Bob is a bachelor and has been as long as anyone can remember. He dates with abandon but has no interest in making a permanent commitment. In fact, he usually denounces marriage and anyone foolish enough to enter into it. He says things like "Men who get married are whipped. I'd never let myself get ensnared by a woman."
Of course, the marriage gods are not to be mocked
: the more Bob insists he will never, ever
marry, the more likely it is that he's going to meet Her. Alice will come along, and by hook or by crook (love at first sight, her feminine wiles, the plotting of all Bob's friends who would love to make him eat his words or a combination of the above), Bob ends up willingly, happily tying the knot and becoming a deconfirmed bachelor.
Compare Ladykiller in Love
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- While he doesn't really have this attitude in the original play, Mortimer in the film of Arsenic and Old Lace is presented as being a railer against marriage, and consequently, takes pains to cover up his engagement, because he's embarrassed about being called out as a hypocrite.
- Bill Bellamy's character in spades if he's featured in any black romantic comedy. The Brothers, Love Jones, How to Be a Player...
- Just as much as the the theatre version, Benedict and Beatrice are this in the movie
- Made ironic by the fact that in the movie, the two actors Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh were married, but divorced before the end of filming.
- Silk from The Belgariad has strong tendencies of this trope, especially in the Mallorean when he trades out his vaguely tragic Unrequited Love for Queen Porenn to catching the eye of wily up-and-coming Lady-Spy Liselle.
Garion: Is everybody getting married?
Silk: Not me, my young friend. In spite of this universal plunge towards matrimony, I still haven't lost my senses. If worse comes to worse, I still know how to run.
- In The Tales of Beedle the Bard, friends of the warlock from "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" are convinced that he will eat his words about love when a nice girl catches his eye. They have no idea that he removed his own heart to prevent this from happening.
- Mat Cauthon in The Wheel of Time series. It was a prophecy and poor choice of words that got him married.
- Stephen Maturin in the Aubrey-Maturin series. As an odd, solitary physician over the age of thirty, no one expected him to get married. When he and his wife maintained separate residences, people actually thought it made a lot of sense.
- At least half of Catherine Anderson's heroes fall under this trope. They spend a good amount of time fighting it, but the moment the heroine comes along it's obvious their final destination is the altar.
- Victoria Alexander has a quartet of books surrounding men who make a bet about who can evade marriage for the longest. The winner gets four shillings and a bottle of cognac, which are meant to symbolize freedom. They're all determined to be the one to win, and of course they all wind up married by the end of it.
Live Action TV
- On How I Met Your Mother, Barney and Robin are both this, though Robin is slightly less agressive about it. They of course beat the narrator Ted down the alter even though he has wanted to get married since the first season. Ted meets his wife at their wedding.
- Danny on CSI NY
Mac: You know, it could happen to you.
Danny: Come on, Mac, don't say stuff like that.
- Of course, five seasons later, that all changed...
- Friends: Chandler. At the beginning of the series he has serious problems with committment. Then he falls in love with Monica, and they stay together for the rest of the series. Deconstructed as before this he did want committment but was scarred by his parents divorce and hurt whenever he tried to committ. Ironically he turns out to be better at serious relationships that casual dating. He also states Monica made him happier than he'd ever been before.
Mythology and Religion
- Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing is the ur-example. (His love interest, Beatrice, is a rare female version of this trope.)
- Guys and Dolls has Sky Masterson.
Sky: I suppose one of these days you'll be getting married.
Nathan: We all gotta go sometime.
Sky: But, Nathan, we can fight it. The companionship of a doll is pleasant even for a period running into months. But for a close relationship that can last through our life, no doll can take the place of aces back to back.
- My Fair Lady has a man who embodies this trope in pretty much every way in Professor Henry Higgins, he even says out loud 'So here I am, a confirmed old bachelor and likely to remain so.' the only hitch is that whether he actually does break down and end up in a relationship in the end. It's clear by the end of the movie he's grown quite fond of Eliza, and unlike the play, they even added a scene at the end where they reunite and, arguably reconcile, but even aside from the May December nature of any potential romance, he's treated her so badly for the whole movie, and even in this last little scene that it's questionable at best how they would ever work as a couple. At the least he learned to love a woman even if they didn't end up married.
- This was based on the play Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw, who added an afterword to the script railing against people who thought that the two main characters would even consider romantic entanglements with each other post-plot.
- In the musical Company, Robert ("Bobby") is a 35-year-old New York bachelor whose circle of non-romantic friends are all couples. In the song "Side By Side By Side" he sings:
"Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Open the door and see all the crazy married people"
- A Subverted Trope in that he decides to stay single for now, while being welcoming of the possibility of marriage in the future.
- H.L. Mencken could be the poster child for this trope, until he fell madly in love with a chronically ill fellow writer.
- C. S. Lewis had a similar situation. He married at 58, and his wife died of cancer two years later. He initially married her to make it easier for her to stay in the United Kingdom, but developed a very strong love for her (chronicled in the film Shadowlands), and continued to raise her sons by her first husband after her death. One of his stepsons is his literary executor.