on February 14, 2004
I read some of Molloy's other books in the distant past, and was impressed, so I checked this out. If the topic of how men proceed or don't proceed toward the altar interests you, this book will open your eyes up. A lot of research went into the book, and it was guided a lot by women who were among Molloy's researchers who themselves wanted to get married.
Some guys, according to Molloy, become interested in marriage when they no longer fit comfortably into the singles scene. Because they have matured beyond the girls who are still in the singles scene, or the girls in the singles scene start to look at those guys as outsiders who no longer belong in the singles scene.
In this book he destroys the notion that women over 40 have a better chance of being killed by a terrorist than married, when he relates that he thought the statement was absurd, and looked at the statistics, and saw that nine percent of women who got married in 1980 were forty or older.
Molloy sees men being ready for marriage or not being ready for marriage. When a guy is fresh out of college, he may well want to enjoy his freedom for a couple of years. So he will not be ready to settle down for a while. A woman who wants to get married will concentrate on guys who are ready to get married.
Most men proposed only after pressure was applied by the prospective bride, and Molloy argues that if that pressure is not applied that many of the women would not have gotten married. It seems that there is a natural readiness period, and if the proposal doesn't take place in that period, then it won't happen. And it is up to the woman to push it along in many cases, if it is to happen. Molloy suggests that some pressuring is good, and other pressuring is bad. E.g., "I will find someone else if you don't marry me," seems to make the man defensive and uncooperative.
I am a straight unmarried guy, and read this because I find the topic interesting. But there is a lot of material that would be useful for women who want to land a husband. There is nothing that focuses specifically on getting a husband of your dreams, per se, but there is material to help you assess whether a current "Mr. Right" is a waste of time (and time destroys mate-finding opportunities!). Or how to proceed with a Mr. Right to optimize your chances of a marriage him.
A great book.
on January 12, 2004
Yea, I know I'm not part of the intended audience for this book; for some curious reason they don't make books for men on this topic... Anyway, I can't give high marks to any book about men and marriage which doesn't start with the very fundamental fact that marriage confers no rights on men, only obligations. What this implies is that a woman looking for a husband is basically looking for a chump. Curiously, Molloy is close to discovering this crucial bit of information: he relates an anecdote about a woman who call a man an idiot (really) the first time they meet, and of course they then proceed in a short while on to happily-ever-after status. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, I wouldn't want to have anything to do with any woman who would want me to be her husband.
Alone that was enough to drop the book down to 2-3 star level, but the real clincher was the episode of domestic violence (pgs 127-8) related in another anecdote which Molloy describes as "hysterical", as in "outrageously funny". I cannot sanction such glib treatment of such a serious topic and therefore recommend people who think similarly shun this book entirely. This episode occurs in a context where a woman is pressuring a man into marriage, and if you loosely equate such emotional pressure used against a man with the physical pressure a man might use against a woman to get sex, well you get the picture.
Besides those two fatal flaws, Molloy is pulling the ... that by interviewing people coming out of marriage license application bureaus that he is somehow able to elucidate their (especially the woman's) "Secrets". But this is an illusion: since 85-90% of the population marries at some point you might as well do a general survey, with all the attendant problems with self-reporting and self-deception that anthropologists and sociologists are well aware of (and are ignored here). The women with fresh marriage licenses have just gotten lucky, i.e., their turn has come up and it's not like they necessarily know anything other single women don't. (In other words, part of the marketing for this book is based on women's jealousy; perhaps this is why there's a picture of a diamond ring on the cover rather that some generic hubby...) What it boils down to is that a lot of what Molloy comes up with, and announces as if he's just come down from the mountain with The Truth, is largely spurious. The book is entirely self-referential: he doesn't compare or contrast his "findings" with the work of others, as if he were the first to look into this topic. Right. This causes him to get several things exactly backward, such are the "discovery" that men want to marry up, which is actually a result of female strategies and "selection effects".
What's not spurious is generally rather obvious, or just plain wrong IMO. Like other books in this extensive genre, the whole thing is a mix of truth, half-truth, and the downright ridiculous (like going around with a book on your head and rolled up washclothes on each shoulder - to improve your posture.) Molloy does come across as being something really old-fashioned out of the 1950's -- he's always women's champion. Only a very traditional (and fairly naive) woman *might* find something useful here, though how one would separate the valuable material from the [not valuble] I don't know. Due to space limitations I've only touched on a few of the many things wrong w/this book - my critique could easily be several times longer.
on January 8, 2004
i wanted to read this book after it was made fun of recently at a magazine for feminists and women who generally agree that there are a lot of things to life than getting a man. being alone for so long and not being able to pinpoint exactly why, it picked my curiosity. i read it and i've lost track of how many times this book has made me cry. it was all right there how i sabotaged my own life against having a mate. now that it's easier for me to be kidnapped by terrorists than to find a man i realize (with the help of this book) all that i did wrong: the long years spent studying while my friends were out partying and getting boyfriends, the dead end jobs where there were no available men, the long hours working odd shifts, the occasional unavailable man (mr. right now), the "a little too-casual" appearance, waiting for the one that got away to come back (he never will), the many requirements that no man seemed to fulfill... i'm alone with no prospects of getting married and it's all my fault.
sister, i don't want to sound like if you don't have a man you're a loser but i'm telling you: my money and my graduate degree don't keep me warm on saturday nights. eventually your friends are married with kids and you find yourself making every night a blockbuster night with your cats. even my gynecologist told me to hurry up if i wanted to have babies. it's probably too late for me but save yourself. find balance in your life. if you want to get married in your thirties you have to start looking hard for prospects when you are in your late twenties because you'll be amazed when one day you open your eyes and realize that all men seem to have poof! dissapeared. i wish i had read this ten years ago. oh, all this coming from a "feminist"... somebody who was very proud of her "independence". a feminist that is very educated and very lonely...
on January 5, 2004
Another reader said;
"I was surprised to read that the majority of women his team interviewed at marriage license offices admitted they had to give their sweeties what amounts to an ultimatum to get him to commit. (I worry such arm-twisting might account for our high divorce rate.)"
I think this misrepresents what Molloy actually says. Molloy does not tell women to use strong arm methods - he tells women to be *honest* in a relationship. If marriage matters to them, they should be honest about that. If their man's response to a suggestion of marriage hurts them, they should be honest about *that*, as well. He does recommend that women try to be considerate in presenting their protests, but what he is basically arguing is that honesty pays. I've been married seventeen years, and seen a lot of friends' marriages do a nosedive in that time, and I think he's right.
A friend of mine from high school who recently divorced let her boyfriend/fiance walk all over her while they were dating, then while they were married, until she just couldn't take it anymore, and left him. But she didn't tell him he was hurting her until they'd been married for years! She expected him to know. I think this is far more destructive than honestly telling someone you're close to that marriage is important to you, and you're not sure you can continue the relationship if it won't lead to marriage; or that they hurt you when they dismissed your desire for marriage.
When I was dating, many, many women warned me to never mention marriage, and said they never admitted they wanted marriage, because that would chase a guy off. I felt this was dishonest and wouldn't do it. If a guy and I talked life time goals, I was always up front about the fact that I intended to get married and have kids. I never said I intended to marry *him*, but I did discuss why marriage appealed to me and etc. And I got married, while my friends who were careful not to mention marriage did not.
A friend of mine once sat me down and scolded me because every guy I'd broken up with then proceeded to get married within a year - I think this happened because Molloy is right; guys honestly *don't* think much about marriage, but when it's presented as a valid possibility during their "Age of Commitment", many of them decide the idea is appealing. He's also right about religious differences being a problem - those relationships didn't last because I ultimately wouldn't compromise on my commitments to God or my principles. Getting married was important to me, but there were other things that were more important.
One of the few points I disagree with Molloy on is his emphasis on losing weight. I don't doubt this is what the statistics show, but I'm not convinced he's getting the whole picture. I had more than one guy suggest to me that "if you'd just lose a few pounds, I'd sure like to go out with you." I would NEVER date a man who said that to me. Maybe I could diet down to the weight he preferred for a time, but everyone in my family past their thirties is overweight and dieting - I always figured my odds of being overweight as I aged were all too high, and I had no intention of getting stuck with a guy who'd hassle me over it.
Despite my weight, I talked marriage seriously with four guys before marrying a fifth - and he was the one rushing us into marriage while I was the one dragging her feet. A friend of mine who is extremely obese - under five feet tall and over 200 pounds - remarried in her forties, and she married a considerably younger man to boot! But while she is over weight, she has all the other qualities Molloy recommends - she is very kind, she kept herself up (make up and such - not overdone, but she always looked nice and dressed up for dates), she always had fun on dates, she genuinely likes people and lets them know it, she got out and about, and she has that "always on the edge of a smile" look Molloy talks about. I think one reason older overweight women are less likely to remarry is that they've given up.
Which is a valid choice, after all. Molloy's goal in this book is not to argue that marriage is the best way for everyone - his book is addressed to women who want to marry. If, after dealing with the data on typical marriages, women decide they aren't interested in pursuing marriage under those circumstances, he has still done them a service. He can help you to make an informed choice - some women may chose to actively pursue marriage, and others may decide it isn't worth it. He doesn't condemn either route.
on December 29, 2003
I listen to what my romance clients and readers tell me, because I get my best information that way. And the most recent tidbit was to read "Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others" by John T. Molloy. Even though the title sounds like every other "How to Get Yourself Married" book out there, Molloy knows what he is talking about, and he has the research to prove it.
This book provides the kind of information women wanting a mate need, whether they like it or not. Sure, some of it sounds wearily familiar, like women who allow their weight to creep up drastically lower their chance of marrying, or one needs to love oneself first. But the section on how to determine whether the man you are dating is likely to marry is a gem.
As well, Molloy (like Rachel Greenwald in "How to Find a Husband After 35") suggests women widen their criteria for potential mates, describing an underappreciated group of men in their 30's, 40's and 50's who dearly wanted to get married but have about given up, they have been rejected so often. Most lacked in one of three areas: Looks, height and social skills. Sound familiar? Just substitute weight for height, and you have why women are usually rejected, too.
But Molloy went on to say that these same men were just as nice, just as intelligent, and just as hard working as the more attractive men. Same as with ladies, right? So give each other a chance, huh? Molloy suggests several dates with these underappreciated guys before making up your mind. When first date jitters subside, you might find a bit of a prince emerging.
The most eye-opening chapter was #5: Speaking of Marriage. According to Molloy's research, in approximately three out of four marrying couples, it was up to the woman to get conversations about marriage started, if not to downright insist on marriage if the relationship were to continue. Goodness! And Molloy follows up his figures with suggestions on how to get the conversation going. This is probably both good and bad news for the already overburdened ladies - If he hasn't popped the question and you need to do a little pushing, you are not alone, by far.
The only disappointing chapter was the last one, "Meeting Online." Since this is my area of expertise (I am a CyberRomance Coach), I found the less than five-page treatment of the most important resource to arise for singles distressingly shallow. Really, Mr. Malloy, you should have left this chapter out all together, rather than give it such short shrift. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like me to better educate you in this area - really! I'm serious! You can check out my website at [...]
on November 19, 2003
I have been married for seven months, but had to pick this book up to see how to help my single girlfriends and how much my husband and I matched the book's theories. Ladies, this book is the real deal. None of the info on how to meet men is new, but he gives you stats backing up these strategies as effective. It also goes into common paths, to the altar or into oblivion, relationships take after the first year.
Unlike what the negative reviewer suggests, Molloy does say that marriage is NOT for everyone, male or female, nor that you should change yourself for a man. Don't do things you loathe, but do be open to trying new things. There's a difference. Obviously, your current activities haven't swerved "Mr. Right" into your path.
I'll now be a good Married Friend and invite more singles to parties so my single friends have more opportunities, AND I'll understand when they need to spend more time out on the town w/ other single women instead of watching DVDs with me and hubby.
The book also wakes you up to how, cruel as it may be, the clock is ticking. Not the baby clock, the marriage one. I was right to get serious abt getting married when I turned 25 instead of waiting for 35, esp as an overweight woman. I was right to commit my time and resources just as I would to my career or anything else I value. Be proactive.
What meant the most to me, though, was learning how NORMAL my path to the altar was! I had no idea that fully 3 out of 4 women had to flat out tell their bfs how important marriage (in the near future!) was to their happiness before the man committed. I asked my hubby tonight, and he confirmed Molloy's ideas on how most men need broad hints. I had been convinced of the romantic "ideal" we're fed where men just fall down in love and propose w/o prodding, but our series of discussions and even arguments are more typical before we reached agreement. These are not games; they are real talks abt what our future would be like and how much marriage and children mattered to my future happiness--making him realize how much those things, along with having me by his side, mattered to him.
on September 30, 2003
How I wish I had read this when I was still in my 30s. If you're looking for a book that is entertaining or touchy-feely, skip this one. It reports results of thousands of interviews and bares the hard cold facts--some made me feel optimistic, most were sobering but truthful and necessary to know. I was surprised to read that the majority of women his team interviewed at marriage license offices admitted they had to give their sweeties what amounts to an ultimatum to get him to commit. (I worry such arm-twisting might account for our high divorce rate.) What interested me most was the section that discussed The Stringer, the kind of fellow you date for years without any certainty of a future in terms of marriage. So you wake up in your early 40s, figure out his game, then find how very hard it is to find a man who wants to date (and marry) you who isn't a whole lot older than you (and probably more interested in you as his geriatric nurse). Molloy described stringers as "very destructive" because their M.O. can result in woman being single (and he didn't mention, childless) the rest of her life. Also, we all kind of know it and Molloy was sympathetic to the unfairness of it, but the statistics are as clear as a bell that women who let themselves get heavy put themselves in a very, very bad position to attract a man despite a few happy string bean-tomato exceptions. He included some good tips on where to go to meet men even though I'd rather stay single than devote time to model train shows or hang out in sports bars (however he did cite other places more appealing to me). Why aren't more single men going to places where women with high values tend to gravitate--churches, volunteer programs, cultural institutions, etc.? I guess it goes back his finding that they need to be pressured to grow up and commit, and singles bars are the easiest route to a fling. Reminds me of Reagan's quote, "It was women who brought men out of the caves." I wish Molloy would lay some cold facts on men in his next book, but of course which gender is it who reads books on enhancing relationships?
on September 28, 2003
John Molloy is a marketing strategist. In this book he explains how to increase your chances of marriage by analyzing the results of a number of surveys he conducted on married women, single women and men. The result is not a "how to" book but rather an examination of cause and effect. It explains the actions that the married women took in order to secure a mate, as well as the actions that those who are unable to find a mate have in common. This allows you to figure out the behaviours that are decreasing your chances of finding a husband. It identifies which men are statistically more likely to propose. The book also explains what it is that makes men want to marry some women and why they reject others, again, by examining the common behavioral patterns of the women in each group.
There is no pop psychology here. The source information is an empirical body of information- the statistical results of a marketing survey. Each chapter ends with bullet point, bottom line information, which eliminates any "fluff" in the preceding chapter. Although there is nothing novel in the survey's findings (take care of yourself, go where the men are etc), the information is presented in a refreshing no nonsense way. This is the book's greatest asset. You get the bottom line in an easily digestible format. It's not a book about kindred souls, feelings, games and meant to be's. It gives you a practical, no nonsence strategy for increasing your chances of marriage.
on June 30, 2004
I bought this book because I thought that I would learn some special insight into why I was still a single woman over 40. I don't recommend this book if you are older. The author states the obvious: 1) Men want younger women 2) If you are an over 40 woman, who is single, you better be attractive and thin more so than your younger counterparts. 3) You should marry unattractive men who get passed over by other women. 4) You should join an athelic group of some sort, go out on Singles outings etc..etc... Nothing new here to me. I have done all of the things the author suggests and I am still single going on four years. I am thin- if I get any thinner my doctor will get ticked, attractive, take care of myself and participate in many sporting activities.
Anyhow-there is no special formula here, maybe I should write a book and tell women the following:
1) Date divorced men - they are easier to get along with -
2) Stay away from players and guys who have NEVER settled down or who have a history of breaking women's hearts.
3) Love yourself enough to take care of yourself on the inside and out.
No brainers here ladies...I am done reading these dating books. Finding the love of your life is either meant to be ie, luck or it is not.
on October 3, 2003
The finding of Molloy's research should be an indication of a great need for social change when it comes to gender roles and gender perception. Instead, Molloy concludes that women aren't doing enough to appease men and appeal to their tastes and interests.
He himself makes terrible assumptions, not based on fact. For intstance, who on earth in this day and age is still trying to "land" a husband?
If you want to be happy in marraige, you have to find someone that's going to at least TRY to meet you halfway. Going to sports bars when you loathe sports and pressuring him to marry you is a recipe for divorce before you even hit the altar.