18 Reasons Why Men Are Throwing in the Towel on Dating

By Aaron Stone

Dating is full of ups and downs, and searching for the one can be stressful and draining. You might think dating apps and social media would make it easier to find your perfect partner, but these are actually two of a long list of things that are making men throw in the towel on dating. Here are 18 reasons why men are giving up on dating.

High Expectations

We all dream about finding our ideal partner, but sometimes you need to let the image of your perfect person go to find love. Having high expectations and a list of requirements as long as your arm can lead to constant disappointment, as it can be really difficult (if not impossible) to meet someone who ticks all of your boxes. Men can quickly get tired of their dates not meeting their high expectations and often give up on the hunt for love.

Financial Strain

The financial strain of dating can often cause men to throw in the towel. People still frequently stick to typical gender roles on heteronormative dates and expect the man to pay for everything. According to CNBC, “men spent $361 more than women over the course of 2019 on dating.” These costs can make dating pretty taxing, and some men simply can’t afford to be in the dating world, especially with everything being so expensive these days!

Tired of Online Dating

Online dating is now the main way to meet and connect with people. While it might make meeting potential dates easier, it also brings an array of new challenges to the dating world. The never-ending stream of options for possible partners can be extremely overwhelming, and it can be hard to narrow your choices down and commit to just one person. Online dating can also be pretty superficial, as you’re initially judging someone on their appearance instead of naturally getting to know someone.

Fear of Rejection

Let’s be honest, for most people, dating is terrifying! The fear of rejection is enough to scare anyone off dating, and it does just that for some men. There will always be times when you’re shot down in your quest for a relationship, and it can be easy to just give up instead of brushing it off and carrying on. Men will sometimes rather avoid dating completely than face the possibility of being turned down and rejected.

Bad Dating Experiences

We’ve all had our fair share of bad dates (I know I have). Dating can be awkward and uncomfortable, and men also often face the difficulties of women expecting the worst from them and assuming they only want one thing, which can make it particularly daunting and difficult to ask a woman on a date. With all these things to overcome and challenges to face, it’s not surprising that some men choose to avoid dating altogether.

Working on Themselves

You’ve probably heard the cliche that you can’t love someone else until you love yourself, and it’s true! Working on yourself, your self-esteem, and your confidence is a perfectly valid reason for not dating and looking for a partner. It’s important to fully understand and be comfortable in yourself before jumping into dating and relationships, so kudos to the guys who aren’t dating because they’re working on themselves!

Negative Past Relationships

Nobody wants to get hurt! Negative experiences with past relationships like cheating, abuse, and betrayal can prevent men from getting back into the dating world and looking for a new partner after a breakup. Trauma from past relationships can have a lasting effect on men and make them scared to trust someone and be vulnerable. Giving yourself as much time as you need to recover and get over these bad experiences is crucial.

Putting Their Career First

It’s the age-old question of whether your career or your relationship is more important. Today, men tend to put their careers and ambitions first, often prioritizing financial stability over most other things including dating, especially in the current economic climate. With work as their priority, some men decide to delay or even completely abandon finding a romantic relationship.

Fear of Commitment

Business Insider highlights that “roughly 42% of US citizens did not have a spouse or partner as of 2017.” Having decreased over time, this figure suggests that marriage is on the decline, and this could be due to people having a fear of commitment. The causes of commitment issues vary from man to man, which makes this fear manifest in many different ways. However, it ultimately leads to men not wanting to date or be in relationships.

Focussing on Mental Health

There’s been a huge shift in society’s attitudes towards mental health over the last few years, and it’s all for the better! Making sure you give your mental health and well-being the time it deserves is so important. For their benefit, and for the benefit of any potential partners they may have in the future, men are opting to focus on their mental health before pursuing romantic relationships more often.

Toxic Masculinity

Various components of toxic masculinity, such as having gender bias, not caring for yourself, and not healthily expressing your feelings can significantly impact your dating life. Some men feel pressure to conform to these harmful stereotypes, and this can result in unsuccessful dates and, more seriously, issues with mental health. More men are becoming aware of the issues with toxic masculinity and are taking steps back from dating for their well-being and self-improvement.

Social Media’s Influence

We all mindlessly scroll on social media, but we don’t think about the damage it could actually be doing to the way we think. While you’re looking at seemingly perfect couples on social media, you’re likely to be subconsciously comparing yourself to them. This can cause some men’s self-esteem to take a hit, which can make it difficult for them to venture into the dating world. Comparison is the thief of joy, as they say!

Preferring Independence and Freedom

Having been independent and free to do whatever they want whenever they want for a long time, some men don’t want to leave this lifestyle behind. Dating and being in a relationship can have great advantages and benefits, but some men prefer to be independent and not have to compromise or think about anyone else. Sometimes men don’t date simply because they love the freedom of the single life!

Emotional Toll

Dating can take a toll on your emotions. Going on date after date and investing your time, energy, and emotions into something just for it not to work out can be incredibly draining! It’s not surprising that some men throw in the towel on dating when it can sometimes feel like you’re putting in so much effort for nothing. It can be difficult to start from scratch again if things don’t go well.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety can significantly impact your dating life, making it more difficult to initiate a conversation with a potential date and connect with people. This fear of social situations can lead to men giving up on dating. With “an estimated 12.1% of U.S. adults experience social anxiety disorder at some time in their lives,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health, social anxiety could be keeping a lot of men off the dating scene.

Lack of Time

Meeting someone, dating, getting to know them, and growing a relationship can take up a lot of time! When your plate is already full with work, hobbies, socializing with friends, and all other aspects of your life, it can be hard to fit dating into your schedule. Some men don’t even have much time for a personal life at all with the demands of their work, let alone time for dating.

Gender Roles and Expectations

Back in the day, it was always the man’s responsibility to ask for the date, plan the date, pay for the date, and make the first move, but things are more uncertain these days with gender roles and expectations having changed a lot. Some people still like the man to take the lead, whereas others prefer a more 50/50 approach, but how are you meant to know which your potential date prefers? This is enough uncertainty to put some men off dating altogether!

Lack of Authenticity

There may be a lot of inauthentic and ingenuine people in your dating pool. You may come across people who aren’t looking for the right thing or who aren’t genuinely interested in you, and you sometimes have to go through a few superficial relationships to find that special connection! However, it can be difficult to keep plodding on, and the lack of authenticity can cause some men to throw in the towel.


It can sometimes be a good idea to give up on dating temporarily, for example, if you have other priorities or aren’t in the right headspace to go on dates. However, don’t let these negative thoughts stop you from dating if you think it’s the right time to find your special person. Ignore all these obstacles and get back on that horse!

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