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Across the Fence: Cowboy attraction – true stories you won’t see in the movies

Marci Whitehurst for Progressive Cattleman Published on 11 September 2018
ranch couple holding hands

We know the old sayings “opposites attract” and “let your spouse be your best friend.” These sayings are great. But when you look at cowboy attraction … well, the norm doesn't always apply.

If Harvard were to do a study on the laws of attraction with cowboys, it probably would be too controversial to publish, the general public wouldn't relate, or both.

Now, I can't dispute that there are a variety of cowboy types. On one end of the spectrum, there are the types that are attracted to a girl because she's more country than him. On the other end, you have guys that are more business than hands-on and don't mind a girl that doesn't want to get dirty.

Somewhere toward the middle of the spectrum, there are some funny but true things that have attracted a cowboy or cowgirl to their future spouse.

  • “I knew she was the girl for me when I saw the way she could milk a cow.”
  • “I knew he was the man for me when he let me touch his beaver skin hat.”
  • “I knew we would make it together when I found out she'd never thrown out a 5-gallon bucket.”
  • “I knew my hubby was the one when he fell asleep at the wheel and still got the field plowed.”
  • “I knew she'd be my wife when I realized she was a better roper than me, only I never let her know that.”
  • “My man became hubby material when he rubbed a newborn calf back to life. (He might have sung to it, but I'll never tell.)”
  • “When I saw how smooth she was with a stick shift, well, I was hooked.”
  • “When my soon-to-be hubby drove off the road looking at cows – and I didn't notice until we were in the ditch – I knew it was too good to be true.”

There are practical things too:

  • “My soon-to-be wife made my heart swoon when she cooked a four-course meal on a campfire.”
  • “My upcoming hubby cinched it for me when he taught my little brother to rope.”
  • “She knew that cow was calving before I did. It was a dream come true.”
  • “It was a no-brainer: When he cried over losing his dog, I knew he'd understand me.”

Cowboy attraction is different because it involves agri-culture. It’s a culture that the Kardashians will never understand and mainstream culture romanticizes. However, it is an active culture that keeps bringing couples together. As one who has been married for 20 years, let me just add a tidbit:

  • “He doesn't mean what he says in a branding pen. And neither do you!”

Ranch couples need each other – we all know ranching is rewarding, but it isn't always easy: Spend time together, talk to each other, share each other's dreams, etc. But additional rules also apply: Don't get mad at hay slivers, take turns irrigating, fencing always goes faster together and getting away is good!  end mark

PHOTO: Photo provided by Marci Whitehurst.