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Marriage cannot escape the public’s changing attitudes

To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with. — Mark Twain

June is busting in. It is the time to discuss love, marriage, children and spinsterhood. So, let me begin.

I kissed my first girl and smoked my first cigar on the same day. I haven’t had time for tobacco since. — Arturo Toscanini

Trying to figure out when a man will propose has been the subject of many female tea parties. According to one study, the average man gets down on his knee two years, 11 months and eight days after the first date, proving men are putting as much thought into marriage as women.

By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll be happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher. — Socrates

Women have a higher priority and generally want to get married sooner, particularly if they want to have children. They first have to ask themselves, “Is my boyfriend too committed to other aspects of his life?”

Sex is the most fun you can have without laughing.

Since most men mimic their fathers, beware if his father is divorced or in an unhappy marriage. You may have to wait years for his proposal, but let not your heart be troubled. As a man gets older, it is easier for him to think of marriage.

My wife and I were happy for 20 years. Then we met. — Rodney Dangerfield

Another survey found that women who wait longer to marry give their marriage a better chance of surviving. The median marrying age for women had risen from 20 in the 1950s to 26 in 2007. Older women are more mature in terms of confidence, judgment, growth and having completed more schooling. As a result, they are less likely to make mistakes in choosing a mate.

Did you know a happy marriage is good for your blood pressure and married people tend to be healthier than singles, although a stressed union can be worse than being single? Still another survey found that the more marital satisfaction, the lower the average blood pressure.

I don’t worry about terrorism. I was married for two years. — Sam Kinison

According to yet another survey, the percentage of Americans who consider children important to a successful marriage has dropped sharply since 1990 and is sixth on a list of factors associated with successful marriages.

Marriage is made in heaven, but so is thunder and lightning.

The first factor is “mutual happiness,” followed by “fulfillment,” “sharing household chores,” “good housekeeping,” “adequate income,” “a happy sexual relationship” and “faithfulness.” It also emphasized that a child needs a mother and a father to grow up happily.

I asked my neighbor the secret of his long marriage. “Steal away for romantic candlelight dinners, soft music and dancing. My wife goes Tuesdays and I go Fridays.”

Lovebirds heading down the aisle this summer will pay more for their weddings than in previous years. The average price tag on a wedding includes $40,000 for renting a reception hall, $4,800 for wedding rings, $5,500 for a dress and more than $3,000 for flowers.

Marriage is the most expensive way of discovering your faults.

The price does not include the engagement ring, ceremony, photographer, transportation, honeymoon, wedding planner and other incidentals. Did somebody say elope? While June remains the classic month to become a bride, it is now the fourth behind July, August and September.

Marriage is nature’s way of keeping men from fighting with strangers.

But many women are happy without a husband and children and enjoy the pleasures of their spinster−lifestyle. They thrive on the perks of personal space and cringe at the thought of marrying just to have another warm body in the house. They are not desperate to grab anything with a pulse who snores.

Today, 51 percent of American women are living without a husband and not waiting for Mr. Right. There are more households of one than of moms, dads and children. People now spend more years of their adult lives unmarried than married. And even “senior−singletons” over 60 feel healthier and happier living alone, reveling in their lifestyles. Think of Ed Koch.

Women were asked: Which do you consider a more comfortable sleeping companion for you? The responses were a man, 29 percent, and a warm blanket, 53 percent. I wonder what the percentage is for men.

So, you pays your money and you takes your choice. Which bed would you rather sleep in?

Contact Alex Berger at news@timesledger.com.

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