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The number of lonely, single men is on the rise

A recent Psychology Today article ascribes the increase to rising relationship standards

M*n. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them, right? Except, we definitely can live without them. In fact, we can thrive without them – research shows that unmarried, childless women are the happiest subgroup in the UK. 

As we’re collectively coming to this realisation that most men, truly, aren’t worth the effort, it’s no surprise that a recent Psychology Today article published earlier this week suggested that the number of “lonely, single men” is growing. Sad!

The psychologist who wrote the article, Greg Matos, cites a recent study from Pew Research which found that men are now “more likely than women to be unpartnered, which wasn’t the case 30 years ago.” According to Matos, this is largely because “dating opportunities for heterosexual men are diminishing as healthy relationship standards increase” and “a relationship skills gap”.

Matos also reckons that because men make up around 62 per cent of all dating app users, their chances of finding a match are lower to begin with. Essentially, supply is outstripping demand, as women are becoming increasingly comfortable with staying single until the right man (read: someone with basic emotional intelligence who knows how to operate a washing machine) comes along.

Matos has some suggestions for men who are struggling to find love. “Level up your mental health game. That means getting into some individual therapy to address your skills gap. 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,” he writes. 

“Ultimately, we have an opportunity to revolutionise romantic relationships and establish new healthy norms starting with a first date,” he continues. “It’s likely that some of these romances will be transformative and healing, disrupting generational trauma, and establishing a fresh culture of admiration and validation.”

Sounds great! Florence Given stans are vindicated! This is a sign that we really do ‘know our worth’ and are ‘refusing to settle for less than we deserve’! Slay! In all seriousness though, catchy girlboss slogans like these have become banal platitudes in online feminist circles, but still, at their core, they promote an important and empowering message. Nobody can deny that politely declining to be a man’s mother-maid-therapist-assistant is a sign of progress, and there’s hope that by withholding our love and care from trash men, they’ll finally change their attitudes and become better boyfriends in more egalitarian relationships. 

But, at the same time, many of us know – often firsthand – that lonely men are dangerous. On one end of the spectrum, Nice Guys™ who feel entitled to a woman’s attention are prone to lashing out when they’re gently let down. On the other end, incels often turn to violence – as was the case with Plymouth shooter Jake Davidson last year. With this in mind – paired with the worrying rising popularity of misogynistic social media personalities like Andrew Tate – does this news that men are increasingly lonely mean that we can expect to see increasing numbers of radicalised misogynists?

Misogyny is ultimately a societal problem, one that will take years to address. But if, on an individual level, we’re feeling confident enough to swipe left on men who don’t know how to load a dishwasher? For now, at least, I’ll take that.