Men are afraid of commitment. Those 5 words embody the stereotype that has launched hundreds of movie plots, provided the catalyst for thousands of romance novels, and fueled millions of hours of girl talk. It’s the universal excuse used by both men and women to explain why a relationship isn’t moving to the next level. But what if we got it wrong? What if single men are no more afraid of commitment than single women?
A new study funded by Match.com shows that rather than existing at opposite ends of the commitment timeline (women at now and men at never), single men and women are actually traveling along the timeline pretty much together. Men and women may not be walking into the future in lockstep, but they’re moving at a similar pace in the same direction. As a whole, single men are as willing to walk down the aisle as single women.
In fact, the study of more than 5,000 single men and women age 21 to 65, found that men are generally more receptive to dating outside their race, religion or age group than women. And once they find their soul mate, men are ready to share living space, combine finances and have children more quickly than women.
Conducted by Rutgers University anthropologist Helen Fisher, social historian Stephanie Coontz and the Binghamton University Department of Evolutionary Studies, the study found surprising similarities between male and female desire to form lifelong unions.
“The mechanisms for attachment for men and women are exactly the same. Just as many men want to get married as women do,” Fisher said in an interview with Time printed, appropriately, in the magazine’s February 14, 2011 issue.
So if men and women want the same thing, where’s the disconnect? Stay tuned!