Why Men Who Are In Touch With Their Emotional Side Get More Dates
Long-term singledom. For some, it’s a dream; for others a nightmare they’d rather not live through. But why is it so hard to find a compatible partner who truly gets you? Are women asking for too much? Here’s why emotional vulnerability is vital for men today.
Women have been held to high standards for decades, and society’s always put us under a magnifying glass. While this scrutiny has prepared women, the same isn’t true for men. Most men are used to being themselves in a society, and in relationships where they don’t have to conform to expectations.
But women today are looking for men with substance, and according to a 2021 Hinge study, singles prioritise mental health on dating apps above most other things. 89 per cent of Hinge Australia users prefer going out with those that admit to going to therapy. A 2019 study published in Demography shows that men in relationships (marriage or cohabitation) are happier than single men. To support that, a 2021 study published in Personality and Individual Differences shows that more men of all ages are feeling lonelier than ever, and many of them are single. But why are men increasingly isolated, lonely, and without love?
Emotional vulnerability is an acceptable concept, even the norm, for women, but the story is quite different for men. A history of men being viewed as protectors has discouraged them from showing signs of ‘weakness’ or emotional vulnerability.
Related story: 6 Healthy Questions You Must Ask your Partner
Is being emotionally available more likely to land you in your next long-term happy relationship? Here’s what to know:
The Current ‘Dating’ Scenario
In the pre-dating app era, it was normal to meet love interests at public places, events, through friends and family, or even at your dentist’s appointment. Finding dating prospects were limited to those in your circle, or hovering somewhere around that circle. Fast forward a few years, and the dating scenario has completely evolved. The introduction of social media and dating apps has made the dating pool larger and more diverse than ever and more so for women.
While there are more women than men in most countries, that doesn’t seem to be the case for dating apps. Homegrown dating app Woo in a 2018 survey, showed that there are nearly three times more men than women on dating platforms in India. It’s not so different from other countries like the US, where women make up less than 50 per cent (SurveyMonkey Intelligence 2016) of most individuals on dating apps.
Women now have the option to look for what they really need in a partner: someone who’s willing to talk about emotions. A 2018 survey by EliteSingles (dating platform) revealed that 95 per cent of women prefer dating a man who is open with their emotions. The same survey showed that 97 per cent of women found that men crying was strong, natural or healthy.
Related story: Women Tell Men How To get More Right Swipes
Why Is Emotional Vulnerability So Important?
An increasing number of people are prioritising their mental well-being globally. A 2020 Deloitte White Paper on Millennials and Gen Z shows that 48 per cent of Gen Z and 44 per cent of millennials rank mental health as their first or second priority in life. But emotional vulnerability is important since it’s vital in becoming truly intimate with someone.
Emotional vulnerability can help take any relationship to the next level, and your partner will need to see that you’re open emotionally to understand that you’re serious about them. Many grew up in environments where suppression of emotions was normal, and it can definitely impact anyone’s dating life. Vulnerability is a conscious choice you’re making to stop hiding your feelings, and it can allow your relationship to progress. It can be something as simple as establishing clear boundaries or something monumental like opening up about a traumatic event in your life. You decide how much someone should see, but in a romantic relationship, vulnerability can bring you closer.
Yes, there might be consequences, but there might be rewards too. Being emotionally vulnerable is a risk, but when it’s done with the right person, it can be rewarding.
What It Means For Your Dating Life
Are you having trouble going from online to offline when it comes to dating? You might not be the only one, as a 2021 study published in Towards Data Science shows that 57 per cent of all Tinder conversations end after one message. Indulging in small talk today isn’t enough to hold a conversation with your potential date, and it definitely isn’t enough to turn it into a real-life date.
A 2022 survey conducted by Hinge shows that 39 per cent of users were pickier about who they went on a date with, and 91 per cent of those users reported making the change because they didn’t want to waste time on the wrong person. Being honest about who you are, what you feel, and what you’re looking for in a relationship are generally good conversation starters. Your goals and values should also be brought up in early conversations to ensure that the other person also has similar thoughts. If you’re not on the same page, it can be hard to save yourself from heartbreak later on.
Related story: How Love Language Can Help You Forge A Stronger Bond
Letting Go Of Preconceived Biases
Navigating modern-day relationships, especially online, means you have to let go of a lot of biases. Women today (mostly) know what they want, and even settling for less doesn’t mean they find what they want. The Hinge study found that 60 per cent of people lowered their standards on ‘swiping’ apps, and despite this, 81 per cent never found a long-term relationship with any app. Discussing expectations early on in the relationship can help you understand what the other person is looking for and whether you can provide that.
It might also be time to understand what you’re looking for. Society has learned to value an individual for themselves rather than their relationship status, so you don’t need to be tied down in something that doesn’t bring you joy. Looking after yourself is a forever type of commitment and one you need to make for a happier you in life.
Understand that being ‘macho’ isn’t the only way to impress a woman. Being thoughtful, asking about their love language or attachment style, and talking about issues close to your heart are some things you can do to set away preconceived biases and start anew.
Related story: 7 Ways To Resolve Conflicts In Your Relationship
Emotional Availability = Loving Relationship
A stable and loving relationship isn’t made in a day, and it can take time to set the right foundation for truly fulfilling love. Taking care of your mental health enables you to start making that foundation for your next relationship, and it might be just what saves it.
While we’re not advocating that you exclusively talk about therapy on your next date, bringing up that you’re investing in your mental health (in whatever way possible) wouldn’t hurt. After all, you have to do all you can to stand out, right?
Happiness expert and professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics, Paul Dolan, believes that single women without any children are the happiest. While men receive benefits from marriage, the same is only sometimes true for women. It becomes more important for men to have a fulfilling relationship because it helps them ultimately lead a happier life, but the same might not be true for all women.
It might feel like women have higher standards, but asking for an individual who is emotionally available, shares similar values, and communicates isn’t asking for too much. A romantic partner is someone you have to be friends with, and women want someone to share their emotional baggage with. The deep-seated notion that men need to be strong all the time or suppress their emotions needs to be done away with, if only for the chances of scoring a second date.