Founder Blog: The Rise of the Lonely, Single Men...
You may have read my previous post about my nightmare. If you haven't (link here), in a nutshell - my recurring nightmare is an idea which may actually happen. I truly believe that if we don't do something different, then by 2035, we may all find ourselves with celibacy syndrome. Even more so, I believe that in the future, all of the women will be having solo IVF, and all of the men will be simply walking around - depressed - with their briefcases.
It frightens the Hell out of me. So where am I going with this...?
Last month, an article was published in Psychology Today entitled 'The Rise of Lonely, Single Men'. The media naturally got hold of this story and it hit the mainstream media. From the article, three broad trends were identified in regards to heterosexual men. One being, the fact that women are merely demanding more from men - they want someone who is more emotionally available, whilst also being a good communicator who shares similar values. Apparently, because men are erm... not so good at all of these things(?), women are, apparently, ditching them.
The article goes on to state that men have 'relationship skill deficits' that they need to address, and if they don't work on such skills... well, the likelihood of them meeting the woman of their dreams is about as possible as me seeing a unicorn walking down my small private road here in St Albans. You're also more likely to remain single for longer periods of time, potentially (according to the research) ending up as part of the young and middle-aged group of men who have given up on dating, who are now the loneliest they've been in generations.
Back to my nightmare. This isn't going away, and it is probably going to get worse.
Whilst building this app, (after a couple of failed Upwork contractors) I took on the role of PR person. And what I discovered is that there are barely any male journalists who write about relationships, emotions, and serious dating - nor love. To prove this, let's take a quick look at two of the most successful glossy, male-focused magazines.
First, let's check out the one with the page title of 'Sex and Relationships', and find out what kind of 'advice' they are helping guys out with? Well, here it is...
- The best suction sex toys go beyond the vibrator
- The best sex toys to buy on Amazon right now
- An impassioned case for buying a sex blanket
- The best masturbator toys will put you in better hands
- The best massage products simply feel amazing (coupled with sex massage lube and toys in photo)
- Sex Lives: A guy who gave up other dating apps for 'Feeld'
- The best nipple clamps will bring painful pleasure to your sex life
I could go on.... but I assume you get the picture. The other magazine is slightly better...
- 8 things to consider before living together
- 19 ways to be more attractive to women
- These are the secrets to a successful threesome
- 10 things every guys should so after a bad break up
- 7 ways to make sex even better
- How to impress your girlfriend's dad, according to 3 dads...
As you can imagine, the wealth of knowledge around emotional maturity seems somewhat lacking - unless of course you are keen on sex toys, or you need some advice on the Father-in-Law! So, how can men address any such gaps in their 'skillsets' if they are not given the opportunity or education they need to improve?
As a women, I found many female journalists who write about all aspects of relationships, some information was also more nuanced - drip feeding us information from multiple sources. More so, over my lifetime as a women I have been showered with information about how to deal with relationships and get the most out of them, and how to manage my own feelings when the sh*t often hits the fan. From my research - men have had far less in terms of 'education'. We are not consistent in teaching men across their lifetime about emotional connection, which is of course the engine to healthy, long term love. Instead we teach them about money, success, and power. And building muscles...
Other findings, include the fact that when it came to dating apps, the typical ratio is normally upwards of 62% men to women (in fact over 89% of people on Tinder are men - crazy, right?!). This makes women overwhelmed by the options (paradox of choice and analysis paralysis kicks in - coupled with women who are less likely to take any cr*p), making competition high, and most men are now less likely to experience wonderful in-person encounters with their ideal mate. With so many options, it really isn't that surprising that women have become more selective.
As I have spoken about REDDI, and the niche we want to appeal to - people wanting seriously epic relationships which lead to family (either now or somewhere down the line) or those who already have children of their own - I get asked the following question: 'Does this app just attract women...?' Well, I'd be lying if I said we have a 62% ratio of men to women. Thankfully it is more balanced, making it ideal for both men and women.
We do recognise, however, that from a PR point of view, given my own story - that we have been more widely read by our female audience, despite men mostly wanting the same things as women do. In fact, the research tells us that 79% of men below the age of 30 envisage having a child at some point. In my view, it is a mere society myth - and an infectious belief - that most men take on from youth to adulthood: that most men are scared to voice what they want as a fully fledged grown up, as society hasn't yet given them permission - and nor has their mate. More so, with 95% of women who go through solo IVF having wanted to have the partner - it begs me to ask the question - what is going on?
Back to men, contrary to what people think, according to research over half of single men aged 21-35 want children, compared to 46% of women (although they say this is due to women choosing careers and childless lives - but this could also be because even though we have so many options presented to us, we are still struggling to find a life partner). Men, of course saying that they are not interested in a relationship, or something serious, also enables most men to avoid the questions of course (not to mention feelings of inadequacy, or being made to feel such), of why they don't have a partner already. Indeed, most men would love to have someone to love, and in many partnerships, in agreement with the research, it is the man driving the 'let's have a baby' discussion.
So, what can we do? How are we here at REDDI helping men and women enter into more fulfilling and lasting relationships?
- Firstly, all niche dating apps have an opportunity to revolutionise the way in which we view and have romantic relationships. As an app that is using the science of Attachment Theory, we can help people establish healthier norms - starting with the first date.
- Secondly, we can continue to adapt our algorithm, producing more compatible matches, leading to heightened satisfaction and ongoing dates with one person, not several.
- We can bring back in real life connection and 'talking', yes you read it right.... talking. Let's come together offline too, to have fun and see if we can find a connection beyond the typical one on one 'first date'.
And here's what men can do.
Well, my advice to men is to be open - and to not close yourself off to commitment. If you think you'd like a family, don't be scared to meet someone who may want that too. I know you'd like a 'perfect time' but believe me, that time will never come.
Many men have been taught to be self-reliant, often leading to an 'Avoidant' attachment style. It's not that they don't want love, it's that they are scared of having it, and then failing, and losing it.
Gaining an insight and appreciation for your internal world, and an understanding of intimacy, romance, and how you feel about emotional connection will be an essential first step - you may even discover how such can lead to immense joy, which is worth all your time and effort. You can even start by taking our attachment style test. Then you could of course apply to join REDDI - we are free until January 2023, so you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
To summarise, of course men have a role to play to ensure they are not all walking around with briefcases, lonely and depressed by 2035, whilst all the women are having solo IVF. It is, however going to take a commitment to themselves, and their own mental wellbeing - as well as the bravery to try - and an openness to accept the love they so deserve.
As a society - we have to do better. We can't pull men down, when we don't give them the opportunity to grow more easily. So, Journalists, Authors, magazines, TV Producers, Presenters, Radio Hosts (the list is endless...) - let's help each other out and start talking. Before it really is too late.
REDDI is free to use as a members until January 2022. Come and try us - you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.
Until next time,
Founder of REDDI
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