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Why Some Eligible Men Never Marry

Most men are not afraid of marriage. They're afraid of a bad marriage--so much so that they never make that ultimate commitment and say "I do."

That's the word from Carl Weisman, author of "So Why Have You Never Been Married? Ten Insights Into Why He Hasn't Wed." The lifelong bachelor, who says he got tired of being labeled a playboy or a loser, wrote the book at age 49 to help women understand why some smart and successful men choose to remain single, as well as to help other bachelors understand why they're still not married--and not at all unhappy about that.

"Men are 10 times more scared of marrying the wrong person than of never getting married at all," Weisman told Reuters. "This is the first generation of people who have grown up with bad divorces. People assume there is something wrong if you don't marry, but these are men who have made a different choice and not given in to social pressures."

There is perhaps less social or religious pressure now for people to marry than at any other time in history, and men are taking advantage of that. In 1980, just 6 percent of men who had reached their early 40s had never married, compared with 17 percent today.

Weisman based much of the information in his book on the results of a survey he conducted with 1,533 heterosexual men. He learned there are three groups of bachelors:

  • Those who are sure they never want to marry: 8 percent
  • Those who do want to marry: 31 percent
  • Those who want to marry, but won't settle for anything less than perfection: 31 percent
  • Those who aren't sure if they want to marry: 30 percent
Nearly three-fourths of these men insist they are not afraid of marriage. They are, however, very much afraid of marrying the wrong woman. "It's so important to these men to get it right," Weisman told Reuters. "My best advice to single women after bachelors is to be patient. If you're in a hurry to get married, you'll be frustrated."

For some, money is a major reason why men won't commit to marriage. "Those with little money said they would have nothing to offer a partner, with some suffering self-esteem issues and withdrawing from the dating pool," Weisman explained to Reuters. "While those who are financially sound were terrified what a bad divorce could do to them."

The takeaway: Single men are not unhappy. Most have found great contentment in being a bachelor, creating lives that are full with careers, friends and ambition.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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