“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.
In many ways, he’s right: Never-married heterosexual men over the age of 40 have always had a stigma. (A lot of gay men, yes, but also a lot of straight dudes who care more about their triathlon training than tying the knot.) “The guys over 40 I’ve dated all have the Peter Pan complex,” she says. Worse: Many still have roommates and wear backpacks. “There are always exceptions.”Even, apparently, in New York City, another hub of never-marrieds.
Especially back in 1970, when they represented only 4.9 percent of the male population. Unless, of course, the perpetual bachelor is George Clooney — and let’s be honest, most aren’t. Anyone with salt-and-pepper hair who shows up in your online matches as “Never Married” might as well come with a flashing Warning Sign, say women with marital aspirations who date them anyway. A physician named Amy says she was “totally wary” of her now-husband, who was 42 when they first met.
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.
“Literally all he had in his was a pint of vanilla Häagen-Daz.
Because, as he said, he could eat it use it in his coffee instead of buying milk.” Also suspect: He once flew to see her in Portugal at a moment’s notice.
“It was really fun, but I kept asking him, ‘Is this, like, what you do? ’” Turned out he was an older, never-married guy with nothing to hide. Scarlett Letter-type mistrust.”He admits he’s grossly generalizing and then breaks it down: “There are two models.But most aren’t, says a 44-year-old opinionated gay man with no dog in this fight. The successful man who has it all but no spouse, and the dork who is infantilized because he can’t get his act together.“I question a heterosexual male’s commitment to if he is unattached at that age,” he says. (Gays, of course are exempt from this, he says, until gay marriage is completely commonplace, “and the gays are subjected to the same pressure to become more boring and mainstream.”)That’s sort of spot on, agreed Raina, who was widowed at age 27 and spent the next decade dating. They just become kind of weird.” (She’s since remarried a divorced, devoted 40-something father of two.)”Men who want to enjoy the intimacy of a lifetime commitment of marriage will likely be married younger (despite financial resources or their access to technology that feeds a feeling of entitlement and ongoing search for ’the best’),” says Dr.All types, all ages, but she was always wary of the guys over 40 who’d never been married. Monica O’Neal, a Harvard-trained psychologist in Boston. “Until men reach age 37, they remain very good prospects.A city, she says, “with a high number of eligible (meaning ’good catches’ on paper), never-married people ranging in age from mid 30s to late 40s.”Indeed most guys approaching 40 who’ve never been married are likely to stay that way — according to a not-so-scientific study conducted by author John T. After age 38, the chances they will ever marry drop dramatically.The chances that a man will marry for the first time diminish even more once he reaches 42 or 43.