Last (Single) Man Standing

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man alone with cake
The only bachelor left in his inner circle, one man wonders: What now?

Not long ago my friend Graham sent me a text message to bail on a pizza and beer outing. "Way too tired," he wrote. "Parenthood is kicking my ass today." Graham and his wife had spent the day at a birthday party with their two-year-old son, and their afternoon was brutal. "I can only imagine," I typed back.

It was probably the most literal text message I’d ever sent. For me, parenthood truly is something I can only imagine, on account of the fact that I've never known the joys—or challenges—of being a father, let alone a husband. That message was what I like to call a "truth-in-texting" moment: It was a brisk gust of reality's winds circling around me, reminding me that I am wading through my thirties as a single man, a bachelor, the soul survivor of my figurative tribe of Mohicans.

 

Being a bachelor in New York City. What's not to like, right? This place is teeming with single women as diverse as the day is long. It's like a U.N. General Assembly of available ladies, a veritable cornucopia of the finest specimens of the fairer sex. I should be channeling my inner Casanova and plunging headlong into the sea of single life, embracing it and all it has to offer. I should have a refined and unstoppable "game." I should have a little black book (er, Blackberry?) overflowing with phone numbers of my own personal coalition of the willing—to the point where I'd have to put a moratorium on adding newbies to the stable. ("Sorry, babe, I'm all out of space. Why don't you get a Sharpie and scribble your digits on my forearm?") I could be a rock star of a bachelor. The Best Country To Find A Single Man

Would that it were so. That's an interesting, if clichéd, fantasy. The reality is quite different. Because when you find yourself as the last man standing, after all your best friends have paired up, settled down, and had children, your social life goes through a game-changing realignment, and your outlook might require a re-envisioning of its own.