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In other words, the desire to have children was unlikely to lead them to marriage.
Moreover, lifelong bachelors are aware of downsides to remaining single.
Also, census data used in the story does not differentiate between heterosexual and homosexual men who have never married. Contrary to a stereotype that lifelong bachelors are unhappy, unhealthy or even deviant, a new study indicates that many middle-age men say they don’t want or need marriage, says psychologist Charles A. In a small but revealing study of 30 white, heterosexual men over age 40 who have never married, Waehler found that half were happy, successful and satisfied with single status.
The other half, while somewhat disturbed by their bachelor status, were too set in their ways to risk marriage, Waehler concluded.
Waehler has not studied racial and ethnic variations of this trend but notes that census data show never-married black men 40 and older are about twice as likely as white men to stay single. These are men who want to be autonomous.”Other experts on bachelors--the world’s matchmakers--agree. He may find out: ‘My goodness, I thought I wanted to get married, but maybe I don’t.’ ”Waehler found the men in his study used three unconscious “defenses” to fend off marriage.
(In 1990, 6.75% of white women ages 40 to 44 had never married.) But while the phenomenon of the single woman has been analyzed in detail by writers and sociologists throughout the ‘80s, permanent bachelorhood is not well understood, Waehler says, adding that: “I wanted to know how much truth there is to the myths and stereotypes of these men, because the myths tend to be negative.”Bachelors have long been viewed by society as women-haters, attached to a parent, unhealthy, disabled, fixated on a lost love, workaholics or playboys.“People say: ‘What’s wrong with these gentlemen? Andy Myers, president of the Network Club, a video dating service in Tarzana, says his never-married, over-40 male clients “need a relationship but they don’t need marriage. The men tended to:* Be passive, under-assertive and reluctant to force themselves on other people.* Repress their feelings and remain cooly detached from their experiences.* Distort their self-images.
It is not spontaneous or random.”Despite these individual differences, Waehler found some common threads among the never-married men.
But the findings may disclose why more men choose not to marry--a sociological area that has received relatively little attention despite census data that shows a rapidly increasing group of never-married men. That’s a lot more than we would have thought.”Rick typifies this happy-go-lucky bachelor: “I’m not unhappy,” he claims, “I’d have to say marriage is irrelevant.”Waehler’s found the subjects of his study were accomplished professionally and usually lived alone. They were neither anti-female nor overtly anti-marriage. They’re very selfish.”Further, these men are so outnumbered by eligible women that the quest for a perfect mate tends to have endless possibilities.“It’s so easy to date, and there are so many wonderful women out there, I think men can get a little bit cocky and think there is something better over the hill,” Myers says. Hopwood says she recently interviewed a never-married man, age 63, for her service, which, she points out, is clearly to promote marriages. For women who have been trying to find that illusive “special someone” for a while, this may seem like an impossible question to answer.After all, for most of our lives, men were simple creatures.Another said that after his girlfriend moved in, their sex life deteriorated.Only 20% of the men Waehler studied had ever proposed marriage.