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Deconfirmed Bachelor

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When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.
Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing

Bob is a Confirmed 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." Whenever he was in a relationship previously, and his (now ex-)girlfriends asked him if marriage was in their future, he'd always say he wasn't interested in marriage or would string them along until they got fed up with waiting (or trying to convince him to get down on one knee) and left him.

Of course, the marriage gods are not mocked: the more Bob insists he will never, ever marry, the more likely it is that he's going to meet The One. Alice will come along, and by hook or by crook (love at first sight, her feminine wiles, the plotting of friends who would love to see Bob eat his words, or a combination of the above), he ends up willingly, happily tying the knot and leaving bachelorhood behind.

Compare Ladykiller in Love. Contrast Confirmed Bachelor.

Has nothing to do with getting a four-year college degree.

Due to the way this trope involves characterization and gossip, No Real Life Examples, Please!


    open/close all folders 

  • A State Farm commercial starts with a guy at a party with his bros, loudly bragging how he's never going to get married. Cue Gilligan Cut to him buying an engagement ring, eventually starting a suburban family.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Kaoru from I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying is a rare Deconfirmed Bachelorette. She always told her friends that she'd never get married, a fact that they remind her of when they come over to meet her husband for the first time.

    Fan Works 
  • Pete Malloy in this Adam-12 series by Aussielover. He meets Jenny when he is hurt on the job and in need of rescue, and things escalate from there.
  • Too many Emergency! fics to count do this to John Gage. And in this series, Chet Kelly changes his mind after falling for Sandi, a pretty nurse trainee.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • Catcher Block in Down with Love is a legendary Casanova but finds himself questioning his lifestyle when he meets Barbara Novak, who advocates for women to establish identities independent of men.
  • Just as much as the theatre version of Much Ado About Nothing, Benedict and Beatrice are this in the movie.

  • Postman Martin Wackernagel from the 1632 series is a partial aversion; he does marry. Several times, in fact. He won't settle down with any of them, though, preferring to keep riding his rounds and meeting new women to fall in love with. Circumstances conspire to force him to let his last wife in on the secret, and she makes him promise that he won't do it anymore, although she'll leave him alone about his current wives.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Belgariad:
    • In The Belgariad, Silk is a staunch bachelor who is determined to remain single; even when his friends are succumbing to marriage all around him, he informs Garion that if he ever loses his senses and the worst comes to the worst, he still knows how to run. Cue The Malloreon, where he is finally snared by his fellow spy, the relentlessly determined Velvet. In the end, while he moodily admits to Garion that he's finally been caught in his "dotage", he decides to take the bull by the horns and announce their engagement... before asking her to marry him. Her revenge consists of making sure the wedding is set for a date in which every single friend she and Silk have ever had can make it to see her victory over Aloria's most infamous bachelor.
    • In The Belgariad, Zakath makes it clear to Ce'Nedra that he has no faith in marriage, and cynically expects her and Garion to end up unhappy. In The Malloreon, it's revealed his attitude — and his determination to destroy the Murgos and take over the world — is driven by Taur Urgas framing the love of his life in an assassination plot that forced Zakath to execute her before he found out the truth. Even after he starts helping Garion's group and recovering from the trauma and guilt he's been living with, he still remains convinced that his chance has passed and that marriage is not for him. Destiny, however, has other ideas, so he ends up falling in love and happily married despite himself to Cyradis — it helps that the second God of Angarak takes Cyradis' side, not only giving Zakath a kick up the backside to propose, but officiating the wedding before anything can get in the way to prevent it from coming to pass.
  • Erast Fandorin appears to become a confirmed bachelor after the death of his first wife in the very first novel. It takes a midlife crisis for him to consider marrying again (though his second marriage proves disastrous for entirely different reasons).
  • Sherlock Holmes: Lord Robert St. Simon of The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor. He's 41 years old on the day of his wedding to Hatty Doran. Holmes remarks that 41 is "mature for marriage" and a society article announcing the wedding mentions that St. Simon has spent his entire adulthood resisting matrimony. It's strongly implied that his motivation for finally settling down is due to the fact that he's broke and Hatty is rich. But it's subverted when no sooner are the nuptials solemnized Hatty's previous husband, whom she thought was dead, shows up alive and well. And so St. Simon's marriage becomes null and void and he resumes being a bachelor in his forties.
  • 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.
  • Ivan Vorpatril is The Casanova type for most of the Vorkosigan Saga until he falls in love and gets married (not necessarily in that order) in Captain Vorpatril's Alliance. Of course, it is worth noting that he was already growing increasingly desperate to get married, as his generation is tilted towards men at a ratio of nearly 5 to 4, and the girls who used to swoon over him have moved on and married other people.
  • The Wheel of Time: Mat Cauthon remains a Chivalrous Pervert well after his childhood friends settle into committed relationships, but then stumbles into an Accidental Marriage with the Seanchan Empress through a poor choice of words and a prophecy. He and his wife are on good terms by the time it's formalized; he has more trouble with the fact that he's now a nobleman.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bones: Rare female version with Temperance Brennan. She insists marriage is antiquated and relationships are temporary and initially refuses Booth’s plea to commit to him fearing she can’t give him what he wants. But they later become a couple and marry. She doesn’t give up her beliefs but they evolve and she comes to believe exceptions can be made.
  • Bridgerton: Despite being a highly desirable bachelor, Simon Basset is determined not to marry as he wants his abusive father's line to end with him. Nevertheless, he falls for Daphne and they end up married.
  • Danny on CSI: NY:
    Mac: You know, it could happen to you.
    Danny: Marriage?
    Mac: Love.
    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 commitment. Then he falls in love with Monica, and they stay together for the rest of the series. Deconstructed as before this he did want commitment but was scarred by his parents' divorce and hurt whenever he tried to commit. Ironically he turns out to be better at serious relationships than casual dating. He also states Monica made him happier than he'd ever been before.
  • On How I Met Your Mother, Barney and Robin are both this, though Robin is slightly less aggressive about it. They of course beat the narrator Ted down the altar even though he has wanted to get married since the first season. Ted meets his wife at their wedding.
  • On Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Amanda Rollins is another rare female example. She's jaded on the concept of love and relationships, especially marriage, being the product of a highly dysfunctional family with domestic violence. She spends most of the series Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, before finally giving into the Will They or Won't They? relationship she's had with Carisi for seven seasons. She actually jokes minutes before their Relationship Upgrade at Fin's wedding that she doesn't cry at weddings, and if she does, it's only because she "knows how it ends." Yet in her final episode on the series, she and Carisi end up getting married in a private ceremony with only their close friends in attendance, and later, it's revealed she's even considering changing her name.
  • Bernard Nadler from Lost was a bachelor for 56 years before meeting Rose. Five months later he proposed to her and even learning that she had terminal cancer with only a year to live didn't deter him.

    Mythology & Religion 

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Jeff Foxworthy has noted that this happens to a lot of young single men who think they can date until they die.
    "Yeah, that's what we all thought. Then you wake up one day, you're staring at a house, two kids, a mortgage, and a mini-van going "How the hell'd this happen? I was just trying to get laid!"

  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Nathan Detroit, who has managed to avoid actually tying the knot with his long-suffering fiancée for fourteen years, despite Sky's comment that he already speaks in "husband talk" ("Yes, dear.") Needless to say, he too is married by the closing scene.
      Benny Southstreet: Yes, it's too bad that a smart businessman like Nathan had to go and fall in love with his own fiancée.
  • Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing is the ur-example. (His love interest, Beatrice, is a rare female version of this trope.)
  • 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 Yumi's Cells, Control-Z claims to have sworn off dating since his girlfriend of 10 years died in an accident. When he meets Ruby, however, it doesn't take long for them to fall in love and become an item.