Why are bachelors still bachelors? It’s a reasonable question. Aside from the obvious mutational factors common to bachelors, there are other reasons. Being brain diseased myself, I have only the faintest notion of my own condition, so I decided to harass my bachelor comrades to see what they had to say in hopes they’d enlighten me with some bachelor trends I‘d missed. Maybe they’d provide some good answers I could pass off as my own if I’m ever asked about my marital status at gunpoint at an uncomfortable family gathering, like last summer at my 23 year-old cousin Dan‘s wedding (there was probably no gun). I came up with the swell notion of putting together a little questionnaire and emailed it to 12 bachelor friends I know who still talk to me (I don‘t ever actually see any of them, we just have each other‘s email addresses). At least they talked to me before I sent them the emails. I only did get 6 responses. Really 5 ½.
In my great act of nosiness, I posed several personal and potentially embarrassing questions about bachelorhood. The guys I asked ranged in age from early twenties to about 50ish. Most of respondents were in their 20s and 30s. A few are hardcore career guys who are pretty busy getting things done. Some are creative types, and a few are video gamers who do little but gaming.
Besides asking the guys why they thought they were single, I also asked them why their friends and families thought they were single. I asked about the advantages and disadvantages of singleness and what they missed about being in relationships. I tried to find out what their relationship hopes were for the future (clubs, the cloister, or mom‘s basement), whether they’d had interesting experiences with blind dates and, particularly, with online dating. I also wanted to know if the bachelors had had weird interactions with couples. Whether there was abuse or shunning or that sort of thing. One respondent totally got the wrong idea about what I meant by “weird interactions with couples”. Bad bachelor.
Why Are You Single?
The two Jameses were fairly agreed that they were single by choice and were enjoying it. One said he was single because he wasn’t ready to settle down and the other said he was enjoying his downtime from relationships, having been in them most of his life and, apparently in need of rejuvenation. Josh said he was single because he didn’t get out much, being a reclusive gamer. Nathan had self-esteem issues with his weight and lack of professional job, thinking he’d be of little interest to the women in which he was interested. He was also a bit shy. Raoul (totally a fake name) was a goldmine of issues and had several answers to why he thought he was single: low self-esteem, lack of social skills, fear, the good ones are always taken or off-limits, he moves too slowly, and he ends up as “just friends” with the girl. Also, he doesn’t get out much because he’s either at home playing the guitar or off skateboarding by himself. I found I could empathize with Nathan and Raoul, aside from the skateboarding.
When it came to the answers about why the bachelors’ friends and families thought they were single, the bachelors figured their friends and families agreed with their own answers, which removed some of the fun psycho-analytical possibilities. I really wanted more bizarre stuff, like a mother fearing her son was too busy going to drag clubs at night to meet any really nice girls, or friends thinking the guy should bathe more than once a week and do a few sit-ups. But no.
James S’s family thinks he’s single because he hasn’t found the ‘right one’ yet. He says they’re wrong because he loves the ‘wrong ones’. He feels his friends think he’s single because he’s trying to ‘find himself’ for once or that the special someone hasn’t yet succumbed. Nathan figured his family felt he didn’t try to date enough. Raoul (this fake name is swell) says his friends think he’s chicken, and he agrees with this assessment. He thinks his family believes he’s too busy with his studies or has chosen the monastic path of celibacy or they rarely think about his condition (sounds like a disease, huh?) or just don’t care. He’s pretty sure they don’t think he’s gay or visiting drag clubs after classes. I wonder if they’d wonder about drag clubs if we mentioned it. We probably shouldn’t mention it.
Yes, bachelors are a wonder and we’ve only just scratched the surface. Next time we’ll discuss our panel’s dating trends, including blind dating, online dating, and carbondating (ok, maybe not the last one).