09/21/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Meet The Male Spinster

"These guys get labeled playboy, loser, commitment-phobe," says Carl Weisman, author of So Why Have You Never Been Married? According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, in 1980 only 6 percent of men between 40 and 44 had never been married; in 2008 it was 16 percent. But even though there are more of them around, men with long-term single status still have a hard time explaining their situation to potential dates, who see a guy entering middle age without ever having been married as damaged goods. In fact, a man whose marriage failed spectacularly tends to arouse less suspicion than a straight, still-single 41-year-old. "If he's over 40, you would hope that he's divorced," says Janis Spindel, a high-end matchmaker in New York who gets calls from hundreds of single women asking for setups. Evidence that even unmarried men in their mid-thirties are suspect is in her fee structure: The up-front charge for guys under 35 is $25,000; for those 35-plus it's $50,000.