Monday, June 2, 2008

Bachelors: Being Single is Better Than a Bad Marriage

In a new book, "So Why Have You Never Been Married? - Ten Insights into Why He Hasn't Wed", author Carl Weisman explores the reasons why some men don't get married.

He got tired of being described as a playboy, a loser or a commitment-phobe, so he wrote this book, based on surveys of over a thousand unmarried men, to answer the question of why a growing number of eligible men were steering clear of marriage.

The overwhelming conclusion he came to was not that bachelors are afraid of marriage, per se, but rather that they are afraid of making a bad marriage by marrying the wrong person.

In 1980, only about 6 percent of men in their early 40s had never married but this number has now risen to 17 percent. More people of both sexes are opting out of legal marriage, as there are fewer social or religious pressures on people to get married.

In his survey, Weisman found three types of bachelors: 8 percent who never want to marry, 62 percent want to marry but who have unrealistic expectations for a wife, and about 30 percent who are undecided.

Four out of ten bachelors did not want children, three out of ten wanted children, with the rest being undecided.

Financial issues also played a role among these bachelors. Some low-income bachelors chose to remain single because they didn't think they could adequately support a wife and/or family. More affluent bachelors were afraid of a bad marriage leading to a messy divorce with their ex "taking them to the cleaners" financially.

Weisman's research also punctured the myth that unmarried men were necessarily unhappy. "A compelling issue was how many of them had found contentment in a never-married life," he said. "They had created lives full of careers, friends and ambitions. It was not like they walk around all day worried about not being married."

Though he didn't really touch on men like me who remain unmarried by philosophy, I suppose I could be included with the 8 percent who don't want to marry, even though I fit one of the stereotypes he was trying to avoid. (I know, I know, I was once married, but my heart was never in it, and it was so brief, that I feel more like a bachelor than a divorced man).



transfattyacid said...

I've never understood the stuff about men not committing to relationships -and being commitment phobic - all they are really saying is that they are not commiting to THAT relationship.

Libertine said...

Personally, I don't marry because I don't want to have to "inform the government" about what should be an entirely private relationship, nor do I want to register my relationships with them like I have to register my car.