Dating a senior bachelor

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Many of the men studied were apparently troubled that they would probably never become fathers--57% said they would like to have children.But, Waehler says, they seemed to overcome this desire by becoming involved with children as teachers, coaches or by “fathering” their employees.

While half said their parents’ marriages were unhappy, only four experienced their parents’ divorce.“What these men may have experienced is, one, marriage is not the happiest experience in the world. As a group, these men also tended to experience sexual relationships later in life, compared to their friends, and were, overall, less sexually active.

Waehler found that the men who had lived with women had negative experiences.

One asked his lover to move in and then, one month later, asked her to leave.

Waehler has not studied racial and ethnic variations of this trend but notes that census data show never-married black men 40 and older are about twice as likely as white men to stay single. These are men who want to be autonomous.”Other experts on bachelors--the world’s matchmakers--agree. He may find out: ‘My goodness, I thought I wanted to get married, but maybe I don’t.’ ”Waehler found the men in his study used three unconscious “defenses” to fend off marriage.

(In 1990, 6.75% of white women ages 40 to 44 had never married.) But while the phenomenon of the single woman has been analyzed in detail by writers and sociologists throughout the ‘80s, permanent bachelorhood is not well understood, Waehler says, adding that: “I wanted to know how much truth there is to the myths and stereotypes of these men, because the myths tend to be negative.”Bachelors have long been viewed by society as women-haters, attached to a parent, unhealthy, disabled, fixated on a lost love, workaholics or playboys.“People say: ‘What’s wrong with these gentlemen? Andy Myers, president of the Network Club, a video dating service in Tarzana, says his never-married, over-40 male clients “need a relationship but they don’t need marriage. The men tended to:* Be passive, under-assertive and reluctant to force themselves on other people.* Repress their feelings and remain cooly detached from their experiences.* Distort their self-images.

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