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

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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. 221
    Gary

    Well I maybe under 20 in college, but if I end up 40 and can’t find a woman who loves me, I’m going for the “Mail-Order bride” in fact I’ve started saving up since I was 16 just in case.

  2. 222
    GaryG

    I maybe 20 in college, but if I end up 40 and can’t find a woman who loves me, I’m going for the mail-order bride. I’ve been saving up since I was 16 just in case.

  3. 223
    james d sain

    I’m 51 never been married is there something wrong with me? I don’t think my standards are super high.

  4. 224
    Jessica Soo Jung

    I find it interesting that no one’s has brought up the single unmarried man. Who is also the single never dated man. If you want to talk red flags.  They are weaving in your face here or are they?

    Different reasons why a man would be in his 40’s. Never dated and never married. I can’t imagine how anyone could have that much discipline. But after talking to one. I found it intriguing here.

    Not to mention commendable that he stayed single. In taking care of his parents, sister & a disabled friend wow!! He never made time for himself. Because he spent all that time taking care of others.

    It’s so easy to judge without knowing people circumstances. Granted someone who is 40 who never dated and never married. Probably is somebody somewhat socially awkward to begin with.

    But doesn’t mean that they’re not a catch either. If a guy like that ever did get married. You can probably bet it would only be once.  

  5. 225
    Rea

    Do not date a 40 something never married man.   He’s a man child.

  6. 226
    Ellen

    Don’t date a 40 or over male who’s never been married, it’s like dating a kid.  DON’T DO IT

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