Dating an eternal bachelor

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Most of the men said they had had at least one serious relationship with a woman that included sex and a warm sense of companionship, Dr. Yet they were extremely uncomfortable in talking about sex, he said, and exhibited hesitancy and passivity about their sexuality.Asked why they ended the relationships, the men said that they were afraid of losing control over their sense of self-determination or self-directedness, he said.But, he said, the bachelors exhibit three defense mechanisms -- avoidance, isolation and distortion -- that keep other people at arm's length.By staying single, the bachelors prevent these defense mechanisms from being challenged, he said.

"If you can avoid people, you don't have to examine yourself," Dr. This reluctance to make demands was shown in their sexual lives, careers and significant relationships, he said.

Janice Witzel, a psychologist in private practice who is also a consultant at the Family Institute in Chicago.

Such women are often extremely happy, she said, and have far richer emotional lives -- without marriage -- than do their male counterparts.

Nevertheless, not one man said he was averse to the idea of getting married.

Twenty-six of them had considered it in at least one past relationship, but only six had ever proposed. Only one out of six never-married men over 40 will ever marry, he said.

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