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Do men really want to get married?
His father had never pressed him about marriage before. But the question had its intended effect: a light switch flipped on.
"I'd never really thought about it. But that was the point right there when I said to myself: 'Oh my gosh, you know what, this is the girl I'm going to marry,' " Brian said. "I can't picture myself spending the rest of my life with any other person than Alana."
Brian, 34, had indeed made the psychological leap. It was time to get this party started. Six months later, he proposed. They married in June.
If you believe the conventional wisdom, Brian's story is the exception.
"Real men" are perceived as committing "till death do us part" for the wrong reasons -- they marry out of convenience or under duress, and they acquiesce, kicking and screaming all the way to the altar. Somewhere along the way, marriage and masculinity became mutually exclusive. But that stands in stark contrast to the dozens of men I spoke with, who admitted -- no, insisted -- they've fantasized about popping the question, getting married, even having a wedding.
The circumstances surrounding those light-switch moments varied.
For one man who lost his father, it was the extraordinary outpouring of love and support from his future bride that changed everything; another guy came to the realization when he caught himself balling up his fists in anger the moment someone made a pass at his then-girlfriend; yet another described the emotion of seeing his long-distance girlfriend for the first time after spending months cooped up in a nuclear submarine.
For me, the light bulb popped on at a penny arcade, playing classic '80s arcade games with my girlfriend. Kris destroyed asteroids and hopped barrels with impressive dexterity.
But it was the grace with which she obliterated insects that sealed the deal. Spinning that roller ball, wiping out that quickly descending centipede with master firepower -- I had to marry this girl.
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