Last week, Psychology Today released an article on “The Rise of Lonely Single Men”. The psychologist who wrote it noted that men compromise the majority of dating app users which makes women feel overwhelmed by the choices they have online (the article seemed to only be addressing heterosexual men looking to date women heterosexual women). But the part that interested me the most was where Dr. Greg Matos said that relationship standards have increased and that men need to address their lack of relationship skills to better meet these expectations.
If you spend any time online, you will find a litany of dating advice especially towards Black women as to why we are single. Men, particularly Black men, tell us it’s because we’re too aggressive or we demand too much. The interesting part about this article is that the demanding too much part might be true. But we’re not demanding anything that cannot be done, it’s just that most people will always choose the easiest solution to their problem.
The article noted that women are expecting men to be able to communicate, connect emotionally to their partners, and be able to contribute to the emotional aspect of a relationship. Long gone are the days where a man was just able to provide but be emotionally distant. And men why would you want that? Part of being in a healthy intimate relationship is the fact that someone is there to help you navigate life and to be a soundboard. By not engaging in the emotional part, you are missing out on some of the best parts of your relationship.
Dr. Matos advises parents to start instilling healthy coping skills into their sons from a young age and for men to seek therapy if they are willing. I love that women are not willing to accept the bare minimum anymore just to say that they are partnered. And while being in a relationship is not the end all be all, men tend to benefit more from relationships than women because women tend to do all the emotional labor and planning in relationships. As a woman who is currently using a dating app, I can attest that the communication skills of most of the men I’ve met are pretty much nonexistent. Gentlemen, asking us how we’re doing 5 times a day is not a conversation and being able to make plans and express your desires are basic life skills. I would hope that while so many men are single, they are taking the time to work on themselves so that they can bring their best selves to their next relationship.
My hope and Dr. Matos’s hope is that because relationship standards have increased this will give men the opportunity to work on their emotional health which will improve the overall health of relationships and could revolutionize dating. Not only would this revolutionize dating but think about how much this improves our society by giving men the necessary tools to express their emotions. Maybe this could decrease the rise of incels, or mass murder as most mast murders are committed by men. I truly hope that men heed this advice and that parents of young boys heed this advice as well. Being a man is so much more than just being able to provide, it’s the opportunity to lead by example and to tap into all the sides that make you a human, that includes your emotions too.