There Are Not Enough Fish in the Sea For Men in 2023!

Riya Bathina, Staff Writer

You see a couple walking by and think to yourself, I must be the loneliest person in the

world. If you are a man, then statistically you are quite lonely! Greg Matos, a distinguished psychologist, published an article titled, “What’s Behind the Rise of Single, Lonely Men?”  He states, “Men represent approximately 62% of dating app users, lowering their chances for matches…Younger and middle-aged men are at the loneliest they’ve been in generations, and it’s probably going to get worse.” Following the release of this article, Matos expressed that he had been receiving death threats and hate mail showing the anger of predominantly men. This controversial yet captivating statement that Matos published is complicated and requires a lot to dissect.

Dating is hard, ultimately challenging people to leave their comfort zones and confront their fears of rejection. When the pressures of dating and getting a romantic partner arise, people often turn to advice, and in today’s society social media is the biggest source of advice. Although some guidance can be beneficial, it is essential to note that not all influencers and supposed dating experts provide the most respectful advice. One of the most controversial influencers to give dating advice is Andrew Tate. To many, Andrew Tate represents peak masculinity, so his opinions appeal to many men thriving to appear more assertive and more masculine at an early age. However, masculinity has a way of becoming toxic quickly, and Tate’s language is a way of exhibiting that. Oxford Languages defines toxic masculinity as “a set of attitudes and ways of behaving stereotypically associated with or expected of men and women, regarded as harming men and society as a whole.” An ‘iconic’ statement of Tate is from an interview where he is asked about his beliefs on gender roles. He states, “I don’t know if women are doing their jobs. Women’s jobs were always procreation, looking after the family, and looking after the man.” Misogynistic statements like these are plastered all over young men’s social media apps, and that is the viewpoint suggested to them and only to them. Freshman Matthew Finnigan states, “I disagree with almost everything Andrew Tate has ever said. Especially his views on masculinity. He generally displays himself as successful, and many young boys consider him a role model. However, he does all these horrible things and teaches young men to follow him, which is horrible. I think toxic masculinity is becoming more apparent in younger generations.” Toxic masculinity can influence heterosexual men to have a misogynistic mindset that will follow them when they start dating. Sophomore Sid Carroz states, “I believe that toxic masculinity is one of the main reasons men are insecure. Toxic masculinity promotes certain roles and boxes that men have to check, making standards that are impossible to fulfill.” Following the rise of social media influencers, heterosexual women’s standards have started to differ. However, it is a little different when it comes to women. In general, women’s standards regarding dating have been notoriously low and bare minimum. The reason for this starts at an early age. When young boys exhibit aggressive behavior, fewer questions are asked because it is seen as masculine, and ‘boys will be boys’; however, if a young girl exhibits those same behaviors, she will be chastised and told to act like a lady. When different standards and expectations are set at a young age, women expect men to act in a generally negative and aggressive way because of what they were taught at a young age: boys will be boys, and if he is mean to you, it is probably because he likes you! However, with more discussions regarding gender roles and sexism, women have started to increase their standards when dating men. Senior Shanthi Elise states, “Women’s standards are seemingly ‘high’ right now because they have just learned to advocate for themselves.” Additionally, with a clear difference in men’s and women’s expectations and communication skills, men having fewer opportunities for a healthy relationship makes sense. Matos states, “For men, this means a relationship skills gap that, if not addressed, will likely lead to fewer dating opportunities and longer periods of being single. There is less patience for poor communication skills today. The problem for men is that emotional connection is the lifeblood of healthy, long-term love, and it requires all the skills that families still are not consistently teaching young boys.” With this disheartening example of men not being educated about loving and communicating with others, how should men aim to fix themselves and their internalized biases?

Utilizing therapy, men can confront their relationship skill gaps allowing them  to recognize when a romantic relationship requires more from them or their partner. However, therapy for men is still heavily stigmatized as toxic masculinity manages to creep into mental health advocacy for men. Therapist Macy Wilson states, “There is a common perception that expressing emotions negates men’s ability to control a situation or will cause others to perceive them as weak. For some boys and men with that mentality, the only acceptable emotion is anger. Thus, various other emotions (such as sadness, frustration, and confusion) may be masked by an angry façade, creating difficulties in the journey to self-revelation and healing in therapy.” When being angry is the only acceptable emotion for many men, confronting other emotions like sadness or confusion can be extremely difficult. Junior Zoe Iacomini states, “I think the reason why a lot of men struggle with dating is because they are scared of being vulnerable.” Therefore, therapy can be advantageous for said men. When facing their past romantic experiences or built-in ideas of love, men can be more equipped to date and find a partner. A healthy relationship is almost always the goal of dating, and for the increasing number of single, lonely men, achieving one is supposedly challenging. Nevertheless, these solutions can be a process of healing and help combat generations of isolated men.