July 14th, 2009
10:20 PM ET

Do men really want to get married?

Editor's note: Alex Wellen's debut novel, "Lovesick," follows a young man on his quest to get married and defeat a crime ring of geriatric gangsters. Wellen is an award-winning producer for CNN. For this article, he interviewed men on how they approached marriage. Catch Alex tonight on AC360º, 10PM ET.

Brian Lohse feeds his wife, Alana, cake at their wedding in June.

Brian Lohse feeds his wife, Alana, cake at their wedding in June.

Alex Wellen

"Well, what do you think?" his dad asked. Brian Lohse knew exactly what his father was getting at.

His father had never pressed him about marriage before. But the question had its intended effect: a light switch flipped on.

"I'd never really thought about it. But that was the point right there when I said to myself: 'Oh my gosh, you know what, this is the girl I'm going to marry,' " Brian said. "I can't picture myself spending the rest of my life with any other person than Alana."

Brian, 34, had indeed made the psychological leap. It was time to get this party started. Six months later, he proposed. They married in June.

If you believe the conventional wisdom, Brian's story is the exception

"Real men" are perceived as committing "till death do us part" for the wrong reasons - they marry out of convenience or under duress, and they acquiesce, kicking and screaming all the way to the altar.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. brandon from Ft. Worth

    boys grow up playing with toys, girls grow up playing house and marrying their dolls. I guess where just wired different.

    July 15, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  2. Isabel S • Brazil •

    Marriage is good, very good! People think that life will change with marriage, but does not change much when the couple already have a life together (dating). Why do men have an aversion to marriage?

    On the last day July 12, between back and forth, I did 6 years of marriage.

    A curious fact is that at the end of June I was godmother of marriage, for the 2nd time, of a friend. As my friend said marriage is good, if the first marriage was not successful, who knows next time.

    Already in relation to the children there are exceptions. They change the life completely.

    A curiosity: Anderson Cooper, what do you think of marriage? 🙂

    July 15, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  3. Joanna

    Nice article! Refreshing to see and hear that men do like the idea of one special woman for the rest of their lives.

    July 15, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  4. James Estevens

    I think that one important problem, which contributes to the exacerbation of the natural fear that men may have about the huge change marriage is, is the fact that the family continues to be a thing of ridicule and derision by many in the media. The father figure is especially the target of such undeserved ridicule. From Fred Flintstone and the Honey Mooners to Homer Simpson and Family Guy there is a direct and sustained attack on fatherhood and its importance to our ever decaying society.

    July 15, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  5. James Estevens

    Yes, we do. There is a great deal of things about being married that men love to have. There are many things we leave behind that we also love. But the incredible experience of having children and sharing your life with someone you truly love is worth the compromises that have to be made.

    July 15, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  6. Marika Saliba

    Do men really want to get married? I would answer that with "Do women really want to get married? Yes, but not always for the right reasons. Marriage is interwoven into our culture and upbringing. There is no escaping marriage except for the individuals who are honest with themselves that marriage is not for them.

    July 15, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  7. Schuyler

    Men still want to have the so called play boy image, and most people in the generation that I live in would say its better to live together before marriage any way.. Where years ago that was a big no no, living together and not married. The world has become to liberal.

    July 15, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  8. Gail Duncan

    Sad that is takes a piece of paper to get benefits and do what's right. That is how marriage appears to me. If I love someone, I love them. Not for what they can do for me. Respect and truth are the key. Birds of a feather flock together.

    July 15, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  9. Lori

    He has a good heart and it shows. It's the most important thing.

    July 15, 2009 at 1:31 am |
  10. Lori

    Does he have a good relationship with his mother?

    July 15, 2009 at 1:22 am |
  11. Lori

    It was love at first sight for me.

    July 15, 2009 at 1:15 am |
  12. lisa

    I don' t think so not has much has us women do.

    July 15, 2009 at 12:12 am |
  13. Amanda

    I think men want someone to take care of them. Someone to take the role of there mothers and if that means getting married then yes I do think men want to get married. Men just don't think of getting married the same as women.

    July 14, 2009 at 11:59 pm |
  14. rachael weiss

    I fainted in the elevator at the MGM Grand Hotel when I met the inlaws!!!!! I should have gotten it then.....With a NEW YAWK overbearing mother from Brooklyn I should have jumped on the next plane.....I got married.......The marriage of Hell in the end...................Why dont we listen to our gut instincts one must ask.........Here I was....Stuck with the mother in law from Hell and giving up my career........Still recovering.....

    July 14, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  15. Nancy R.N. from East Los Angeles

    AC....I can only speak as a real woman and to tell you the truth it depends on the what the man is made of. If he wants to share a life of family and security and safety....then get married to the right companion...woman or man. But if he wants to play around and not be committed...then pleazzzze....don't even think about a committed relationship. I think a real man or real woman has to do with their sense of comfort with themselves, their focus and shared perspective on life. I also believe that a real man can be a single man who is honest with people. Remember, people are complex, human dynamics are extreme and life is only once in this lifetime. God help us all!

    July 14, 2009 at 11:34 pm |
  16. rachael weiss

    That may be true......So did I.......

    July 14, 2009 at 11:32 pm |
  17. Abby

    Wow. It would be nice to read an article about women who are totally uninterested in getting married, because I am one of them!

    to "the Truth": Amazing. I couldn't have said it better!

    July 14, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  18. alice patterson

    Most men don't want to get married, because it's too final, but they want the close relationship and the dependability of it. Not to say, they're not in love with their significant others, but I think they would prefer not to marry. I've seen some marriages end due to the pressure of expectations partners have for one another. In a lot of cases they feel somewhat trapped by a legal union that encompasses everything in their lives. I also think convenience plays a big roll in many marriages, whether it's children, finances, or the fear of being alone. Humans fear the loss of their freedom.

    July 14, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  19. Rachel Conine

    A better question is how men & women define what marriage actually is . . . .

    "Give me one line that defines marriage."
    "Do you believe in marriage using that definition – for yourself?

    July 14, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  20. Sabrina In Las Vegas

    YES, you just have to wait until they are ready or it falls apart.

    They usually have the "light switch moment" when they turn 30 or older.

    When they finally realize who the right one is, they are there for life.

    I don't know if I agree with the notion of the transferring from the loss of a father to a bride is good. Usually it it to have a different type of love....a partner not to replace a parent but the love should be fairly unconditional...not adulterous.

    Yes as a spouse you are part parent, part friend, and part child to them...you teach, you share and you learn...that is an ideal relationship.

    The right guy will find the right gal and be able to be all to him and he will be able to be all to her.

    I think they stray when they are forced into a relationship or it is for the wrong intentions. They have to be mentally, emotionally invested into it for it to work long term.

    Under the right conditions, it is good.

    July 14, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  21. Mimi

    Do they REALLY want to get married? Need you ask?

    Anderson, you really, really should wish Miss Elsie Fallulah happy birthday tomorrow. Her heart will break if you don't.

    July 14, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  22. rhetta

    the ones that do get married have no idea what they're getting themselves into! LOL! i've been married for 8 years. 😉

    July 14, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  23. bertab

    No they don't they love to have their freedom

    July 14, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  24. Willi

    I think that most men find the need to settle down and start some sort of stability. Being with one woman, maybe starting a family, etc. I was married once, and I really enjoyed every minute of it. Would not trade the experience for anything, all the ups and downs. And looking forward to getting married again.

    July 14, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  25. Beleza

    yes, they just don't know they want to

    July 14, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  26. Mohammed the Saudi guy

    marriage is just like buying a watermelon, you never know until you try.

    July 14, 2009 at 10:48 pm |