How to Be a Happy Bachelor
"Forget Bridget Jones - meet Brad!" tut-tutted media headlines in response to the stats which find more men are living alone than ever before. Yep, if you're a single bloke in your thirties and living a bachelor lifestyle that would make Jude Law green with envy, then you're not alone. Edinburgh University has discovered that there are more single men in their thirties than there are women! Which is great news really considering we were all shaking in our stilettos over the supposed Man Shortage plaguing our cities.
But while there are three times more men living alone than in the 70s, it isn't all good news. These fellas have also been found to drink more, work longer hours, worry more (because they don't have a female counterpart to whinge to) and don't eat properly. Add to the fact that the survey dubs them Brad Jones, which is "the new Bridget", and it suddenly doesn't seem quite as glamorous as George Clooney makes it out to be.
And then there are the derogatory comments made to berate the poor bachelor ...
"Why are you still single?" is the most cliched, insulting, unwarranted question which seems to roll off the tongues of caring relatives and doting friends alike.
"Why do they care?" you wonder. "What's it to them? There's more to life than a sexual relationship!" you most likely want to scream.
So what to do about it?
One Aussie bachelor named Daniel, aged 36, never married, no kids, has a master's degree, has been single for the last three years and avidly reads this column, decided to write in to me and give his top tips to blokes for being a happy bachelor.
By his reckoning, the worst part is combating other people's perceptions of his lifestyle. Yet he says that if you can learn to answer their questions back with a positive spin, you're halfway there.
I thought his musings quite brilliant, insightful and sometimes downright hilarious so I thought that for this week's ASK SAM FRIDAY, I'd share them with you. This is Daniel's advice ...
"Common Questions I get and how to answer them:
Question 1: The reason why middle aged, healthy, wealthy and wise men are single is that they must be Gay?
Answer: No, Just because I haven't met my true love and didn't marry unhappily to avoid being alone does not mean that I am Gay!
Question 2: Why don't middle aged, single and successful men date in their age group?
Answer: Most available women in my age group (36) have had two marriages, three kids from different fathers, one divorce and some type of significant life event. I don't want an instant family. I'll date a women in her 30's, just find me a single, never married, no kids, tertiary educated and straight forward women to date. Just please tell me where they hang out!
Question 3: "You are single you must be lonely and depressed?"
Answer: This is the one that annoys me the most! Guess what ladies? I am happy, full of life, positive and have a fantastic outlook. I do not need a relationship to make me happy and I live a full life. Lonely people have issues with themselves that they have to sort out first. Lonely people think the relationship will fix their negatives in life, guess what, it won't. Get positive and happy first to then attract a happy and positive partner.
Observation: This comment leads onto another observation I find constantly annoying. It's when I hear "Oh only if I had a Boyfriend/Girlfriend my life would be so much better". The trick here is, make your life better first, get out there, buy your own home, your own car, get investments going and be strong willed, independent and successful first, don't think the magical relationship will do this for you. Take your life in hand and make it wonderful first then find a mate that will grow and support it in the direction you value most.
Question 4: You're single, why haven't you married, you must have an intimacy problem or hate relationships?
Answer: I have had three serious relationships in the last 15 years and none of them got to the engagement stage at all. I have had the opportunity to marry someone I didn't love but guess what; I didn't because I wasn't in love. I know people that get into unloving marriages to avoid being alone and I feel sorry for them. I am not that weak willed, depressed and shallow to marry just not to be alone. You must be content and happy with yourself first before you get into a successful relationship."
While Daniel's tips on how to be a happy bachelor stem from the belief that it isn't a crime to be a single bloke about town, I know many of you can' help but believe the hype, leading you to ask yourself the question, "What the heck is wrong with me? Why am I still single?"
Well blokes, there's good news. Being a bachelor can be the best thing about your life. You're free to do as your heart so desires, you don't have to acquiesce to anyone's every whim and you can eat Cheerios in your undies any night of the week while watching sport till all hours of the morning without having to be nagged to do the dishes. Oh yes, I'm sure bachelor life can be sweet. So, all you bachelors out there tell us what you love the most. I'm sure those blokes watching The Notebook with their girlfriends this weekend will be wishing they were you ...
What do you think? How can you be a happy bachelor? Ladies, do you get asked the same things? What would you say to these questions? And what's the best thing about being a bachelor?
Have a fabulous weekend and happy dating!