Once upon a time when I was about 20, I had an older boyfriend named Jeff. Jeff was a handsome 33-year-old Jewish guy from Long Island with a penchant for all things GTL. (For those living under a pop culture rock, this stands for “gym, tan, laundry”, an acronym penned by Jersey Shore.) Apart from his considerable cultural deficit, Jeff was, by definition, everything you would consider a “good catch”: good-looking, family-oriented, and relatively successful, with a number of retail businesses to support a brood of spoiled brats.
While I was way too young to consider anything serious with Jeff, I was certain that, sometime within the next few years, he would settle down with a minute Jewish girl who would annually pop him out cute Sephardic babies in exchange for red Cartier (push) gift boxes.
It’s been seven years. If Facebook and mutual friends serve me correctly, Jeff is currently living in Brazil, exploring life in the Victoria’s Secret motherland. During a brief Facebook chat a couple of years back, he appeared genuinely content with his outré lifestyle, candidly admitting that he wouldn’t have it any other way. While he hadn’t exactly given up on the idea of marriage, it had certainly lost its high positioning on the priority list, replaced by the pursuit of inner peace and Brazilian booty.
Jeff belongs to the category that I would like to label the Eternal Bachelor Club: men who have reached their late 30s – early 40s without settling down, consequently becoming highly unlikely to ever do so.
At first glance, there is nothing wrong with these men. They started off the same as their comrades, determined to one day stop f*cking around and settle down in the Stepford-Yuppie universe of Range Rovers and Whole Foods. Between 28 and 36, all their friends slowly started migrating to the aforementioned universe. The Eternal Bachelors attended their weddings, hooked up with the bridesmaids, and made mortifying best man speeches. Then, as the last Katubahs were signed, they were left all alone, flailing around like the rare leaves on an otherwise bare tree.
In their mid-30s, they became the primary concerns of their friends and relatives, who proceeded to set them up on blind dates with every single female within a tri-state radius. They tried online dating but failed set the age limitations right, resulting in a useless collection of broken-hearted 23-year-olds.
Around the age of 38, the EBs gave up and decided to “live for themselves”. They created small packs of their own kind, stocked up on Man Toys (think sports cars and jet skis) and immersed themselves in adrenaline-yielding activities like kite surfing. They got into weird religions and started traveling to faraway destinations, exploring the perils of Indian meditation and Thai massages.
Eventually, they started viewing their lives as the true definition of freedom, untainted by compromise and selfless obligations. They abandoned the romantic notion of unconditional love and began striving for an unattainable ideal, often unproportional to what they themselves have to offer. Ask any EB what he looks for in a woman, and he will most likely list a mythical creature of beauty, brains, and a Soul Cycle physique, while not surpassing the cutoff age of 33. (I think Amal Alamuddin may have raised it to 36, but only if you’re a top human rights advocate.)
Even if you do manage to pull an Amal and snag yourself a rare gem à la Clooney EB, be aware that they extremely difficult to date. For one, EBs are defiantly set in their ways, as inflexible in their restaurant preferences as their are in their sex position variations. They seek “space” and “alone time” and other silly things that are beat out of younger guys with a stick called marriage. They are stubborn. Overall, they are a trip and a half, a minefield to tread carefully while wearing your best Gianvito Rossis. Or, maybe, simply a minefield to tread around? To each, their own.