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.