Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Love and the Single Man

                                                      O Shit! It's Disco Flaxen

This is well off my 'beaten track' when it comes to posts. However, tis a topic that I find fascinating and is highly relevant to the modern Western world and young men in particular. Read and weep, especially if you are a young male.

The Dating/Mating Game

Due to the 'Biological Imperative' animals are doomed to pursue the opposite sex. Not only is sex pleasurable it is important for the continuation of the species (no shit: Flaxen stating the bleeding obvious).

In my dating heyday (c1975), the best way to meet a member of the opposite sex was to hit the 'Disco', usually at the local pub on a Saturday night. Go back with me to those halcyon days: A young Flaxen, long blond hair flowing, all dressed up in flared 'Loon Pants', crushed velvet jacket and a rounded collar shirt. The atmosphere was dank, dark, loud and interspersed with strobe lights. Both sexes sported long hair, and in such circumstances gender recognition was difficult; mistakes were made. So, in order to cut down on a 'misdiagnosis', when approaching a potential mate, my opening line was: "Are you a guy or a chick". Times were much simpler in those days.....

Cut to modern times. Discos are no more and online dating apps, such as Tinder and Bumble, reign supreme. I'm going to argue that online dating is great for all women, irrespective of looks, but extremely bad for the majority of men.

The overwhelming majority of men (the rest are lying) state that the most important characteristic they seek in a potential mate is 'good looks'. This is perhaps of no surprise and the empirical data supports this. As for women, when asked in surveys what is the most important characteristic desired in a potential mate, personality ranks supreme. Physical attractiveness actually scores 4th on a list of desirable traits. A positive of online dating apps, from a statistical perspective, is that they are a rich mine for data. And from data gleaned from dating apps it seems, when it comes to actual dating preferences, women go for 'looks' every time. Everything else is secondary. The next best thing is height. Women overwhelmingly prefer men 6 foot and over, with 6 foot 2 to 3 being perceived as ideal. Furthermore, height overrules good looks when a man is very short. Regardless, a good-looking man is doomed in the online dating world if he is 5 foot 4, for instance.

It seems, from the hard data (Tinder), 80% of women 'swipe right' on the 20% of men judged the most attractive. Also, for Tinder, for every woman, signed up, there are three men. On these two data points alone, it appears that, for the majority of men, online dating is a very poor strategy for attracting a mate. For lower-tier men, that is in the four and sub-four region (consider an attractive scale from 1 to 10), there is virtually no chance of attaining a match. As for the top tier men, say in the top 10%, when it comes to online dating, they can do no wrong and all women, irrespective of their own attractiveness, will swipe right. Now men being men, the top tier will have casual sex with most women, even in the lower categories. All women will ultimately desire a high tier man for the exalted status of 'long term partner'. This is where men show their true colours. While they are quite happy to sleep with 'ugly women' they have no desire to enter into a long-term relationship with such. When high tier men decide to enter a relationship they will do so with a woman of at least equal attractiveness, a condition called 'assortive mating'. In the same way, ugly men tend to have relationships with ugly women; desperation, when it comes to sex, knows no bounds/boundaries.

All this behaviour can be explained from an evolutionary perspective. This is where, my training, as a biologist kicks in. Men and women are 'programmed' to pursue different reproductive strategies. For men, dispersing the seed wide and far makes sense. Men are able to produce many children with different women if so favoured; the 'quality' of the women concerned is not paramount- for men, evolution demands quantity. Women are in a contrary position. Their eggs represent a scarce and precious resource. If pregnant, they are indisposed for 9 months and after the birth, they have to invest at least 15 years in their offspring. Children (modern children), are expensive financially but also in terms of 'energy, resource investment'. Therefore, a women's best strategy is to secure a 'high tier' man. An attractive man is oft endowed with a plethora of other desirable genetic factors. For high tier women, on the attractiveness scale, obtaining a top tier man who is willing to support their offspring is achievable. In contrast, consider, the options befitting low tier women. For them, they can reproduce with a high-status man but are unlikely to achieve investment stability. Therefore, it behoves these women to share their genes with these men, even if they can't get them to invest. So, their second-best strategy is to mate with a 'Chad' and thereafter seek a lower-tier man to provide long-term investment. As an example, look at the percentage of single mothers on dating apps. This is often the best way a lower-tier man can achieve sex, even at the cost of raising another man's child- this is, for a man, of poor genetic stock, not ideal from an evolutionary perspective. But what choice do they have?

There is so much more I would like to say on this topic, but the need to not exceed the magic '1000' word limit prevents this. Anyway, I am intrigued to discover what my readership thinks. Also, I'm fascinated as to other folk's dating experiences- let me know in the comments.

My final thought: As for most things in life. Do not listen, or at least give much credence, to what a person says, look at their actions. This especially applies to women when it comes to the fraught game of dating. WHAT! women tell lies- who would have thought it?



  1. Shirley, women also lie when they discuss what they look for in a potential mate. Have you ever seen a male multi-millionaire, or just a basic millionaire, with an ugly woman that they weren't married to when they were skint? If Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos, were plumbers, or bricklayers, they would probably still be virgins, or married to women who carried a white stick.

    1. I remember the lovely Debbie McGee (remember her?) being asked what she found attractive in the multi-millionaire Paul Daniels?

    2. Ah, but Debbie McGee was attracted to Paul Daniels before he became a multi-millionaire, while his assistant. The comment was made by the late comedian Caroline Aherne, in her Mrs Merton alter ego, to get some laughs from her audience. It then became part of show business folk lore.

    3. You, of course, are dead right. I still think my story sounds better.