Is There Something Wrong With a Man in His 40s Who Has Never Been Married Before?

Is Thee Something Wrong With a Man in His 40s Who Has Never Been Married Before

I’m currently speaking with a guy from Yahoo personals, he’s 42 and still single, never been engaged… This is a big red flag right? We have been talking for the past month and a half via the phone, I’m in Minneapolis, and he’s in Chicago. We have great long conversations, many that last 5 hours long, he’s commented how great our conversations are. He’s attractive too. How do I know if he’s just another “nice-player”? They are slick today. It seems many are online with no intention of getting serious… I just told him that it’s wild we have great chemistry but we could meet in person and realize that we are not physically each other’s type. To me, as naive as I am, I’d like to think he is not a “player” trying to work me over because we have these long conversations with a lot of depth to them. Our emails were very long to begin with too. Please give me some perspective and advice on this situation.
 Kate

Dear Kate,

You’ve got four different questions going on here.

There is “How do I know if it’s worth it to try a long distance relationship?”

There is “I don’t want to be the victim of a nice-player in a long distance relationship.”

There is “I’m falling for a guy that I’ve never met but have talked to on the phone for 6 weeks”.

Is there something wrong with a man in his 40’s that has never been married? My answer is predictable: Yes… and No.

If you read the above links, your dreams will be summarily dashed – not because he’s necessarily a player, but because the odds of ANY relationship working are slim, the odds of an ONLINE relationship working are slimmer, and the odds of a LONG-DISTANCE online relationship are the slimmest – especially when you haven’t even, um, y’know, MET yet.

That said, the part of your question which really intrigues me is the “red flag” question:

Is there something wrong with a man in his 40′s that has never been married?

My answer is predictable: Yes… and No.

This is where I would make an argument that stereotypes exist for a reason. The unhealthy part of stereotyping is not necessarily the stereotype itself, but the assumption that ALL people in the category fit the stereotype.

Thus, if you have preconceived notions about gorgeous people, rich people, short people, gay people, Irish people, etc – those notions probably came from SOMEWHERE. They’re not pure fabrications.

Jewish people like playing Twister on the lawn is a fabrication.

Jewish people are often highly educated and highly neurotic is not.

Are we together on this one? Good.

So there’s the stereotype of the forty-something bachelor – and it’s a valid one. He’s a player. He’s a Peter Pan. He’s a commitmentphobe. He’s too picky. He’s emotionally unavailable. He’s a heartbreaker. He’s unrealistic.

All of those things are likely contributing factors as to why a man might be 42 and never married.

So now you’re faced with this very real dilemma – is this man a victim of circumstance, or is he the common denominator in all of his relationship failures?

But what if he was living with a woman for seven years who didn’t believe in traditional marriage? What if he was in a three-year relationship with a woman who cheated on him? What if he was once ready to propose and she ended up breaking his heart? What if he spent five years in a dead-end relationship and has had difficulty getting back out there? What if – god forbid – he made a bunch of bad dating decisions and just hasn’t met “the one”? (Hey, all of us want to think that about ourselves – let’s just say for argument’s sake that it’s true!)

So now you’re faced with this very real dilemma – is this man a victim of circumstance, or is he the common denominator in all of his relationship failures?

And I think it would be very easy, and coldly logical, to say BOTH.

This doesn’t mean you should enter into a relationship with a forty-something bachelor with the expectation of failure.

It does, however, mean that he didn’t become a forty-something bachelor by making great decisions in love.

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Comments:

  1. 121
    Kathleen

    Karl  #120
    I forget where I read the .6% it but I did see elsewhere that 81% of men have married by 40 years old.
    But the reason why I looked in the first place was the guy seemed a bit odd.
    I did dump him before i met him. I spoke to him for weeks before he moved to my area which he had already planned. He repeatedly cancelled dates we had set up over a week period before I pulled the plug. Then he’s found ways to send a barrage of messages insulting me about my age over a period of about 6 weeks the last ones as of last week. I don’t know why he focused on my age since I disclosed it to him the first time we spoke. Imagine if I had met him I would have had a stalker for life! 
    In this case there was definitely a reason why this 45 year old guy had never been married! 

  2. 122
    Karl R

    Kathleen said: (#121)
    “I forget where I read the .6% it but I did see elsewhere that 81% of men have married by 40 years old.”

    Still wrong, but closer. It was a little below 80% for 2010, but 81% was probably accurate for the 2000 Census.

    Kathleen said: (#121)
    “In this case there was definitely a reason why this 45 year old guy had never been married!”

    I agree that the 45 year old was single for a reason. And in his case, the reason is because he would suck as a husband. But it’s narrow-minded to say that’s the case for every man over 40.

    I’m getting married (for the first time) one day before my 43rd birthday. I started dating my fiancée a few months before my 40th birthday. I’d only gotten back into the dating scene at the age of 36 (after an extended break), right about the time my career took off.

    With a shaky career, I didn’t look like a great prospect for marriage, but that wasn’t an indicator that I was damaged goods for life.

    A friend of mine (who looks like “I’m a PC” from the “I’m a Mac”, “and I’m a PC” ads) is a year older than me. He consistently tries to date much better looking than him. He succeeds … in the short-term. But the price he pays for such high demands in physical attractiveness is that his partners aren’t his intellectual equals, so the relationships never become serious.

    He would make a terrific husband … if he could learn to compromise on physical attractiveness.

    Another friend of mine (almost 40) is 5’3″. He doesn’t get much attention from women (due to his height) and doesn’t have much confidence with women (due to their general indifference). Other than that, he’s a great guy.

    If he was 5’10″, he’d most likely be married.

    If a man (or woman) over 40 has never been married, there’s a reason. If a man (or woman) was married and got a divorce, there’s a reason.

    The reason is important. The marital status (never married or divorced) is not going to tell you anything more.

  3. 123
    Kathleen

    Karl 

    Congrats on your pending marriage Thats awesome!

    I didn’t say anywhere that its the case for every man over 40. To me personally its more relevant with men my age in their 50s. 

    Its an area I like to explore with them though. I look to see how long his relationships have been in the past. ( For example I understand the brain chemistry of infatuation lasts for maybe 1.5-2 years according to Helen Fisher PHD I see if he’s had a long term relationship longer than that)
    I look at his other areas of commitment. If he was establishing a career as a neurosurgeon for example that makes sense. If he has long term maintained relationships with friends and family, including if he has children .  If he has the ability to attach, relate and have empathy for other people,  and as you say be a good husband.

    There are always exceptions but so far I haven’t progressed with never married guys in their 50s so far. Ive been dating only 4 years so maybe someone can prove me wrong . 

          

  4. 124
    Trevor

    I am pretty sure the guy has got something going on.  I am 40, and have never been married and never really dated, and have never had sex with a woman.  The reason is because i was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at 19, I felt so bad I had no desire to date, have sex, or do much of anything from age 20 until age 25 when I had my first kidney transplant,  The transplant meds caused  to put on weight and have bad acne, and I was already a shy guy to begin with and just never pursued women because I figured they wouldn’t be interested.   I finished college, and gradschool and built a sucessful career,and then my kidney transplant failed and I had to retire on dissbility, go back on dialysis and wait for another one. 

    I hsd snother transplant three years ago but my only income is the small amount I recieve from Socia Security disability each month which is barely enough to cover my medications.  I had to move back in with  my parents because I could no longer afford my own place.  I don’t appear  outwardly sick and most people who don’t know my medical situation probably  just assume that I am gay or just a complete loser.  Sure I would like to date and have a normal love llfe but a 40 year old virgin who is cronicly sick , has no money, and lives with his parents is not what women are looking for…so i have resigned myself to spending the rest of my life alone.

  5. 125
    Kathleen

    Trevor 

    So glad to hear you were able to get another transplant. Are there any support groups for renal patients in your area so you could at least meet some new friends so that you are not so isolated?. I wonder if you could be a patient advocate to talk to other patients about transplantation and that way you might meet others including females who understand the challenges. Im thinking if you could help others maybe you wouldn’t feel so alone?  

  6. 126
    marymary

    aw, trevor
    i don’t think people think that. They,re too wrapped up in their own problems. and if they do think that, sod em.
    it,s a leap to go from lonely with low self image to full on relationship. A nice interim  goal is to be happy in your current situation. Join a church, volunteer at a hospital, take classes, meet people, make friends.
    you can be happy and single. It doesn,t mean alone. And if you’re anything like me, when you become happy you meet someone. And even if you don’t life is still better.
    continue to be brave. You’re doing good.
     

  7. 127
    michael1_4

    I have no idea when this article was originally posted because I don’t see a date anywhere but I just stumbled on it. My response to this article though is did you ever think a guy who is in his 40s and never been married maybe just didn’t want to get married in his 20s or 30s? I know its shocking but a lot of people don’t think of marriage as the be all and end all. Some guys, surprise, surprise, want to have fun in their 20s and 30s. There’s nothing wrong with that. If more people waited until they were actually ready to get married instead of rushing into it because that’s what society says you’re supposed to do I imagine the divorce rate would be much lower than it is.

  8. 128
    Mickey

    @Kathleen 117:

    The only other thing I could possibly say in response to any potential date wanting to know why I never got married is that I never wanted the responsibility that comes with married life. That doesn’t make me irresponsible; some people want marriage and others don’t. I’ve always been up front about that from the time I was 21.

    Like I said, for me, the so-called rewards just aren’t worth the risk.

  9. 129
    Kathleen

    Mickey 128

     Its great that you are very upfront with women that you have absolutely no interest in marriage , because then theres no chance of a misunderstanding 
    That is very responsible on your part.

    I find it interesting though that you mention the “so called “rewards of marriage 
    when you’ve never known marriage. I was married 20 years  it was cheaper to live married, there were health insurance benefits,  I had a great sex life, comfort, friendship, a workout partner etc  …As I’ve mentioned many studies on happiness and healthiness in men mention marriage is a very positive factor. 

    The risk I took was a break up and Ive done well since then . Overall for me the benefits outweighed the risk.
    If you loose a fantastic woman because she prefers to be married then thats a risk you might be taking.
    But to each their own!  

  10. 130
    Mickey

    @Michelle #129

    The reason I refer to the “so-called” benefits of marriage is twofold.

    Part 1: You have society’s rules (from the beginning of time) that suggest in no uncertain terms that men and women be paired off in marriage by a certain age. Where exactly is that written?

    Part 2: The bigger problem I have is with popular culture demonizing men as irresponsible, lazy, video game-playing, beer-swilling frat boys living with mom & dad’s basement. Add to that the attitudes of many (I won’t say all) women who are convinced that men are just no good. And there are a zillion websites, blogs, articles and books what scream that sentiment out loud. And my own failed attempts to approach women years ago only served to confirm that viewpoint.

    Again, as I mentioned earlier in a different post, it’s a little difficult for me to believe that marriage is a viable goal when too many women are convinced that men in general bring absolutely nothing to the table.

    I’m an educated, self-supporting professional who got tired of trying to convince the allegedly “fair sex” that I’m a normal, reasonably sane human being. Thus, I don’t lose sleep trying to find something like a relationship or even marriage, which for me is pie in the sky.

    Sorry, I just don’t believe.

  11. 131
    michael1_4

    Kathleen, you said, “I was married 20 years  it was cheaper to live married, there were health insurance benefits,  I had a great sex life, comfort, friendship, a workout partner etc  …As I’ve mentioned many studies on happiness and healthiness in men mention marriage is a very positive factor.” All of those things you just mentioned I’ve had many times not being married. Health insurance I’ve had almost my entire life, first under my parent’s policy and then when I started working full time under my own policy. The other things you mentioned I’ve had on and off with different women over the years. Truthfully though even married people only have those things on and off even when married. As far as the part about men being healthier when married that has not been the case with me. I am actually much healthier single. I have never been married but been in many long term relationships, and maybe I just haven’t met the “right one” but I have found in the past many times after many years in a relationship I start to get depressed. When i get depressed I start putting on weight and I used to smoke like crazy because I was so depressed because I felt there was nothing to look forward to. Once I broke up with that woman I started working out again, quit smoking and just started taking care of myself better. So for me being single has always been much better for my health. That is just my experience of course and other men might have a different experience but that has been mine. I think it is fine either way, if a person thinks they want to get married good for them or if they prefer to stay single that’s fine too. I just find it strange that single people are demonized in the media and by some people in general.

  12. 132
    Goldie

    Wanted to add my two cents on the health insurance thing, since I’ve seen it come up a few times in the comments lately. I think, for one, the whole setup where only way you can get health insurance is through your employer, and the bigger your employer, the better your health insurance, is so messed up. I was married almost 20 years to a man who worked for a small consulting company, so his employer did not offer health insurance. (They do now, apparently.) I changed jobs several times during our marriage, and always made it clear at job interviews that my husband was a contractor, and I needed medical and dental. And of course, now I don’t have a husband at all, so again, need medical and dental. I think that it is so wrong that this is even a factor in a job search. You feel that you have to pass up interesting work with good career potential, because it’s at a small startup that doesn’t offer medical benefits; you also feel that you have to take what may be a potential dead-end job at a large corporation, because the medical is great. At some point it starts looking a lot like selling your soul, and throwing your career under the bus, so your children can get medical care when you need it. Whew. Now that I’m done with this rant, back to the subject of this thread. One trend I notice over the past few years is, companies (even huge, Fortune 500 or Fortune 50 ones) aren’t exactly falling over themselves to give your spouse medical benefits. Both my current job and my previous one, are now charging what they call spousal surcharge. Unless your spouse cannot give written proof that they are unable to get medical insurance anywhere else in any way, shape, or form, there’s an extra charge added to your premium. Speaking of the premium itself, it only goes up a fraction when you add your children to your insurance (regardless of how many you have), but it doubles when you add your spouse. As in, it cost me TWICE as much to have family insurance as it now costs me to have insurance for myself and the children. I assume their reasoning is, why should we make it easy for someone’s husband/wife, who do not work for us, to get benefits that this person can get somewhere else? What I’m saying is, marriage is no longer a cheap and easy way to get medical for both partners, at least in my experience. I still believe that marriage is an ideal financial/legal setup to raise a family and kids in. But, if neither side wants any (more) children, IMO there’s no need to get married unless both sides really want to. Many of my friends (both married and single) disagree with me on this, but that’s my opinion. I do not plan to remarry at this time.
     
    As for the stigma, I don’t feel I’m on the receiving end of it myself, because hey, I’ve done my time. With the men I’ve dated, I’ve met all kinds — never married, divorced, twice divorced, single dads, divorced after two years together, divorced after twenty years together. I’ve got to say I haven’t found any correlation between a person’s marital history and the kind of partner he can be. I’ve met good and bad people in all of these groups.

  13. 133
    Bruce

    Well i am a 45 year old guy who went to a royal navy boarding school for sons of sailors . Father was born in 1918 and was in navy from 1930s to 1960s then civil service until 1980s and my mum 1940 was a wren in 1960s and is very British Empire , im from a second marriage. Father sadly passed way 8 years ago

    I asked 3 times different girls to go out with , at 19. 21 and 23 , the 1st time the girl similar age said yes then changed her mind. So i decided to book escorts instead and fufill fantasies that way and have seen girls that way from 21 to 45 and remain single

    If i hadnt done that i would still be a virgin, i am 6’2 fair hair blue eyes was very lanky until 30s now im 23 stone

    Well i am now a now over weight,freelancer , dont drive or smoke,drive a nice jaguar xk8 (cant stand BMWs and AUDIS, the people who drive them are arrogant morons)

    The point is why should i care what i look like now re weight, when no one was intrest in my teens or 20s when i was slim and healthy . Why should i even bother now

    If i was a millionaire i bet it would be different . But i am so cynical now , i wouldnt trust a girl anyway . If they didnt like me then why should i care now. So in my small way i ignore all people privates and play on mmos and watch films and do exactly what i like .

    I am also proudly right wing (not the republican way) , but proudly an English anglo saxon right winger, a defiant non practising roman catholic , who thinks England is better seperate and non multicultural. I will never be politically correct and i cant stand hypocritical femminists who are just as sexist and self oppinionated as anyone else

    So i unless i find a kate beckinsale type or something who has similar views i woudl rather be single and above. Sorry i am not intrested.

    Not every hetro Bloke who is single and lives on the own are lonely and I am  fed up with people thinking otherwise.

  14. 134
    Bruce

    didnt mean dont drive , should have been hardly drink , quite happy not to drink a pint of beer or glass of wine for 10 months or more, wouldnt bother me.

    Cant stand tatooes on girls and personally i would never have tatooes or rings or earings  . Im not a bloody pirate . But a proud and beligerant englishman

  15. 135
    JD

    After my divorce, I was reunited with a guy that I dated on and off for 20 years beginning from high school. He gave me my first kiss.  Most of our relationship was “off” rather than “on” because he was an asshole mostly. He was cheap and didn’t want to spring for dinner, but he wanted sex right away or at least a BJ. I wouldn’t give him either because I wanted to be in a relationship first.  He decided I was frigid, I guess, and we were platonic friends via email for over 10 years.  

    In those emails over 10 years, he told me all that time that marriage wasn’t for him, children were too much responsibility, and that women were “whacked.”  He “dated” a lot of women– many masculine looking women, a few pretty women, one professional cheerleader with a “rockin body.”  He lived with two women but one moved out after 8 months saying he was “odd” and an “asshole,” the other he kicked out because she stayed out too long without calling him (she was about 15 years his junior). That lasted less than a year too.

    So after my divorce, he says that he wants a second chance.  We are both 45. I was married for 13 years and had two children, 5 and 12. I have a doctorate and a great job and a house.  I am financially secure. He tells me that he’s different now, a better boyfriend and will never break my heart. I live in Florida; he lives in NY. We begin a long-distance romance and it feels wonderful.  

    We had sex the first time we were together, but we felt like we had 20 years of foreplay. I’d never done that before. He spent money on me for the first time in his life– took me to a Broadway show, dinner, wine tasting…very romantic. On the way to the airport, HE asked me if I planned on seeing other people, but before I answered, he said that he wanted to be exclusive with me.  I had never stopped loving him from way back so I said yes. I was a serial monogamist and never dated more than one person at a time.  

    Things were great until our second meeting wherein he told me about his former ex-girlfriend, whom he still “loved.”  It was disconcerting.  This was the one he lived with for 8 months and she moved out to have another man’s baby.  I suspect that among other things, her biological clock was ticking and she knew he didn’t want to have children so she decided to go on her way. For some reason, his family sort of adopted her as their sister and invited her to all family events and so did he.

    So one of the first times I met his whole family (I had been friends with one of his sisters in high school and knew his Mom through the modeling his sister and I did together), I also met the ex-girlfriend and HE proceeded to flirt with her all night and left me on my own.  

    To make a long story short, the old girlfriend kept wanting to “help us out” by volunteering to do things for him like bring him to the airport, pick him up, watch his dog while away….and because they also worked with each other, they saw each other for lunches too, where she became his confidant. I was very uncomfortable with it. We even had to double date with her, which was so awkward.  

    Then there were his golf trips with buddies.  I didn’t mind those, but he could never seem to find 5 days straight to spend with me, but would spend it with his buddies, no problem.  Every holiday was spent with his family and the ex-girlfriend.  For all his talk of being exclusive, loving me, wanting me to spent “forever” with him, I was experiencing the opposite. When I would call him on it, he would say, “You’re crazy and insecure!”  

    He also wouldn’t give me compliments but was very forthcoming with compliments for the ex-girlfriend who was a size 16 at the time and very masculine while I was a size 4 and feminine.  He told me that he didn’t want to “spoil me.”  I put up with this kind of thing for a long time.  His family also mostly ignored me but would buddy up to the ex-girlfriend and give her compliments in front of me.  It was very hurtful.  I told my guy about this, but he said I was just insecure.  

    Then there were some strange things that happened along the way. He would constantly tell me about gay men at work who hit on him.  He went to gay bars in NYC for the “food” and during a trip to San Francisco hung out with a gay man who grabbed his ass.  He actually rented a limo with him and went out to a 5-star restaurant with him.  When my boyfriend and I were there, he wouldn’t spring for a taxi and told me that we were only doing diners, even when I offered to pay. Again, he said he didn’t want to “spoil me.”

    He was constantly worried about his appearance.  He used lip balm constantly and hand creme.  He would say things like, “You’re so lucky! You have all “this” (pointing to himself) to be with!” He had always been narcissistic but insecure at the same time. He would tell me about women trying to pick him up, but when I told him about guys who did the same with me, he’d say, “Oh, but they weren’t as good looking as me or that they didn’t have as good a job.”  Only defective guys apparently found me attractive, was his point.

    Sex was great except that he hardly looked at me.  I felt like he didn’t much like female parts and tried to avoid much oral contact.  He remarked that my stomach “bothered” him (I had a c-section and a tiny tummy) while he had a teddy bear tummy, some really prickly skin, and more chest hair than I liked…but I never said anything to him about it because I loved the whole man and found hims sexy just the way he was.  We were approaching 50 years old.  I ran every day and exercised, so I wasn’t out of shape, but I had had two children and some stretch marks.  He ran too, btw, and constantly obsessed over his weight.

    Eventually he asked me to marry him. Gave me an expensive ring but never got on one knee and NEVER told me how I made him feel or that he loved me.  He didn’t even seem thrilled to be with me on the day he proposed.  My kids were there too so there was little fanfare.  They felt odd about the whole thing at 7 and 13 years old by then.  I said yes because I never loved anyone more than him despite the fact that I felt like he put everyone and everything ahead of me.  I was deluded into thinking that he would “change.”  

    In the end we booked the venue for the wedding; I purchased an expensive dress, sent out invitations and about two and half months before the wedding, he called me on the phone and said that he “dreaded” being married to me, said he wanted to be married and have kids, but not “with me.”  He said he thought I would become a nag and gain weight.  He admitted that I wasn’t a nag now, but he said all women became nags and they all gained weight after they got married.  I had been married for 13 years and only briefly was a size 10 after having my second child and then got back down to my size 4.  His mother, though, had 8 children and was clinically obese and apparently his parents had a contentious marriage with fighting all the time.  
    So I canceled the whole wedding. He wouldn’t talk to me for several weeks and I found out that our relationship was over by receiving a call from a friend who got a note that said the wedding was canceled and that he and I had “parted ways.” What a way to find out that your relationship was over.

    He finally called about a week later after I pleaded with him and felt like a stalker after emails and texts begging him to talk about it. He said that he was sure he made the right decision because we were “two different people.”  

    About a month later, he said he wanted us to be friends and that he wasn’t sure he made the right decision and needed “time” and that he still “loved me,” but that I could see other people. He didn’t want to “stop me from living” and it didn’t matter if I slept with other guys.

    A month after that he sent me a text of his kitchen remodel that we had planned and the tile that he laid himself.  Always his cheerleader, I told him that it looked great!  Then via text, he asked me if I was dating anyone, volunteered that he wasn’t and “couldn’t” and that he had been really sad and our break-up was incredibly painful for him.  He would send me random texts about attending his niece’s recital or a funny email.  I asked him to call me to speak about it, but he wouldn’t.  I asked him to come and see me face-to-face, but he wouldn’t.  He just kept sending random texts. If I sent him a text or email, he would ignore it for days or even weeks.  If I called him, he wouldn’t answer the phone or call me back, but insisted that he wanted to be “friends.”

    I finally told him just to leave me alone….then that felt worse….so we went back and forth between talking and not talking.  Finally the date of “our wedding” came and went, another painful day.  His father died not long ago and he emailed me. I sent flowers. He sent me compliments about how wonderful I was, how talented, how any man would be lucky to have me, how I lit up a room….more compliments than he’d given me in the two years we were together.  I don’t know what to make of it.

    Now it’s been about 8 months and I still get emails and texts from him…just random things. He wants to meet to “clear the air” but what could he say for himself?   He left me a single Mom with about $10,000 in bills from the wedding and never even wanted to talk to my children who were also sad about the whole thing. I had planned to move my kids and quit my job, sell my house. Luckily I was able to stop those proceedings otherwise, I’d be homeless and jobless now.  

    The ex-girlfriend is still in his life ..he told me that she would be “forever in his life” and he’s right.  She’s pretty happy about the whole thing and I guess so is his family.

    I feel like I spent two years on a roller coaster ride. First he would tell me he wanted to be with me forever, then he said he didn’t want things to change, he liked being “free,”  then eventually asked me to marry him, but never meant it, I guess.

    So when a guy is 47 and still single and has only had relationships that last for 2 years or less, something is wrong.  I think my ex-fiance had a lot of issues, but the main one was that he didn’t really want to be in a real relationship where two people see each other ever day and make each other their priority. He was selfish.  He liked the idea of having someone to invite to a work party, liked the occasionally sex, liked to call me when he had a tough day for a pep talk, liked to play family man when he visited me and took the kids with us, but in the end, he loved to flirt with his ex-girlfriends, the gays, liked to hang out with the boys and didn’t want to be bothered by the mundane tasks of having to take a kid to soccer practice or stay home with a sick kid or to even tell the woman that they purported to love that she was beautiful and special and that he loved her more than anything else in the world. 

    The final cherry on this sundae was that he told me not too long ago that he never wanted to marry me. He got engaged to “placate” me because he felt that I would break up with him if he didn’t.  Of course, he also insisted on a big wedding and was involved with all the details too…I can’t quite figure that out.  It seems that he never intended on showing up but put on a good show that he was really going to marry finally.  

    He told his family that I was “crazy” and “insecure” because I couldn’t deal with him being friends with the ex-girlfriend.  I admit that I couldn’t get over the awkwardness of double-dating with her, but I never told him to stop being her friend. I just couldn’t be her “best friend” as she had asked, not when there was so much flirting and she was so involved with his life. I felt extraneous.  

    In retrospect, I think he keeps the ex-girlfriend around as a buffer between him and another relationship.  He knows that not many women would want to double-date with an ex. His family, who continues to invite her like a sister-in-law, is also interested in preventing him from moving on– for whatever reason. No other ex is ever invited to parties because they said it would be awkward and insensitive for the new person!  

    When she wasn’t convenient, he’d say it was work or guy friends or family who came before me….it was always something or someone, but he NEVER put me first or made me feel wanted, valued or appreciated.  I felt like I always had to be more than I was because as I was just wasn’t good enough as is.

    1. 135.1
      40neverkissed

      And I should pay for his bad decisions?

    2. 135.2
      j

      Well that sounds like an awful experience. I wouldn’t waste another second of thought on him. I think alot of the guys that are getting insulted about women’s impressions of over 40 never married are missing the boat. If a woman wants a relationship that’s going somewhere she is evaluating the man based on achieving that goal and that’s all. Of course every adult has the right to live their life how they choose. But when a woman is looking for a meaningful connection and not a friends with benefits she has to question his finest for what she is looking for. You can teally get hurt by these guys and get caught up in taking them on as a challenge of being the one to open him up to experience love. Some people don’t need anyone so they havw no incentive to have a relationship. That’s fine but we woman often become attached after sex and then we want to believe that we mean something to them. The women who are questioning the charecter of these bachelor’s are just wanting to avoid getting caught up in this type f devestating cycle. There are some people are unable to make a choice because they become paralyzed with fear of missing out on a better deal or of take ng any risk. Women have their issue too. Some women are only attracted to men that are avoided and mistake love for sexual chemistry and they let opportunities for successful relationships that would lead to a life pass them by or they’re just too difficult to get along with or some women are allways wanting to scam somebody. I guess the point is if people were more honest this wouldn’t be an issue but they’re not so you have to look out for yourself. Im glad I’m married so I don’t have to deal with this anymore. It seems pretty rough and cold hearted out there.

  16. 136
    Mark

    This is quite the article.I don’t usually comment but,thought I might chime in.I am 48,5’10″,185lbs,very fit,full head of hair,Ivy League MBA,a self-made multimillionaire……and never been married!Nor do I have any plans on getting married or “shacking up”.Here is why! I am a businessman.I know a good deal from a bad deal….and marriage for a man in the Western world is a VERY bad deal. The one thing that I have not read on this blog…or have not seen it addressed are the LAWS governing marriage or LTR’s.I was lucky to learn the laws at the age of 23 from a family friend who explained them to me.After that,I went and conversed with our family attorney on the subject and he laid them out in black & white for me.He also stated that his law firm did not represent women in divorce cases due to the “nature” of the laws. That was when I made a life changing decision.I dumped my g/f…..got a vasectomy and have never gotten “involved” with another one since.Has it hurt me? Not at all! In fact,I consider it one of the secrets to my success!
                 Now don’t get me wrong here.I like women alot! but,from a “legal standpoint” I have no use to be dragged through family court to be robbed of my house,earnings,retirement etc.etc.This is not right! I figured this out 25 years ago and still hold true to my convictions!I do not date.I have no need to.People that date are looking for a relationship.I have “friends with benefits” arrangements that works GREAT!.I have been single for 25 years and I get more sex that any married friend that I know.
                  So for all the women posters that think that a man over 40 and having never been married is “dysfunctional” think again ladies! I know lots of single men over 40 never married.They have watched friends and family get raped in divorce court and have decided that “the only way to win at the game…is not to play” I get asked out on dates all the time.I am straight and upfront with the ladies.” I don’t date because I am not looking for a relationship” and if that offends them….Too Bad!
                   If someone I do know is thinking of “shacking up” or getting married.I give him a copy of the best book I have read in the last 10 years.
              How To Avoid Getting Screwed When Getting Laid
    In fact,I bought 100 copies and gave them all away to single friends of mine.They in turn have bought all kinds of copies to hand out to their friends!Even some women I know read this book….and guess what?….THEY AGREED!..L*
                    So you see ladies.I find that most men that are never marrieds over the age of 40 are the SMART ones.They have read the laws.It is all risk and no reward! In fact,I consider getting married in the USA or Canada to be tantamount to drug trafficking.Could I make alot of money in trafficking?….sure I could! But,if I get caught what are the penalties?…..20 years in jail! So how is that different from divorce court? It is not! I still lose my house due to “proceeds of crime” or my ex-wife gets it.I still lose all my money…or the court gives it to my ex-wife as well as other assets,investments etc…..and I will have to pay a huge fine…which is the same as alimony.So you see and understand this comparison?….It is not worth the risk! Thanks.

  17. 137
    marymary

    Mark
    A blog on dating and relationships is not going to be about how to avoid getting married.
    Most men aren’t multimillionaires with vast fortunes that they don’t want to pass onto any children so yours is quite a niche situation. If you’re happy and upfront with your sex partners, then your choice is perfectly valid and non dysfunctional, but of limited application. 

  18. 138
    Julia

    @marymary this guy is an MRA, he’s probably just copy and pasted this from some manoshpere blog. I doubt the accuracy of any of it.

  19. 139
    Ruby

    Julia #138
     
    I had to look up MRA, but I think you are correct. I suspect he’s actually the author of that book, trying to take advantage of EMK’s blog to make some money!

  20. 140
    Mickey

    Mark 136:
    You, sir, are my hero!

  21. 141
    Mark

    @Julia
    I had to look up MRA.I have not studied any of their “rights” that they are espousing so therefore I cannot make a serious comment about MRA. The other term that I also saw while researching MRA was MGTOW(Men Going Their Own Way).This would describe me better but,again I have not researched it at any length to make a realistic comment on the subject.I just know there is ALOT of single men out there that are avoiding women for whatever their reasons may be.This is not from reading blogs on the internet but,from personal observations made everyday from watching friends,peers and business associates.My reasons for being over 40 and single were stated above in my previous post….and I stand by those reasons!
                  I am not a blogger.In fact,the only reason that I came to this site is because I read Evan’s book.A receptionist at our office had a copy and I borrowed it and read it.I must say that it was a good read.This is the reason that I came to this blog and did some reading as the receptionist referred me to it after I read the book.I would also like to comment on Evan’s book and blog.The book was “spot-on”….Evan knows his stuff I will guarantee you that! …..and also his advice that he gives to questions on this blog asked by women are again…”spot -on”.So as a dating coach and author I would advise any single woman that is looking for a relationship to take Evan’s advice about men and relationships seriously……..he knows what he is talking about! I assure you!.The problem that I see here is not with Evan or his advice but,with the ladies!….”You are listening to Evan….but you are not hearing Evan”.Does that make sense? Thanks!
     
    @Ruby
    Sorry sweetheart….I never wrote the book! A friend of mine gave me a copy to read.I was so impressed with it that I ordered 100 copies to give away to friends.I must say that my friends have also ordered multiple copies to give  away to their friends.I have had nothing but “Thank You’s” for giving men this book.I would suggest that you read the book also…as it will give you a different perspective on why so many single men are AVOIDING women!Thanks.
     
    @Mickey
    Thanks!….L*

  22. 142
    Paul

    not really, since he didn’t meet the right woman to get married too. i am a straight man that had been married myself at one time before she cheated on me, and i was a very caring and loving husband that was very committed to her. we were together for 15 years before this happened to me, and i even thought that i had met the love of my life to have a family with. today it is very hard for me as well to meet a good woman again since many of them have become so very nasty to start a conversation with, and will even curse at me. i did not do anything wrong to cause this to happen to me, since the women of today are certainly much different than they were years ago. very hard to meet a real good honest woman today, especially one that doesn’t cheat. i did get married when i was 33 years old myself, and a man in his 4o’s will be even harder since it is a very good idea to be very cautious. years ago, it was much easier meeting a good woman with the help of families and friends that would introduce you to the one that they think would be right for you. and most of the times it did work out. today you have much more women making very good money, and many of them don’t need a man in their life since many of the women now have very high paying jobs. it certainly does make it much harder for us good serious men that would want a love life again, especially a man in his 40′s that is seriously looking to finally settle down.

  23. 143
    Bill T

    Some of the comments on here really irk me; I’m in my early 40s and have not been married.  For much of my life, I’ve lived in a fairly small city with a lot of out-migration of young people, and not much of a “dating” scene.  It’s brutally hard to meet people here, and it’s not just me saying that, I’ve heard newcomers say it too.  Moving hasn’t really been an option (for several reasons)
     
    Unless you are a fabulous guy, you generally don’t have a chance to date several people and find the right one around here…. many just grab what they can find and hang on tight.  Not a great way to ensure a healthy relationship.
     
    I’m not-great-but-OK looking (5’9″ and slim build), have my own house and a good job, and consider myself a very low-maintenance “giver” type person.  And I’m SANE, which I’m finding is an increasingly valuable trait.  I’m considered brainy-ish and polite, which seems to have been a net detriment in my life.
    I don’t crave, or even like, stereotypical “dumb blondes” – despite what people might assume from a +40 single – and I’m no player.

  24. 144
    J

    Paul #142- I sure hope you start telling yourself a different story soon. Posting the same narrative in thread after thread under different names is not getting you any closer to meeting the women you’d like to meet.

  25. 145
    Clare

    I know several guys in their thirties who have never married or made a serious commitment to anyone (guys in their 40s are outside of my age group so I can’t comment) and there are reasons that have to do with the guy for all of them.  They are all uncommittable, afraid of intimacy, overly independent or selfish to some degree.
     
    I wouldn’t write them off though.  I’d just say proceed slowly and with caution, and don’t give your heart away too soon or at all before there is a solid commitment. I do believe with guys like this they have to arrive at it in their own time and in their own way, and there’s no forcing it or rushing it.  But I would definitely be cautious and guarded.

  26. 146
    hunter

    @clare#145,
     
    Most of the good looking men don’t have to commit/marry, what for??….there is no shortage of generous women for them…

  27. 147
    Julia

    @Hunter
     
    Most of the good looking men don’t have to commit/marry, what for??….there is no shortage of generous women for them…
     
    Well, one would assume that at least some of them are interested in having a family. At least, I know some very handsome married men who are happy as hell with their wives and children.

  28. 148
    Henriette

    @Clare145    Most of the bright, accomplished people I know spent their 20s dating a variety of folk, furthering their education, travelling and establishing their careers. While you look at a 30-something never-married guy and think “selfish commitment-phobe,”  i look at married 20-somethings and think, “inexperienced future-divorcees.”

  29. 149
    Clare

    Henriette,
     
    I certainly am not advocating getting married in your 20′s… having been married and divorced in my twenties I speak from experience.
     
    I was more referring to guys who have never had a truly committed relationship, not necessarily marriage. And I’m certainly not lumping all never-married thirty-somethings into this category… only the ones who have *shown* themselves to be selfish and commitment-phobic, often by their own admission. By the way, they’re also perfectly likeable guys. Just proceed carefully relationship-wise…

  30. 150
    Clare

    hunter 146,
     
    If it is like that for you, I’m glad for you :D
     
    Where I come from, most of the guys I know do not have women throwing themselves at them.

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