Shot of a bride and groom kissing each other at the wedding ceremony

If You’re on the Fence About Marriage, You’ll Definitely Want to Read This

With additions by Ashley Keegan

The closer you look at the divorce rates across the country (and strewn about your social media feeds), it seems more and more like married men might be a dying breed. After all, married men are essentially bombarded with messages saying that they’ve given up their freedom or that they’ve been emasculated. You see it everywhere: commercials, movies, and sitcoms frequently represent married couples as these outdated tropes where the men are seen as bumbling screw-ups, suffering under the judgmental eye of their all-knowing wives.

So yeah, from that vantage point, it’s no surprise that many guys are beginning to believe that the whole “wedding thing” just might not be for them.

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But, the truth is actually that the U.S. divorce rate hit a 50-year low in 2019, according to the Institute for Family Studies. And you should know by now that you can’t believe everything you see on TV, right? Plus, it turns out that married men actually don’t mind all the ribbing. They can take the jokes from the media, and from their sometimes immature, misogynistic friends, too. And do you know why they can handle it? Because, in truth, they know they actually have it way better than the single guys do.

Sure, you may go around saying that marriage is for suckers. But if you were interrogated privately, away from your bachelor buddies, we’d venture to bet that many of you wouldn’t hesitate to offer up a different answer. Go on, it’s okay to admit that — somewhere, maybe very deep down — you do hope to get married someday. We’ll gladly accept you into the club and let you in on the secret that being married is ultimately way better than being single, and we can prove it.

Top 10 Reasons to Get Married

We spoke with Susan Allan — dating, marriage, and reconciliation coach, and founder of Heartspace® — who has tons of experience coaching couples who began dating long before the men in the relationships were fully ready for marriage. She says what it all boils down to is the ability to empathize and motivate people based on their needs. We spoke to a bunch of regular guys whose reasons for marriage just might surprise you, running the gamut from legal reasons to financial reasons to, of course, romantic reasons. So, since you may not have realized all the ways that a happy marriage could fulfill your needs (and also foster a healthy relationship and a fulfilling life for both you and your partner), we’ve gathered some of the best reasons to get married below.

10. Marriage Can Add Years to Your Life

Let’s start with the scientific studies that suggest marriage can literally give you life. While the determining factors aren’t always clear (Do married folks have better health insurance? Are they simply happier? Or are healthy folks just more likely to get married in the first place?), various studies have indicated that married men tend to outlive their single counterparts. For example, a 2006 study performed by University of California researchers contended that single people are five times more likely to die of infectious disease, nearly 40-percent more likely to die of heart disease, and twice as likely to die accidentally.

But don’t worry, there’s no need to run and get hitched immediately. Studies also suggest that men who get married after the age of 25 tend to benefit from longevity-boosting health perks the most.

9. Marriage Can Make You Money

You know that epic 4K smart TV you’ve been saving for? Well, being married often brings the benefit of sharing expenses and splitting the costs of major purchases, so you could be chilling on the couch, feet kicked up, enjoying a blockbuster movie on that monster 75-incher with the most lifelike picture at this very moment. (With your wife at your side, of course.)

“My wife and I knew that we wanted to be together forever, but we weren’t sure that we necessarily wanted to get married,” says James, 31. “What eventually convinced us to make it official was that we wanted to buy a house together, and doing so as a married couple would make it a lot easier.”

You cynics out there may gripe about how much dating costs you, but the money you’d spend on dinners and the occasional gift is dwarfed by the prospect of having an entire additional income in the household. Obviously, life — and love — is not all about money, but it’s hard to deny the fact that pooling your resources can help you collectively afford the things that each of you could never afford on your own. Picture it: a better home, a better car, a better vacation, and a better half to share in enjoying all of it.

8. Marriage Can Help You Establish a Family

Technically, you don’t need to be married to start having kids, but marriage is still considered a stepping stone on the traditional route to starting a family. Ideally, it provides a solid basis for stability and security in terms of a home, finances, and of course, a loving partnership to act as parental figures.

“Before my wife and I got married, we had been dating for nearly a decade,” says Terry, 35. “We knew we didn’t have to get married to have kids together, but we wanted to go the traditional route and solidify our bond before taking that next step towards building a family.”

Being a father is a dimension of manhood that many men would like to experience at some point in their lives, and though it doesn’t need to be a prerequisite, marriage tends to provide a stable and secure environment in which to start a family.

7. Marriage Can Give You a Partnership for Life

Sure, you’re on a hot streak right now, dating 20-year-old yoga instructors and baristas, but we both know that’s not going to last forever. Consider how the bachelor life is going to treat you further down the road. Will you still be popping bottles in the club at 65? Trying to pick up the young honeys on your way to enroll in Medicare?

“The reason I married my wife is because I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her,” says Tirso, 34. “I felt marriage was a confirmation of my feelings for her and wanting to be with her.”

Marriage is an investment in your future. So yeah, maybe you’ll have to “sacrifice” some of your sweet single years. But in exchange, you get to make a long-term investment in one person, and build a deep, abiding love that has the potential to last a lifetime.

6. Marriage Means You Can Ditch the Apps

Unless you’re in an open marriage, or your spouse is cool with trolling the hookup sites for an occasional "third party," getting married means that you can finally stop swiping through your endless rotation of dating apps. Never again will you have to swipe until your thumb is sore, wait around for someone to declare mutual interest, and then stress over a good conversation starter that’s more than just “Hey” but also won’t get you trapped in a weeks-long cycle of conversation without ever meeting up for an in-person date. Admit it: it’s exhausting.

5. Marriage Can Bring More Fiscal Benefits

We already know that pooling your money is a big advantage to marriage, but there are numerous other financial benefits associated with matrimony, too. For starters, there are tax breaks for married couples, as well as for families. Getting married might also grant you access to your spouse’s premium health insurance plan.

“It wasn’t about the church and the big ceremony and all the pomp and circumstance for my wife and I,” says Michael, 43. “We made it official on paper to combine and protect our assets, but it wasn’t meant to have a huge impact on our already solid relationship. We went to the courthouse, had a small party with close friends afterwards, and then we went about our lives exactly as we had before.”

Whether you like it or not, society is designed to make life easier for married couples because it’s considered “the norm,” and these financial perks are no exception.

4. Marriage Can Mean More Sex

This is something that can obviously vary from relationship to relationship based on what makes each particular couple happy, but on average, married men have more sex than single men do. It’s just a plain and simple fact, supported by study after study. One particularly comprehensive study by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University found that less than five percent of singles, aged 25 to 59, are getting down and dirty two to three times per week. On the flipside, a quarter of married folks in the same subset are having sex twice — sometimes even thrice! — as much.

The same study also found that more than 60 percent of singles hadn’t had sex within the past year (and this was long before the social-life-crushing pandemic days), while just 18 percent of married people could say the same.

So, the TL;DR? Single guys are out at the clubs, spending their paychecks with the hopes of gaining women’s attention just to wind up going home alone, while married men are already at home having fulfilling sexual relationships with their wives. Facts are facts, man.

3. Marriage Can Result In More Meaningful Sex

Okay, sure, one-night stands can be exciting because of the thrill of the chase, but often (perhaps too often), once the two of you get naked, you find yourselves fumbling and bumbling and unable to anticipate each others’ moves. Married couples, on the other hand, benefit from the experience of knowing each other; they have a feel for each others’ bodies and are aware of their partner’s likes, dislikes, and fantasies. Simply put, they’ve had practice, and practice tends to make perfect.

Furthermore, a long, stable relationship can lend itself to deeper, more emotional sexual experiences as well as more sexual experimentation. Maybe there are things you’d love to try in bed, but you’ve never told anyone because you were afraid of being judged. In a long-term relationship founded on trust, however, you can give voice to your innermost desires and experience a more fulfilling sexual relationship.

2. Married People Tend to Be Happier

A survey done by the Institute for Family Studies from 2010 through 2018 appears to show that married people are happier than single people, regardless of whether they’re separated, divorced, or they’ve never been married before. In fact, 40 percent of married respondents reported themselves as happy, compared to just 22 percent of never-married folks.

One might argue that this happiness stems from marriage affording a man the kind of stability and support that allows him to succeed in all other aspects of his life. It makes sense when you consider how much more you could accomplish if the drama of failing relationships and bad dates was replaced by the presence of a loving and caring partner. But it’s also important to keep in mind that it’s not just any old marriage that can bring you joy; it must be a well-adjusted and happy relationship in the first place, or else you’re just piling on the problems here.

1. Marriage Can Make You a Better Man

If you know what’s best for you, you’ll choose a life partner who is insightful, opinionated, and honest, just to name some positive and influential traits. Having a surefooted and confident partner can really give you an advantage in life by bringing out your own best qualities and helping you become a better person (and vice versa).

"An ex-boyfriend began to date me 12 years after our relationship had ended, and this time, he proposed because I had evolved to be the woman he was seeking," says Susan Allan of Heartspace®. "His needs were for a more sophisticated partner who would be a match for his high-powered lifestyle, and I had become that."

After all, marriage can open you up to the very worthy challenge of becoming the best version of yourself. On top of that, the romantic partnership can teach you the true meaning of self-sacrifice and compromise. In short, if you’re seeking growth as a better human, partnering up with an amazing life partner is likely to give you one hell of an advantage over your single counterparts.

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