More men than women waiting to meet “the one”

More men in the UK are holding out ‘to meet the right person’ before getting married than women, a new survey published today revealed. 

More men in the UK are holding out ‘to meet the right person’ before getting married than women, a new survey published today revealed. 

Thirty-five per cent of men polled said they hadn’t got married because they hadn’t met the right person compared to only 29 per cent of women. 

Overall, one in three people (31 per cent) who want to marry but have not yet tied the knot are still on the hunt for their Mr or Mrs Right. 

The survey also revealed almost one in ten women (eight per cent) are waiting for their partner to pop the question, while none of the men polled said they are waiting to be asked. 

The poll of over 2,000 people, commissioned by leading London law firm Seddons for Marriage Week and carried out by Populus, shows that people living in the capital are pickier than the national average, with two in five (40 per cent) still waiting to meet the right person. 

Marriage Week this year promoted the advantages of planning ahead, including the benefits of getting married before having children in terms of improving the chances of long-term family stability. 

The survey revealed planning was low even among married couples with 95 per cent never even having had a conversation about getting a pre-nuptial agreement. 

Sir Paul Coleridge, chairman of Marriage Foundation, the organisation which organised Marriage Week UK this year, commented: 

“We should not be alarmed when we see couples of today being choosier than the generation before them. Previous Marriage Foundation research has shown women now typically marry in their early thirties, men in their mid-thirties. 

“The good news is that when couples do finally get round to making a solid commitment it is far more likely to last than twenty years ago.  

“The rate of divorce in the early years has been falling steadily for the last nine years and although men are taking longer to commit when they do it is much more likely to be a carefully considered permanent decision. 

“The essential ingredient for marriage is deciding to make a mutual life-long commitment and not sliding or drifting into cohabitation with little or no planning. 

“Similarly, planning your first baby, as Marriage Foundation research showed last week, also increases your chances of staying together forever.  

“Seddons, a leading London law firm, are to be congratulated for enabling this interesting new polling to happen. Good data as opposed to myth and speculation based on anecdote, enables us all to understand better what is really happening in this vital area of our lives. 

“Marriage Week is about finding time to have those important conversations about important areas of a married couple’s life. And what better day than Valentine’s Day for having those talks and making decisions that will most affect your future happiness and that of your children.” 



Notes to editors 

For media inquiries please contact Beatrice Timpson on 07803 726977. 

For interviews, please contact Harry Benson on 07515 699187. 

About Marriage Foundation 

Marriage Foundation was founded by Sir Paul Coleridge, a High Court judge, who was moved by his personal experience in 40 years as a barrister and judge specialising in family law. The think tank seeks to improve public understanding of marriage and to reduce the numbers of people drawn into the family justice system – some 500,000 children and adults each year.  

Marriage Foundation has highlighted the crisis of family breakdown. Their research has found that a child born today only has a 50 per cent chance of living with both parents by the time they reach fifteen. 

Foundation research has also found that 93 percent of parents who stay together until their child’s fifteenth birthday are married.  

A source of statistics on marriage, cohabitation, commitment, divorce and family breakdown can be found on the Marriage Foundation website: 

Page Break 

About Marriage Week 

Marriage Week is an annual event for couples to take time to pause and learn some new skills to take their marriages from good to very good. The wedding day is only the start and all marriages can get better and better with each passing year. 

Marriage Week UK is coordinated by Marriage Foundation – the national champion for marriage. It is widely supported by charities and individuals who believe that healthy marriages bring benefits for all of society and should be encouraged and supported wherever possible. 

Marriage Week is a primary preventative campaign which seeks to highlight the benefits of healthy marriage to society, media and governments, whilst seeking to educate and inform couples regarding the benefits of an ever improving relationship, through largely local events, and media coverage. 

Marriage Week UK runs both through local events put on by marriage champions and churches across the country, and through national events coordinated by Marriage Foundation. Please see the events page to see how you can get involved. 


Sign up for updates