Young and middle-aged men are the loneliest they’ve been in generations—and it’s a problem that’s probably only going to get worse. How do we know? Because that’s the way the modern relationship scene appears to be going. Over the last 30 years, more and more men have become single for the long term. Yet men (and women) who are in relationships are consistently shown to be both happier and healthier.

There are 3 broad trends spanning the landscape over time which suggest that men have got a tough road ahead of them when it comes to finding love:

  • Dating apps: Whether you’re starting out with dating for the first time or you’ve recently gone through a breakup and are dipping your toe back in the dating pool, you’ve probably at least dabbled in dating apps. But one key problem with these platforms is that 62% of users are men, and many women on the apps simply face an overwhelming number of dating options. The competition among men on these platforms is beyond fierce, and it’s becoming rarer than ever for them to match with women they could genuinely see themselves settling down with, never mind actually going out on dates with them.
  • Relationship standards: This increasingly vast number of dating prospects for women has the effect of continually inflating the standards they demand of men. They want men who are emotionally available, who share their values, and who communicate well. Of course these are natural traits we all want in a romantic partner—but the difference with online dating is that it shapes women’s perceptions of the dating landscape such that if there’s even a hint of incompatibility then they feel relatively secure in simply moving on to the next. After all, with a seemingly endless pool available to them, there’s always going to be someone better just around the corner… right?
  • Skills deficits: Women have less and less patience with men who aren’t competent in ways that facilitate  a certain quality of life. Perhaps as both cause and effect of this, men seem to be becoming poorer communicators over time, too—which as we just saw makes them less attractive as potential partners. And yet a romantic relationship is precisely what many of these men want more than anything, and would make them take ownership of their lives and face up to their responsibilities.

There’s some good news in all this, though. Dating app algorithms are growing more complex, which at least nominally is enhancing the quality of matches. For example, Hinge conducted beta trials of its new and improved algorithm, and reported that 90% of users rated their first date as having been a positive experience, with 72% indicating that they’d like a second date.

In the meantime, men need to assess their lifestyles and communication skills. They also might need to place greater value on themselves—because someone who signals that they consider their own wellbeing to have little worth does not make for an eligible or attractive partner. Lots of men need to first figure out where they’re going in life and what they want out of it before they can confidently return to the dating scene with the genuinely held belief that they have their lives together and are ready to commit. If they can do that, they may well still be able to find genuinely healthy, fruitful, and transformative romantic relationships. But before committing to a woman, they must commit to themselves.

Maclynn is a boutique, multi-award-winning introductions agency with offices in New York, New Jersey, California, and London. We’re world-renowned for bringing together highly compatible singles within our vast network of attractive, intelligent professionals, and our matchmakers are relationship experts in their own right. Get in touch today, and prepare for genuinely meaningful dating—just like you deserve.