‘Poor looks’ and low self-esteem are to blame for men not being in relationships, a new study claims.
Menelaos Apostolou, assistant professor for the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, has been looking into why dudes on Reddit are single.
In answer to the question, ‘Guys, why are you single?’, Menelaos received over 20,000 replies.
Researchers then analysed 13,429 of the primary responses, before classifying them into 43 categories in a study published in the journal, Evolutionary Psychological Science.
The most frequent reason for being single, Reddit users said, was ‘poor looks’ – being short or bald, closely followed by lack of confidence and lack of interest in relationships.
A lack of flirting skills and being too shy were also popular reasons.
Interestingly, being bad at approaching women might actually be quite natural. Menelaos says that there are evolutionary reasons why some men are unable to successfully approach women; the ‘mismatch’ argument is the theory that some dudes have social skills that don’t align with the qualities needed today to make a good impression.
Centuries ago, marriages were arranged and male-to-male competition was strong; men had little choice over who was to be their wives but it also meant that their looks weren’t that important and they didn’t really need to have good game to attract the opposite sex.
Unattractive and socially inept men still managed to find wives because it was sorted out for them.
Today, that’s not the case in many cultures. ‘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,’ Menelaos 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.’