Guys: What are good and bad things to say, when "wife hunting"?

Becky Roehrs
Woman looking upset while looking at her laptopPhoto by Yan Krukov/Pexels

I wasn’t in the marriage market, and this guy made sure it stayed that way.

I wasn’t too serious about dating until the last six months.

So I thought I’d pick people (men) who said they wanted a relationship and give it a whirl.

The first man I chose seemed like a good guy; he was just a bit overbearing.

  • Soon, he became deaf when I needed something different from him.
  • We had a lot of fun as long as I did what HE wanted to do.
  • Yikes! I had to say goodbye; good luck, I’m outta here!

The second and most recent choice was someone I should have run from. He talked about marriage on the second date!

But the guy I had been in love with for years had also talked about marriage very early in our relationship. That worked out for over a decade. So who knew?

I let Jimmy (not his real name) know that marriage was not one of my favorite institutions. And that we’d have to have a relationship first!

That’s when I started hearing five traditional and not-so-nice reasons why marriage was such a fantastic idea.

#1 Mom wants it

First, Jimmy said his mom would be so happy to know that he was happily married before she died. And everyone wants to please mom, right?

  • I didn't know his mother, so that reasoning wasn’t cutting it with me. She wasn't sick, either. Maybe some boundaries with mom would help?

#2 He needs help with money.

Next, Jimmy said that he wanted our finances to be merged since he sucked at keeping money around.

  • I said I thought that was a good reason NOT to merge our finances!
  • And I told him that if we did have a relationship, and I did want to get married, I’d like a prenup since I actually had a few dollars to my name.

Jimmy said that sounded so cold and unromantic. Uh-huh.

  • That’s the way it is with money. The one who has it likes to keep tabs on it.
  • And I saw him blow his money on electronics and jewelry, so I knew he could spend money like water. No wonder he lived paycheck to paycheck.

#3 We had so much in common!

Jimmy thought that if we both liked the same restaurants and enjoyed walking and biking outdoors together that that meant we were destined for each other.

  • I pointed out that that he was more conservative than I was and that we couldn’t talk about politics without one of us getting upset.
  • We hadn't figured out a way to avoid the topic or avoid getting upset.

Jimmy wanted to move to the deep south to be with his favorite family member.

  • I already live in the south. The humidity kills me.
  • I doubted I would be interested in moving to the deep south.
  • And I’d heard enough from one of his favorite relatives to know he wouldn’t be MY favorite relative…

#4 We could save money by living together.

When I think of a good relationship, my first thought is NOT how it will save me money. Sometimes two people can love each other, but can’t live with each other.

#5 Who else would want us?

After I shared my doubts, Jimmy pointed out how we were both getting older.

  • Who was going to want to be with us now, let alone later? We were in our late 50’s and early 60’s. I guess we were just two steps from the grave.
  • Well, just because he thought he was at the end of the line, didn’t mean I did!
  • And the more time I spent with him, the better being alone looked.

What about love?

Initially, Jimmy was very romantic and shared his feelings on many sensitive topics.

  • Then he said he loved me, like on date three? It was heady stuff, but I couldn’t sustain that initial rush.
  • There was too much reality hitting me smack in the face.

Too much, too soon

This “relationship” had so many red flags; we were drowning in them. So I called it quits. But I learned a lot.

  • I can say once again that I’d rather be alone than be in a (bad) relationship.
  • It’s easy to float along in the initial rush, in a haze, but thankfully, common sense did prevail.
  • I usually don’t choose men who are prettier than me. I may stick with that idea..just because I can.

What do others say are bad reasons to get married?

I found a fairly tongue-in-cheek article 4 Terrible Reasons to Get Married (And 4 Really Good Ones).

Jimmy and I had three of the four wrong reasons to get married (or have a relationship):

  1. To avoid loneliness (we were getting on in years)
  2. To please others (like mom) and
  3. Because it would be practical. (Why live alone, and why pay for two households? Why indeed!)

What are good reasons to get married (or make a commitment)?

I was with the love of my life for over ten years (he died of cancer two years ago), so I do know what ingredients made our relationship work:

  • Kindness. We assumed the best about each other. If we inadvertently hurt each other, we apologized and worked hard not to repeat the mistake.
  • Generosity. We wanted to do whatever we could to help our partner reach their goals and fulfill their dreams. It didn’t matter who contributed what, either.
  • Friendship. We were best friends; we trusted each other and knew we could depend on each other. We could tell each other what hurt us, we didn’t try to fix each other, and we fought fair.
  • Love. We respected and admired our different talents and skills. We continually thanked each other for their contributions to our home and relationship. We told each other we loved each other every day, and we found it hard to be apart!

We encouraged each other to try new things, meet new people, to keep learning and growing.

Here’s hoping you find love in your future!

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I write about local events, politics, education, relationships, online dating, and humor. Sarcastic and silly. Loves coffee and canoeing. I've been a computer programmer, outdoor guide, and taught programming at Fortune 500s and community colleges. Now, I help folks teach online.

Cary, NC

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