Unmarried Men in Colorado

August 6 2006, 8:13 AM

The New York Times has a four page article on unmarried men without college degrees approaching middle age alone.

For men without higher education, though, dwindling prospects in the labor market have made a growing percentage either unwilling to marry or unable to find someone to marry them.

Two of the men featured are from Colorado. One is Tom Ryan.

Tom Ryan used to share a home outside Denver with a girlfriend but now lives alone, enjoying the ability to keep the house as he pleases. That includes a hat rack covered with dozens of commemorative baseball caps. ....His girlfriend, who had been with him for six years, had wanted to marry and have a child. But Mr. Ryan, who attended music college for a year and spent his 20's singing in a local rock band, did not feel ready.....He loved her, he recalled one afternoon this summer, but was reluctant to settle down. ...."Later in life, will I miss the fact that I don't have a little son or daughter around?" Mr. Ryan asked. "I probably will. But it's not totally out of the question."

The second is Doug Thomas, now in Fort Collins, but who is thinking of moving to Denver because there might be more women to date.

Doug Thomas, 45, a computer technician with one year of college, has spent more of his adult life securing his financial footing than he has searching for a wife....It is only now, working for Hewlett-Packard, that he has been able to pay off debts and build a nest egg. ....One way he has cut costs is by giving up his expensive one-bedroom apartment. Two years ago, he rented a room in a town house from Anna Mahoney, a single woman four years his junior. They pool household purchases and buy in bulk. Their platonic friendship serves as a stand-in for their families, who live out of state. ....Yet their domesticity has also bred a level of intimacy that can alienate romantic partners. Ms. Mahoney frequently refers to herself and Mr. Thomas as "we." Mr. Thomas dutifully churns the oil in the jars of almond butter and takes out the garbage."She always says: ‘You're going to be my roommate forever. Then when I get married, you're going to live in my basement,' " Mr. Thomas said. "I'm like, ‘Pleeease. When you start dating, I'm going to be so out of there.' "

Thomas had a girlfriend for a while, but she thought he was too close to Mahoney.

"I miss her horribly," Mr. Thomas said quietly one recent Saturday after stopping at a health store to buy vitamins on Ms. Mahoney's shopping list.

Shrinking pool of wifely candidates or no, I have a feeling Ryan and Thomas' phones will be ringing off the hook for the next couple of weeks.

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