women who peruse this site, that MEN have nothing to do with how you prioritize your life.

          @InsomniaPoet could have had a husband at 18, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, but passed up on great opportunities, not because the men were not biting & being players.

          This was the point I was checking Ms. Smart on when she & other women accused Black Men of being immature, a label we hardly ever bestow onto women.

          Good day

        5. WOW masculine & bitter?!?! I AM WINNING! LMAOOOOOOOOOO no point trying to explain something to someone who obviously has reading comprehension skills…

        6. @DelicatePearls – For the record…never said it was ANYONE's fault. If there was anyone to blame I guess it'd have to be Mother Nature for making women's bodies with an expiration date & God for making me a woman oh yea and my mom for telling me to not worry about men as that would come and to just focus on school etc. LMAO

  11. I wouldn't say there is a pressure, but one becomes more mindful as he ages. The only pressure a man feels to get married would be coming from a woman who is pressuring him, or from family.
    Apart from that, a man will know when he is ready. He will feel the desire innately.

    I've seen some of the sentiments in the comment section that consists of shame language. A man being ready for marriage is not synonymous with maturity, nor is a man's desire to continue playing the field is a sign of immaturity (maybe hitting the clubs hard at 40 yrs old is though. #kanye shrug).

    The point is, marriage does not equate to 'being a real man'. No one is obligated to get married. That is not the destination for all human life. Marriage is simply a personal decision and should never be a measure of maturity or one's manhood.

    Mr. SoBo

    My recent post Dear Hip Hop, We Hardly Knew Ye

  12. Pressured to get married = nope. While I'm open to the idea of marriage, I choose to focus on my career, hobbies/traveling etc.(like the old heads that were before me) If that is against the 'social norm' then so be it lol

  13. I don't feel any pressure, nor do I feel that men generally feel pressure as we age in today's society. What hasn't been mentioned is that marriage used to be synonymous with success. In previous generations, it was the pathway to a respectable, successful life. It was regarded with honor and respect. We have moved so far away from that ethos today. We see so many bad examples of marriage, that I feel that the psyche of both men and women have been affected by this. The selfishness of modern society also makes marriage an unattractive concept for men. Who wants to get married and because of a lack of social skills, conflict resolution skills, etc. you can get dragged through the mud in court.

    1. My thoughts exactly. In some cultures in America marriage is still synonymous with success. For example, the elitist in this country are generally married. That would be your top CEOs, politicians, and top military officials. It is expected that they will be married because that is respectable. It's the reason every president has always been a married man.

      I don't think men worry at all about getting married unless they are like on their death bed or something. I have heard men say they are not worried at all if they are going to get married they just assume they will when the time is right. Women worry if they will ever get married at all.


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