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Psychology of bachelors

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I just finished reading an older (1996) book titled Bachelors: The Psychology of Men Who Haven't Married. Of course many things have changed since then but I did want to share some things from the book I found I related to. First, the book was about men who are 40 or older who have not married. The main point was to illustrate that all of these men have enduring personality traits that have been with them from adolescence or early adulthood. The main characteristics displayed by all were:

 

1) Staunch independence and self-reliance. They all talk about how being single gives them a freedom they would not have otherwise. This freedom far outweighs any desire to become a permanent part of a couple.

 

2) Emotional detachment. This is specifically associated with romantic relationships with others, and not necessarily friendships. They find it difficult to express deep feelings of love with others and avoid such situations. Also, interestingly some described themselves as being "almost asexual" with little interest in sex because of it's relation to developing a relationship. Also, a consistent pattern was that all lost their virginity later than their peers.

 

3) Interpersonal passivity. Many describe getting into relationships simply because another person wanted them to, even though they had no interest. Also, most described immediately wanting out of the relationship and how it caused stress in their lives.

 

4) Idiosyncratic thinking. Just seeing things differently than their peers.

 

Despite these feelings that are different from their peers, all the bachelors studied expressed they were very happy and fulfilled in their lives without a romantic partner and few had any desire to make any changes.

 

I guess what I take away from this book is that these patterns of behavior are a part of who the person is at an early age and it's unlikely they will ever change. Even if someone does decide to get into a relationship they will always have that conflicting feeling and want out. I know that has happened to me.

 

I relate to a lot of things in this book.

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Sounds interesting. 

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That's a refreshingly positive take on a man flying solo. Typically being a bachelor into middle age is portrayed as a failing, but that's because those who run countires have an interest in sustaining the birth rate, and the values they promote are nationwide and can't take into account individual differences. Such individual differences do exist, and I'm glad that they are being recognized by means of solid research.

 

And what the book says about those men doesn't surprise me. It's exactly how I would imagine happy bachelors to be.

 

The one thing missing from your post is a number: what percentage of men fit this description. Would you mind providing that?

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