Are 47 Year Old Single Men Inherently Suspect?

July 14, 2008 / 4:53 pm • By Dr. Melissa Clouthier

Older, happy, and single
Dr. Helen talks about old single guys and the discrimination they face. Perhaps it’s just my experience at church, but the normal older bachelors were the exception to the rule. The rule being this: single men left to their own devices for that many decades, many still caring for their mother (who usually happened to be the only woman in their lives) were a tad weird.

Listen, I’m not saying there’s a damn thing wrong with staying single from cradle to grave. More power to anyone who makes that choice. But I can assure you, that the following notion has never crossed my conscious or sub-conscious mind:

The first reason is that the sight of a happy single man might be an inspiration to their husbands, for if their husbands are friends with single men, they might get fed some ideas. Let’s say that a husband is kept on a short leash by his wife, but every once in a while the guy gets a reprieve to go hang out with his buddies. The single men who are happy are a shining example of what the husband is missing. If the single guy was miserable with this state, then the married guy would feel okay about his restricted status — but seeing a free happy single guy just exacerbates his feeling that he no longer has control over his life and is too domesticated to put up a fight. Perhaps some married women want all men to be domesticated to keep them in line and not to be out having too much fun. To them, a single man who’s happy is a threat to their way of life.

Well, I would think that the married man might think the 47 year old single man might be a threat to his way of life. Ha! Poaching his wife or maybe his daughter…. Now, that was a terribly sexist generalization, but come on! If a woman gives a single, 47 year old man a hard time, most likely, she’s hoping he’ll find a mate so he isn’t alone and/or lonely.

The single men who reach a certain age, seem to get there for different reasons.
1. Socially awkward, inability to deal with women (and/or men), possibly late bloomer
2. Divorced, widowed and not wanting a relationship
3. Divorced, widowed and desire companionship
4. Player–just like playing the field, morphed from stud into kinda pathetic, eternal juvenile
5. Busy guy who just never made time for relationships and finds himself older and single and hasn’t made it a priority

Mind you, all of these guys might be happy where their life is at. A relationship isn’t required for happiness. A relationship doesn’t guarantee happiness. With that being said, most (not all) people would like to be in a loving, mutual, committed relationship. All the material things, experiences, etc. cannot replace the profound satisfaction and solace that love gives.

Are married women threatened by a happy single guy? Only if they’re weirdly insecure themselves. They’re probably the same women who are insecure around the newly divorced woman. Dr. Helen gives this good advice:

So Jim, I would suggest you keep doing what makes you happy and not worry too much about what married women (or men!) think about your status. A simple, “I love being single” might suffice in response to being questioned — you don’t owe anyone an explanation for how you wish to live your life. If you do desire that one of these concerned citizens fix you up, say so, and ask if she knows anyone she thinks might be a good match for you. Otherwise, change the subject.

Hell, that’s good advice for everyone. Most people are doing exactly what they want to do in their relationship and singleness decisions. People generally have good reasons for doing what they do and if they don’t, it’s their lives so who is anyone to nag?

My friends are laughing uproariously right now. Hey the no nagging thing is good in theory.

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  • Ken

    I was one of the “socially awkward … late bloomers”. The only time a woman found me attractive was 25 years ago.

  • http://melissaclouthier.com Dr. Melissa Clouthier

    Aw, Ken, don’t give up hope! Or did you grab that woman and marry her?

  • John

    “47 year old single” caught my eye cause that is me, 47 happy single guy. Played the field for a while and found no women that could bring much to the relationship (I was looking in the wrong places mind you). Now at 47 I can’t imagine someone else in my house let alone in my life. The single women at my church my age do not atract me so far and I am waiting for the one that knocks me over; no less will do for me to give up my happy singleness. No settling for someone will happen, I’ve seen too many sad married/divorced people. I won’t do “set ups” they are always disapointing and awkward. And yes I am looked at weirdly because my singleness doesn’t make me unhappy, lonely or anxious to “meet” someone. I seldom date cause I just haven’t met someone I want to date, very simple, and still I have a fairly fullfilling life that may be a threat to some, though I don’t mean be.

  • Ken

    No. I wasn’t “exciting” enough, so she shacked up, married, and divorced some guy with daughters from previous babymommas as old as she was.

    Some years ago at San Diego Comic Con, I ran into the one who had matchmade us all those years ago. She filled me in on the latest developments (including the divorce and the ugly details of what led up to it) and ended with “She would have been a lot better off with you.”

    But I wasn’t “exciting” enough, so I was history. I actually believed her when she said she was saving herself for marriage (the only other virgin in California!) and didn’t push her. I didn’t try to get into her pants; I wasn’t an abusive creep, so I’m history.

  • MagicalPat

    I was “busy guy”, exacerbated by work that had me traveling to different cities and parking myself there for 2 to 3 months at a time, only to be sent somewhere else as I got comfortable.

    I am 47 coincidently, but will be getting married for the first time in three weeks.

    Here are the biggest snags I’ve run into in staying single so long, since the travel has only been the last eight years. (And, I met my future wife while on the road)

    First snag for me is that I lived in L.A. for 21 years and I am in the entertainment business. Very few of those women want to get married, and almost none of them want children. After all, they can’t do that to their body and expect to work as an actress ever again. Many don’t want to get married in L.A. because they are always on the lookout for someone who is a better deal than you. This is especially true with actress types who know inherently that they may not make it in show biz and will therefore either need a producer husband who will get them work, or a wealthy man who will take care of them since they have no back up plan in case they don’t become stars.

    The second snag is that once a man hits 35, most women view him with suspicion. You will always be asked why you’ve never been married as if there is something wrong with you.(A question that is not allowed to be asked of a single woman who is 35) For the most part I understand that it is true that the longer a man remains single, the more likely it is that he will stay that way. But not all men are that way, and it is tiresome to have people assume that you are that way, even though women are rarely if ever treated that way.

    As a side note to the above thought, I have asked women who wonder why I’ve never been married if they would rather get involved with a man who had been divorced twice or a man who had never been married. Most would choose the divorcee. When asked why, I was told it was because he showed the ability to commit.

  • http://ArbiterOfCommonSense.blogspot.com Trubador

    As a 44-year old single guy (who does not “play the field,” is not gay, is not a priest, nor a combination thereof), I’m still trying to find a woman with a discerning mind, an open heart, and a centered soul. Of course, if helps if she’s also attractive on the outside as well as the inside (I’m not talking about being a knock-out supermodel… beauty is in the eyes of the beholder).

    Basically just no freaks, flakes, or women with a higher degree of insanity than normal. Just someone who has a brain and uses it wisely. Someone who’s mature, compassionate, and knows what things in life are really important (and it’s ain’t the superficial crap). Someone who has gone through life relatively okay as a single person running the career-minded rat race (just like me), yet deep down we know that going to an empty home night after night sucks big time.

    Being a politically conservative Catholic living in Southern California doesn’t help matters in trying to find a 30-something single woman who fits the bill, so to speak. P.S. Gold-diggers need not apply.

    All my life I’ve sensed that there’s a part of me that seems “missing”… that feeling of being incomplete. Living the single life ain’t what it’s cracked up to be, despited the so-called freedoms it can give you. I reeeeeally hate the bar scene bullsh*t, which is why I rarely go to bars/clubs. When I do, it’s to check out the live music. And I find the modern, impersonal dating rituals (such as “speed dating” and “findyourperfectmateforanexorbitantfeedotcom”) to be a pain in the royal a**.

    So, why have I remained single for so long? I’ve been quietly searching for “the one” and haven’t found her… yet. Well, there was one (I thought), but that was a long time ago… the “one that got away”. It’s not that I have set high or comparative standards, or narrowed my options, or have dated perpetually (actually, I’ve not dated much at all over the years… spent too much time doing other things).

    Heck, I’m not perfect. And I don’t expect others to be, either. I have my own faults and issues and frailties, just like everyone else does. Yet I strive every day to at least try and make myself better while attempting to inspire others to do the same. When you finally find that person… “the one”… you just know deep in your core, and you hope that the feeling is mutual.

    Ahh… there’s the rub.

  • Bilwick

    I’m a 57 year-old never married male, so in terms of being suspicious, I must be the equivalent of Tony Shaloub carrying a copy of the Koran onto an El Al flight.

    I actually straddle categories #1 and #5. Although at my most socially awkward I was still able to meet women and have them play significant roles in my life. Fortunately I was in my 20s during the Seventies, when all the seduction technique one needed was a simple, “Uh . . . ya wanna have sex?” God, it was great. Some of my my female friends have been Friends With Benefits, yet in whatever role they played they tend to play significant roles and be in my life for long, long times.

    Some people (particularly female people) might see me as having some of category #4, except that I was never much of a one-night-stand person. If the sex was good, and I liked the women, even if the relationship weren’t going to evolve into a conventional monogamous Love Match, I would still want wehatever kind of relationship it was to continue.

    Mind you, I’m sure my life would be much better if I had found a Love Match, but (getting back to category #5, just dealing full-time with survival and financial issues for decades hasn’t allowed me much time or energy to go on a Soul Mate Quest.

  • slick

    Am a recently (1.5 yrs ago) divorced 45-year old. Post-divorce I went on a number of dates (did the online thing, which I won’t do again) and had an intense short-term relationship (which was great, but a dead end). After 20 years of marriage, and the above, I made the conscious choice to STOP dating and to STOP trying to find someone. Incredibly liberating!Most adults never try it, but it really changes your whole view on life and yourself when you just stop trying to find someone else. It seems every singl eadult I know is runnign around desperately trying to find someone/anyone to hook up with. It’s neurotic. Shocker for this male – there IS life without women! I have enough love in my relationships with my 3 daughters, friends, and family. I’ll keep my eyes open – just in case I meet someone wonderful – but it just isn’t as important as it was. The only thing I miss is the sex (which there are a few ways to deal with). I’ve always done well with the opposite sex, but at this point in my life I just don’t want to deal with the neverending soap opera of being involved with most women. It’s just not worth it. More and more men are finding this out. I suspect that after a few more years of breathing without women, I will wind up in another relationship – but only with the right type of person. Forming relationships just because you can’t handle being alone – or for any other reason EXCEPT that you found someone good for you and who you love being with – is a losing proposition.

  • slick

    1) Apologies for the lack of paragraphs. So much for WYSIWYG?

    2) I frequently see the simpistic and false choice between a “selfish single life” and a “loving, giving relationship life”. Puh-lease. Melissa eluded to it in her piece. I think this is such nonsense. I am as far from material, thrill-seeking, or self-indulgent as you will find. Just because someone has not found the right person, or prefers to be single, does not make them a heartless, self-centred, immature, material creep! OTOH, how many relationships truly are loving? Most I know are lousy. Most fail. The idea that you have something better just because you are a “couple” is silly. Typically, things start off well (“in love”) and go downhill from there.

    When you step back and look at the big picture, what you see is that people have an imperative to bond – regardless of who it is with. Us human beings are HORRIBLE at selecting mates. We do not choose people who are good for us or who we will be able to have a good relationship with. We do not wait. We choose the best person who comes along at that moment in our lives, and go for it. Is there any wonder why most relationships are not successful? Imagine if you approached any other area of your life in such an undisciplined and haphazard way. We are programmed to have sex – not to have good relationships. The things that drive us to begin a relationship are frequently the exact opposite of what we need to sustain a successful relationship.

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  • J David

    After a couple of decades of educated “people watching”(B.A. in Soc Studies/History, psych/Bible minors,w/ honors, for Edu.), and having grown up in a church-society, interest in what once was the “institution” of marriage has waned to near non-existence. Though from a family/sub-culture in which divorce is “not an option”, and though having three siblings of which two are women, my personal observations from infancy on have not made me especially interested in ending my personal freedoms…

    Whole books are written on the cultural shifts affecting the marital relationship in the Western world, but for me personally it is partly a mere logical approach(mixed w/ a touch of “incurable romantic”)that contributes, to the greatest degree, to my ambivalence toward marriage.

    I make a living based on correctly figuring odds, and I am rewarded or punished based on how objectively-accurately I do so. The odds of “successful marriage”(NO DIVORCE, mutually edifying relationship, minimal conflict, etc…)are SO LOW, as to be a FOOLISH risk, especially when I have additionally figured in live personal experiences and experiences of friends and family. The assets at risk, actual and figurative, are ENORMOUS! I risk peace-of- mind/usefulness to fellow citizens/ALL of my property, and possibly even offspring. The laws are crafted to encourage women to raise children w/ the gov’t as “father” while confiscating all of my assets and handing them over to the “ex” as part of the bounty on my head.

    As a “Man”, I am a bumbling idiot/fool/lecher/ selfish/helpless, unable to function mentally without a women butting in at every possible juncture, as constructed by the now “feminized” culture… But, in fact, I am numerically well in the minority, as there are substantially more women than men. Men do NOT have a “biological mandate”(I have no womb, no “period”, no real time limits in which I must produce, and no physical need for protection, or emotional drive to develop and maintain a social/emotional network, no breasts to feed children I am driven to produce, etc…), and as long as I don’t think with any part of my anatomy beyond the head on my neck, I have capacity to say “NO!” for the rest of my life, if need be, but I can only say “Yes” once and then have surrendered my total latitude of self-determination to another person.

    Since I do not “need” an in-house cook/maid/ sex toy/therapist/ego booster, I find a smug satisfaction in not being subdued, “trained”, “domesticated”, “tamed”, or otherwise conquered. As long as the net gain for changing my status to “married” is not perceived as being substantially greater than my net loss (and that includes REAL potential “losses” as well) no woman has given me close to adequate reason to take the awesome risks involved in surrender.

  • J David

    See Rachel Lucas’ site today for further reasons to laugh out loud at even the suggestion of being some woman’s toady for the rest of my natural existence…

  • J David

    …In other words…exactly *WHO* is “shunning” who”…

  • Ken

    I would like to eliminate the term “Soul Mate” from the English language. In my experience:

    1) Nothing triggers the “OOOOOO! MY SOULMATE!” reaction in a woman like an abusive creep. (“He’s so (gasp) EXCITING!”) Funny that when a man hates women so much all he can do with them is abuse and harm them, suddenly he’s irrestistable to them.

    2) As I’ve heard it used, “Soulmate” is NEVER the one you’re married to. “My Soulmate” is ALWAYS the one you’re screwing on the side.

  • http://wheelgun.blogspot.com/ Zendo Deb

    For most of human history (and even today in lots of the world) women and men had no choice about being single.

    Perhaps you’ve heard of the concept of the arranged marriage. That cultural inertia even carried the US through the 50s. You got married. That’s what you did.

    Consider it from the other side. Are most married people happy being married? You state that most would love to be a perfect relationship, which is probably true. But are most married people happily married, in their imperfect daily-grind relationships?

    Given that 50% of marriages fail, I believe the answer is “no.” Add to that the number of people who are in bad marriages – abusive or just plain unloving – but stay because of economics, or religion or whatever. However you slice it, it is not the case that the vast majority of people are just so happy with marriage. (Or do you think people are perfectly happy in marriage except for that last year spent with the lawyers?)

    Look at what is going on in Japan today. The men want to get married, but the women don’t want to sign up for the lives their mothers had. Marriage – and the role assigned to women – hasn’t changed all that much in Japan, but women’s expectations of life has changed. So they aren’t getting married.

    For the record, I am 47-year-old single lesbian. Single in that I am not in relationship at the time. I live on a boat. While there are a few single women living aboard boats, mostly I see single men and few couples. Its funny, but since we are all doing what we want to do (except for the few spouses dragged kicking and screaming aboard), most of us are as happy as people get. Life is about pain and joy, and marriage – or so it seems to me – doesn’t insulate people from the pain, anymore than it increases the joy in life. You might get a different kind of joy, but I can say the same thing about my life.

    You see I always get this argument… “I would be happier if [fill in the blank].” I can’t tell you how many people – friends, family, relative strangers – want to argue that I would be happier if I “turned straight.” When I guy tells me this I tell him to find the perfect man and sleep with him, if it turns him gay, then I’ll at least consider sleeping with the guy one time.

    Here are some other arguments.

    “Married people are happier.” Single are A) not home when the survey people come calling, B) are sleeping off the effects of last night or C) never answer a survey. (I fall into category “C” when I am not in “A”)

    “Married people live longer.” Married people live safe lives. They don’t ride motorcycles, jump out of airplanes, get into small boats and sail out-of-sight-of land at quite the same rate as single folks. Do other crazy things that singles are like to do. Of course they live longer. (And having seen the end-of-life medical treatment several times for my mother, aunts, uncles, grandparents…. I’m not so sure I want to live that long.)

  • Peter

    1. I start to date, and she starts trying to ‘fix’ me.
    2. All my friends are idiots and morons.
    3. All my possessions aren’t fit for Goodwill.
    4. My apartment/house is a dump.
    5. She gets tired of the whole thing, takes me to Court and takes half of everything. The best half, usually including the house that she was so critical of before.
    6. After awhile, I start to notice that her girlfriends look at me as though I was carrying the plague, due to the incessant criticsm that is leveled without response.

    Why would I bother marrying that? Or more accurately, since all the above happened to me, why would I make that mistake again?

    You want to find the problem here? Look in the mirror. A pox on all of you.

  • Basil

    I am a 37 year old, non-gay male. I haven’t faced this yet, but I know it’s coming. For the time being, I get the disbelief reaction “…are the women in your area blind or stupid?” I’m asked. I’ve always been rather shy, so I guess I fit into the #1 catagory. Top that off with the fact that ever since I’ve been old enough to care, I’ve been told in various ways, that no women will ever be interested in me. These same women then turn around and say that they would never go with someone who hasn’t “done it” by whatever age. I make the effort, but I know how it’s going to turn out. Internet Personals are a scam. Sign up as a trial member and I get inundated with responses from eager women who use the above quote. But the moment I become a paid member – NOTHING. It never fails. International searches are no better; I get either scamming Russians or desperate Philipinas, neither of which I am interested in. I’ve long ago come to the conclusion that I’ve got a better chance of finding Bigfoot than actually meetibg a women who would even throw water on me if I was on fire. But it has its advantages, I can wear what I want (including “THAT”, eat what I want, watch what I want without having to apoligize to anyone. I like alot of alone time, no woman understands it now and none ever will. My ultimate goal is that If I live to reach old age and am living in a retirement community, I’ll still be single. I’ve heard that single men in such situations get alot of attention. If that is the case, I look forward to laughing in the face of the wrinkled old hags who were once the pretty people who used to put me down. I will have the last laugh!!!

  • Ken

    Islam has a solution for this. Total Male Supremacy by Divine Fiat.

    Don’t you think a message of “WOMAN! DO AS I SAY OR I BEAT YOU!” (backed up by burqas, Honor Killings, et al) would appeal to the hindbrains of men who’ve gone through what J David and Peter have?

    Femmies, beware of crapping on (male) somebody day-and-night; if they ever get power over you (as is true of most human cultures throughout history), the word for the day is going to be “revenge”. There may be a Muezzin calling from the Kaaba, promising not only protection for men, but payback — with interest.

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  • http://markymarksthoughts.blogspot.com MarkyMark

    Guys,

    I cannot add anything to what J David, Basil, and Peter have already said. Why in BLAZES would I want to go through all the mental & emotional abuse your typical bitch brings to the table these days? Why?! I couldn’t come up with a good answer to that question, so I shall remain single, HAPPILY single…

    MarkyMark

  • Academic

    I am a 47-year-old, heterosexual male who is saving himself for marriage. Categories 1 and 5 seem to apply to me. Actually, Category 5 was somewhat a result of Category 1. I was always socially awkward around girls/women. Since I wouldn’t admit my interest in girls/women to myself or to others until I was in college, I guess I would be classified a late-bloomer, assuming that I ever bloomed at all. Therefore, I invest large amounts of time on my career and hobbies, and this compensates for my complete lack of romantic social life. I can’t get too depressed about my lack of love life if I spend all my time working.
    I’ve always been a bit of an introvert, but, as I get older, I find myself becoming more of a loner, more isolated. On rare occasions, I feel bitterness about my state of existence. At those times, I just stay away form people altogether until I can get over it.
    I have never successfully initiated any form of relationship with a woman by myself. I was rejected by all three women that I got the courage to ask out during my undergraduate and graduate college years. The few dates that I did get (four or five maximum) were set up by third parties, either a friend or a couples introduction service (yes, I tried that!). Neither source of blind date led to anything substantial.
    I’m one of those types of men who simply cannot do any better than become a woman’s “friend”. I’ve become convinced that no sane, non-desperate woman could possibly be romantically interested in me. Over the years, I have acquired four close female platonic friends that I wouldn’t trade for the world. We live far from each other now, so visits are infrequent. But we maintain contact by phone and greeting cards. The longest and closest of these friendships has lasted twenty years, so I would reject any accusation of “commitmentphobia” (a vulgar, quickie-diagnostic term applied to men by women who really haven’t taken any time to thoroughly understand the male side of relationship dynamics). These few long-term platonic friends are the reason why I haven’t completely given up on finding a romantic relationship — yet.
    When I asked these female friends for reasons explaining my lack of success, I got the same responses that I have read in books or articles on this matter — “too much of a ‘nice guy’”, “too passive”, “too self-restrained”, “too inexperienced”, “too set in your ways”, “too serious”, “too lacking in confidence”, etc. I can’t make any sense of the ‘nice guy’ or ‘self-restraint’ criticisms; I always saw these as inherently desirable traits in people, as long as one doesn’t go to the extent of being a ‘doormat’ or ‘stick in the mud’. And people seem to forget that, unless one is grandiose and lacking in humility, confidence is, for most people, a function of achieving successes in some endeavor. It doesn’t just come out of nowhere; I don’t believe in the “fake it till you make it” philosophy. Furthermore, confidence in one endeavor does not necessarily translate into confidence in all endeavors; I can functionally interact with attractive females at work, but then still be at a total loss with how to positively interact with women in a purely social setting, such as a club.
    One of the platonic female friends I mentioned before is actually an ex-girlfriend, the only one I ever had. I was about 37 years old, and she was a considerably younger single mother. We met at work. It had been several years since the last time I was set up on a date. But the friendship quickly escalated into a romance. The romantic part of the relationship lasted for two years. I was knocked off my feet by her initiation of the relationship. I was honest with her about my lack of dating experience, but that didn’t seem to bother her — at lesat not initially. This relationship did test my commitment to purity. I am happy to say that I passed this test, but, unfortunately, my abstinence was an added problem to a relationship that was quickly starting to develop some cracks in it. Without going into all of the details, the first year was pleasant most of the time, but the second year became disastrous, culminating in her dumping me. She was just too young and impetuous to wait on me to get used to the situation, even though she was made aware of my lack of romantic experience. After a very awkward transitional period, we were able to salvage a decent friendship out of a trainwreck attempt at romance. After all these years, there are still unhealed emotional scars and unanswered questions about what could have saved the relationship, but I also have no interest in rekindling a romance with her because that would put us right back where we started. I’ve invested too much emotional capital in her to risk losing the friendship I have with her now. It should never have escalated beyond that in the first place. However, I greatly respect the fact that she had the personal strength and fortitude to initiate the romance; she did what I hear too many women say they wish they could do without being negatively judged, but never have the courage to do it. There are lots of mildly passive/shy/introverted men who see actively initiating women as their best hope, if not their only hope, of having a chance at a romantic relationship.
    I now see a lot of my forty-something male friends and acquaintances who are still bachelors. A few, like me, were always unsuccessful with women. But others had normal or even fabulously successful dating lives in their younger days. One found out the infidelity of the woman he intended to marry on the night he was going to propose; he is still bitter and scarred for life, and this was a friend who was never lacking for a date in college. I see middle-aged men who have had little or nothing to do with women for upwards of ten years, and I’m one of them. Some love their freedom and have no intention of giving it up. But most of these middle-aged bachelors are not swinging singles and relentless Peter Pan playboys. Most of this crowd are lonely men, burying themselves in their work and hobbies, either because they can’t figure out what went wrong in their love lives or because their spirit is too broken to do anything about it and end up living in a state of learned helplessness.
    I used to think that I was the only one like this. But I have seen enough and read enough to know that there is a relatively sizable crowd of never-married middle-aged bachelors which is getting bigger as more men drop out of the competition for women because the rulebook for male-female relationships keeps changing. Quite logically, these men wish to spend their energy and time on work and hobbies, which lift their spirits and offer a certainty of success and approval, rather than waste time on the pursuit of women, which may break their spirits and offer a near certainty of failure and disapproval.
    Furthermore, many middle-aged bachelors come to doubt in their ability to make the necessary sacrifices and compromises to be a good husband. And they worry about having the energy to be an active father if they have children. Another thing that people forget is that younger people have time in life to try again at marriage or parenthood if they don’t do so well the first time; older people don’t have quite the time or wherewithal to “do over”, so one whose first marriage is at middle age may feel more compelled to get it right the first time and stay with it no matter how disastrous the consequences may be. This is why I find it incredulous when I hear women say they would rather marry a twice-divorced man than a never-married middle-aged man because of the premise that the divorced man was at least “willing to take a chance on marriage”. I find it the gambling metaphor of comparing marriage with tossing dice on tables in Las Vegas offensive. One involves gain or loss of some money. The other involves improving or ruining the intrinsic quality of one’s entire life. There is simply no comparison here!
    Men are human and have feelings that get hurt and spirits that get broken in relationships. But the social double-standard offers much less sympathy for men than for women suffering the same indignities. Maybe men make the mistake of convincing themselves that they don’t need help or advice in personal crises and end up stuck in a frustrated state. Women tend to be more adept at establishing social networks to overcome emotional crises than men do, and I think men secretly envy this about women.

  • John Hintlian

    I beg your pardon.

    I’m a 47 year old and single, never been married.  I have loads of friends of both sexes, and am a pretty social person.  I do not take care of my parents.  I do not live with my mother.  A few years unelployment, a few years in my 20′s mixed up with a girl I though was “the one” but wasn’t.  OK enough aplogizing for my “failures”. 

    My point is I’ve been left to “my own devices”, so a tad weird?  Well Doctor, now that you took a huge shit on people in my situation would you mind clarifying?  Weird how?  Well at least your honest, now I know what people are thinking.It’s shit like this that makes me want to hurt myself.

  • MelissaClouthier

    Why would you hurt yourself? I hope you don’t do that. My post was intended to be light-hearted and fun, not a downer.

  • Paul

    I’m a talented, intelligent, mama’s boy who’s turned into your archetypal middle-age loner. I see it as my fate and it brings me deep shame, but it comes from who I am – easily confused and hurt by people, with depression and autistic spectrum issues.

    I’ve had friendships in my life, but it’s as if everything has to be perfect before I make a friend. I’ve let most of them go. Not because they hurt me, or might, but because of my shame at being such an archetype. I also do not use my talents or abilities for these same reasons.

    I am stuck, and have been stuck so long that it feels right. As a person with depression, it is at the core of who I am, and that makes me very off-putting to know – a self-centered energy vampire who can bring people down without even knowing it.

    I’m getting ready to leave a small city where being a middle-aged single male puts you into an even tighter box. You can be divorced or quietly gay and there’s a place for you. Anything else and you’re scary.

    I’m considering a bigger city, and bringing mom and dad along to keep caring for them. But it’s going to be uphill all the way finding a niche even here. A place big enough to be accepting is also big enough to be unwelcoming.

    Just thought I’d share.

  • Jack

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