21 May 2006
I’ve noticed something amongst men roughly of my generation (aged 18 to 35), at least amongst my own social circle and colleagues.
Those who are married or co-habiting have invariably gone straight from living with parents to living with their girlfriend/wife. Maybe there was a jaunt to University in between, but mostly it was living-with-mum to living-with-girlfriend/wife with no living on their own or with other guys in between.
On the other hand, I know of no guys who – after leaving full-time education at least – lived for any extended period of time either on their own or with male flatmates but now live with a girlfriend or are married. Obviously I come into this category.
On the other hand, there is no correlation with women. I know a few who lived alone or with flatmates and went on to live with a boyfriend and/or subsequently a husband.
It seems that living on your own, or at least without a woman, decreases the inclination of us men to co-habit or marry.
This is only amongst guys I know incidentally, I don’t have any big fancy statistics to hand, but it strikes me as likely that it may apply to men on a wider scale.
A significant factor, of course, would be that living on our own gives a us men a great taste of freedom; no mother, no girlfriend, no wife telling us what to do. Sit around the living-room in our boxer-shorts until midnight playing video games, go out and come in at whatever time we like, and leave wet towels on the floor because, shit, where else are they going to go? From what I’ve heard from friends, wives immediately try to control you, so living with one is probably like having your mum move in with you in terms of the same constant nagging, albeit even worse:
“Take those shoes off! Stop tramping muddy footprints over my carpet. Pick up that wet towel too, And how many bloody times have I told you to stop eating Sugar Puff sandwiches in the bath? The plug-hole is blocked up with crumbs etc etc.”
Also, just like mums, wives will go nuts if they find a battered nudey magazine under your mattress.
Quick, hide it under the bed, mum/the missus is coming!
However, at least mums will cook you dinner and iron your shirts. A girlfriend or wife probably won’t; after all, “it’s the 21st Century you sexist pig!”
Even though we love ’em, most of us bachelors wouldn’t want our mums to move in with us, not after we’ve left home for an extended period of time and discovered the joys of being home-alone, permanently. These days, with their lack of domestic skills and entitlement complexes and double-standards, it seems having a girlfriend or wife move in is about ten-times worse as having your mum move in.
So, in my view, and probably in many other bachelor’s views, once you get a taste of living without a woman, you don’t want one in your home taking over the place. In fact, that’s another major point; women, especially once married to you, regard the home as primarily theirs. She’ll decorate it to her taste, spend the most time in it after quitting work, tell you off for making ‘her home‘ messy, get rid of your computers, Playstations and nudey magazines and replace them with pointless shit like cushions and houseplants, and will probably get it in the divorce case anyway.
Only a bachelor could indulge in such computertastic extravagance!
Another thing I’ve noticed is that men are becoming less concerned about being labelled as “sad” for living alone and remaining single.
Obviously women and the media are all out to shame us, to portray men over 20 who live with parents as being losers and men over 30 who are not married – and have no intention of doing so – as freaks, misogynists, nutters, etc, but not so with us men. Maybe when marriage conferred benefits to men and women were nice, men were puzzled as to why another guy would want to remain single and live alone, and maybe regard such an eternal bachelor as being a bit odd, but these days, with all the risks of marriage and how annoying women have become, it has become understandable that many of us guys remain single and even stop bothering dealing with women altogether.
At the pub with a few colleagues the other day, a guy who had recently started work at my office casually asked me if I was married. Quite happily I replied that I wasn’t, and I had no hesitation in replying with a contented “Nope” when he asked me if I had a girlfriend. Neither he (a bachelor himself) nor two of my other colleagues (one married, the other co-habiting) made any negative comments or implied that there was something wrong with me. On another occasion in the office, I mentioned I liked living on my own and wouldn’t want to share my home with a girlfriend or wife. Naturally the women tutted and made a few comments along the lines of “But you men can’t cope without us”, but one guy, who recently moved to his own place after having lived with a girlfriend for a couples of years, replied “Very wise.” Another time I overheard another young guy in the office who, when told by a middle-aged receptionist that he should “get yourself a girlfriend”, replied “Why? Too much hassle. I’m happier single.” He was quite proud of having renounced women.
Once again, this is mainly anecdotal evidence, but I do see it more and more, that guys are increasingly unashamed at being single and/or not even bothering to date. The shaming language from women and the media just goes over our heads. It’s irrelevant. Who cares if women think we’re losers? They won’t miss us then, will they? When people ask if I live alone or if I’m married, I happily reply yes and no respectively, and although women will often attempt to shame me or imply that I “need a woman”, no man has ever looked down on me because of it.
What is also of utmost significance is that, when I’ve stated my intention to stay single, no man has ever asked “Why?” Ever. Not one. Women do, and rarely listen to my replies, but no man ever has. A few married guys have even told me “good decision”.
It’s quite ironic really. Feminism’s primary foundation was that us men are redundant, yet in becoming a complete pain in the arse and altering the laws to make marriage and fatherhood a big risk, women have made themselves redundant. More guys aren’t bothering to deal with them and, significantly, are increasingly unashamed of this fact.
After all, how many women over 30 do you know who proudly describe themselves as “happily single” and meant it the way us men do? How many women sincerely say they love living alone, or proudly declare their intention to never marry? Maybe when they’re young and the offers of dates come regularly, but not when they’re older.
Thanks to feminism, women have made themselves pretty much unbearable and this resulted in more men living alone. This has helped us men realise that doing our own housework is actually quite easy, and that having to do our own domestic chores is more than negated by the benefits of living alone. Furthermore, word is spreading, and men who remain single and/or don’t bother dating are increasingly seen by other men, not as losers, but as sensible. More married men seem to envy us bachelors, not pity us as they previously would have done a generation or two ago.
Anyway, it’s Sunday evening and two fellow bachelors are coming round to my place. One is bringing his X-Box 360, the other is bringing some beer. Time for an evening of playing games, having a few drinks and talking loudly and self-rightously about current affairs and cracking obscene jokes.
I’d better check it’s okay with my wife first.
Oh wait, I forgot…I don’t have one.
posted by Duncan Idaho @ 6:58 PM