Top 43 reasons why men remain single—according to Reddit

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In the past, forced or arranged marriages meant that socially inept, unattractive men did not have to acquire social skills in order to find a long-term love interest. Today, men must be able to turn on the charm if they want to find a partner. Those men who have difficulty flirting, or are unable to impress the opposite sex may remain single because their social skills have not evolved to meet today's societal demands. So says Menelaos Apostolou of the University of Nicosia in Cyprus in a study in Springer's journal Evolutionary Psychological Science. Apostolou analyzed more than 6,700 comments left by men on the popular social news and media aggregation internet site Reddit.

Up to 35 per cent of people in North American and European societies are single or live on their own. To understand why singlehood is so widespread in these Western societies, Apostolou analysed 6,794 of the 13,429 comments that were received following an anonymous post on Reddit in 2017 that asked: "Guys, why are you single?"

His findings indicate that most of the men commenting on the thread were not willingly single but wanted to be in a . Apostolou established at least 43 reasons why these men thought they were single. Having poor looks and being short or bald were the most frequent reasons they put forward, followed by lack of confidence. Not making the effort and simply not being interested in long-term relationships were also high on the list, along with a lack of flirting skills and being too shy. Some said that they had been so badly burnt in previous relationships that they did not dare to get into another. Others felt that they were too picky, did not have the opportunity to meet available women or had different priorities. Some of the men had experienced , sexual problems, or struggled with illness, disability or addiction.

Apostolou says there are evolutionary reasons why some modern men are unable to successfully approach women. According to the so-called mismatch argument, their do not align with the qualities needed today to make a good impression. He explains that in a pre-industrial context, marriages were arranged, male-male competition was strong, and wives were sometimes obtained by force. While in one respect this left men with little choice about who would be their wives, it also meant that their looks were irrelevant, and they did not need to know how to attract the opposite sex. Socially inept and unattractive men may not have been single because their relationships were regulated by their parents.

"Single modern men often lack flirting skills because in an ancestral pre-industrial context, the selection pressures on mechanisms which regulated mating effort and choosiness were weak," Apostolou explains. "Such skills are needed today, because in post-industrial societies mate choice is not regulated or forced, but people have to instead find mates on their own."

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More information: Menelaos Apostolou, Why Men Stay Single? Evidence from Reddit, Evolutionary Psychological Science (2018). DOI: 10.1007/s40806-018-0163-7
Provided by Springer
Citation: Top 43 reasons why men remain single—according to Reddit (2018, August 8) retrieved 16 September 2019 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

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User comments

Aug 08, 2018
But with the rise of computing and networks, it's so much easier for a weirdo to find that one exactly matching weirdo...

Aug 08, 2018
Been my experience that female weird is not the same as male weird. Males & females are immersed in a society that sets rigid rules for what is masculine & what is feminine.

Problem is, people insist on using innate free-will to decide what they think they want in a relationship. And then? They change their minds, on a regular basis.

While insisting that the other person in a relationship, remain unchanging as the mental image that we have of of them.

Potential for conflict? You betcha! Cause other people insist on deciding for themselves what they want out of a relationship.

Thus making your vision of "perfect happiness" obsolete.

Unable to admit our own imperfections, oddities, bad judgement, we blame the 'others" for the failure of a relationship.

If you never learned to compromise? To consider the others motives from their POV? Never learn to"Forgive others failings. As we wish them to forgive our failings".

Easier to just avoid making the effort.

Aug 08, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Aug 08, 2018
Reason 44: involvement in PO discussions...
had to give you props for that one Zeph
and surely you know WTF you're talking about more than anyone else here given your longevity



Been my experience that female weird is not the same as male weird. Males & females are immersed in a society that sets rigid rules for what is masculine & what is feminine
not so sure about that last part anymore considering some of the irrational BS that I've seen in the news lately...

Aug 08, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Aug 09, 2018
The number of my posts here is quite minute
the number of your posts with this particular sock-puppet is low
how many times have you been banned just since I've been on PO?
here is a list that hasn't even been updated this year : http://saposjoint...r#p50515

And I'm married BTW.. ;-)
yeah, and realitycheck has a ToE that he is going to publish while he saves the world -

and benni can do differential equations -

pull the other one!

Aug 09, 2018
3rd worlders keep aborting all their female children (even in the West) and you'll see anarchy before long.

Aug 09, 2018
The socially inept should work on sex robots. Socially capable males should go for some sort of open or polygamous state and in a generation or 3, problem solved.

Aug 10, 2018
The socially inept should work on sex robots.

You don't get social skills that way. Probably the best way is to hang out with friends, relations or just about any talking human you can have in front of you.

Aug 12, 2018
"Those men who have difficulty flirting, or are unable to impress the opposite sex may remain single because their social skills have not evolved to meet today's societal demands"

-Todays society demands a drastic reduction in the population growth rate. There is a reason why the surviving religions discourage flirting and such lascivious expressions. Long term bonds and large families do not result from societies that encourage temptation of the opposite sex.

Man and women have different reproductive strategies, biologically speaking. A man seeks quantity. A female has much more invested in a pregnancy and so seeks the best possible mate for each and every child she wishes to bear.

And the best way of discerning quality is to compel potential suitors to compete.

While biologically preferred, these strategies are obviously anathema to social harmony and tribal cohesion. Which is WHY religions were invented to suppress them.

Aug 12, 2018
Today's sociopolitical prerogatives are far different. Now that the world has been tamed, the emphasis has been shifted from the male quantity to the female quality.

Yes, women are now on top.

They determine when and if they are going to get pregnant, and by whom. They are now allowed to use any and all means to determine relative quality in men. And both sexes have been given lifestyle alternatives which include careers, hobbies, and all sorts of non-procreative sex to expend their energies in more benign ways.

Finally, the whole process of establishing and maintaining long-term relationships has become a very dangerous one, especially for men. An unfortunate comment or gesture can cost a person their careers, their savings, and their freedom.

The thing to consider is that all these changes are as contrived, preconceived, and artificial as those mandated by religion.

"A Time to embrace and a Time to refrain."

Shepherding is never easy but always necessary.

Aug 12, 2018
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Aug 13, 2018
We are living in such an exciting time. You need to be young, stupid, naive or almost impossibly lucky to keep doing what we did since amoebas. Let the chumps breed, leaving something of "their own" behind, their kids or their grandkids will get it one day.
And speaking at historical scale, human breeding and slaving for offspring is over anyway.

Aug 13, 2018
There is no social directive for to have all men married or even keep the singles socially disadvantaged
Sometimes there is, sometimes there isnt.

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."

Aug 13, 2018
males in most fertile age spent substantial portion of their life in monastery
-In addition to a strict caste system which limited reproductive choice and kept a substantial portion of the population malnourished and infertile.

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