Reddit Study Suggest Many Single Men Could Lack Vital Evolutionary Trait

According to a new study, modern men are single simply because their social skills haven’t evolved to meet today’s dating standards.

According to Inquisitor, around 35 percent of North Americans and Europeans are single or live on their own, so Menelaos Apostolou, Pd.D. of the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, conducted a study that focused exclusively on modern single men to learn why.

Apostolou published the findings of his study, titled “Why Men Stay Single? Evidence From Reddit” in the peer-reviewed journal Evolutionary Psychological Science last week. Rather than conducting the study with live, face-to-face participants, he took to the popular site Reddit and created a thread, asking men to indicate why they are single.

Apostolou and his team coded over 6,700 responses given by men in the thread and classified them into 43 categories. They filtered out vague or irrelevant responses, as well as those given by women.


“Among the most frequent reasons that men indicated for being single included poor flirting skills, low self-confidence, poor looks, shyness, low effort, and bad experience from previous experience,” he wrote in his research article. “Less frequent reasons included sexual problems, health and disability issues, homosexuality, and addictions.”

Apostolou proposed that these modern men who find themselves single today would not have had the same problems in a pre-industrial era, as social and flirting skills were not necessarily needed in order to obtain a mate.

“Wives were either provided by parents or obtained through force,” Apostolou wrote. “This being the case, in an ancestral pre-industrial context, the selection pressures on flirting skills would be weak, resulting in many of our ancestors having poor capacity for flirting.”

Essentially, many of today’s men may lack the same charm and social skills that their ancestors also didn’t have. The only difference is that it’s the modern man who actually needs these abilities in order to woo himself a partner. Apostolou called this the “mismatch problem,” meaning men’s social skills simply do not align with the qualities needed to make a love connection in today’s society.

Of course, Apostolou noted that, just like in all studies, this one has some limitations. The data was collected from a large group of men but is also comprised of anonymous comments submitted on a website. And in fact, these reasons given for why someone might be single could very well not be the true reason why they are single.

So, as interesting a theory as this is, we suggest taking the results with a grain of salt. Don’t be too quick to start blaming your ancestors for your inability to pick up women.


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