Washington DC: Stop tagging your friends on 'forever single' memes and start working on your social skills because according to a recent study, men with poor social skills are more likely to remain single.
To understand why singlehood is so widespread in countries like North American and European societies, Menelaos Apostolou, of the University of Nicosia, 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?"
The findings indicated that most of the men commenting on the thread were not willingly single, but wanted to be in a relationship. 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 mental health issues, sexual problems, or struggled with illness, disability or addiction.
According to Apostolou, there are evolutionary reasons why some modern men are unable to successfully approach women. According to the so-called mismatch argument, their social skills do not align with the qualities needed to make a good impression. He explains that in the past, forced or arranged marriages meant that socially inept, men did not have to acquire social skills in order to find a long-term love interest. The competition between men was strong, and wives were sometimes obtained by force.
"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. 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," Apostolou explains.
The full findings appeared in the Evolutionary Psychological Science journal.
Here is the complete list:
- Poor looks (including baldness, and short stature)
- Low self-esteem/confidence
- Low effort
- Not interested in relationships
- Poor flirting skills
- Recently broke up
- Bad experiences from previous relationships
- No available women
- Different priorities
- Too picky
- Lack of time
- Social awkward
- Enjoying being single
- Poor character
- Difficult to find women to match
- Poor mental health
- Lack of achievements
- Stuck with one girl
- Lack of social skills
- Have not got over previous relationship
- Don’t know how to start a relationship
- Lack of money
- I do not trust women
- Not picking up clues of interest
- Sexual issue
- Fear of relationships
- 'I am not interesting'
- Fear of rejection
- 'I will not be a good partner'
- Attracted to the wrong women
- Given up
- Is not worth the effort
- Fear of commitment
- Health — disability issue
- Difficult to keep a relationship