Waehler, a psychologist at the University of Akron in Ohio who studied a group of white, heterosexual bachelors 40 dating middle aged bachelor 50 years old. Waehler, who presented his findings at a recent meeting of the American Psychological Association in San Francisco, found that these men are not woman-haters, they are not fixated on a parent, and they are not workaholics or wild playboys.
But as a group, Dr. Waehler said, they relate to people in ways that end up isolating them. Waehler said everyone has styles of behavior to help them cope with the anxieties that relationships can produce. But, he said, the bachelors exhibit three defense mechanisms -- ages, isolation and distortion -- that keep other people at arm's length. By staying single, the bachelors prevent these defense mechanisms from being challenged, he said.
Many never-married men are deeply satisfied with their lives as they practice these defenses, Dr. But others are miserable and would like to change but do not know how. Comparable research on never-married women over 40 shows a dramatically different picture, according to Dr. Janice Witzel, a psychologist in private practice who is also a consultant at the Family Institute in Chicago. Such women are often extremely happy, she said, and have far richer emotional lives -- without marriage -- than do their male counterparts.
Very little is known about never-married men and women, said Dr. Timothy Brubaker, editor of Family Relations journal and director of the Family and Child Study Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. It is important to study them because their perspectives on life are different from people who get married, divorced or widowed, he said, "but we really don't know how different. Single adulthood is bacheelor considered a transient state and has received scant attention from psychologists, Dr.
But adults who do not marry are an expanding segment of the population. Inhe said, only 6 percent of adults over 35 years old had never married. The trend may reflect increasing job and educational opportunities for women and changing social attitudes about the need for marriage, the psychologist said. Waehler said he decided to study never-married daying because so little is known about what makes them tick.
Psychologists have long held that men tend to marry "down," choosing women who are less educated and socially privileged than they are, while women choose men who are higher on the socioeconomic ladder. In bachelro scheme, Dr. Waehler said, unmarried men are the bottom of the barrel while unmarried women are the cream of the dating middle aged bachelor. In bbachelor, he said, it is far more complicated. Although alcoholism, poverty, extreme passivity and mental illness are stereotypes that describe some bachelors, Dr.
Waehler said, there are more complex reasons that many men do not get These dating middle aged bachelor factors like innate personality traits and behavior learned from family members, said Dr. If men have not married by 40, he said, they are likely to remain single for the rest of their lives. The study was a small, pilot effort to explore the psychological motivations of never-married men, Dr.
He said he chose white men in an effort to minimize cultural differences. It remains to be seen whether the findings hold up in further studies, using a broader mix of people, he said. Afraid to Lose Control. In open-ended interviews, the men were free to talk about their attitudes and perceptions, beliefs, experiences and intentions. Most of the men said they had had at least one serious relationship with a woman that included sex and a warm sense of companionship, Dr.
Yet they were extremely uncomfortable in talking about sex, he said, and exhibited hesitancy and misdle about their sexuality. Asked why jiddle ended the relationships, the men said that they were afraid of losing control over their sense of self-determination or self-directedness, he said. The bachelors revealed deep fears about interpersonal relationships. Most did not seem to value or seek friendship, even with other men. Nevertheless, not one man said he was averse to the idea of getting married.
Twenty-six of them had considered it in at least one past relationship, but only six had ever proposed. Two-thirds said they still thought they would eventually get married. But that outcome is unlikely, Dr. Only one out of six never-married men over 40 will ever marry, he said. The men showed three patterns of relating to people, Dr. First, they avoided people by adopting an air of passivity, complacency and lack of engagement.
This reluctance to make demands was shown in their sexual lives, careers and aed relationships, he said. Second, they suppressed their emotions while interacting with others. The bachelors seemed standoffish and indifferent to anxiety-producing events. Third, they tended to give unique interpretations in Rorschach tests, dating middle aged bachelor said, and their perceptions were not very accurate, dating middle aged bachelor strong individualism and unrealistic thinking.
For example, even though many of the men were not involved in a relationship, they said that they believed they dating websites pick up lines dating middle aged bachelor marry. The men in the study rely on these defenses to varying degrees, Dr. Waehler said, and he placed them in three categories keyed to their degree of contentment or misery. Thirty percent of the men studied fell into the category of "rigid and satisfied," he said.
These men had few close friends but were not distressed about it. They showed little desire for agfd involvement, accepted their single status without complaint and were satisfied with themselves and their lives. Twenty percent of the men fell into another datint, "flexible and satisfied. Proud of their independence, these individuals said they found it difficult to tolerate feelings of love, neediness and dependence. Yet they hoped to get married and have children eventually.
The rest, half of the men in the study, were "conflicted and dissatisfied," Dr. Their defense mechanisms did not ward off anxiety and the men said they were not happy with their lives. But some said they feared marriage would resurrect painful experiences from childhood.
Beware of the Over-Age Bachelor!
If I were to get married, it would have to be to somebody I'd absolutely know I could get along with. And so it was that I found myself on a date with Jerry, the ageing film producer. He owned four homes around the world and, on paper at least, ticked every box going. They are women who are not going to go for the drunken bar pick-up or for the ordinary corporate guy — they want more. Name the drummer in The Beatles?