Opinion: Single Men are Lonelier Than Ever

Elle Silver

And it's only going to get worse.

There’s some bad news for men. According to research, not only are people lonelier than ever today, but one study found that men report more loneliness than women.

A Pew Research Center analysis of census data detected the reason for this. Not only are more adults today unpartnered (neither married nor living with a partner), but of this number, men are more likely than women to be single.

Fewer men are in relationships than thirty years ago. Unfortunately, psychologist Greg Matos doesn’t see things getting any better for men.

In fact, he believes things are only going to get worse.

The increasing popularity of dating apps.

One reason men are having such difficulty getting into relationships these days is because of the popularity of dating apps.

Sociologist Michael Rosenfeld found that meeting on dating apps is the typical way people date in the present. On many dating apps, women make the choice of who they will go out with.

With 62% of users being men on such apps, this makes competition fierce.

So men really need to up their game if they want to meet a partner.

Women's dating standards are rising.

Reality shows like FBoy Island may demonstrate that many women still prefer men who don't want commitments and are only up for the thrill of the chase. However, Matos has found a different reality.

The psychologist conducts a live TikTok show every week where he speaks with hundreds of audience members. He hears recurring dating themes from women between the ages of 25 and 45.

"They prefer men who are emotionally available, who are good communicators, and who share their values."

Dr. Matos says men aren't matching up to women's rising standards. "There's less patience for poor communication skills today."

The psychologist blames this on current parenting methods. "The problem for men is that emotional connection is the lifeblood of healthy, long-term love and it requires all the skills that families still are not consistently teaching young boys."

What does this mean for men?

In Dr. Matos’ opinion, “…this means a relationship skills gap that, if not addressed, will likely lead to fewer dating opportunities and longer periods of being single."

Worse, the psychologist believes things will only get worse for single men.

I don’t doubt his claims. With more people working remotely than ever and relying on the internet for fun in their free time, many will continue to isolate. To meet people, folks will continue to use dating apps—the same dating apps that benefit women.

Men will only become more socially awkward as they isolate themselves more. They’ll continue to lose in dating.

Loneliness in men will, indeed, get worse.

What can be done?

I recommend talk therapy for men to address where their loneliness comes from and to learn better social skills.

Now that the pandemic has moved into an endemic stage, men can sign up for classes and social clubs again as a way to meet women in the real world.

And parents also need to take ownership of how they’re bringing up today’s young men. Parents need to get better at teaching young men the social skills they will need to meet partners in the future.

Otherwise, the inevitable may prove true: loneliness in men will only increase.

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I write about dating, marriage, divorce, family, society, and the city I live in: Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, CA
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