As someone who now lives in the UK, can you illumine me on the seeming paradox of the confirmed bachelor, or at least the seeming paradox of the Catholic confirmed bachelor? This phenomenon is associated with British men, though I'm sure there are no shortage of American men living as Confirmed Bachelors. As I approach 30 (aged 28), I'm puzzled by men in their 40s who, faithful to all the teachings of the Church they strive to be, seem to show no inclination toward marriage, Holy Orders, or religious life.
I'm sometimes on the defensive against those who think I'm odd for not being married or in the convent by now, since I'm firmly in the camp of "vocation is a vowed way of loving, either consecrated solely to God or vowed to one's spouse," and as such I don't view unconsecrated single-life as a vocation but rather a state in life. I feel vague pressure about finding a husband, to which I usually respond with a sometimes-witty comment about waiting on God's will and it being the job of men to seek wives rather than the job of women to seek husbands.
But for men, how do they spin this? I suppose if a man really doesn't want to bother with women, it's best if he doesn't seek a spouse who might indeed make him miserable and interrupt his predictable solitude, but does that jive with the Church's emphasis on finding a particular vocation in which to live out the universal vocation to holiness? The natural end of the human person is marriage, and while some forgo that for the Kingdom, it's usually as priests, religious, or consecrated virgins/celibates, not men who like their empty apartments and don't want to bother with the complications of women.
I don't know if that makes sense or not....
Are Confirmed Bachelors Allowed?
Well, I wrote a reply to this (several, actually), but I am not happy with them, so I will ask the Eavesdroppers to reply.
It's the last day of the month, and that's a good day for Eavesdroppers to drop in. (Eavesdroppers, in case you are new, means men. Men, especially the ones I go to Mass with, aren't supposed to read my blog, but a lot of them do anyway because men love to do stuff women tell them not to do. Wickedly, some of them will read this post but then not comment just because I asked them to.)