Why More Men Are Saying 'I Don't' to Marriage

Maressa Brown
19

leonardo dicaprio singleLeonardo DiCaprio, Justin Timberlake, John Mayer ... what do these three famous men have in common? All eligible bachelors, they've never married. Having dated then broken up with some of the world's most gorgeous women (Gisele Bundchen? Bar Refaeli? Earth to Leo!), they may all be total commitaphobes. Even scarier: They seem to be typifying the same behavior of many other 30+-year-old guys these days.

Carl Weisman, 46-year-old single guy and author of So Why Have You Never Been Married? 10 Insights Into Why He Hasn't Wed, boasts that he "forgot to get married." But I highly doubt that he or any other guy just "forgets." Weisman actually surveyed 1,533 single men aged 40 or older to dispel myths that they hate women, are selfish, or have a disdain for marriage. He identified the two main reasons these men aren't into it: 1. They're worried about money/security, or 2. They're acting like neurotic freaks about "choosing the wrong woman."

He argues the men in the second camp just view marriage so highly that they're terrified of screwing it up. And Hugo Schwyzer on Alternet a few months ago argued the same ...

They keep imagining that settling down is what you do when you're 100 percent sure about someone ... We hedge our bets, we play the field, we wait for the one to come along who will strike us with certainty. And with no biological clock ticking (just the fear of turning into an aging “creeper”), we can spin out that waiting for a very long time.

I find it interesting that these male writers seem to be on the same page about this. Waiting for perfection (a defense mechanism that developed as a result of watching their parents divorce again and again?) very well may explain what these Generations X and Y bachelors are afraid of. But that doesn't change that the reason sounds like a bunch of excuses. And/or insecurity mixed with lots o' immaturity. (And hey, I'm not saying women don't have the same hang-ups at times. Some of us do.)

They sound like whiny babies clinging to their college aspirations to lead a Hangover-meets-Old School-and-Wedding Crashers existence. It may be wise for this generation of bachelors to consider the alternative to their "Perfectly Lonely" lives. It's not just becoming an "aging creeper" as Schwyzer puts it. It's finding yourself ALONE. Forever. Without a life partner, without a soul mate to grow old with.

Because yeah, there may be a handful of women who are willing to sit around and forgo "I do." Have six babies together a la Angelina. But most of us want a ring on it in exchange for years and children together. At least those of us who realize our self-worth.  

In the end, it may be frightening for these guys to think about ending up with a woman who isn't 110 percent The One. And I'll give 'em that it's surely intimidating to head into "forever" without 110 percent certainty that you can provide The One with financial stability. But very little in life comes with an absolute guarantee. It's clear some of these guys just need to suck it up and take the leap down the aisle. 

Why do you think more and more 30+-year-old guys are saying "I don't" to marriage?

 

Image via Kevork Djansezian/Getty

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