Donal pointed out this comment by Elspeth:
Most people (men and women) have unrealistic expectations, about themselves, about what they are worth, about what they should be able to have. And those who know they can’t have what they want will go without. Especially men. I’ve heard a couple of young men actually say that.
He then defended those with reasonable, but possibly unrealistic requirements. (Read his post for definitions).
I’m going to go farther: as a man you should have unrealistic requirements for marriage. I’ve created my list for marriage and it’s reasonable, but possibly not realistic.
Based on previous analyses only about 40% of women are even worth considering for marriage looks-wise (ie. are not fat or actively ugly) and only about 30% of women would be in the 0-2 sexual partners category (although, that’s a bit higher if you go younger) and less than half have not had a one-night stand. Throw on top of that that you should almost never* marry a woman over 30 and be wary of those over 25, and your pickings are getting slim. That’s not even considering the much more important (for marriage) aspects of personality and inner beauty.
we can estimate that only about a fifth of eligible women would be even worth considering marrying. If we then look towards such things as religion, shared values, mutual compatibility, personality, and the like, the percentage of women that would make a decent wife for any particular man is shockingly low. (The only reprieve is a man only needs one reciprocating girl to meet those requirements).
If only 20% of women are worthy wives, then that means that 80% of men are not going to be able to find a worthy wife. Now, it should be noted that most men won’t meet the requirements a worthy wife should have and many men will choose unworthy wives, but still, if even a quarter of men are waiting for worthy wives that means that 20% of those men are simply going to have to do without.
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife. (Proverbs 25:24 ESV)
While a good marriage can be a great blessing, the consequences of choosing an unworthy wife are huge.
I remember reading somewhere (I can’t find the link) that 70% of marriages either end in divorce or perpetual unhappiness, which means that only 30% of marriages end up being happy and healthy. (That’s pretty close to my estimation that only 20% of women who are worthy wives, is it not?)
There is a 40% chance the marriage will end in divorce, the odds of which are strongly effected by how worthy the wife is. The cost of an average divorce to a man is about $150,000, the price of a smaller house. (This does not include child support, which will run an average man a pretty penny as well). The emotional costs of divorce are also huge: it is better to be single than divorced.
But even if the family stays together, there’s a chance the marriage will be miserable. Number I’ve read range all over the place. This study shows that 97% of marriages are ‘very’ or ‘pretty’ happy with their marriage, while this one shows 80% are satisfied with their relationship. I’ve seen lots of other numbers bandied around of anywhere from 20-60%, but most of these did not seem supported by anything. 80% satisfaction sounds right, which means 20% of marriages not ending in divorce are unhappy.
So, there’s a 50-70% chance that a marriage will be unhappy or end in divorce. If a man chooses a wife wrong, he will end up miserable.
Men should have unrealistic (but no unreasonable) requirements for marriage. IF only a fifth of women display the qualities that make a good wife, not all men will be able to find a good wife. Going without is much superior to entering a marriage that will end in divorce or misery.
So hold those requirements high and be unrealistic if necessary to so.
Before the accusations of misogyny start flying, know that I also advocate women demanding more from their relationships. Women should also hold high requirements for marriage and relationships.
* I have talked with one girl approaching 30 whom, had circumstances been different, I may have considered, but she had been engaged in her mid-20s then the guy calling it off because she wouldn’t have sex with him until marriage. There are not many women out there with that level of virtue, but every rule has an exception.