IN DIRE STRAITS: Dating opportunities for single straight men bleak as relationship standards rise
Younger and middle-aged men are the loneliest they’ve ever been in generations, and it’s probably going to get worse. From having blind dates at cafés to the rise of dating apps in the digital age, the dating scene has seen a significant transformation. A recent study claims that women are now increasingly selective and have raised their "standards." As a result, single heterosexual men's dating options are becoming more limited.
Dr Greg Matos, a relationship and family psychologist, claims that young and middle-aged men are more lonely than ever and that the situation is likely to worsen, as published in an article by Psychology Today. Dr Matos claims that this is partly because men make up 62 per cent of dating app users, which creates a massive influx of possible mates for women and enables them to become "increasingly selective."
Dr Matos claimed, "I hear recurring dating themes from women between the ages of 25 and 45: They prefer men who are emotionally available, good communicators, and share similar values." He also brought up the fact that men who lack emotional intelligence and don't deal with it are more likely to remain unmarried for a long time.
"The problem for men is that emotional connection is the lifeblood of healthy, long-term love," Dr Matos said. "Emotional connection requires all the skills that families are still not consistently teaching their young boys." In order to allow for some introspection, Dr Matos urges males to "level up" their psychological aspects and see a therapist.
"It means valuing your own internal world and respecting your ideas enough to communicate them effectively. It means seeing intimacy, romance, and emotional connection as worthy of your time and effort," Dr Matos continued. The term "loneliness" was also shown to be more significant in men than in women in a 2021 study that was published in Personality and Individual Differences.
The data from the study also revealed that because of the stigma associated with being lonely, males are less likely to acknowledge it. Women are becoming pickier when it comes to possible suitors, but research shows that males get more selective as they age, especially when it comes to education.
Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology studied over 41,000 Australians, and their findings revealed that males over 40 became the stingiest. Dr Stephen Whyte, the study's lead author, said: "Our study highlights some really interesting findings in regards to both the similarities and differences between men and women's preferences when they are searching for a potential mate. We found that women are more specific than men in their preference up until the age of 40, then males become pickier than females from 40 years old onwards."