Men’s choice for a partner will vary according to the duration and the goal of the relationship.
For short-term relationship, often as extra-conjugal affair, men are less demanding in terms of standard, though physical attractiveness remains important in both short-term and long-term relationships. Men readily involve themselves in multiple casual sexual partners and invest a lot in searching for them. On the contrary, women are more cautious given the cost involved.
Firstly, should the sexual relationship result into pregnancy, or the affair be known, there’s a risk of ruining their long-term relationship they may have with the official partner. More women are divorced or separated than men for the reason of infidelity. This is not to say women are more unfaithful than men, probably the contrary is true, but generally there’s more tolerance for a man’s infidelity than that of a woman; the situation described as double standard. Even though the situation is changing, nevertheless, the double standard remains. Men will have tendency, different from women, towards short- term relationships. For that they are less demanding because it may be just for company or sexual relationship. However, it’s a different when a man decides to commit himself with someone for a relationship of long duration.
When a man decides to settle for a durable relationship like marriage, there you find certain elements like faithfulness, health, age and everything related to reproduction are considered before he commits himself to a woman in a relationship. What may be considered as traits of physical beauty for a woman, often, are those traits that are culturally perceived as signs of fertility or maturity for reproduction.
Personal and behavioural attributes
One of the major differences between men and women is the attitude towards sexual fidelity. A woman with whom a man wants to have a long-term relationship, that is, with whom he wants to found a family and have children, her fidelity is something that affects him profoundly, especially psychologically. In fact, it can be a source of stress for a man in the attempt to avoid the risk of investing himself in raising children fathered by someone else. That may explain the sexual jealousy that has marked the relationship of men and women in many societies, for example, patriarchal societies with strong social and sexual control on the women. Hence, you have control tactics like: demand for virginity at marriage, genital mutilation in the hope of reducing sexual desire. Even though today we speak no more of chastity belts, worn by women to prevent them from engaging themselves into arbitrary sexual relationships, nevertheless, you may still find attitudes or mechanisms of control put in place even in our societies today that serve as modern chastity belts by controlling and limiting social interaction of women.
Conflict from unmet expectations
While both men and women have criteria in the choice of a potential partner, however, one does not always arrive at having for a partner the person who meets all the requirements. This is because choosing a partner is engaging oneself into market race against other men or women, as competitors. As a result, it’s possible that one enters marriage having compromised on certain elements. Let’s take some examples.
A woman may have a partner who is financially well off, but may be, that person is lacking in personal traits such as being generous, kind and warm as women would want to see in a partner. Or one may enter marriage based on romantic love, but the partner lacks the financial and cultural status, which are important for woman as source of security. The compromise makes it possible for one to go ahead with a relationship while certain elements are lacking. But that can be a source of conflicts later in the relationship.
One possible consequence of compromising on certain criteria is having extra-conjugal affairs to compensate or to get the satisfaction that may be lacking in that long-term relationship. That’s why the cases of infidelity may not be inspired merely by promiscuity tendencies but will be calculated relationships in order to get some benefits -financial benefit or romantic love, which may be lacking in the official relationship. Let’s take a scenario:
A lady decides to marry a man because of financial security and yet there’s no emotional connection between them. Here, we have a case of romantic compromise. She enjoys quite all right the luxury and yet she is bothered by the yearning for love, that is, to be with a man with whom she feels emotionally connected. It’s the same for a man to whom physical attractiveness is important, yet, for a long-term relationship he may consider a lady who may not be that physically attractive but perhaps she excels in other areas such as fertility, faithfulness, care; to mention but just some. It means there’s a compromise. In such cases it’s not rare to see unsatisfied partners go out, in form of extra-conjugal affairs, to get the satisfaction that they miss in their official relationships.
What’s the relevance of the chat?
Our chat on this topic, Choice of a conjugal partner, puts you face to face with the motives that led you to choosing the partner you have today. It’s important for you to check out: what is it that you find fulfilling in your relationship with your partner? And what are you missing? And above all, how are you managing those aspects where you find that your partner does not respond to all the aspirations you had for a partner?
Of course, it’s just unrealistic to expect finding a perfect person. You won’t find one; they simply don’t exist. However, we know that unfulfilled desires can be a source of many conflicts, as well shall see later in the next topics. In fact, after going through unmet expectations some people may even come to convince themselves that they have married a wrong person.
What do you do, then? How do you deal with such sentiment that leaves you feeling you married a wrong person? Do you leave your partner? We look at that in the next topic.
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