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As a Man: Most eligible bachelor: Eligible for what?

Published:Sunday | April 3, 2016 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

Most eligible bachelor: Eligible for what?

Every now and then, a list comes out in a publication targeting women, naming a few men tabbed as the 'most eligible bachelors'. The title would suggest that these are the men on the nuptials market whom women should most desire not only to be with, but to also marry, which is a whole different ball game.

Whenever I encounter these lists, I tend to react with a mixture of amusement and alarm. The funny side comes from how alike the men tend to be - much like beauty contest hopefuls who seem made from a reproductive assembly line. However, I am disturbed by what is not taken into consideration in determining that a man or particular set of men are the best choices out there for a woman, who is feeling the bridal urge, to snag for a short trip down an aisle.

The most eligible bachelor lists target women and, I assume, are put together by women (I cannot conceive of it any other way). If taken seriously, they indicate a mindset that means quite a few women are in a whole lot of trouble when it comes to selecting someone to enter into a long-term union, which may produce children.

It is not the attributes which are listed which disturbs me, but what is missing. For while the job (which means money) and glamour shot (of whatever are considered good looks) are there, the things I would believe a sensible woman should ask for in a marriage are not.

There is never any mention of loyalty - and I am not even talking about the sticking-to-one-girl kind of loyalty, but being around when the going gets rough. Is he the type of fellow who will hold his ground when she gets sick, whether it is the flu or something more serious and less fleeting? Will he be there if the career is not working out as hoped, and the finances get a bit tight? Will he abandon ship when the grey hairs start to come in and things begin to sag?

There is also never any consideration about his long-term vision. Does he plan to own a home, prepare for his children's future and old age, or is it a 'live for now' kind of thinking?

It goes on. Will he read to his children and help them with homework? Heck, will he even be there, or is the regular night out with the boys too important to skip?

If these most eligible bachelor lists are an indication of how quite a few women go about settling on a long-term partner, then whatever they get they deserve. Sure, they may luck out and actually find a number of desirable long-term characteristics in a man deemed most eligible, but there is a very strong possibility that a man who would be interested in being on such a list is not thinking past the surface of appearances.

Still, it may be that that is all the women interested in most eligible bachelors require, so it is happily ever after all around.