“I’m getting married in fall 2013,” my 38-year-old friend John told me, when we caught up in Paris the summer before. “Because if you’re a single guy after that, it’s like, you know, ’What’s wrong with him? Very conscious of his life choices, of his — some might say — semi-misogynistic way with women. Or, rather, they are dissected, thoroughly examined — not by a class of seventh-graders using microscopes but by a table of 30-something women, well into their third bottle of wine. over the sad fact that never-married women of a certain age aren’t players; they’re pitied. “But I’ll be married by 40,” said the guy who’s deliberately been a player for the past two decades. But in a way, steadfastly heterosexual single men over 40 are sort of pitied too.
If a guy is over 40, never married (though may have come close and been in some multi-year relationships), but seems to have been through many many relationships over the years, what are the chances he’s capable of maintaining a healthy long-term relationship that could lead to marriage? Has he just not found the right one, or at this point is it likely he never will?
To stigmatize someone for making their best possible life choice, a choice that hurts nobody, seems ridiculous, especially in light of the divorce and affair rate.”Courtney, a most eligible 36-year-old bachelorette in Manhattan, dismisses any such stigma. “Never-married men over 40 are no different than unmarried men in their 30s or 20s.
They just haven’t met someone they want to be with.”Turns out, neither has my friend John.
Definitely not, says Carl Weisman, the guy who literally wrote the book on men who never marry, , I’d probably still be single, which would have been fine too,” he says.
The choice not to marry, whether by a man or a woman, is a life choice made by a rational human being.
But I wondered: As marriage inches toward the take-it-or-leave-it category — for both sexes — and there are more never-married men between the ages of 40 and 44 than ever before (20.4 percent at last census count), is being a perpetual (hetero) bachelor still considered a little … “You can always judge a guy by what’s in his refrigerator,” she says.