Why Don't Men Hate Being Single As Much As Women Do?

Posted by Evan, 29 Nov 17

One of our readers Elaine dropped us an email wondering why women hate being single. It read:

Dear Evan,

Why don’t men hate being single as much as women do? I know you say most men are marriage-minded underneath but they seem much less interested in getting into a stable, committed relationship than women do, and seem to drag their heels.

Your perfect partner could be online right now...

What are you looking for?

Some of the things I hate about being single are (in no particular order): lack of love, affection and emotional support; not having someone to go on vacation with; not having someone to share domestic tasks with; being excluded from social gatherings because I don’t have a partner; not having someone to talk to at home on a day to day basis; having to cope with the financial burden of being single (apartment, bills etc.); not having a regular source of quality sex available.

Surely these things apply to men just as much as women? If this is the case, why aren’t men jumping up and down with excitement when they meet someone they connect with like we are? Why aren’t they just as keen as we are to know “where things are going” early on in the relationship? A lot of men my age seem uninterested in a committed relationship, seeming to prefer a more casual “low investment, low return” approach to relationships. Do men actually ENJOY the endless tedium and stress of going on a string of disappointing dates? Or does it all simply come down to the capriciousness of the female orgasm – since men can have an orgasm with practically anyone, they don’t much care who they’re with, whereas if a woman finds someone who’s actually good in bed she’s desperate to hang on to him?! Your insights would be much appreciated.  -Elaine

Dear Elaine,

Love. This. Question.

I particularly love your list of what sucks about being single. As a guy who was single for 35 years, I completely agree and think that – all things remaining equal – having a good relationship is a far superior state of being than being alone.

(This does not mean that I look down on single people or think you should be in an unsatisfying relationship so, please, spare me the complaints.) But what gets me the most excited, Elaine, is that you’ve forced me to consider something that I’ve never actually considered before:

Why Don’t Men Hate Being Single As Much as Women Do?

My assistant says it’s because when they’re single, they can play video games and watch porn, and if they got a girlfriend, she’d insist they give up one or both.

Funny, but probably not the entire picture.

So, together, let’s consider why men are generally cooler with being single than women:

1. Low investment, low return. As I observed in “Why He Disappeared”, this tends to be the way that men deal with most of their relationships. When a man hangs out with another man, he’ll watch sports, play poker, talk trash, grab a few drinks, and maybe talk about whether he’s hooking up. This takes care of most of a man’s basic needs – for companionship, for laughs, for fun.

As I look at that list, it occurs to me that most of my clients who are perfectly content being single are satisfied with their female friendships. My mom, for example: she volunteers at the hospital, she tap dances in the musical at her clubhouse, she plays canasta with the girls twice a week, she does Sudoku in her garden, she’s on the party-planning committee… and while she misses a travel companion, movie companion and regular sex, life is pretty much okay as it is.

I just think there are more men than women who are okay with low-investment, low-return, that’s all. Which brings us to…

2. Self-definition. Men are more likely to define themselves by their careers – What do I do? How much do I earn? What kind of car do I drive? How big is my TV?

This is unfortunate and short-sighted because nobody dies thinking that he wishes he had a 72” Sony instead of a 64” Vizio. But hey, that’s men.

Women, who are, in general, more emotional and intuitive, are more likely to define their lives by their relationships. So when they lack a partner, they’ll be disproportionately sadder than men, who just bury themselves in more work and (sometimes) play.

Then again, many of my smart, strong, successful clients also bury themselves in their work for a decade, and emerge from their cocoon of success and travel, only to learn that they’re really, really lonely. I can only imagine there are millions of women who haven’t contacted me who continue to immerse themselves in that worldview that success and accomplishment matters more than love. Which brings us to…

3. Communication styles. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: men need more help; women ask for more help. And nowhere is that clearer than in the realm of relationships. A few thoughts off the top of my head:

• Over twice as many women take anti-depressants, compared to men. I remember reading somewhere that it was about 1 in 6 women vs. 1 in 48 men.

• 90% of the self-help market in bookstores is for women. Seriously, apart from “The Game” have you ever seen a relationship book for men that’s sold in airport bookstores?

• Women maintain closer friendships throughout life. My mom talks to her best friend every day. She has friends who talk to their daughters every day. I’m as sensitive as they come and I talk to my best friends in New York about once a month.

In other words, even if men feel the emotional need to connect, they rarely reach out to do so – with each other, with their families, and with you.

Women talk about their feelings with much greater frequency and intensity, further feeding the perception/reality that they care more about relationships.

4. Sex – Perhaps Charlie Sheen said it best, years ago, when talking about his predilection for prostitutes: “I don’t pay them for sex. I pay them to leave.”

There are a decent number of men out there who don’t really desire the same kind of relationship as you do. Their needs are met by their male friendships and their careers and the last thing they want to do is hold your purse when shopping at Nordstrom.

You can tell who these men are because when they’re not with you, you don’t exist. They’ll call you once a week to hook up and that’s all. These guys play on their terms, not yours and are a total waste of time to any woman trying to forge something real and lasting. It’s like trying to teach a fish to ride a bicycle. In my experience, there are very few women who treat men as if they’re good for nothing but sex.

So yeah, a man’s ability to separate sex and love is another valid reason he’s not terribly upset when he’s single.

5. Expectations about relationships. I think this is the most important point of all. Women expect their relationships to be transcendent. They expect the man to illuminate and inspire. You remember “Eat, Pray, Love,” right? “You don’t need a man. You need a champion.”

Guys don’t work that way. We want someone who is attractive, who doesn’t criticize us or tell us how much we need to change, who we can spend lots of time with without getting bored, who we can bring around our friends and families with minimal incident.

You don’t have to play fantasy football.

You don’t have to make six figures.

You don’t have to have washboard abs.

You don’t have to have an M.B.A.

You don’t have to be spiritual.

As a result, most men can date lots of women.

Women – at least my clients – can only date .0001% of men.

Elizabeth Gilbert, in her follow-up to “Eat, Pray, Love,” called “Committed”, explores these outlandish expectations that Western women have for love – which are nothing like what women in other cultures experience. As a result, Western women are very disappointed in their men, whereas men aren’t nearly as disappointed in women.

In other words, we think you’re fine as you are.

We just hate the fact that you need us to change so much.

As a result of all of these biological and societal observations about men, it shouldn’t be too surprising that there are no Time Magazine cover stories or best-selling books about desperate men.

We can separate sex and love, we define ourselves by our work, we don’t lack dating options, we get 95% of our needs met without female companionship, and we don’t talk about relationships nearly as much.

If there’s anything I missed, please let me know. Guys, please chime in here. Why are you okay not being in a relationship – and how is this different than the women you know?

18 responses to "Why Don't Men Hate Being Single As Much As Women Do?"

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  1.   Audi122 says:
    Posted: 02 Dec

    Bs!! Plenty of single guys out there wailing about not liking the lonely state they are in. At the end of the day humans are social animals and no one likes to be alone. Let’s cut the crap and blaming game out.

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  2.   Pooneyr1 says:
    Posted: 31 Dec 17

    Ever heard of mgtow? "Men going their own way" These days there's really no benefit for men being married or committed unless they feel as if they need sex all the time. Men are blamed for pretty much everything and usually end up losing almost everything when the relationship fails. It's been this way for years and men are finally starting to realize it's just not worth it anymore. I've personally been single for almost 4 years now and my life has been better than it's ever without having a woman in it. I'm not saying there aren't good women out there but I believe most women have no idea what they truly want. Most of them say they want an honest, loving, hard working man but when they get it, their complaint is usually " well he was too nice, I need a man that can challenge me" That's just what I've heard way too many times. I could go on and on and I'm sure a lot of men and opened minded can totally understand what I mean.

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  3. Posted: 27 Dec 17

    I read this article and I was dumbfounded by some of the statements said about women wanting to change Men into some unrealistic image, WE as Women are not the weakest link, we are asking REAL MEN!!! To be honest and be the MAN you say you are!!! We expect you to be YOU!!!

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  4.   phinixrizin says:
    Posted: 25 Dec 17

    You should have focused on the person who wrote it. I'm a professional woman. All my friends are as well. This is not the 60's. We want to same things you do. The REAL issue is why you don't act the way you want us to. Don't kid yourself

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  5.   elcamino67 says:
    Posted: 16 Dec 17

    This is a VERY GOOD ARTICLE. And a MUST READ FOR ANY SERIOUS, INTELLIGENT WOMAN. There's probably more concise, important info here than the numerous self help/relationship books that so many women are pouring into. There's also some good comments below made by Dammy_H and junglebuggy. One of the true tragedies that I've seen are that MANY guys have hobbies or interests in their lives while MANY women DON'T. And the women's hobbies become LIVING THROUGH THE LIVES of their kids or the guys in their lives. Whereas more men are self sufficient, more women are clingy and demanding. Their independence/ happiness/self esteem is very low. And this thinking is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Whereas some men might enjoy their ego being fed by an OVERLY attentive woman, other guys might find that same woman overbearing, smothering and needlessly demanding. Which will eventually lead to a much needed split. MANY WOMEN NEED TO KNOW THAT TRUE HAPPINESS IS INTERNAL. Its NOT A MAN'S JOB TO MAKE A WOMAN HAPPY, as I've read in many profiles. Its a man's job to ENHANCE THE HAPPINESS THAT'S ALREADY THERE.

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  6. Posted: 15 Dec 17

    I loved being single til i hit my 40s it was easy back then to love being single cause i wouldnt let the bad dating experiences get me down. but now am approaching 50 and i do now hate being single cause am very ready to find real love for once

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  7.   Dammy_H says:
    Posted: 12 Dec 17

    These guys above have written great articles on the topic. Thumbs up to them! However, I should think that another overlooked factor is the Limiting effect of having a female companion in a more committed relationship Most women in their quest to enjoy that ultimate ambience of having a male companion are often driven to exhibiting excessive controlling habits which most men find to be rather irritating__ to say the least But a low-investment low-return approach to a relationship keeps the guy on a long leash which he can easily free himself once he perceives the telltale signs of a controlling nagging woman breathing down his neck In his mind, he could be thinking: "Did I actually sign up for this ? This shit (committed relationship) ain't giving me the ultimate self-fulfilment . My job and fat bank account do!" Ironically, most men in marriage or committed relationships give the impression of being in some kind of cage, like hostage How then would you expect single men to want to jump into marriage relationships when the tales of men in it ain't encouraging ??? Our ladies must work on their untamed emotions so this trend can take a reverse turn

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  8.   junglbuggy says:
    Posted: 07 Dec 17

    Some would tell you the answer is not so simple - but in all actuality, it is! I believe it comes down to the "pity" effect. For the most part, when women are single they pick up on the pity vibe emanating from their friends - friends who in turn take it upon themselves (as in a mission) to find their single friend a date out of pity with the assumption that their single friend can not do it on her own (for whatever reason). This could lead to the single female feeling inferior because her friends have something she does not - a significant other. In time (based on the single people's clock), this feeling of inferiority festers into self-hatred as the single woman starts thinking that their might be something wrong within herself... and that's why she can't find a date. Meanwhile, the hatred of being single continues to build. Men, on the other hand, do not have to suffer the pity effect because of the way society has socially constructed the image of the male bachelor. Whether they are dateless or not, single men are seen as being free spirited and having a woman behind every tree. They are seen as being free of the typical constraints that many associate with being tied to just one woman - thus, there is no pity effect directed at single men. So... I don't know if what I just blabbed about is true or not - it just came off the top of my head and it sounded really cool. Personally, however, I really think everybody hates being alone - being single really sucks!... but guys just do a better job at internalizing their failure at love =). THAT is all I have to say about THAT!

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  9.   Erny73 says:
    Posted: 30 Nov 17

    Well, my little contribution to the above is this. When God created Man, Man was all by himself tendering garden (working), that's why, a man's first purpose in life is work because when a man doesn't work or busy he doesn't find himself useful. A man was alone when he was created, talking to nobody, it's one of the reasons men don't like to talk, but a woman was created instantly into someone she could share and talk with, as a result women talk more than men, not themselves when they can't talk or express themselves with a man. But a woman can watch TV all day without feeling guilt of doing it. So, God created a woman and gave her to a man to love cherish and care for, as a result, a woman hates to be single because the way she has being wired up from creation is to be loved and emotional attached to a man. This doesn't mean a woman cannot be independent or be strong nor cannot do great things in life but emotionally and at the end of the day, she wants to feel loved, talk to someone, appreciated and above all have sex. A woman by nature was created into a relationship that's why she wants relationship but a man was created into work, work is where men find fulfillment and pride . I used to ask myself years ago, why is it that only men want sex? Until I was laughed at by one of ex who said to me women want sex more than men but they internalized it because of shame. She said when a woman wants sex and can't have it, she's going crazy because all her body is in balance and no-longer herself, especially after her period. These are the 3 things that drives a man regardless where he's from, color of his skin, food that he eats, status, rich or poor, educated or illiterate: Money( a man wants to work to make money at all cost because it's his nature) power ( a man wants power because he was created first and given dominon over everything, so he wants to be always be in-charge to control) and sex ( a man was given a female because it wasn't good for a man to be alone and he need intone with his inner being and the only way he can do that is through sex.

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  10.   RoninM1 says:
    Posted: 29 Nov 17

    It’s very simple. The the truth is women have priced themselves out of the market.

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    • ShellyAnn_ says:
      Posted: 10 Dec 17

      Gotta disagree

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      • djfourmoney says:
        Posted: 18 Dec 17

        You have priced yourselves out of the market. If I make less than $50K a year and you make more than $50K a year. I might be okay with that, but your extended network of friends and family might have a problem with it. So in-turn YOU have a problem with it and you try to be coy about it by telling me I should go after that better paying position, asking for a raise or going back to school. As Mark said men don't like to be criticized on a regular basis. If you were fine with being with me when I make less money be FINE with it now. Women are also getting fat and say "accept me for who I am" but it's WOMEN who won't accept men for who they are. The only time women aren't priced out of the market of the .0001% is when they are single mothers but even then they think some .0001% prince of man is going to notice them on this site or somewhere else and rescue them. The next problem becomes when you are a single mother and over 30. You can pretty much forget it, most men that will want to date you are "Ain't Sh*t" dudes at that point.

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        • Starr83 says:
          Posted: 20 Dec 17

          That's BS. A lot of men are willing to date single mothers. I say that as a child-free woman. You sound as if you need to stop with the insecurities and make your life better for YOU first. I have an education, good job, traveled the world and lived my best life at only 35 because those were my personal goals. I didn't do them to appease or dangle in front of a man.

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