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If a man reaches the age of 45 without children or marriage....

(36 Posts)
elliott Fri 31-Jul-09 12:23:53

is he a lost cause?

Just speculating really as someone I know is in this position, and claims to want children. He also hates being single and has had a string of relatively long term relationships. Trouble is he never seems to be able to make the final step to commit - too much committed to his 'art' and fears having to compromise I think (as well as having to make money - currently struggles to feed his mortgage let alone any dependents...)

But then I read threads about people having mid-life crises and basically running away from their commitments and I think, well, as least he hasn't messed anyone else's life up, he hasn't left a string of divorced women or fatherless children, or a wife who has to do everything and is effectively a single parent...

So, do you think he's likely to find love and family life and live happy ever after or best to live as a rolling stone forever ...

elliott Fri 31-Jul-09 13:28:50

I thought you lot might have a lot to say on the subject of commitmophobes wink

LaurieFairyCake Fri 31-Jul-09 13:30:52

there are lots of single person households

maybe he's happy. smile

muffle Fri 31-Jul-09 13:33:12

I don't think it has to be a bad sign - my friend in her early 30s married a 43-year-old who had never been married or had a family - he's lovely and they now have a baby and he is a natural dad (and my DS also loves him). They've been together a while now and I don't see any commitment-phobia signs from him - I think he was genuinely waiting for the right person.

Paolosgirl Fri 31-Jul-09 13:34:45

I think he's happy as he is, and doesn't see anything much to be gained by committing. Some people just don't want to settle down - horses for course and all that.

Lemonylemon Fri 31-Jul-09 13:37:08

No, not necessarily a bad sign. My OH was 46 when we met, decided to get married and I got pregnant....

tvfriend Fri 31-Jul-09 13:37:13

Most of DHs friends didn't seriously start thinking about kids etc until 40ish.
Don't think he's a lost cause at all smile

mustrunmore Fri 31-Jul-09 13:38:02

The older you get the more you get settle in yourself. But actually, this is a good thing, because if he is really at ease with himself and his life, he wont settle for anything or anyone that he's not 100% sure about. And he'll also have the nouse to not pretend or see everything through rose coloured glasses so to speak. He might never find someone to make the commitment with, but if he does, I reckon it'll be very very strong smile

NorbertDentressangle Fri 31-Jul-09 13:45:41

I have a lovely male friend who is still single and childless at 45.

He had a longterm girlfriend in his late 20s/early 30s who left him for some complete loser (she was a bit odd though IMO).

He went on to have various relationships for up to 2-3 years at a time but has never found the right woman to settle down with. His last girlfriend had a 4yo DD and he was just such a natural Dad with her. Hes great with my DC too and they adore him.

I don't think hes scared of commitment but I think he worries now (as hes been living alone for years) about the fact that hes got his life/house/job/hobbies etc and that change would be a big thing to adapt to.

He would love children but he would also worry about bringing a child into a less than permanent relationship. It upset him that his last girlfriends DD cried about missing him for months after they split.

Flgihtattendant Fri 31-Jul-09 13:45:48

Oh dear he's not my erm, dp, is he?

No, he's 44 so it can't be... Never married but I don't think he was ready, till I came along and told him he most certainly was grin well I haven't actually told him that yet, but anyway...

I will let you know how it works out. He's had longer relationships than me, I've never married either but did have children randomly as I felt the call, physically I suppose as well as emotionally.

NorbertDentressangle Fri 31-Jul-09 13:46:28

oh, and we're also seeing a wave of male friends having their first children at 40.

Katisha Fri 31-Jul-09 13:48:08

Actually he may have left messed some people up along the way - possibly long-term girlfriends looking for committment from him and basically wasting childbearing years...

I am slightly bitter as I know a man of this age who has done exactly that to several women, Commitophobe,

Pruneurs Fri 31-Jul-09 13:51:30

I think it could go either way.
Either it is the sign of someone who has left a lot of crap behind, maybe, and is a good solid partner because he's got nothing to prove.
Or there's a very good reason for it.

elliott Fri 31-Jul-09 13:51:30

Intersting. I wouldn't say he's comfortable in himself, or necessarily happy (but not unhappy either). he definitely likes to be with a partner, and has had some fairly settled relationships, but they have all come unstuck when it has been time to finally decide. I wouldn't describe him as a good catch personally, he is financially quite precarious and this is the key problem - he puts all his energy into his vocation but gets very little material reward from it. So a partner has to put up with not only no financial security but also him not really being there in any reliable way - a big ask I think. And to add children into the mix....
I think he has not been ready to settle and hasn't felt himself secure enough to, plus I think he is very gregarious and often finds himself with the wrong person (I think if you are attractive to the opposite sex it can actually be harder to find the right person paradoxically!)
Those of you who know late settlers, were they people who had not had many relationships? I often think people who just haven't found anyone are better bets than those who easily find partners but can't stick with them...

elliott Fri 31-Jul-09 14:00:18

no I don't think he has messed anyone up too much. First girlfriend he did get engaged to and then split up after 7 years - that nearly ruined her life but fortunately she was young enough to rescue it. That was his big mistake imo and has set the pattern.

What would the 'good reasons' be for staying single?

I don't know, I think he maybe needs to decide he is content not to have kids and maybe he'll find someone similar just to keep him company. imo he needs to stop chasing the younger ones! Just worry that he will be old and poor and lonely in 20 years time! (it is my brother btw so I do know him quite well and have a vested interest in his long term happiness and security!)

Lemonylemon Fri 31-Jul-09 14:09:47

My OH was as poor as a church mouse - it never bothered me....

scottishmummy Fri 31-Jul-09 14:14:38

not a loser at fact very canny.if not ready or unsure - dont procreate.

frankly up to him whether time is right.people should not be cajoled in parentood just because everyone else does

and pragmatically if can provide other than subsistence and is immersed in work now prob not right time.

if he is happy leave him alone dont change him

GentleOtter Fri 31-Jul-09 14:19:42

Lemonylemon - we are very similar regarding the age (and wallets!) of our dh's. My dh had been utterly committed to his farm and had been alone most of his life but always knew that one day he would find a wife and have family.
He is now 52 and we have a beautiful 2 year old son so in dh's case, age was not a barrier to finding a life partner or beginning a family.

Blu Fri 31-Jul-09 14:20:22

I wasn't a lost cause when I got togther with DP at 42 and had DS at 43!

Just picky wink

And had a string of misgiuded relationships before that.

scottishmummy Fri 31-Jul-09 14:27:40

i'd worry more about 45yo string of failed relationships,many children.inability to sustain a commited relationship

rather than a hard working driven 45yo no children

Lemonylemon Fri 31-Jul-09 14:37:00

GentleOtter : My OH was dedicated to his composing and his latter career of landscape gardener.

He had never wanted marriage and children before he met me (God, that sounds smug...)

We decided to get married and then a few months later, I fell pregnant with our beautiful daughter - unfortunately, my OH died while I was pregnant, so never got to see her.....

The thing is, that I was the one who had quite a few failed relationships sad

pasturesnew Fri 31-Jul-09 14:44:07

V sorry to hear of your loss Lemony.

I don't think someone of that age would necessarily be a lost cause but maybe would explore if he had confidence issues etc. e.g. needed to be more of a "provider" or didn't see himself as attractive, which the "right woman" might help him resolve.

scottishmummy Fri 31-Jul-09 14:44:54

oh my goodness that is so sad.what a cruel twist of are you and DD now

elliott Fri 31-Jul-09 14:51:56

well its hardly in my power to change him lol!
He is having a bit of a crisis really as I guess he's suddenly realised he's well on his way to 50 and doesn't have the kind of domestic life he would like. I suppose he thought he would 'make it' in his career first...but it isn't ever going to be like that.
Actually I am rather thankful that he hasn't had children and then left them. Its not confidence I don't think, more a fear of being tied down and having to compromise his work. He is really rather self absorbed, a bit of a habit I think since he's never really had to worry about anyone else wink

Lemonylemon Fri 31-Jul-09 14:54:05

DD (who's nearly 2), DS (who's 12) and I joggle along. It was quite tough in the beginning, but has settled down a bit now. It's the second anniversary over the next week or so, (yes, it takes a week from collapse to dying - so a bit drawn out) which is why my posts have been a bit preoccupied with it all. Thank you for your kind thoughts.....

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