If you've been feeling especially single lately, here's some news that may help you feel a little less alone.
A new study out of Cyprus' University of Nicosia ranked the most common reasons why men say they're single — and get this, it based its findings on an analysis of 13,429 responses on a popular Reddit thread. It might not be the most scientific means of data-gathering, but hey, a lot of the dudes' comments are pretty relatable.
Thousands of men weighed in on a Reddit thread after one user posted the question: "Guys, why are you single?" The replies ranged from the analytical ("I do get lonely, but I've found that's a lot less painful than either rejection or just being with a very wrong person") to the succinct ("i don't put myself out there"). Since a lot of guys don't usually talk about this stuff in real life — at least not with other men — the responses were raw, unfiltered, and unabashedly honest.
In total, the study identified 43 reasons why men said they were single. "One major strength of the current research is that it provides data from a large number of men who indicated the reasons for staying single at their own initiative and outside the context of an official study," the paper says.
Listed below are the 9 most common reasons guys said they were single — plus, some tips for how to get past each one.
1. Poor looks (including baldness and short stature)
Number of times it was mentioned: 662
Hundreds of guys seemed to feel their looks weren't good enough to woo a partner. But so what if you're not George Clooney? Certain personality traits and mannerisms — like confidence — can make all the difference. Plus, bald doesn't have to bad!
2. Low self-esteem/confidence
Number of times it was mentioned: 544
You don't have to be a naturally confident person — you just have to let other people THINK you are. Correcting things like posture, walk, and eye contact are some small steps you can take to improve your self-esteem and be more comfortable when approaching someone for the first time.
3. Low effort
Number of times it was mentioned: 514
Not trying to force a relationship definitely isn't a bad thing, but by not putting yourself out there, your lack of effort could be interpreted as being closed-off and unapproachable. Check out our tips on making a great first impression with potential dates.
4. Not interested in relationships
Number of times it was mentioned: 424
Of course, many users said they were single by choice. Lots of people think flying solo is a bad thing, but there are indeed many benefits to living a healthy, single life.
5. Poor flirting skills
Number of times it was mentioned: 421
Some guys also talked about their frustration with their inability to pick up on signals and flirt effectively. For some people it comes naturally, but sometimes it takes some practice.
Number of times it was mentioned: 411
Oftentimes, the thought of approaching a cute stranger can be a scary proposition, especially for introverts who prefer to keep to themselves. These tips to shine in social situations are a good way to learn to step out of your shell.
7. Recently broke up
Number of times it was mentioned: 363
It's normal to be wary of pursuing new relationships after a breakup, especially if it was recent. But by carrying that weight with you, you'll never allow yourself to open up to the possibilities that can blossom if you meet someone else you have a bond with. Recovering from a breakup the right way will ensure you're ready to take on a new chapter.
8. Bad experiences from previous relationships
Number of times it was mentioned: 330
If you went through a negative experience from a past relationship, you might be inclined to avoid anything that could result in a repeat of that bad point in your life. As you stay away from people who are toxic and bad influences, be sure to surround yourself with loved ones who can bring you back to a healthy, positive mindset.
9. No available women
Number of times it was mentioned: 330
Er, seems like the kind of over-generalization that happens when you think there just isn't anyone out there for you. There are plenty of ways to meet potential partners — including through dating apps. Here's how to make the best profile possible.
...and in case you were wondering, here are the rest of the most common reasons men said they're single: