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Monday, March 20, 2023

Mr Hassler! The Hassle and Pain of being a Male Bachelor

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A Male’s life

There are various definitions of the bachelor. At first glance, a bachelor is a man (male) who is not and has never been married. Another definition of a bachelor is a man who is socially regarded as able to marry but has not yet married. But you soon discover that the definition has been extended to an unmarried male to indicate one who is not married and thus ‘choose to remain a bachelor.’ What is fascinating is that the word bachelor is often confined to the male and thus shaping our concept of manliness.

The history of the word ‘bachelor’ in both traditional and contemporary societies is complex and rather baffling. In traditional societies, all persons conformed to the norms of society and thus all males were married. This was the thread to good society. Even when a man could not marry for various reasons such as infertility or extreme poverty that made payment of dowry unaffordable, the family or clan got a wife for them. Thus, in essence, a male could not be a bachelor. Bachelorhood as an identity did not even exist as such.

A man or woman who was not married was assumed to be unripe for marriage. Thus, single men (or even women for that matter) who were not married were not viewed as a distinct social group. In the 17th century, the term ‘bachelor’ started being used to describe a single man (male). These so-called ‘bachelors’ were seen as dependent men. These dependent young, single men also lacked private property and held no responsibilities within the community. With time, bachelors were subject to special laws. At one time, there was a ‘Family Rule’ that required young, single men to continue living with their family until they had established themselves and were married. If a man didn’t have family nearby, he could board with another family. Violators faced stiff fines and even jail time. But despite such draconian laws, some of the bachelors flaunted convention and risked punishment by living alone. Perhaps this is how the clan of ‘hasslers’ grew in population.

Bachelorhood has become a part of the male experience, sometimes so ingrained that male bachelors are a part of the general populace. The number of bachelors has also grown to such an extent that many parents are asking: ’When will my son marry?’ Yet these males face a lot of challenges in their lives. The hassles and pains of being a bachelor are a part of the male bag.

Who are Bachelors, What leads to Bachelorhood…

Male bachelors are a brand of men who are not married, or if on one occasion married, they no longer live with their spouse. It is true that ‘bachelor’ also refers to a person who holds an undergraduate degree from a university. The degree of a bachelor means exactly that, that it is only one. This brings us to a very critical discussion on maleness and its allied lid, bachelorhood. Perhaps one would also want to investigate if bachelorhood is bestowed or self-inflicted.

Marriage is considered a social stage and the norm particularly in the more traditional settings. Men who are altogether unmarried, widowed, divorced or separated are often ostracised.

There are several factors that lead to male bachelorhood. For instance, some of the men have reached an age considered appropriate for marriage yet remain single or unmarried. Speaking of which, what is the ideal age for marriage? Perhaps 27 years, on average. Some men have married much earlier, while others may have waited to complete education or even lingered on till they got into a high-paying job. More males are also seeking higher level education and more comfortable employment, or going into lucrative business and then marriage. Men have married in their 30s, 40s and even in their 50s.

It is considered that most males marry in their 30s; hence, males over 35 years are considered to be already married. Other men have lost their spouse through death, or are divorced or separated. But there are men who refuse to marry at all. One of the reasons for this is that some of the men are impotent and cannot stand the pain of having a wife yet they cannot perform. There are also men who are strongly convinced that marriage as an institution offers nothing worthwhile. These males prefer to be single for life. Some of the males fear marriage and responsibility, while others do not want to have children. Some males make a choice to remain single — sometimes out of religious belief and convictions. Other males have been traumatised as a result of various incidents, such as loss of a parent or being a victim of sexual abuse at an early age. Finally, there are males who have issues with their own sexuality, such as the bisexuals.

Seeking happiness

Being single could be a search for happiness, especially for the divorced and separated. Some of the men have gone through painful court cases, child custody wrangling and push-and-pull, and survived other court cases involving land, home and income. They may be just fearful to have a woman nearby. They suffer from love drain, and thus cannot fetch more water from the heart.

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One of the most vocal and ardent critics of bachelors was Philadelphia publisher and statesman, Benjamin Franklin. Franklin wholeheartedly believed that bachelors were “but one half of a pair of scissors. weak-willed, indecisive, and selfish men who were more attracted to living a luxurious life.”

Male bachelors are considered the happiest of all human beings including by their own male counterparts who are committed in marriage. This is because they are perceived to have no major responsibilities. In several instances bachelors tend to forfeit their own responsibilities to the extent that they forget to meet their obligations such as paying rent, decent clothing and other commitments. In other instances, landlords are said to be wary of male bachelors as they consider them troublesome. This is because they sometimes evade paying rent and keep hiding from the landlord as best as they can till the landlord puts a padlock on their door! Landlords and caretakers are often outsmarted by the shrewd bachelor boys when they silently carry away everything from the house. After all, some bachelors do not have much in the house anyway.

It is possible that bachelors value and enjoy their independence. Those who are endowed with higher income also enjoy the attraction of several women all out for a piece of the cake. However, the independence comes with ‘terms and conditions’ apply such as loneliness and the fact that bachelors are easy target for people (women, family and relatives, colleagues and friends) seeking money. These include conmen and women who want to reap the oil in them dry.

A hell on Earth

There are heavy prices that bachelors have to pay and they actually are not smiling all the way to the bank or home as many people out there imagine. Choosing to live by self as a man also means eating in hotels (costly of course) or preparing your own meals, washing the dishes, cleaning clothes, maintaining the house and all. If the man is not keen on eating, washing and general organization, the bachelorhood is written all over them. This is reflected in lost weight (or weight gain as a result of eating too much junk), poor and untidy dressing (failure to wash clothes and attend to tear and wear, greased clothes that are not ironed), red eyes due to lack of sleep (nights at the club or partying all night) and other social ills. These men have torn clothes — including private wear, socks, missing buttons and marks on clothes. This is because they lack someone to groom them and thus keep them in check. They eat bad food (often leading to food poisoning), sleep hungry most of the time and are at heart sad.

Unmarried men go through a very difficult life. Bachelors are very lonely. They are highly stigmatized and are often perceived as outcasts. People may think they are gay, impotent, aggressive, rude, unmanageable, difficult-to-get along with and immoral. They are isolated and easily dismissed, seen as womanizers and labelled as losers.

Bachelors live a lonely and disorganized life. They are labelled womanizers, impatient, immoral, violent, unbearable, choosy (or overly choosy) or thought to suffer from erectile dysfunction or a big member and hence their unwillingness to have a partner.

Bachelors have money and everyone needs it. Thus, they are easy target for women who target them for marriage or simply to drug them and steal from them.

Bachelors tend to go about life easy and have little or no empathy. This is because they have few or no friends except those who want their money. This includes friends and colleagues who want the bachelor to buy them drinks out of their misery.

Male bachelors tend to consciously or unconsciously avoid married couples for a variety of reasons. For one, women keep checking out on their spouse. If they find out the male friend is unmarried, they will make it clear to the husband that he should not have such a friend whom they consider a creep, cheap, womaniser, rotten and a bad influence. Thus, the married man will tend to avoid them so that he is a good boy and to avoid conflict with the wife. Secondly, bachelors have all their life, unlike the married man who has committed to a wife and children. Thirdly, there is not much to be shared in terms of family.

Dangers of being single

The danger of being single is that your life just flows and that you may have no responsibilities. You develop your own life habits, attitudes, patterns and preferences. When anyone — including a woman — comes in, you simply feel her intrusion. This is because you own the television set, bed, bedroom, your time and space. Unlike other people, you do not have a wife or children to occupy the space and time and become a part of your general life.

Both married and unmarried women target bachelors for quick presents, lunches and borrowing money. In their argument, bachelors do not have ‘readily prepared and fixed budgets’. Bachelors’ money is somehow loose and thus easy to spend.

Bachelors often end up being overly cautious with ladies. This is because they soon get to ‘know’ that any lady who approaches them is a ‘vulture’ seeking easy prey. This is a good strategy to protect self from being preyed on. But the problem with being overly cautious is that it only makes the matter more complicated, because it hinders the way you relate with women, both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’.

Many people are staying single for life rather than the traditional and social marriage life. This is because some people, both males and females, choose to remain single. While some people are single due to certain circumstances, other people are simply not interested in being in a serious relationship leading to commitment. There are people who stay away from dating and relationships, while others want to stay at certain times hoping to pick this up perhaps much later in their life. There are also the bad conversations that one will be utterly miserable and lonely which is not always the case. In a way, we need to challenges our thoughts and attitudes and certainly do away with stereotypes.

Staying single can therefore become cyclic. This is because every time a lady comes in no matter how good she is, the bachelor simply is unable to allow her ‘in’ his life. Also, the differences between the bachelor and his-would-be spouse are taken unconsciously as challenges in the bachelor’s life. He develops a ‘my life’ that is so enclosed. It will then be hard to find an adaptable woman who can take up his (mostly negative) attitudes, (bad) habits and (pure) selfishness. These are inadequacies in personality and character that he would require to transform.

A young woman will find the bachelor unbearable, while an older lady (who could interestingly be more accommodative) is not his class. A young lady may feel he is fussy and domineering and that he fails to give her space in his house. An older lady may also have one or two children and yet the bachelor still clings to getting a lady who has been unmarried and without children.

A bachelor’s own demands and lifestyle simply make bachelorhood a lifetime occupation in an endless cycle full of selfishness and failure to embrace others.

Easy prey; the schemas … Who are the Bachelors easy targets …

Bachelors do attract a lot of attention but unfortunately from the wrong quarters. Sly women and commercial sex workers easily identify male bachelors as easy prey. The women know only too well that they can reap from these bachelors who live alone. Hookers are happy to visit male bachelors and readily befriend them for a cause. They steal electronics, valuables, laptops, wallets, phones, money and many other things. Some hookers are able to spike drinks and steal phones and wallets. They also spike the men in their houses and steal electronic equipment. As a result, the bachelors have to be very careful. It is not surprising under such difficult circumstances that a bachelor sometimes takes off with the first lady who comes by and knocks on their heart. 

Relatives also target the bachelor. After all, he is unmarried. The house is an easy abode and when they are broke, they look up to the bachelor for help. This is because it is assumed that the bachelor has little or no responsibilities.

There are women who will target the bachelor for marriage. These include women who are willing to have unprotected sex with the male and thus end up with a child. Sometimes the man is lucky when all that the woman wanted was a sperm ‘donor’ and quietly takes off leaving no trails (no attachments). Unfortunately, some of the women are harsh schemas who insist on marriage (forcefully and unconditionally). Other women are much clever, with greater foresight, and have no intention of being married to these ‘careless, good-for- nothing, impossible freaks’’ and wait to extract money from them in form of child upkeep.

Bachelors are easy prey all along. It is like the women decide what to do, or what not to do with the male. Thus, the dangers are both real and imagined depending on the depth; the man can be trapped into pregnancy and then marriage, or may simply come across a genuine loving lady who actually loves them. Some women may come in and once they find you out you are a bachelor, will stay and refuse to move out. Before you know it, you are married for real. Women want commitment not idling and frustration, and since you are eligible, they elect their permanent tent.

Some of the bachelors are perfectionists, while others are scared of responsibility or afraid of rearing a family. Besides, there are those who have been bruised in relationships, family or by girls and hence shy away from would be associations. Still, there are those who are unsure of themselves, fear women or are convinced women will misuse them, exploit them or want them for the money. Most of these uncertainties are unfounded, while others arise out of poor orientation with women or with emotionally disturbed and psychologically disoriented persons.

Bachelors have several choices: to get married and settle down; go for the regular women (usually a girlfriend called and seen on special occasions on need-only-basis who sap them financially with numerous demands; or, seek strange women (also called escorts) on purely need-only-basis. The sexual revolution and transformation of ‘why buy a pig when all you need is a sausage’ is obviously complemented by the money-seeking culture of the modern males and females. The bachelor who adopts such a culture soon learns that the ‘chips funga’ too comes with the ‘terms and conditions apply’. This is because the escorts are not the ordinary urban women; these are opportunistic classic ladies and career women who are in serious business and make quick money out of stealing from men. It is a highly lucrative business where women make as much as is readily available.

In the end, many bachelors are actually frustrated because though they want to get married and settle down, they do not know exactly how. The question is, who is the right woman who really loves you and wants a genuine meaningful relationship? For an eligible bachelor, this is like asking where the moon is during the day.

Unlocking the gate, I forgot the key … The Future of the Bachelor

If you are a bachelor, it is important that you find more about your life and your heart. This is not easy and you may require a lot of help, including talking to family, friends, colleagues and of course a professional counsellor. Walk your path with the friend or counsellor and find out what is in your heart. Again, the issue might be that you have no intent of getting married. This too requires to be sorted in your mind and heart.

Settling down is easiest and certainly more sure .. Bachelors reading this article must be laughing out loud thinking about how to resolve some of this rather urgent and pressing issue. An amicable solution is to settle down and get organised. Playing games and hard to get is rather tiring and of course difficult.

If you are a lady and you feel your bachelor boy is in such a state, the two of you may require additional help to unlock your relationship path. A counsellor, sometimes even a relationship counsellor, can help.

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Dr. Geoffrey Wangohttps://counsel-lingmagazine.co.ke/
Many people often ask me about my personal stand, my passion in life and how I got into Counselling Psychology and why in particular the establishment and writing in their favourite publication, The Counsel-ling Magazine. Colleagues and students, participants in various seminars and others suggested that I should include some information that would assist clients, practitioners and students to perhaps establish a career, or even assess and evaluate their ethical, moral and professional standards. Well, this allows for personal reflection and I feel it wise to include a few remarks about my fervour on counselling, mentoring and education as well as various aspects of life.
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