Do Men Really Just Marry the Next Girl Who Comes Along?

Written by Ann Burns

June 5, 2023

When the Villains are Beautiful

We all remember the scene from When Harry Met Sally (1989): Sally finds out that her long-term boyfriend not only moved quickly, but got engaged to a woman in his office.  Sally’s left sobbing as she recalls her belief that Joe had no desire for marriage, and hence, after years together, he left her.  

Modern Tik Tok users  would tell you this is the “Men Don’t Marry the One, but the One in Front of Them” theory in action.  And, if this is true, Sally is a victim, Joe’s new wife is way less cool than Sally, and Joe is an idiot. 

What is the Men Don’t Marry the One, but the One in Front of Them theory? 

Well, it’s that men will date the woman of their dreams for years —  6, 8, 10, 12 — you name it! But, if the timing is not right, he will not marry her.  However, when a man feels that the timing IS right, hello lady, what’s your name? Wanna get married?  Yup, he will simply marry whomever is in front of him, and not the woman he loves. 

 And sure, we’ve all seen the relationships that went on for years, and when they finally ended BOOM! Someone else comes along and they’re married in (seemingly) no time.  But to assume that this is simply because of bad timing makes little sense.  If a couple dates for a number of years, and during all that time it was NEVER a good time to marry, the more obvious answer is that true commitment was just not on the table; these people were clearly not right for each other.  

Because when you find your person, you commit.  You step up your game and make the sacrifices, be you male or female. 

Sally recognizes what the TikTok car-selfie philosophers are ignoring as she sobs to Harry: “It’s not that Joe didn’t want to get married, he just didn’t want to marry me.”  It’s the sad, sobering truth, but if you know the movie, we’re really glad Joe wasn’t her guy. 

The truly sad thing is that Sally failed to recognize her worth and did not choose to be the marrying type early on, rather she caved to Joe’s desire to just date with no real commitment.  If she had made an end-goal to their dating a priority, she wouldn’t have wasted nearly the amount of time that she did.

And that isn’t a question of “bad timing,” but a question of “bad standards.” 


But There’s More…

The problem here goes even deeper: this whole theory supposes that men are virtually tasteless, inept, and pretty much view women like coffee pots. 

Man about to marry: “Uhhh needed for marriage: one wife.  Hmmm.  Hi? Um, you’ll do. Let’s marry.”

And while that might make a funny comedy sketch, do we really think men just take whomever and don’t actually make an effort for the woman they love?

Ultimately, this theory brings us back to toxic mistrust between the sexes. 

But what we’ve forgotten is that true, virtuous femininity inspires masculinity.  Or as Fulton Sheen once said:

“When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”

Choosing commitment over settling for an aimless relationship means less wasted time; it weeds out the ones who are not truly committed.  

Unfortunately, we have lost sight of the power of femininity, high standards, and actually giving men some credit,  and thus we have come up with this insane theory.  A theory that paints exes as poor victims, the new wife as a loser, and the man as a bumbling, insincere idiot.  This is not a healthy picture. 

And so, let’s put this theory where it belongs: the trash.  

Instead, recognize that standards are good, you are worth so much more than a long, unending relationship, and there are good men out there.  There is no need to keep wasting your time.

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