The Rise of Lonely, Single Men: Is It a Trend or Something Completely Else?
Lately, many conversations have been made around the topic of the rise of lonely, single men, and an article about it was even published on Psychology Today. Dating experts are highlighting that the number of men surpasses significantly the number of their female counterparts on dating apps and platforms, and they’re using this information to motivate men to upgrade their skills and mindset to become better than their competition.
What does the phrase ‘lonely, single men mean? Are we truly starting to reduce our value as humans to how much we’re worth on a dating market? Let’s explore it more profoundly before adding yet another stereotype to our society.
Single Doesn’t Make You Lonely
Let’s step away from genders for a second. The human race should not be divided by genders and taught how to win over the other pack, yet we should be aware we’re more complex than that. For instance, two single men in their 30’s are not the same person. They will probably have different interests, ways of communication, not to mention personalities. Also, another important point to make here is that being single doesn’t imply that person is lonely.
You can be recovering from your last relationship, wanting to focus more on getting a promotion in the company, or earning a degree that will help you land the job of your dreams. Or, you can simply enjoy the single life and look for interactions with people you’re attracted to that will not necessarily lead to a romantic relationship. And that doesn’t make you lonely and it sure doesn’t make you a ‘work in progress’.
Embracing the Complexity
If we truly want to evolve as human beings and understand better our emotional and mental health wellbeing, we need to treat people as we want others to treat us. Imagine if you got laid off because the company you’ve worked in for years suddenly closed. Your closest friends invite you to a party to cheer you up, yet they introduce you to everyone as unemployed. They don’t mention that you’re their best friend or that you also play tennis. The only thing they highlight about you is that you’re unemployed.
This is what happens when people talk about the ‘rise of lonely, single men’. Just because there are more men than women on dating apps doesn’t mean they are desperate to match with their next romantic or sexual partner. They might be casually looking for fun, clever conversation, or adventure.
Creating Confusion and Fear
If you’re a single man who is looking for a significant other on dating apps, how does this stereotype help you? Aren’t we all encouraging each other to go after what we want? So, why are we adding shame into the mix?
A big portion of the reason can be found in the rise of dating experts across the United States. After all, even many young Americans in their 20s and 30s are reaching out to dating professionals that claim they can help them become a better ‘catch’ and also pair them with the right candidate or two.
Even the term ‘skills’, used to describe which areas men need to improve to be more attractive to women on dating apps makes it sound like there are a few milestones before you reach your ultimate objective. Finding the person you like to begin a new relationship or even friendship with is not a linear process. You can check out all the boxes of an extensive checklist and still not be able to find someone you like or who likes you. These things can happen when you least expect them or when you don’t expect them at all.
Approaching such complex topics this way, we’re only making it worse for those who want to date and are doing what they can to find someone they find interesting to spend their time with. It’s very different when you’re talking to your male friend who is looking to meet someone new and giving them advice based on their situation from putting all men in one category, categorizing them as desperate, and offering them useless advice on what to do about it.
Times Have Changed… And They’ll Continue Changing
There are more single men and there are more single women than before because the times have changed compared to only 10 or 20 years ago. People are no longer spending 10, 20, or even 30 years doing the same job every day. We want to travel and explore the world before we settle down. We want to learn who we are first to be able to love the other person as they truly are. We want to date several people until we find the one that is the right match for us.
All of this implies a lot of emotional and self-reflecting work. This means that the dating criteria you had five years ago maybe don’t work well for you today. Your dating or romantic life doesn’t require you to start seeing a therapist just to be able to find someone. You don’t have to read dozens of books with tips for single men or pay for dating expert services.
Oftentimes, it’s the small things that make a difference. Maybe you should try starting more conversations in your favorite coffee shop, public transport, gym, or park. Maybe you can try to create a profile on a dating app that will show who you are better than trying to be the best ‘catch’. Or, maybe you should focus on trying out different things and opening up to new groups of people.
In Final Words
If you’re a man reading this because you thought there is a serious wave of lonely, single men across the globe, don’t worry. Just be yourself and don’t worry about other men. They might prefer a different type of woman than you or be a completely different person from you. Just be yourself, be honest about your intentions and interest, and if dating apps are not working – don’t give up. There are plenty of places all over the world to enjoy and explore and when you’re least expecting it, you could fall in love.
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