Ultimately, George Wiess will be laid to rest next to his parents, and that will punctuate the life of a bachelor. The year-old jewelry salesman and retired band director couldn't imagine it another way. He lived alongside them their entire lives, and it was out of loyalty to them that he broke off a year-long engagement, the closest he ever came to marriage.
Nearly one in four Beaumont men 25 and older falls into that category, higher than a national average that has reached a record level, according to Census s and a Pew Research Center study. National social trends, regional demographics and local culture are behind a shift away from marriage. As the urgency to get married has waned and in the wake of the national economic recession, education and employment status have emerged as more important to men and women who are selecting their life-long partners, the Pew study shows.
Aside from hour weeks at Nederland Jewelers, Wiess just goes.
He fishes in East Texas lakes, gambles in Lake Charles casinos and dips his toes in Galveston's surf. Every so often, he leaves work at p.
Many beaumont men opt for bachelorhood
He does all of this, often, by himself. That Weiss is older than 75 and has never wed makes him rare, but that may not be the case decades from now. Pew research shows that the share of never-married Americans declines as age goes up. Never-weds made up just 7 percent of the year-old male population inthe highest age tracked. But researchers also predict, based on decades-old trends, that bythe share of never-weds between the ages of 45 and 54 could reach a record high at 28 percent. Very few people get married for the first time after turning 55 - 0.
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Wiess said he likes that he can do what he wishes, and he makes few long-term plans. A pragmatist, Wiess has kept his home in Southeast Texas because it's not too large to make him feel uncomfortable, but it's close enough to Austin, Houston, Galveston and Lake Charles to keep him entertained, he said.
Mine is you keep growing each day, and when you quit growing, you quit living," Wiess said. Wiess' truck has logged more thanmiles.
He also flies - to timeshares out west with other relatives and several times to Europe and South America, including annual excursions with his parents before his mother passed away 31 years ago. At 24 percent, the share of never-wed men in the city is greater than the overall Southeast Texas, state and U. It is higher than the 20 percent of same-age Beaumont women who have never been married.
Although higher, the reflects a national trend in which the share of never-married Americans of both genders continues to grow - from 9 percent in to 20 percent inaccording to Pew's study. People are waiting longer to get married while others are opting to raise children or live with partners without exchanging vows, Pew experts said.
Nationally, one quarter of never-wed adults between 25 and 34 years old live with a partner, the report said. Based on national averages, cities with higher black populations are going to have a higher share of never-wed men. In the U. Comparable s in Beaumont are not available, but 44 percent of black men 15 and older have never been married, compared to 35 percent of same-aged white men, according to Census data. Culture also matters, and Beaumont's composition doesn't necessarily lend itself to weddings, locals said. Many men working in construction or at petrochemical plants do so on contracts, making it difficult to make long-term plans, she said.
Jamarlon Williamsa year-old North End resident who has never married, said he doesn't view long-term relationships or marriage as urgent. If it ain't, it's not. Beaumont doesn't have that attractiveness to it, to where it makes you want to get out and about. Out of curiosity, he tried online dating websites but was too skeptical for what he described as a modern day blind date, because he ran into false profiles.
He said he has seen people use online dating to build relationships, but he's also witnessed online profiles tempt others to stray away from their ificant others. Meeting people, Williams said, is just the start of a relationship, anyway.
It takes a real commitment to grow one into a marriage, requiring sacrifices for men and women. He was born and raised in Pasadena and put a doctorate in education to use as a band director in Austin, a job he retired from at the age of Through his adult life, he always lived with or near his parents.
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It was such a close family, I had no reason to leave the nest, I guess you'd say, and stayed there and enjoyed staying at home. Weiss nearly formed his own family. In his early 20s, Wiess took his girlfriend to a restaurant in Bay City. They ate dinner, and she accepted his proposal.
My mother can never replace you and you can't replace her. Wiess was not opposed to finding a wife, but he prioritized his parents, he said.
He never again came close to marriage. Six years after he retired, Wiess' mother passed away, in He moved back to Silsbee with his father, who wanted to return to Southeast Texas, his home.
Wiess' father passed away 18 years later, in For the past nine years, Wiess has worked as a jewelry salesman at Nederland Jewelers. He imparts advice to young men looking for wedding rings on what to buy and how to propose, betraying a romantic streak beneath the surface of his bachelor life.
At 78, Wiess has a full life, one filled with friends, family, and a steady social life doing the things he loves, especially travel and music. He also works full time as a salesman at Nederland Jewelers on Dowlen Road, where he often assists customers purchasing their engagement and wedding rings. Beaumont has a statistically higher than average rate of men who have never been married. Wiess doesn't spend much time with Beaumont's bachelors, but he's not alone. Close to 9, Beaumont men age 25 and older have never married, Census data shows.
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