The Problem With Dating
The dating, and by extension marriage, apocalypse is finally upon us (and not just because of Tinder). Today’s men and women of childbearing age are giving up on long-term monogamy and the families that come from them. Single people now outnumber married people, even though most people consider a happy marriage as one of the keys to personal fulfillment.
Why is this? First, let’s state the obvious: most people do not choose to be single. Rather, they are single because they can’t find any good candidates for dating or marriage. Men will complain that women today are self-absorbed, entitled, and seem more eager to compete with their partners than support them. Women will complain that men today are lazy, immature, and generally mediocre.
Unfortunately, they are both right. To pretend otherwise and still encourage everyone to date and marry only results in unhealthy relationships and inevitable breakups and divorces. Instead, we should look at the reasons for this obvious decline in men and women.
Why Men Fall Short
The things bringing down men are fairly easy to pinpoint, though incredibly difficult to fix: widespread addiction to pornography and other vices, a dearth of male authority figures, and a consequent lack of faith.
After so much bogus psychologizing, commentators and scholars are finally taking the pornography problem seriously (the ridiculous eulogizing of Hugh Hefner notwithstanding). Besides the horrible exploitation of the women involved, pornography essentially neuters male audiences; it kills their inner drive, not just in sex, but all aspects of life. Men addicted to porn, like men addicted to drugs or alcohol, have little motivation to do more and achieve.
For this reason, many men hardly bother with asking women out. Usually, they will make pathetic excuses for themselves and wait for some beautiful (and usually intoxicated) woman to sleep with them for a night. And if the hookup ideal does not pan out, these men—or more properly, man-children—can always comfort themselves with fake women on the screen and videogames.
The porn addiction would not take such a strong hold without the great loss of fathers and father-figures laying the groundwork. Living with households where the father is marginalized or absent and attending schools with few male teachers, boys have no one to teach them about their masculinity. To no one’s surprise, boys have a different nature than girls—one that is generally more vigorous, more aggressive, more honor-seeking, and less sensitive and patient—and they desperately need this guidance.
Only male role models can help with channeling this nature towards constructive ends rather than destructive ones. They can empathize with the growing man and instill virtue in a way that even the best woman cannot. The mother’s failure to empathize will frequently turn her advice and direction into harping and nagging. She can plead with her sons to achieve and not waste time on videogames, but as the trends show, most boys choose not to listen because their mothers just don’t understand. A father, however, does understand and has the capacity to motivate his son to do more.
Finally, without a father and burdened with so many bad habits, most men have given up on going to church. As a result, most men never hear such common advice (obnoxiously dubbed, “life-hacks”) like working hard, staying pure, and loving others. For the un-churched male, happiness is a feeling, meaning is something he creates, and everyone else is to blame for his failure.
Why Women Fall Short
On the other side of the gender spectrum, women must struggle with their own problems, which nearly all spawn from the feminist movement.
In the beginning, feminists used to champion simple equality while recognizing the inherent differences in men and women. Somewhere along the way—Roe v. Wade, the Pill, no-fault divorce, the sexual revolution, etc.—feminists decided to go to war with men and their masculinity. They would fight men in all arenas: work, politics, culture, and even in the home. Women growing up were taught to beat their male counterparts, not join them, so that they could eventually bring about a female utopia that did not need men.
Women now outnumber men in college and graduate school, and will come to dominate many fields previously dominated by men. Despite all this success, most of these women will still want to marry and have kids, and not have their lives defined by their careers. This means they must find a man who is their intellectual equal and can provide as much or more than she can. Needless to say, the pool of eligible men shrinks drastically after college—leading a dean at Princeton to tell female students to pair off with eligible males before it was too late.
This problem is compounded by delusional self-esteem boosting common in the feminist propaganda. Told that they are amazing, and that “The future is female,” many girls fail to recognize their own personal shortcomings. They may be hideous blockheads or insufferable shrews, but they believe they deserve the ideal man. As the data of so many online dating sites can attest, the majority of women will pursue a small minority of ideal men they feel like they deserve.
The problem worsens with the rise of hookup culture. To maintain their inflated self-esteem, many young women will sacrifice their chastity and sleep around for much of their 20s before thinking of settling down in a permanent relationship.
In addition to creating this relational death spiral for women, feminism has also robbed girls of mothers. This seems counterintuitive, seeing that nearly all girls have women in their lives, but few of them have actual mothers heeding the call of motherhood. Girls rarely grow up witnessing the feminine virtues responsible for so much of the world’s beauty, culture, refinement, and stability. Instead of seeing their mothers create beautiful homes and master so many arts and crafts, girls see their mothers run themselves ragged at some dull job to the neglect of their homes and themselves.
Like men, women have also stopped going to church. Feminism has convinced them that religion is patriarchal and anti-woman while promiscuity and protests are empowering. The un-churched woman therefore never learns about virtues of humility and chastity or the joys of family and marriage. They do know about loneliness though, and no amount of social media or pro-women TV series du jour will change that.
What To Do About It
So, what’s the solution to this problem, now that we know where it comes from? People with single friends or siblings, as well as single people themselves, want to know. After recognizing it as a problem—and shamelessly pretending the opposite—we need to address these causes in reverse. This is not easy, and most likely uncomfortable in the short-term, but it will ultimately lead to long-term happiness and love.
First, single men and women must return to God and His Church. For most people, it should be clear that the secular world wants to keep people single and isolated. It hates children, families, and people happily in love: such types tend to consume less, need less government in their lives, and could not care less about the environment and faux social justice. The God who is love wants the opposite for His children.
There may be intellectual or, more often, emotional barriers to practicing the faith. Since these barriers usually come out of an uninformed childhood, adults simply need to grow out of it. One of the first steps of adulthood is to stop blaming God or religion for all one’s problems. Only then can a person understand their problems and begin to solve them. More importantly, God’s grace will also supply some much needed faith, hope, and charity needed for serious personal change.
Once single people have a strong faith life, they can start understanding themselves as men or women and embrace their nature. Certain things will make men happy, and certain things will make women happy. One thing that makes both men and women happy are friends of the same sex, another thing many modern people lack. A man may lack role models, but he can make friends with other guys and learn with them what he is about. A woman can do the same—instead of pointlessly trying to friend-zone gullible men.
Eventually, what began as a fog of aimlessness for single men and women will begin to clear away. Men will see their faults and work to fix them; women will see themselves, and stop lying to themselves. And when they both reach this point, the men can pursue a good woman, and those women can respond accordingly. A romantic relationship, and by extension a fruitful marriage, will finally be possible.
The dating apocalypse is upon us, but we have the power to fight it. It isn’t just a matter of finding something to do this Friday night, but saving a civilization and restoring true love in the world.