Woman Explains Why A Man’s Biggest Competition In The Dating Game Is Not Other Men

When the people you're trying to date are perfectly comfortable alone, you need to try harder.

Independent woman Brittani Burns | Unsplash 

You need only to look to all the virulent misogyny in our culture and social media trends like the "tradwife" movement to see that we are at a major inflection point when it comes to old and new attitudes about male and female relationships — and a lot of women are feeling like the game has fundamentally changed when it comes to dating and finding a mate.

Many single women say a man's biggest dating competition is women themselves, not other men.

One of the biggest ways male and female gender dynamics have shifted is the simple fact that women largely no longer need men to get by.


The days when women needed men for social capital, money and security have long since passed, and the shift has perhaps never been so pronounced as it is now. More women are outearning their male partners than ever before, for instance. 

As psychologist Orion Taraban has put it, the necessity of male-female partnerships has to a large degree been replaced with desire.

And on TikTok, many women feel this has fundamentally shifted the stakes for men in ways too many of them fail to recognize.


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Many women say they are perfectly fine remaining single, and that means men have to work harder to make relationships worthwhile.

In a video that went viral on TikTok last summer, podcaster Emma Klipstein, one of the hosts of the "That's Unhinged" podcast, perfectly explained this shift.



"There's nothing a man should fear more than a woman who's comfortable being alone," Klipstein said. "You are now competing with me. You're not competing with other guys." 


This is because Klipstein is "good being alone. I am fine. So … you have to make it so that I want to be with you instead of being with me." The question men need to ask themselves then, she said, is "How are you going to do that?"

Klipstein's take has definitely resonated — her quote has been used in scores of TikToks by other women who feel exactly the same way. One of them, TikToker Meagan Rose, explained that it's not just shifting mores but her previous experiences with men that have led her to this place. 



In the caption of a video she made using Klipstein's quote, she described how a six-year relationship left her "lost" and "longing." Years later, she wrote, "You’ll find that I’ve reclaimed 95% of that fierce independence. I’ve rekindled my comfort in solitude, and each day is a new chapter in the journey of self-love." 


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That fundamentally changes the math of dating. And for many women, it makes dealing with men not worth the trouble.

A commenter on one of Taraban's YouTube videos put it most succinctly: "When your marriage is necessary for your survival it's really easy to overlook your spouse's shortcomings. When your marriage is a luxury, it's hard to put up with anything less than perfection."

Men and women have always been at odds in key ways, but nowadays a lot of women are simply no longer willing to put up with some of women's most common complaints.

Dynamics like weaponized incompetence, many men's tendency to lack emotional intelligence, their unwillingness to have equal partnerships, the phenomenon of "married single moms" — these have been anecdotally shown to be fueling a tidal wave of divorces, and it seems they're fueling many unmarried women to stay that way too.




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Coupled with how insanely toxic dating apps and the "scene" they've created have become, it's easy to see why so many women are feeling like it's just not worth it anymore. And the backlash these changes seem to have inspired among many men only serves to underline it even more.

Shifting mores on gender have fueled a massive upswing in virulent, often violent misogyny online for years as many men rail against what they see as a denial of their inalienable right to female companionship. 


It's also led to bizarre fads among women, like the online "tradwife" trend in which women celebrate traditional femininity, often to the extent of advocating for their own subjugation by the men in their lives.

But if your response to a woman being more comfortable with solitude is to go on a misogynistic tirade about what you're owed by women, well, you're only proving women like Klipstein's point: If you had something to offer her beyond the old, traditional masculinity she no longer has much use for, she'd probably take you up on it!


The days when patriarchy meant men could find a partner simply by making a woman feel validated, or secure, or by using her insecurities to manipulate her like "pick-up artists" and male influencers have suggested for decades, seem to be over. And they aren't coming back.

"The more men I meet, the more comfortable I am with being alone," a commenter on Klipstein's video wrote. "A man shouldn't fear it," a male commenter responded, "it is a partnership with both [give and take]." 

If that equality scares or upsets you, that's something worth working on. Because a lot of women seem to be done with compromising on it.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.