A father/son parenting and lifestyle blog.
Ever wonder why there appears to be a growing number of middle aged bachelors? Resolute in their status, or so it would seem. However dig a little deeper, and you may be surprised to find that much of the bravado and assertions regarding our choice of lifestyle are merely a smokescreen.
Repeat a statement often enough with conviction, and it becomes the truth however much the opposite may apply. It’s not that we need to kid ourselves, because quite frankly in my experience, we know exactly where we’re at. It’s just that we don’t want to have to explain ourselves to anyone else.
You see by this age we’ve typically been on quite a journey, and we’ve figured out some shit along the way. We’re not daft you know. We’ve learnt from our mistakes (at least some of them) and intend to turn as few as possible into repeat offenders.
Yet I completely understand how confusing we are to many women, and I mean no disrespect. Part of the problem is a societal attitude towards us ‘stupid’ guys. You know the one that suggests we can’t function on our own, need fixing, improving, or we’re so damn broken that we’d require a full-on restoration project. Worse still we become the subject of another ‘insightful’ article maligning us for our inability to commit.
Stereotypes such as ‘player’ are duly assigned if we dare to buck the trend by recoiling at the thought of being taken under someone’s wing. For there is a strength within us born of loss. This we gained at great personal cost and it’s too valuable to relinquish. In reality our independence and self-sufficiency means we’re not at all needy and don’t necessarily have much room for anyone else.
For men such as us self-reliance is a suit of armour, and it’s made to measure!
We accept that we’re hard to reach and appreciate we don’t always make it easy for women to connect. Believe me when I say it’s not our intention to be awkward. We built walls around us for a reason. They we’re never intended to keep you out, only to keep us safe.
Rebound relationships are common with recent divorcees, yet not all of us have had them. Instead we learned vicariously through the carnage we witnessed involving those among our peers who did. We may have avoided treading this well worn path in person, yet still absorbed the lessons, thus increasing our resolve to avoid such cliches.
Then there’s the expectation of gratitude we’re expected to provide for even being considered relationship material. After all we’re damaged goods, well beyond our ‘best before’ date! I don’t by any means tar every woman with this brush, yet many of us have been vilified for setting our standards high and declining to settle for something we know doesn’t feel right.
This attitude only serves to create further resistance within us. Wrongly perhaps, nevertheless understandable.
The ability to multi-task is not a myth and for many of us juggling a career while maintaining continuity within our children’s lives is a day to day reality. We might be able to keep several balls in the air at once, but there’s always a limit which often turns out to be a new relationship. We don’t intend to put you last, however given our responsibilities any other choice would be selfish on our part.
Don’t be surprised by our clarity of vision, for having suffered loss we know exactly where our responsibilities lie and what we must to do to fulfil them. This may border on single-mindedness at times, which I appreciate isn’t always helpful, but there are generally innocent parties involved who still need us.
To that end I’m proud that we often put our own needs second. Were that not the case then we’d be more inclined to jump in feet first, although ironically, to do so would make us infinitely less worthy of knowing.
Still coping with the legacy of loss is another frequent factor in our hesitance to commit again. Healing takes time. Many life lessons and new realities may need to be processed before we’re once again fit for human consumption. Forgive us if we don’t rush this stage, we will be better for it in the long run.
We love our lives and having once more found balance and stability we’ve become fiercely protective of what we’ve created. Getting to this stage wasn’t easy, and we’ve grown so much during the process. It’s not uncommon for us to have become far better men than we previously were, and when this level of peace is attained alone, being part of a couple can represent it’s surrender.
I never promised it’d all make sense. Anything to do with feelings (and/or men) rarely does.
The number 1 reason why divorced men can’t commit is ultimately none of the above. They may all factor to a certain extent, and at various times I’d argue that each has validity. But the biggest reason we struggle to invest in a new relationship is the risk of further loss. It really is that simple. It nearly broke us once, do we really have the strength to go through all that again?
The effort it takes to get one’s life back on track, continue to be a good father, set up a new home. It all takes a toll. So we create our own private castle, pull up the drawbridge, and woe betide anyone who tries to scale our walls. We know not every relationship fails. We’ve seen examples of peers who’ve successfully given it another try. Similarly we’ve witnessed just as many go for broke and once again get burned.
Forgive us then if we ultimately decide to play it safe. Most of us never intended to. Some of us still don’t, at least that’s what we tell ourselves as another year passes by. The truth is many of us are genuinely happy as we are, and change equals risk.
Logic suggests that being a great person, you might make it better still. Please understand that we do consider this, recognise and appreciate your qualities. It’s just such a big step to take, and one we’d never do so lightly, especially as we’re genuinely taking you into consideration.
So maybe once more we’ll weigh up the odds, convince ourselves that life can’t get much better than this, and consign you to a well populated friend zone. At least that way we can enjoy your company, risk free? But then that’s another story!