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Emotionally unavailable men: Myth or reality?

Never say never!
Never say never!
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George Clooney was known for stating he would never remarry. Apparently he has changed his mind. He was considered the king of “serial monogamy” dating one woman at a time for periods of two years or longer. At age 52 George has recently become engaged to 36 year old British attorney Amal Alamuddin after dating for less than six months.

Gender Differences

Men who have decided they are not going to get married have often been labeled by some women as being “emotionally unavailable” regardless of the fact they may show love for their mates in both words and deeds. For some people anything short of a man saying “I do” is a lack of commitment.

The late legendary actress Katherine Hepburn once said she wouldn't marry (again) because she didn't want to have to make the choice between going on stage and staying home with a sick child. Although Goldie Hawn has been in a relationship with Kurt Russell for over thirty years she too reiterated she has no plans of ever remarrying. Diane Keaton, Tyra Banks, Oprah Winfrey, Winona Ryder, Cameron Diaz, and Condoleeza Rice are just a few women over the age of 40 who have never taken a walk down the aisle. Men however do not label such women as being “emotionally unavailable” nor do they believe these women have a “fear of commitment”.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Recently sex and relationship author Emily Dubberly was quoted giving women the following advice: “Life is too short to settle. Even when you know you want a relationship eventually there are times in everyone’s life when being single is a much better option.”

She listed the following as reasons why someone might consider not entering into a relationship; recovering from a heavy relationship, traveling, career focus, or simply going through a “selfish phase”. She went onto say, “Today, women are actively choosing to stay single and their standards are getting higher.” Such statements and beliefs are welcomed by many women and are seen as positive, empowering, and liberating. It is not unheard of for a woman to say, “I don’t need a man!”

On the other hand when men live by the same philosophy of choosing to remain single, being married to their careers, or refusing to settle they are described as having a fear of commitment. Refusing to settle and having a fear of commitment could easily be seen as being two sides of the same coin.

It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

Sour Grapes

It’s not uncommon for the ex-girlfriends of men to brand them with various negative adjectives when a relationship does not evolve as they hoped. Instead of accepting the possibility that they weren’t right for one another an assumption is made that there must be something wrong with the man. Clearly there is a difference between a man being emotionally unavailable to most women versus all women.

The One Changes Everything

Countless times I’ve heard men say; “I’m never getting married” present company included. Statistically however very few men go unmarried for life. According to a report from Soundvision.com every year there are 2.3 million weddings that take place in the U.S. and it’s safe to assume the lion share of these weddings to place after a man proposed. The U.S. Census Bureau of Statistics indicated in 2008 that by age forty-four over 84% of men had been married at least once. Of the 16% of men who had never married there were probably some who are gay. Odds are we are likely to see many of them marry with the passage of marriage equality laws sweeping the country.

In 2011 Wild River Review published an article stating divorced men remarried quicker than divorced women. Reports and statistics such as these clearly prove most men do eventually get married. In other words the odds are a man is going to get married at some point it just may not be to the woman he is presently dating or cohabitating with. Very few women think of themselves as not being “the one”.

It is not an anomaly to observe someone end a relationship that lasted for several years and become engaged to another person they’ve only known for a few months.

One dating coach speculated George Clooney was “emotionally unavailable” until now. Without admitting it she was in fact stating the obvious. George had not met “the one”. The two basic reasons why men do not get married have to do with timing (not being ready) and having not met “the one”.

It could be argued that timing has very little to do with making a decision to get married. After all each of us has been known to make exceptions or break our own rules when we believe we’ve struck gold. George Clooney along with myself and many other men are living proof of the old adage:

“Never say never!”