This character is one who is not just unmarried, not just uninterested in marriage, but for one reason or another is staunchly against marriage. They may be against the institution of marriage itself and believe that no one should get married, or simply be opposed to the idea of getting married themselves. Most examples are male, but females can count as well. With the increasing legality of gay marriage, gay characters can fall into this as well if marriage is available to them but they make a point of eschewing it.
There can be a few reasons for this:
- The He-Man Woman Hater Bachelor: This character is a Straw Misogynist (or Does Not Like Men if female), in which case expect to see them Mistaken for Gay, assuming they're not...
- The Closet Gay Bachelor: Pretends to be one of the other types to explain why they're single, but it's really just a cover. The term "confirmed bachelor" is often used winkingly as a euphemism for this, although its broader definition is the original one and still widely used.
- The Lost Love Bachelor: This character might have considered marriage, but their preferred partner is unavailable (either deceased, married to another, of the wrong orientation, or just uninterested) and they are unwilling to settle for someone else. May seize on a He-Man Woman Hater attitude as an excuse, similar in some ways to the above.
- The Casanova Bachelor: On the flip side, they may like the opposite sex just fine and either prefer the single lifestyle or Really Get Around and enjoy variety a little too much to settle down with just one person. Or in the case of the Casanova Wannabe, they may just aspire to this.
- The Commitmentphobic Bachelor: Somewhere in the middle, this character enjoys romance but has issues that keep them from getting all the way down the aisle. May overlap with Serial Romeo or In Love with Love, especially if they believe that marriage would somehow kill the spark between them and their amore.
- The Uninterested In Love Bachelor: This character simply has no interest in love or romance, let alone marriage, being too busy with other pursuits. Often overlaps with Married to the Job in cases where the character is too buried in their work to even try to find a suitable spouse, as opposed to cases where they try and fail or wish they had the time to try. For much the same reason, can overlap with Celibate Eccentric Genius. If the entire cast is like this despite being of an appropriate age for romance, it's No Hugging, No Kissing. Often overlaps with Asexuality in fiction, although real-life asexuals are often still interested in romance and companionship and some do marry note
Whatever the reason, the end result is a character who would otherwise be considered marriageable — is of the proper age, reasonably attractive, financially stable, confident, hasn't taken a Vow of Celibacy, etc. — who nevertheless is unmarried, has never been married, and is not expected to become married.
Often overlaps with Celibate Hero. If one of these characters winds up getting "turned" and becomes Happily Married, they have become a Deconfirmed Bachelor. Compare Awful Wedded Life, which is what many Confirmed Bachelors consider marriage to be. Spouses trapped in an Awful Wedded Life often express anti-marriage sentiments similar to those of certain types of Confirmed Bachelor. See also Superheroes Stay Single, when celibacy is enforced by the authors rather than self willingness.
- In Death Note, L and Light Yagami fall into the Married to the Job category. Light does become engaged to Misa, but never follows through and his reasons have little to do with romance in any case. Despite the Foe Romance Subtext, they are not canonically of the closet gay variety.
- Robert E.O. Speedwagon from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is stated to have been a "lifelong bachelor," although since none of his character development involved romance, which specific category he falls into is a matter of debate.
- Anne from My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! shows little to no interest in getting married because it would mean she couldn't serve Catarina anymore, even turning down Duke Claes' offer to find her a good husband after the awful Arranged Marriage her father tries to force her into falls through.
- Most versions of Bruce Wayne are The Casanova type in his public persona. His private reasons are closer to a combination of Married to the Job and It's Not You, It's My Enemies.
- EC Comics story "Operation Friendship" has one of these who's more the He-Man Woman Hater type (thinks they're not intellectual enough for him.) He does not take his Heterosexual Life-Partner finally finding a wife well. Not at all well.
- Green Arrow has been portrayed as commitmentphobic, for example, realising that a Lotus-Eater Machine where he was married to his son's mother wasn't his perfect world, but the perfect world other people wanted for him. He becomes a Deconfirmed Bachelor in Green Arrow and Black Canary, but the marriage only lasts 32 issues. His former sidekick Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow is The Casanova and spends his friend Aqualad/Tempest's wedding decrying marriage even as a concept.
- Scrooge McDuck in all of his incarnations, due both to the increased expenses marriage and children would incur and his personal need to appear as strong, aloof and hardhearted as possible. He refers to his New Old Flame Glittering Goldie O'Gilt (a woman he kidnapped and held hostage for a month as revenge for drugging and robbing him during the Yukon Gold Rush) as "the only live one I ever knew."
- Early Summer: A rare female example in Noriko's friend Aya, who doesn't want to be married and mocks her married friends for the hassles and concerns they have to deal with in married life. She isn't that sincere about it, however. Late in the film when Mr. Manabe drops by and Noriko expresses reluctance to take a look at him after she's decided to marry Kenkichi, Aya says "I may marry who's left."
- Marriage Italian Style has Domenico, a wealthy bachelor who enjoys a comfortable life with lots of girlfriends and hookers. He's marriage-phobic enough that his most faithful hooker girlfriend Filomena can't get him to commit, despite the fact that she's Sophia Loren. When Domenico finally does decide at age 50 to get married to a much younger girl, after 20 years of a Friends with Benefits relationship with Filomena, she's outraged.
- The plot of The Da Vinci Code centers around attempts to prove that Jesus, contrary to his depiction in The Bible (see under Religion), averted this trope with Mary Magdalene.
- In Louisa May Alcott's Eight Cousins and its sequel, Uncle Alec is this, of the Lost Love variety. Several hints are dropped in the narrative that he had been in love with Rose, who had married his brother George and died giving birth to their daughter of the same name. Alec and George had a falling out some years earlier, quite possibly over Rose Senior, but made it up the last time they saw each other before George died; as part of the reconciliation, George left guardianship of Rose Junior to Alec. Alec becomes as completely devoted to his niece as if she were his daughter, and never gets involved with anyone else.
- Harry Potter:
- Both Snape and Dumbledore are bachelors for pretty similar reasons.
- Snape is of the "love lost" variety. Hed been in love with Harrys mom, Lily since they were kids. She didnt reciprocate and he pushed her friendship away when he called her a Fantastic Slur and became a Death Eater. He fairly directly caused her death and he just wasnt ever able to move on from her specifically or forgive himself for it. Although Voldemort says he tried to convince him hed moved on, implying he may have fake-dated someone.
- Dumbledore is of the "gay before it was socially acceptable" type and of the one attempt at love ended in catastrophe type like Snape. Right after he graduated from Hogwarts, his mother died and he got a Promotion to Parent over his two younger siblings. A fresh out of getting kicked out of Durmstrang Grindelwald came knocking to his village and manipulated him into running off with him with his mentally ill sister in tow for a whole year. His brother tried to stop them and she got killed in the crossfire. He was also never able to forgive himself for it and decided from there on out, he was going to be a teacher and not ever get involved with anyone else. Although its left ambiguous if Grindelwald ever actually reciprocated or if it was just manipulation.
- Word of God also mentions Ron's older brother Charlie never married or had children, being more interested in studying dragons than romance.
- Both Snape and Dumbledore are bachelors for pretty similar reasons.
- Martin the Warrior from the Redwall series is an example of the Lost Love type. It's not known if he and Rose ever considered marriage, but he never gets over her death in the Battle of Marshank and never becomes romantically involved with another character.
- Sherlock Holmes is one of these because, he asserts, strong emotions such as love would interfere with his ability to be a perfect reasoning machine.
- Ser Brynden Tully from A Song of Ice and Fire, also known as The Blackfish, is famous for his refusal to marry, despite living in a world where Arranged Marriages are the norm and the decision requiring him to cut ties with much of his family. Fanon has him of the closet gay variety (enforced by the setting, which is not gay-friendly), although he has no known lovers of either gender.
- P. G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster gets deliberately engaged a time or two early in the series, but the attempts inevitably fall through and as the stories progress, he begins actively avoiding marriage. Unfortunately, he still often becomes accidentally engaged and must rely on his valet Jeeves to get him out of it.
- The Wheel of Time: Very few Aes Sedai (female magic-users) marry, many being Married to the Job and some of the rest informally pairing up with each other in the largely women-only White Tower. The fact that they'd be very likely to outlive any prospective husband doesn't help. The few exceptions are mostly of the Green (Battle) Ajah, who often marry their Warders in a Lady and Knight Battle Couple arrangement. Defied by their male counterparts the Asha'man. Those who are already married when they're recruited are allowed to quarter with their families at the Black Tower and those who aren't married are encouraged to do so if they find a willing partner, on the theory that they'll fight harder if they have someone to fight for rather than locking themselves away in an ivory tower as the Aes Sedai do.
- AdamTwelve Pete Malloy for most of the series. He outright tells Reed that he doesnt think marriage is for him and likes meeting different girls and keeping his solitude at home. He may have evolved after dating Judy near the end though.
- Cobra Kai has returning characters Kumiko and Chozen Toguchi from The Karate Kid Part II. Kumiko has unmarried throughout her whole life despite her aunt's wishes, and there is no indication that Chozen ever married or had any children, when Daniel questions him about it.
Kumiko: I stayed, uh... What was your word for it? A "free agent".
Daniel: Come on, I'm supposed to believe that a guy never got a ring on that finger?
Kumiko: Many tried. But... none of them fought to the death for me.
- Dragnet had the same thing with Friday, with Bill always saying he should get married.
- Rounding out the trio, Chet on Emergency! (Johnny seemed receptive to it down the road)
Chet: I'm all for weddings... as long as it's not my own.
- In the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman episode "The Body Electric", Grace is the only person not bothered by rumors of Walt Whitman's sexuality—"Where I come from (New Orleans), we had all kinds of folks. Plenty of families had their bachelor uncles and maiden aunts."
- In the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Murdoch Escape Room", Detective Watts calls himself a "confirmed bachelor" to Miss Cherry. He's a closeted gay man claiming to be the lost love version, although everything he says about his lost love apart from claiming Jack was "Jacqueline" is true.
- In The Bible, Jesus is depicted as the Married to the Job variety, too busy spreading His teachings and generally being a really cool guy to worry about romance.
- St. Augustine embraced The Casanova variant of this lifestyle in his youth, famously praying, "Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet." His prayers were apparently answered when he converted to Christianity and entered the priesthood some years later.
- Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing is explicitly called a confirmed bachelor. In regards to women, he calls himself a "professed tyrant of their sex." That doesn't actually last long.
- Professor Henry Higgins from My Fair Lady is of the He-Man Woman Hater variety, believing that marriage would destroy his domestic bliss. The song "I'm an Ordinary Man" is all about the chaos he thinks a wife would bring to his life.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, the perk that identifies male characters as homosexual is named "Confirmed Bachelor", thus giving the player the opportunity to invoke the closet gay variety.
- Prizmo in Adventure Time is averse to romantic relationships because of the compromises they demand, using the ever-present question of coordinating dinner plans as an example. Jake says that he has an overly-bleak outlook on relationships and ends the episode saying that he needs to get that guy a girlfriend, although Prizmo seems more interested in Jake than women.
- Granddad on The Boondocks says at one point that he believes that "all marriage is wrong." It's unclear if he was serious or if he was jokingly trying to evade the question of his stance on gay marriage, but aside from raising his grandchildren, he certainly does fall into the Casanova Wannabe subtype in his lifestyle.
- Scrooge McDuck in DuckTales (1987), something he loudly re-affirms after Ma Beagle ran a scam faking a marriage with him so she could get at his fortune. This seems to be a more recent development, however; in his youth, he seriously considered marrying Glittering Goldie, and there's clearly still something between them in the episodes where she appears.
- The only unmarried President of the United States was James Buchanan, although the exact reason for this is debatable. It might be a lost love example. He was engaged to a wealthy woman as a young lawyer but the relationship ended quite suddenly after she heard rumors he was marrying her for money and she died under mysterious circumstances (likely suicide) shortly thereafter. He was notoriously Commitmentphobic, both in politics and his personal life, the former of which lead to the start of The American Civil War. He might also have been, to use modern terms, asexual or gay. He lived with a man, Alabama politician William Rufus King, for over a decade. They were both effeminate and King was widely referred to as Mrs Buchanan or Aunt Fancy by Andrew Jackson more specifically. These sorts of living arrangements werent uncommon in the mid 19th century and politicians in that era were notoriously catty but on the other hand, King referred to their relationship as communion. All of their correspondence to each other were destroyed so there is no definitive answer about the nature of their relationship.
- There is some dispute among historians whether Leonardo da Vinci was of the Married to the Job type or the closet gay type; regardless, he never married.
- Washington Irving, author of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, never married. Apparently he was socially more competent at friendship than love, and at least one biographer called him a better brother than a lover.
- C. S. Lewis seems to have been the "Uninterested in Love" variety for most of his life until he met Joy Gresham and married her at the age of 58. Even then, it was only a Citizenship Marriage at first, until she got cancer and he realized how much he needed her.
- Sir Isaac Newton was likely a combination of Married to the Job and He-Man Woman Hater; he proudly claimed to be a virgin on his deathbed and Voltaire wrote of him that he "had neither passion nor weakness; he never went near any woman."
- Nikola Tesla was a lifelong bachelor despite accounts of women vying for his affection, claiming that chastity was helpful in his scientific abilities. Toward the end of his life, however, he expressed some regret about this. note