Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Theory of Wedding Potential by Adeshina ‘Tunde

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The theory of Wedding Potential began with my personal experience and tries to explain this unspoken criterion many single women use when selecting who to date and have a relationship with. Some ladies I asked out in the past told me they liked me but couldn't date me. It wasn’t that they lied in order not to make me feel bad for rejecting me. I believe they genuinely did like me. I ended up making out with few of them yet they insisted they could not have a relationship with me. I had sex with one and as she was about to leave she said, “Hope you remember we are not in a relationship?”

Their reason for rejecting me is that they have reached a point in their life where they couldn’t date anyone just for the fun of it. They want a relationship that would lead somewhere and that ‘somewhere’ is marriage. I find this confusing, yet hilarious. Here I am, asking a girl to date me and she is already talking about marriage. For me, dating someone is an opportunity to know each other and determine if we were compatible. These girls make it appear they know we're already compatible before getting to know me.

All my wonderful personal qualities do not matter because their decision isn't based on me but on my wedding potential. They have subjectively assessed me to determine if I had the potential to get married quickly. And since I was a job seeking undergraduate, they did not see any early wedding potential. All my attempts to sweet talk them resulted in “You are not yet ready”.

Recently, I asked single women in their early-twenties what the most important criteria they used in deciding who to have a relationship with was, and I got answers that included spirituality, good looks, responsibility, caring. The next question I asked was if they would love to get married someday, and they replied in the affirmative.

I followed with another question, “Will you date a very spiritual/good-looking/responsible/caring guy if there was no possibility of him settling down [for marriage]?” A significant number of them answered “NO”. One interesting response was, “He must be sick! No one would date him”. My final question was, "will you agree the marriage potential was more important than the criteria you mentioned earlier?" The response to this was an outstanding "Yes!"

My theory, The Theory of Wedding Potential, would therefore explain this [unspoken] criterion women unconsciously use to decide who to date. This criterion is the potential they perceive of achieving a wedding with the man. In general, The Theory of Wedding Potential says:

• The potential of marriage is the most important criteria females use to decide with who to have a relationship.
• The perception of wedding potential varies according to factors and assumptions made by the female
• The higher the wedding potential a woman perceives in a man, the more she finds herself attracted to him.
• The wedding potential precedes other personal qualities which the woman admired in the man.
• If the wedding potential a woman perceives in a man would take a longer time, the less likely she would want to be in a relationship with him.
• Women are not always accurate in their assessment of the Wedding Potential

See, my friend was once in a relationship I assumed would lead to marriage. Then his girlfriend broke up with him and in a few months she married a man she knew for less than a year. The woman later confessed to me she loved her ex more than her husband and the only ‘flaw’ she saw in my friend was he wasn't ready to get married. She did love her husband though, just not as much as the ex. I asked, “Did you marry your husband because you loved him OR you loved him because he could be your husband OR you believe you love him because he is now your husband?”

From this experience I learnt what power the wedding potential had over feelings, even love. Once a woman perceives good wedding potential in a man she begins to see desired qualities in him. This was contrary to what some women believe: that they must see the physical or other characters they desire in a man before falling in love.

Last week, an older friend of mine received a phone call from his ex who left him years earlier for a more financially stable man. She called to catch up on old times. From their conversation, it became obvious she was now engaged, but her fiance had recently left the country for an 18-month Masters programme. She was in her late twenties and thought 18 months as a long time to wait before marriage hence the call. My friend now had a higher wedding potential, being that he was still in the country. I learnt from her actions that some women are willing to throw away years of relationship with a wonderful man if a quick marriage was not included.

Mila Kunis in the movie ‘Ted’ illustrates the theory of wedding potential. On the fourth anniversary of her character’s relationship with the boyfriend, she hoped he would propose. He didn’t, so she began to question his maturity and for a short period ended the relationship. She had a happy ending only because it’s a movie.

Wedding Potential is based on assumptions. Women have various subjective ways of assessing wedding potential. It could be based on factors including religion, race, age, tribe, family acceptance, social status, and educational qualifications. A woman might believe a man from her own religious group, race, and social status had a higher wedding potential than those that were not. A woman that thinks her family would reject a particular man might not see the wedding potential in that man and decide not to date him. For her to accept to be in a relationship with him without their approval, he must guarantee her marriage.

Another assumption is that a financially stable man was more likely to get married than a man who is unemployed. Another is that a relatively older man is more likely to get married than the woman’s peers. Again, these assumptions vary but they all boil down to wedding potential.

The theory of wedding potential points to the importance of marriage in our society. A significant percentage of women see marriage as compulsory. Despite the increase in failed marriages, they are ready to put their happiness on the line. They will ignore all the personal qualities they want in a relationship from a man, just because they want to be recognized as a Mrs. Maybe that is why broken marriages are on an increase. Women enter relationships just for the sake of wedding potential.

However, to confirm this theory, I need help. If you’re reading this article and currently in relationship, was wedding potential a major criterion for agreeing to date the man? If considering a new guy, how high does his wedding potential rank?


Adeshina Tunde blogs as @adebrsk at Story of the Year. He says of his writing, "Everyone have their experiences and what we do with it is totally up to us. Some store them as secrets while others turn them into laughs and share them with their friends. I've found what to with mine- write them as stories and give it to the world. These experiences are my stories of the year."


  1. Dated for marriage potential..terrible i'm just taking it as it comes not dictating what i think my heart is seeing...being real!

  2. Wedding potential has its pros and cons...

  3. it is the qualities i see in him that make him marriage potential in the first place.

  4. Currently dating a spiritual/good-looking/responsible/caring man who has no plans of getting married any time soon (possibly even ever). A few years ago, I would have been freaked out by this but now I have come to realise that the time I spend with him is more important than if he wants to tie the knot at some point in the near future. Life is too short for us to be fixated on wedding potential. Cherish the one you have and the rest will work itself out.

    1. You sound as if you are hoping that one day you will get married. You use the the words 'Near future' - that to me does not signify somebody that is OK with the choice never to be married. If this is true, isn't remaining with someone whom you do not see the possibility of marriage with a lie to yourself?

      There is nothing wrong with not being married. You just have to make sure it the choice that the both of you have made irrespective of each other.

      If you want to get married - and there is nothing wrong with this either - then you must find someone who wants the same. What the author of this piece is neglecting to mention is that sometimes, a lot of men say they don't want to get married and they believe it too. And then a few weeks/months after breaking up with the woman who accepted this as gospel for an impossible amount of years (and possibly subdued her own natural desires for marriage to please him) the dude is not only getting married but starting a family at the same time.

      Life is a struggle. I say abolish marriage once and for all.

    2. Honestly, I'm still not sure if I want to get married. I've been taught all my life that it's the next step in life but if it doesn't happen for me, I don't believe my life should be seen as a failure (as a lot of people might think). What I am trying to say is that if said man is the ideal one for me with regards to physical and mental compatibility and he doesn't want to get married (ever), should I leave him for another man who doesn't care for me as much just because he doesn't want to get married? Especially when I'm not sure I care so much about the concept of marriage? Not sure it makes sense...

  5. In our Nigerian society, women older than 30 have the right to put wedding potential first. I don't blame them. In my experience, the men who have quick wedding potential also exhibit good responsibility in other areas too and make great husbands and fathers.

    1. I concur Uju, I think men with higher marriage potential have also reached a level of emotional intelligence and readiness too.

  6. I think the assumption doesn't apply to all cultures. The African culture, yes for sure.

    I am in a relationship and it wasn't because I saw him as a "wedding potential" I sensed that we clicked/click in a lot of ways and we decided to take it to the next level and see how it goes.

    However, I understand where these women are coming from. Some men like the idea of being with a particular lady but do not intend to marry her. it's confusing sometimes and they don't wanna waste their time. If after a few years of dating, one is not assured, it is easy to doubt the love in the relationship. and yes, there is no point being with someone that doesn't have most of the husband qualities that is desired...

  7. This is a very interesting article, and I have a feeling a lot of women (for whatever reason) will not honestly state that they are currently in relationships because of the wedding potential (I choose to call it marriage/commitment potential because there is more to a wedding than just the fancy occasion)that you state.

    I am currently engaged to a wonderful man and outside of his positive qualities; I can admit that one of the core reasons I fell in love with him was because of his "marriage/commitment potential". I keep adding commitment because that’s what it boils down to. It’s the willingness to commit that makes a man attractive. If he has all those good qualities but is unwilling to commit it makes him unattractive in a woman’s eyes. We don’t like people who waste our time! I would say your theory is spot on, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the nature of women although we’re too quick to deny it.

    1. You make an insightful comment MLMR. It’s the willingness to commit that makes a man attractive - Gbam! Marriage is an outward show of that commitment.
      So Ade calling it wedding potential isn't wrong. I do think most women see the real deal not just the wedding potential.
      I wont deny that there are women who have let 'wedding potential' rule their decisions at the expense of love but like my new relationship mentor Greg Behrendt said (author of 'he is not that into you'lol)pennilessness will not stop a guy who is truly committed from putting a ring on it.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Very insightful feedback as well, Ginger. Especially that last bit from your relationship mentor:-) Couldn't agree more. Thanks.

  8. I agree that lots of women will not be frank aabout this. Am in a situation as that currently. Loving two people one who has the marriage potential and the other who is my age mate. 98 % of ladies do consider that

  9. It is a subconscious thing;an age thing. Maturity. When a body becomes old enough for marriage it becomes selective. It is not a female thing either.
    If a man ever gets ready for marriage he begins to pay more attention to the marriageable women flocking around him.

    Also,It is a well known fact that women become generally nicer to men when they(women)get to age 25 upwards. They want to get married.
    I dont see anything wrong with that. Men should simply take advantage. Having a car, a job and an apartment works wonders on the unmarried female psyche.

  10. Life is too short for us to be fixated on wedding potential. Cherish the one you have and the rest will work itself out.Online Cialis

  11. I've been dating a guy for two yrs on and off and everyone thinks I should marry him...except me. Still haven't decided yet

    So wat chu talking about that ladies enter into a relationship based on marriage potentials in a man

  12. I agree with the theory and I don't think it is that bad. Women just have to be careful not to fall into the wrong hands.

  13. Dated a guy whom I thought had wedding potential (even tho that was not the reason I dated him) he turned out to be asshole of the year!
    I also asked a question on twitter: fall in love or stability? A GUY said "I'm too old to be dating for love" aka I should date based on wedding potential.
    Right now, I'm not currently looking to date, but when I find more than 3 guys hovering around me, I tend to assess their wedding potentials.
    The fun, romantic, cute ones usually have the least, and d boring, ones have the most wedding potential.
    Can't have it all cuh!

  14. So funny, yet so true. One thing most ladies fail to realize is that most spiritual/good-looking/responsible/ambitious/focused/caring guys will start thinking marriage once they meet the woman of their dreams. Even if they're yet to be financially balanced and 'ready' to settle down, finding the woman of their dreams will naturally trigger a desire to be committed within them. Ladies don't have to scare a guy away with the pressure of marriage. You just relax, as long as hez got those qualities I mentioned above, and he is in his right senses, he will surely have a plan to tie the knots sometime sooner than you think. I once advised a female friend of mine not to ever disturb her boyfriend about marriage or ask him questions that 'put pressure' on him. I advised her to let him go at his pace, while she continues to pursue career. I asked her to simply continue to make sure that she's the right woman for him and make sure that she's making good progress in every area of her own life. She took to my advice. It was just a matter of time before the guy got challenged by her quality of life and the fact that she never mounted pressure on him or came off as 'desperate' for marriage. He proposed to her early this year. You see, it's more like a reverse-psychology thing.
    A guy who is still contemplating whether he should get committed to you or not will get totally turned off once you give him the impression that you perceive him as having a high wedding potential. He may likely see you as "one of those desperate girls".

    In a summary, my point is that a very spiritual/good-looking/responsible/ambitious/focused/caring guy will start thinking and gravitating towards marriage once he meets the woman of his dreams; and there is also no doubt that those are the kind of guys that stay longer in marriage, cos they married because of love and not just because of 'wedding potential'. By-the-way, good luck to those ladies looking for 'ready-made' guys. hehehehe

  15. this writer makes it sound wrong to want to date only a guy u forsee a future with!!! for me wats the point of dating someone just for dating sake??? if i dont tink i cld ever marry u if d time comes then theres no point i startin a rlship wit u period! and trust me u ll be savin urself a lot of heart ache and regrets! i ve tried dat dating a guy just cos of my feelings and where did dat get me?? heartbreak and still single! my dear its called wisdom!! every lady shd only date "wedding potentials"

  16. Most times we ladies are busy looking for Mr. handsome and all that, I have discovered that some of the guys who seem to have it all sometimes are not ready to settle down. They keep toasting women in and out without knowing their own biological clock is ticking too. I am beginning to believe that marriage relationship should be viewed from a deeper angle not just the physical aspects we see in a man. A man's character matters a lot no matter how much commitment he may seem to give at the moment. Had an experience with two guys recently, one has been there for the past 5yrs telling me how much he loves me and wants to make me his wife and give me everything I want in life especially now that he has gotten a very good job in an oil company but I havent given him a chance simply because I feel I'm too tall for him while this other tall, handsome looking guy, also said he was committed right from the start and I loved him too but his attitude in the relationship is not one I ever want to live with for a second. Love is not all there is in a relationship.

  17. hmmm, I read this post with much interest and I've enjoyed most of the comments on here, a little addition is that men and women are different and the reasons why it may be wise for a woman to date a wedding/marriage potential stems from the fact that women have this innate sense to know a man who will not commit to them, men on the other hand know what they want, I wrote a post about that recently; (hope you don't mind Myne) Hence a woman who wants to be married many not be wrong to date a man she suspects wants her enough to commit, on the flip side, even if a woman dates a man who is wedding potential, on getting to know you, if he decides you're not his wedding potential, he will not marry you.

  18. i think there's another angle to view it from the angle of ladies waiting to get married to have intercourse,a lady who has decided to wait for sex might not want to date a guy for a very long time like 4 or 5years before tying the knot.


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