They'll always be single in our hearts.
Every year has its joys and tragedies, and 2014 was no different. We saw many of the men we dreamed would one day whisk us off our feet and out of this mundane existence get tied down by new fiancees and brides with incredible hats. Marriage, that scoundrel, took too many of our dearly beloved bachelors this year. Let's look back at the gorgeous men we lost in 2014.
1. George Clooney (1961-2014)
It's silly, but there are a few bachelors who you think will never get married. People so dashing and roguish that their status as unmarried gentlemen feels eternal. George Clooney was one of those people. Then, on September 27 of this year, he got married. The nation was distraught. Women wore black, and the procession behind Clooney's "Just Married" car stretched for miles. Clooney was more than just a single man—he was an icon. We'll never forget you, George, or the way that even though we've aged quite a bit since we first fell in love with you, you never seem to age at all. You may be claimed by marriage, but if your boyish smile is any indication, you'll never be claimed by death.
2. Dwyane Wade (1982-2014)
It all happened so suddenly. One second, talented, muscle-y Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade was a young guy in his prime, not ready to settle down. He and actress girlfriend Gabrielle Union broke it off in early 2013, and we all breathed a sigh of relief. They were apart long enough that Dwyane actually had a kid with another woman, and then somehow—bam! Mid-2014 and he got married to Union after all. It's hard, but sometimes you have no choice but to assume that God has a plan. You could scream to the heavens or shrug your shoulders and say wisely, "Hey, only the tall marry young."
3. Benedict Cumberbatch (1976-2014)
Perhaps the saddest part about losing Benedict Cumberbatch—who got engaged this year to director Sophie Hunter—is the way he announced he was affianced: in the "Forthcoming Marriages" section of The Times. God, that's classy. And it could have been us. Anyone who was able to overcome the name Benedict Cumberbatch was clearly destined for heartthrob status. But we hardly knew ye, single Benedict Cumberbatch, and now you've been taken away from us. Of course, it's only an engagement, so who knows? They could still break it off. We'll be praying for you, Benny.
4. Brad Pitt (1963-2014)
We've had a long time to say goodbye to bachelor Brad Pitt. His marriage to Angelina Jolie, fortunately or unfortunately, was not the swift, painless kind. It was prolonged, painful. At times it seemed like it might not happen, while at other times it seemed as inevitable as the ebb and flow of the tide. When it finally took place this summer, we felt a surprising amount of relief. Maybe the lesson he left us with is that the finality of getting hitched is preferable to the ambiguity and turmoil of a very long engagement. Also, he looks kind of dumb now anyway.
5. Neil Patrick Harris (1973-2014)
We know we were wrong to keep hoping, long after Neil Patrick Harris came out of the closet, that something might change. Maybe a miracle will happen, we told ourselves, like we were a backward minister and he was our wayward teenage son. We knew, in our heart of hearts, that Neil would never be ours, but on the other hand—that smile, that sense of humor, that incredible talent at musical theater! The last bit of hope died when we heard the news that Harris had married his longtime partner David Burtka this year. We're happy you can finally legally be with the man you love, but we would have been your beard, Neil. We would have been your beard.
6. Justin Timberlake (1981-2014)
Technically, Timberlake has been dead to us since he married Jessica Biel in 2012, but the nail in his bachelor coffin was his wife's (still unconfirmed but pretty obvious) pregnancy. Were we wrong to think his devil-may-care good looks might still be ours even after he married Ms. Biel? We saw the ring on his finger, but a baby is so much more real than a little metal trinket. It's a living, breathing confirmation that Justin belongs to Jessica now. Now he's super dead. Like super super super dead. Figuratively.