When some men say they’re not the marrying kind, science says they actually mean it
Jon Hamm made me mad at men when he professed his undying love to longtime girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt last year, only to undo all of his good work by stating his refusal to marry. His excuse? He doesn’t have “the marriage chip.” Mr. Hamm, I call your bullshit and I raise you a side of incredulity! Unfortunately, it appears that there’s validity to the Mad Men star’s statement: science has found that two out of five men aren’t genetically programmed to want a white wedding. So what’s going to prevent all men from using this as an excuse to stay single?
Those smart Swedes at the Karolinska Institute have discovered that there’s a particular gene variant linked to men who resist marriage. Dear lord.
I’ve never thought much about marriage, I’ll be honest. I think I’d rather have a Goldie Hawn-Kurt Russell type relationship, where you’re in perfect harmony with your partner unfettered by the strings that come with marriage. Maybe this has to do with my deep-seated fear of commitment; I don’t know. But, like a child, being told that I can’t have something makes me want it all the more.
I’m actually genetically predisposed to want what I can’t have and to have what I want immediately (my entire family is OCD), but just because your guy hems and haws about marriage doesn’t actually mean he has this gene.
“Genetics usually explain only half the differences between us,” behavioral geneticist Robert Plonin, PhD, tells my pal and ex-colleague Korin Miller at Cosmopolitan magazine. The other half is influenced by how he was raised. Re: his parents are divorced or together and constantly fighting, his friends are all perpetual bachelors or he suffered from a really, really bad breakup when he was younger.
For those of you who want to get married (or happen to live in Manhattan, the most un-datable city in the world, in my humble opinion), the odds are sadly stacked against you. But who knows? Miracles do happen. The proof? Those wedding announcements you see in your local Sunday paper prove that 3/5 of all men, at least, are the marrying kind.
So screw you, Jon Hamm.