It’s International Men’s Day today. Some research came out on Thursday 16th November about the culture of masculinity in the UK, which you can read about here. And in the section about relationships, it said the following:
“the more committed British men are, the happier they are. Incredibly, single men were the least happy of all—less content than divorcés and even widowers. But why? When I put these findings to British men for an article published in The Times, we discovered modern dating apps like Tinder were flipping gendered power, which was challenging for some men. We discovered that while it’s never been easier to get sex, it’s perhaps never been harder to fall in love.”
We wanted to take a personal look at this whole issue, so we asked one of our writers, Rob Edwards, to give his opinion about it…
Being single is hard. Well, it’s hard for me at least. I know some people revel in the freedom that being unattached gives them, but for me, that freedom is suffocating.
I’ve been single for four years now. I’ve gone out with a bunch of women since, but I wouldn’t have been able to call any of them my girlfriend.
With each budding relationship that’s passed me by I couldn’t help but feel a tremendous amount of regret, sadness and failure. I could have made it work if only I was somehow better.
So you try again, you load up whatever dating app you prefer and get to it.
Dating apps like Tinder are a double-edged sword in a whole host of ways. On the dates I’ve been on I’ve had a great time, even if nothing came from it. But getting to the part where you’re on a date can feel like running a gauntlet designed to destroy your self-esteem.
At your very fingertips you have an entire city of people to choose from. So you start swiping. Depending on how attractive you are you might have some instant success or it might become a slog through uninteresting nobodies until you see someone who takes your interest. Of course if you haven’t aroused the same interest then it’s back to trawling through profiles.
One of the most eye-opening dating app things I ever saw was when a girl I knew let me see her Tinder profile and how chock-a-bloc it was with potential guys all wanting her. Every swipe right was a match, every opening line dreadful (Seriously we need better material than “U UP?”)
It made me realise that for any of the girls I did match with there was a good chance I was only one out of possibly dozens all vying for her attention.
The gender imbalance you see in Tinder is nothing but a mirror of the dating world in life.
The number of times I’ve met a girl for the first time and been smitten with, only to then receive a warm handshake from her boyfriend would make you start to feel the universe was playing some sort of game with me.
Unfortunately, it’s a game I’m always losing.
The very night I’m writing this I have been stood up for a date. We’d matched, amused one another via text for a few days before it all went silent the evening when we were supposed to go out. I’m not angry or feeling cheated, I’m just left with this sense that I failed when there is little more I could have really done.