It seems like it’s harder than ever to be a single heterosexual person looking for love. Judging by the endless dispatches from my female friends in the trenches of the dating pool, it’s impossible to find a single man who isn’t An Arsehole. These friends report being condescended, fetishized, or insulted by potential dates, who apparently think that’s how they’re going to find the woman of their dreams.
It should therefore come as no surprise that an article goes viral Psychology today has found that it is a shift toward healthy relationship standards that poses the biggest obstacle for heterosexual single men right now. The article, entitled “The Rise of Lonely, Single Men”, was intended to highlight a growing problem – a 2020 study found that loneliness is greater in men than in women, with young men most vulnerable to becoming lonely . But, as one Twitter user pointed out, one of the points of the article is that this loneliness has been exacerbated by the diminishing dating opportunities for men as women seek the higher standards. Put on the pile.
Couples psychologist Dr. Greg Matos, who wrote the article, wrote that women are “increasingly selective” because dating apps offer a large number of options. “I hear recurring dating themes from women between the ages of 25 and 45,” he wrote. “They prefer men who are emotionally available, good communicators and share similar values.”
Now this criterion hardly sounds impossible to fulfill. If we boil it down, wanting a partner who can be there for you when you need them and treat you with respect is the least of the least. If these are “new relationship standards”, I shudder to think how much lower the bar was before. But if this means women finally realize they deserve better than toxic, narcissistic men, then more power to us.
The article has gained traction on social media, with many women pointing out that the rise in healthy relationship standards has led to a decline in “dating opportunities” for straight men. Referring to the criteria listed by women for potential partners, one person said: “The bar for straight men is the literal ground, and they will still tunnel under it.” Another added: “Women just aren’t desperate enough to settle for trash men anymore.”
The problem is not that straight women have finally realized their worth and demand to be treated better in a relationship. The problem is that straight men have not come to terms with their own toxic masculinity and archaic patriarchal values. They won’t find their romantic lives improving until they take it upon themselves to dig deeper and find out what it means to be “emotionally available”. Until they learn that being a good partner means being open with your thoughts, feelings, and needs, while also holding space for your significant other. And until they stop explaining and listen for once.
Straight men have not come to terms with the fact that the problem is rooted in their own toxic masculinity and archaic patriarchal values
The straight man’s reputation is not helped by people who Big Brother Star and lifestyle influencer Andrew Tate, whose views on women as “man’s property” are so misogynistic that a charity this week asked TikTok to remove him from the platform. In fact, the internet has done a huge disservice to straight young men, many of whom are isolated and told that their singleness has nothing to do with them and everything to do with women’s faults. This exploitation of loneliness is how incels became one of the most harmful movements of modern times.
Reacting to the article via Twitter are a number of men who insist that women are “too picky” and have “double standards”. They claim that they actually have great personalities and that women just don’t want to date them because they aren’t good looking. “Women are just too complicated,” these same men will proclaim, ignoring dozens of women who tell them exactly how they want to be treated; with respect, dignity, tenderness.
This type of thinking is much more harmful to men than to women. Research shows that men are at higher risk of isolation because they make friends less easily and do not participate in as many social activities or community groups as women. It has also been suggested that men benefit more from marriage than women, and married men report being happier and healthier.
In contrast, women benefit far more from being alone. According to Professor Paul Dolan, a happiness expert and professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics, the “healthiest and happiest population sub-group are women who never married or had children”. Men need women far more than women need men, it seems. So, single straight men, it’s time to look within, buckle up and treat women right. At the end of the day, it will contribute to a better and happier society.