Shannon, my parents are approaching their 50th wedding anniversary. And with wedding season upon us, I'd like to dispel the myth that men are afraid to say "I do."
The false notion is perpetuated by sitcoms, gossip mags and those foolish souls who hitch up with the first girls to bat their eyes. But it's not reality.
I have this friend Luis, and every time I tell him about a new girl I met, his canned and very sarcastic response is, "Oh, is she the new 'One?' "
"The One" is a jab at my propensity to get excited and look upon a new love interest as the future "Mrs. Norrie," only to change my mind later.
But as Luis and my other friends (including probably you, Shannon) read this and chuckle at my expense, I ask you to stop watching reruns of Sex and the City and come to accept that men do strive for marriage.
It's just that some of us are more particular nowadays. And why not? I've seen enough unhappy marriages to know better than to settle. Plus, it's not easy dating some of you women, who are so quick to judge.
I get this a lot: "You're past 30 and never been married? What's wrong with you? You're gay? Been in prison? Both?"
Then she goes home after the first date and her roommate is already at the computer, "What's his last name? Let's Google him."
Of course, we men have to be careful, too. We don't want to see a half-naked photo of our future wife on Facebook.
Married people always say, "Don't go looking for love. It will find you when you're not looking."
But aren't single people always stepping out of that front door Friday night in the hopes that The One is just around the corner?
Dave, I've never presumed that men don't want to get married.
The question is, when are you and your fellow Y-chromosomers ready to get hitched?
Overall, you dudes just take longer than us to mature and "sow oats," so to speak. So a gal might be ready by 25, but I'd put money on the fact that a guy of the same age is not.
She's thinking about buying a house and nesting; maybe he's wondering how much he has to bench press to look good in that tight shirt he bought to wear out Friday night to MacDinton's.
But you know what? That's not a terrible thing, Dave, as long as you're honest with yourself.
Better to keep on "exploring" than rush to the altar just because you're over 30 and societal pressures make you feel like you "should" be married already.
And yes, there are plenty of fine women out there to get excited about, and yes, of course, you're more apt to find them if you're out and about rather than sitting on your keester at home.
But know this about The One: It takes time to find her, and to confirm that she really is The One. Because let's face it, hormones and the rush of finding a new thang can sometimes feel like The One when in fact she's just "yet another."
So take your time, my friend. And who knows? Maybe you'll have to go to some wedding, and she'll be sitting there.
Then again, you might spot her at Publix on some random day.
Life and love are crazy like that.