Top 43 Reasons Why Men Remain Single — According to Reddit

In the past, forced or arranged marriages meant that socially inept, unattractive men did not have to acquire social skills in order to find a long-term love interest. Today, men must be able to turn on the charm if they want to find a partner. Those men who have difficulty flirting, or are unable to impress the opposite sex may remain single because their social skills have not evolved to meet today’s societal demands. So says Menelaos Apostolou of the University of Nicosia in Cyprus in a study in Springer’s journal Evolutionary Psychological Science. Apostolou analyzed more than 6,700 comments left by men on the popular social news and media aggregation internet site Reddit.

Up to 35 per cent of people in North American and European societies are single or live on their own. To understand why singlehood is so widespread in these Western societies, Apostolou analysed 6,794 of the 13,429 comments that were received following an anonymous post on Reddit in 2017 that asked: “Guys, why are you single?”

His findings indicate that most of the men commenting on the thread were not willingly single but wanted to be in a relationship. Apostolou established at least 43 reasons why these men thought they were single. Having poor looks and being short or bald were the most frequent reasons they put forward, followed by lack of confidence. Not making the effort and simply not being interested in long-term relationships were also high on the list, along with a lack of flirting skills and being too shy. Some said that they had been so badly burnt in previous relationships that they did not dare to get into another. Others felt that they were too picky, did not have the opportunity to meet available women or had different priorities. Some of the men had experienced mental health issues, sexual problems, or struggled with illness, disability or addiction.

Apostolou says there are evolutionary reasons why some modern men are unable to successfully approach women. According to the so-called mismatch argument, their social skills do not align with the qualities needed today to make a good impression. He explains that in a pre-industrial context, marriages were arranged, male-male competition was strong, and wives were sometimes obtained by force. While in one respect this left men with little choice about who would be their wives, it also meant that their looks were irrelevant, and they did not need to know how to attract the opposite sex. Socially inept and unattractive men may not have been single because their relationships were regulated by their parents.

“Single modern men often lack flirting skills because in an ancestral pre-industrial context, the selection pressures on mechanisms which regulated mating effort and choosiness were weak,” Apostolou explains. “Such skills are needed today, because in post-industrial societies mate choice is not regulated or forced, but people have to instead find mates on their own.”

Researchers identified 6794 responses which were classified in 43 categories depicted in Table 1. In order to get a measure of importance, Researchers estimated the relative frequencies of each category, and they placed these categories in a hierarchical order, putting the ones with higher frequency first.

Table 1

Categories and frequencies of responses for the reasons that drive men to be single.



Sample responses

Poor looks


Cause I am ugly as fuck and have been cursed with awful genetics.

Being under 6′0″ means I am invincible to women.

Low self-esteem/confidence


Because I have massive self-esteem issues, I think I’m worthless, and I don’t do social things because I don’t want to inflict my stupid, worthless presence on other people.

Confidence is the key, and I′ m locked out….

Low effort


I don’t put any effort or make any moves.

I’ve never been really all that into actively seeking out a relationship. I’ve always believed relationships come and go on their own.

Not interested in relationships


And no, I’m not saying that I can’t get anybody. I actively don’t want to be in a relationship.

I like my freedom and privacy.

Poor flirting skills


I’m completely fine talking to people I have 0 interest in, but if I remotely have a crush on you I’m probably gonna be really fucking awkward. Any semblance of social skills I have go out the window if I have a crush on you.

My IQ drops to about 40 whenever I talk to women



My days are spent at work/sleeping/working on projects around the house. The only way I am going to find someone new is if they break into my home while I’m there.

Not many women on my way from my room to a kitchen and back.

Recently broke up


My girlfriend just broke up with me….

Because I broke up with my girlfriend 3 hours ago.

Bad experiences from previous relationships


My last relationship ended so badly I never want to be in one again.

Because my last relationship was toxic as hell and now I avoid relationships to prevent being hurt that badly again.

No available women


I have no avenues for meeting women.

While being a mechanical engineering contractor is a pretty attractive job to have, you aren’t exactly surrounded by women.



Honestly, as my username suggests-too fat. [username twofat]

Cause I’m fugly!

Different priorities


I’m focusing on building my career, so I don’t have the luxury of dedicating enough time to a relationship right now.

Grades before babes.



Shy. That’s pretty much it.

Cause I’m too shy to ask anyone out

Too picky


My standards are too high for what I bring to the table.

To be fair I tend to chase near impossibilities.



I get terrible anxiety around women.

Overwhelming anxiety whenever I try to speak with any woman I′ m interested in.

Lack of time


Because I work 6 days a week and on Saturdays I play video games and sleep.

Between two jobs is hard to find any time for dating.

Socially awkward


I’m too awkward

Awkward as fuck.

Enjoying being single


I don’t value the things that a relationship brings, I value the things that casually dating brings. I usually date girls casually for a month or so then find someone new. Keeps things fresh and exciting for me.

I’m lucky enough to be good looking enough to have random women sleep with me. So I’m pretty much going to stay single until my buying power declines and I’m forced to settle down.



Depression kept me from going out and meeting new people for years.

Crippling depression.

Poor character


My personality is radioactive.

I suffered from anger management and also being a huge narcissist.

Difficult to find women to match


Have yet to meet a girl who shares my interests who wasn’t already with someone else.

It is hard to find a woman my age who enjoys the same things, and doesn’t have kids already.

Poor mental health


I am a high-functioning autist and feel deeply uncomfortable of physical contact.

Mental illness

Lack of achievements


Because I’m a 41-year-old with all the qualifications and achievements of a 19-year-old.

Being a 31-year-old grocery store drone doesn’t exactly drop the panties.

Stuck with one girl


I’m in love with my best friend, who’s had a long distance boyfriend for a few years, and I can’t get over her.

I want to be with a certain girl so bad that I’m either ignoring my other options or just not taking them seriously.

Lack of social skills


Because I have the social skills of a dead goldfish.

Zero social skills

Have not got over previous relationship


Still kind of in love with a girl who broke my heart nearly 3 years ago.

I’m currently mentally addicted to my ex and I can’t imagine myself with anyone else.

Don’t know how to start/be in a relationship


I quite literally do not know how to be in a relationship.

I don’t know shit about dating and flirting.

Lack of money


I don’t have money for dates, I barely pay my gas bill.

Money…I don’t have a lot of it to treat a lady.

I do not trust women


I have trust issues and made the decision to avoid relationships.

I’m single because I can’t trust women for now.

Not picking up clues of interest


I cant tell the difference if a girl is just nice to me or she is in to me. So I kinda let everything slip away.

I’m terrible at picking up on signals.

Sexual issue


What it lacks in girth, it also lacks in length.

I’m asexual and afraid that people with leave when they find out.

Fear of relationships


Because women tend to make me very domesticate, fat, and lazy whenever I put a name on it (girlfriend).

Because the pain is inevitable. Relationships wear you down and crush your soul.

I am not interesting


I am the most thoroughly boring person I know. Dull job (to most people). Dull interests, unremarkable body, unremarkable personality.

I’m not exactly the kind of person who interests people.

Fear of rejection


The crippling fear of the girl saying no.

My fear of rejection stops me in all tracks of wanting to ask any girl out in person.

I will not be a good partner


I am scared that maybe I’ll not be a good boyfriend since I don’t know anything about romantic stuff and what girls like.

Because I don’t want to bring some poor girl into the depressing pit that is my life.

Attracted to wrong women


Every woman who captures my interest is either taken, insane, or both.

I have an uncanny knack for being attracted only to girls who aren’t single.



Because I’m gay and 99% of the people I become attracted to aren’t.

Gay and in the closet

Given up


Many rounds of rejection. Just gave up after a while. I’ll be fine on my own.

You get tired of being turned down after a while

Is not worth the effort


Relationships take a lot of work, I’m not willing to put the effort in.

Not worth the immense effort that you need to put in order to even find out if they’re interested or not.

Fear of commitment


Don’t like the commitment a relationship entails

Commitment is hard.

Health – disability issue


I’m disabled and confined to a wheelchair. Not many girls will settle for that.

Because I’m HIV positive.

Difficult to keep a relationship


I somehow became unable to maintain any kind of relationship

My relationships never last over 3 months. Girls break up with me without ever telling me the real reason.



I’m young and an alcoholic and no one wants to date an alcoholic.

I am single because of my alcoholism.



I am not ready

Just damn clingy

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