Dating a Permanent Bachelor

He's got a relatively new girlfriend now (Stacey Keibler) but if Clooney's past relationships are anything to go …

George Clooney, America's favorite heartthrob, is famous for saying he's never getting married, although he was married, once. That union was to the actress Talia Balsam, who Clooney wed in 1989. The marriage ended in 1993. Clooney has dated some of the most desirable (and marriageable) women in the world, including the actresses Julia Roberts, Renee Zellweger, Kelly Preston, Lucy Liu, and Teri Hatcher, as well as the Italian siren Elisabetta Canalis. His current girlfriend, Stacy Keibler, recently told People magazine, "George Clooney is the best date in the world." And Clooney, 50, seems to want to keep it at that. "People forget that I was married," he told "Us"magazine. "I love that."

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Many handsome, witty, wealthy, successful, highly eligible men, it turns out, have been married -even briefly -- before deciding matrimony isn't their thing. It's crazy, but the more a man claims he's not the marrying kind, the more women want to marry him. Snaring a committed bachelor is a game many women enjoy playing. Some cite Annette Bening's successful marriage to long time committed playboy bachelor Warren Beatty as inspiration. That marriage, by the way, was Annette's second; Warren's first.

How do you spot a committed bachelor and separate him from the guy who's just between nuptials? It's easy if you know what to look for. A man who is between marriages is usually candid about his desire to be in a committed relationship. Guys who were reasonably happily married once before usually hope to repeat the experience. These are men who aren't comfortable dating around. They don't want to play the field. They crave emotional security and monogamy. They openly say they want another wife.

Some guys crave emotional security and monogamy but not the responsibilities of marriage. These men want one girlfriend, but not a wedding band. Unless you're willing to stick to an ultimatum, it's hard to get these kind of guys remarried, especially if they're happy in the current relationship. If you really want to get married to a guy in this situation, it's possible, but you'll have your work cut out for you getting there.

A dedicated bachelor will almost always announce himself as such. He'll repeat, over and over if necessary, "I'm not getting married again." Some women consider these almost fighting words and definitely a challenge.They will work hard to get the guy to change his tune. That rarely happens unless there's a major incentive involved, such as it's the only way he or she can get health insurance.You'd be surprised how many middle-aged couples finally wed over that.

Genuine bachelors are commitment phobes and the signs are always there. A commitment phobe is a guy who calls his married guy friends "losers," and who constantly mocks the institution. Real bachelors seldom date any woman for more than a few months.They are scrupulous about not leaving things behind, like a toothbrush or a change of socks.They never refer to you as a couple. Unless they're confirming a dinner reservation, they rarely say "we" or "us."

Because committed bachelors are so alluring and sexy, how do you get the most out of the relationship while it lasts? The trick is to stay in the moment and be spontaneous. Don't project into the future. Deliberately avoid making plans. It's not a bad idea to be a bit elusive and uncommitted yourself. In general, be less available. Make him wonder what you're thinking. Most importantly, be "up for anything," including last-minute getaways and adventure and a willingness to hop on a plane.

Ever watch that TV show "The Bachelor"? Notice how every one of them always want to do wild and crazy things on their dates? That's how to best enjoy a bachelor. Mirror him. Embrace his thrill of the moment, make-no-plans mindset, and be ready for anything. Sometimes these guys do get married or remarried -- when they realize they've found their soul mate.

Eve Marx is the author of eight sex books. Her titles include "What's Your Sexual IQ?," "Flirtspeak: The Sexy Language of Flirtation," "The Goddess Orgasm," and "101 Things You Didn't Know About Sex."