The Rise of Happy, Single Women: A reason why men need to upgrade their relationship skills

4 min read

In an interesting paradox, heterosexual single men have been lonelier than ever whereas heterosexual single women are happier than their male counterparts.

Women aren’t settling anymore.

Psychologist Greg Matos caused a social media uproar in last month when he published an article on the rise of single, lonely men and a big contributing factor is the higher dating standards of women. Some findings in Dr. Matos shares:

  • Dating opportunities for heterosexual men are diminishing as relationship standards rise.
  • Younger and middle-aged men are the loneliest they’ve been in generations 

While most welcomed the idea of women finally rooting for equitable relationships – for a selection of men, it was a hard pill to swallow. Some disgruntled comments on my YouTube video shed some light on the sentiment:

“Women are delusional in their standards.”

“Women, enjoy your crazy cat lady starter kits.”

“Women like her still complaining…”

Many men are triggered by the notion that women are raising their standards, and no longer tolerating poor communication skills and emotional unavailability. The suggestion that men do the work to improve their relational skills? Crazy! Delusional!

I’m surprised to see so many guys get so defensive (also don’t shoot the messenger – we’re sharing the data) as I’ve had hate comments on my Tik Tok and Instagram as well.  

Women aren’t demanding that men make more money or get better looking – they’re asking for men to step up their relationship skills. This is actually great news – because unlike superficial stuff like looks, height and wealth – relationship skills can be learned and developed. The best part – it’s free! 

If you are a man who wants to get a shot at real companionship, it’s going to take some investment in your relationship skills. Here’s a communication framework you can practice and build those EQ skills!

Practice constructive communication

Do you find your conversations escalating in intensity? Find yourself getting defensive or passive-aggressive? Try the Non-Violent Communication (NVC) method.

Developed by Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D., NVC is a framework that helps you communicate with empathy and connection, helping the conversation move forward versus repeating in circles. 

It uses a four-stage process of observation, identifying feelings, identifying needs, and making a clear request.

  1. Observe the facts without judgment. State the facts, not your interpretations or assumptions. For example My event on Saturday started at 2PM and I sent you two reminders to arrive on time.
  1. Describe how you feel using “I” language. For example, I felt sad when you didn’t come on time, especially because that was an important event for me.
  1. Consider the unmet need. Feelings, such as anger and sadness reveal unmet needs, such as love, acceptance, connection, etc.
  1. Make a clear request. Express a specific, doable request. You are stating a preference not making a demand. Don’t be vague. Instead of “Be more thoughtful!” you can say, “Would you be open to going together for the Thursday event so we can ensure we are there 15 minutes early?”

There are a whole host of tools you can learn to start developing your relationship skills. There’s no need to feel ashamed of where you’re starting out at. It’s not like they taught us this stuff in school. We learned how to dissect a frog before learning how to get in touch with our emotions, express them, and leverage healthy coping mechanisms. 

Developing these skills isn’t just for the sake of women, it’s for yourself. You’ll find a ripple effect in all of your relationships – from professional, platonic and romantic. There’s no doubt you can do it if you choose to invest the effort.

The question is, will you rise up to the challenge?

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