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.

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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  1. 181

    I don’t see it as a red flag or anything wrong with it, maybe they just haven’t found the right woman yet, we all can’t settle for less, everyone should deserve better

  2. 182


    …I agree with you… 

  3. 183

    I know this article might be older but thought I’d add something to it for people to read. I am nearly forty years old now, a male and have never been married. I’m not a player – that’s pretty hard to be when you’re so introverted.  I was always shy but came out of it in my twenties.  Unfortunately I chose the wrong things to combat my shyness and depression.  I partied a lot and after the partying was over I was alone and addicted to pretty much everything.  I made a promise to myself that I would not drag anyone else down with me and avoided relationships, even after I met someone that I loved very much.  I didn’t fight for her and let her go, even encouraged it in a round about way because it wouldn’t have been fair to put her through living with me at that time.

    So years later I’m clean, sober but still not quite there yet.  I’m not even close to where I need to be to feel comfortable sharing my life with someone.  Once I’ve gotten rid of some of this baggage then maybe but I’m not looking.  If it happens then it happens but I will have to be straight up with any woman right off the bat which is only fair and it probably also means there will be no second date but that’s okay.  I’d rather be honest than to  hurt someone later on down the road  So what I’m saying is there are a lot of reasons men and women may be single at forty.  Some good and some not so good. 
    On another subject (sorry I’m not trying to hijack the post) wouldn’t you like to know that the person you’re dating has been an addict or alcoholic or had problems in their past whether it’s a criminal record, depression, etc?  When’s the right time to tell someone?  Right away? First date, second date, etc.  I just choose to be honest from the beginning because it just feels like the right thing to do. 

    1. 183.1

      ..a seeing a dating coach makes a big difference…

  4. 184

    I turned 40 this year but have never been married. I lived in many countries, tried to start my business. I have fallen in love several times in my 30s but it didn’t work out. I am a good looking, athletic guy but I was too sensitive and not as persistent as the other guy and the other guy usually white so half their battle was won. I found the lady would go for a guy who is less sensitive usually simply because they persisted. Many times the lady would come around once they got to know me and be interested in me but often by then I was not interested because I felt they were superficial (as in I am not white).  I met a great lady (27  yrs) three months ago but she is moving overseas (just had her farewell a few days ago). She has invited me there but that is a jump I am not yet ready to do. I met another beautiful 22yr old when out dancing and she doesn’t seem to put off by my age but I am taking it slow. We hit it off instantly. She is going traveling soon but we plan to catch up when she is back. One good thing about being 40 is that I know what I like more than ever. I have come to accept that most girls prefer white guys (regardless of what they may say) and that is just how the world is. The rare exceptions are worth the wait. I grow older but I still pass for 25 and I am patient.

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