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The Bachelor Syndrome: Too Ingrained to Change?

Simply put, when you've lived on your own for some 20 years, you're bound to settle into a routine or two or 27. This is known a "bachelor syndrome."

Relationships at least successful ones are full of give and take, adaptability and compromise. Most of us have heard jokes about leaving the seat up or whether the toilet paper should roll “over” or “under,” but sometimes those annoying little habits can turn into romantic dealbreakers when one or both parties refuse to change even a little bit.

I remember several years ago having a conversation with a single co-worker about the available bachelors we both knew. She was in her mid- to late-20s at the time, and I mentioned a never-married guy who was probably pushing 40. While this young woman was eager to meet that special someone, she still seemed hesitant. Pressed further, she said it wasn’t the age difference that concerned her, it was the fact that this man nice as he was had spent more than half his life as a single adult.

“Most men that age,” she said, “are too set in their ways.”

She wasn’t opposed to dating somewhat older men, she said, but experience had taught her that many longtime bachelors have developed habits they are reluctant or even unwilling to alter. Simply put, when you’ve lived on your own for some 20 years, you’re bound to settle into a routine or two or 27.

I’ve made sweeping generalizations before (“What’s Hair Got to Do With It?“) so I’m not about to do so now. Besides, since I got married at 26, I’m not able to address this topic based on my own experience. So I’ll ask you, dear Boundless readers, do you agree with this sentiment? Do you think that singles, male or female, become more resistant to change as they get older?

Now, lest you think of this post as yet another depressing reminder from Boundless of how hard it is to find a spouse once you’ve passed age 40, I hereby give you hope: Remember that co-worker who passed on dating the 40-something guy? Well, that same man later met a single mom with two kids and is now very happily married.

Did he likely have to make a few compromises as he made the transition from bachelor to husband and father? No doubt he did, but isn’t that what healthy relationships are all about?

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About the Author

Thomas Jeffries

Thomas Jeffries is a journalist, editor and recreational basketball player. He was born on the east coast, grew up in the Midwest and now resides with his wife and kids in Colorado. Thomas has written for several magazines, newspapers and websites, but his greatest passion as a writer is long-form narrative nonfiction. His journalistic adventures have taken him from Washington, D.C., to inner-city Chicago to Florida’s death row. In his spare time, Thomas does a lot of mundane things — none of them worth describing in detail.

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