Men Are Sharing Difficult Parts Of Modern Dating, And As A Woman, I Never Thought Of Some Of These

    "After a while, trying to get a damn date for Saturday night feels like going hat in hand asking for money."

    Dating is TOUGH, especially in this day and age. But personally, I can only speak to my experience dating as a woman. So when Reddit user u/jayrod699 asked, "What’s been the hardest part of dating as a man?" I was super curious to see what it's like from another side. And some of the responses were actually super sad. Here's some of what the guys had to say.

    1. "The constant rejection. Get rejected a thousand times and you get more than a little gun-shy. The worst is when they assume it must be a joke. Because you have to be joking if you think she might be interested."


    "I have seen female friends cry for hours over the fact that one guy said 'no' when they asked him out, and how awful it was and how guys could never understand how they feel. Lady, guys get rejected all the time — we know how it feels."


    "I had a couple of first dates last month, and all of them gave me their number, some of them said that 'we should meet again'...none have replied when I've asked about going out on a date somewhere or offering a dinner. It's been a month, and some of my messages are still marked as unread on WhatsApp."


    A scene from a film with two men at a bar, one woman standing; the woman is telling the men that "girls with asses like mine do not talk to boys with faces like yours"

    2. "For men, it's the absence of opportunity on dating apps — the staggering lack of matches; the occasional match that goes unreplied; the conversation that evaporates after saying hi; the 'maybe date' that never materializes. It's also the fear of social alienation or punishment in real life, as the internet has socialized young men to view approaching women as harmful or annoying (a courting faux pas). This puts men into a losing position as they don't approach and are left unapproached — essentially a ship sailing alone, afraid to hail other ships and ignored by those that sail around them."


    "I've been out of the dating pool for a few years now, but I still can't forget the number of messages my (now) ex had in 2014. She likely had more messages (~250, iirc) in two months than I've received in some four years of combined dating accounts. And frankly, she wasn't 10/10 or close to it, either.

    "I was lucky to get five mystery likes a week on Tinder. I could go a month without receiving any new replies, just on there swiping away for four weeks with zero return."


    3. "After a while, trying to get a damn date for Saturday night feels like going hat in hand asking for money. I mean, if a female friend approached me and asked me to set her up with a 5-foot-11, 160-pound single guy who likes to bike and roller-skate, has a slight British accent, and is studying physics, my reply would be, 'I can do that but can probably only get four guys that match this description exactly, and it’s gonna take me about 20 minutes.' Whereas I ask a female friend if she has any single friends who would be interested in a guy like me, and I get a quick reply of 'no.'"


    A boy in a crowded dining hall holds out his bowl to an adult, appearing to ask for more

    4. "You have to initiate everything. Unsure if she’s being nice or friendly? That’s on you to figure out. :))))))))))))))"


    5. "You are supposed to know which woman is interested in you and to approach her while simultaneously being told by women never to approach them under any circumstances. If you do approach them and it's unwanted, then you're an entitled creep. The risk isn't worth the reward."


    6. "The hardest part of dating as a man (who isn't super-duper model-tier hot) is keeping the woman on board long enough that she gets to see your charm, humor, and positive points. Personality DOES count, but it's a moot point when most women will ghost or dismiss you LONG before you get a chance to show what a charismatic, fun person you can be."


    A woman and man are conversing in a pool; the woman appears contemplative, with text: "They never gave you a real chance"

    7. "How difficult dating is for an individual man depends on many factors. When people talk about dating being harder for men than for women, they’re mostly referring to men ages 18–29. This demographic of men have trouble finding partners because there are simply fewer available women in the same age range. There is already around a 5% surplus of men in the 18–29 demographic of most Western countries, and a significant number of women in this bracket are either dating men over 30 or have no desire to date. So a big part of it is the numbers game not being in young men’s favor."

    "Another big issue is declining social capital — both younger men and women have far smaller social circles than previous generations. This puts them in the position of having to date people outside their circles, which is part of why online dating and bars/restaurants have become the most common ways that couples meet now. This is hard for women because they’re forced to date strangers, and they’re taking a much bigger risk than men in regards to their safety. However, it’s bad for men because physical appearance is far more important in these methods of dating.

    "There is a perception that women aren’t visual creatures when it comes to attraction, but this isn’t accurate. The research seems to suggest that for women, physical attractiveness is important, but they need additional context to know if they are truly interested in a guy — e.g., personality, interests, etc. The problem is, in online dating, you can’t really convey this context through a profile, so women can only filter by looks. Whereas they may have been more inclined to give a less physically attractive guy a shot if they met him through friends/family or in a setting where they get to know him first. I think this is evident by the number of average or even below-average guys who had no trouble getting married in previous generations.

    "There is also a massive gender imbalance in both online dating and social spaces like bars or clubs. This exacerbates the problem, as some women have so many options, they end up with choice paralysis. They struggle to commit because they have the perception that there’s always a better/more compatible guy out there.

    "Ultimately, dating has become worse for both men and women. People are now forced to date total strangers, which is deeply unnatural for humans. Though I think it’s fair to say it’s harder for men on average. You could look at it as an analogy of being in a race — would you rather be in the race but losing, or would you rather not be able to get off the starting line?"


    8. "I can’t speak for the majority. But ever since I stepped foot out of college, dating has become sort of…transactional."

    "Through nonwork social/networking/private events, they say I look like a 'one-night' kind of guy.

    "Though work events, I always sense that they just wanna use me for my network.

    "However, the best dating experiences I’ve had were with girls I met while volunteering, in exercise groups, or traveling abroad. It’s just more wholesome to meet people without introducing yourself as 'XYZ from XYZ industry.' They judge you as who you are without the added spice."


    9. "To me, the hardest part about dating as a guy is making others comfortable. There is an inherent display of power at play with men, and showing that you are, in fact, a gentle giant is hard, especially if the relationship is new."


    10. "The feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness that come from being ignored by women all your life and/or being treated as if you're a horrible monster just because you exist. I personally think that both men and women have it hard but for different reasons, and neither side is willing to acknowledge any kind of fault in their own behavior, but would rather put all the blame on the other side."


    Ryan Reynolds from "Spirited" saying "I'm not a monster" to Will Ferrell

    11. "The hardest part about dating as a man is that you're never good enough."


    "It's also often impossible to navigate the frequently contradictory requirements.

    "You need to be strong and stable but only when appropriate, and not too much or you're a soulless rock, but you also need to be vulnerable and emotional — but similarly, only when appropriate and not too much, otherwise you're not worthy of respect. You need to be sensitive, but only when they want you to be, and not when it makes them uncomfortable.

    "You need to be independent and put together, able to handle all of your own shit without outside help, but you also need to open up and be open to being dependent on them in exactly the idealized way they imagine you should be, but not at all beyond that capacity.

    "You need to be in good shape and fit, but also not in the gym all the time.

    "You need a decent social life and friends to display you're functional and not a serial killer, but you also need to not spend that much time with them or place so much importance on them that they might ever take precedence over your relationship.

    "You need to be funny and charming and entertaining and appealing and make every effort to go the extra mile, but you also need to temper how interested you appear to be — otherwise you're coming on too strong. But also, if you don't appear sufficiently interested, they'll think you don't like them at all, even if you keep making all the effort to interact with them regularly.

    "You need to make the move, but only when they're comfortable and not a second beforehand, because that will make them uncomfortable, and they won't tell you when you're on the right side of that line — and if you ask, there's a decent chance that can and will ruin the moment. But also, you need to respect their autonomy and boundaries and not do anything that could be perceived as pushy, so you better thread the needle, but also, if you don't make a move when you were supposed to, then the responsibility is entirely on you. And if things fizzle, that's your fault and not theirs, and they will immediately assume you aren't that interested in them if you didn't make a move when you were supposed to, so you had better get good at reading minds."


    12. "You always have to perform. The times when your confidence is low, you won’t be able to date. You can’t doubt yourself openly or be open about any insecurities or vulnerabilities. Even though a lot of these things are organic human experiences and emotions, women don’t want a partner who displays them. Also, if you don’t show initiative and 'put yourself out there,' your chances are pretty low unless you’re a hotshot. Lastly, you’re expected to be sure about somebody, even in the earliest stages (or at least act that way), when a girl can be 'unsure about you' and act that way."


    13. "It's the amount of competition. Back in college before all the online dating apps, you were just essentially competing with other dudes in that general area at that time. Now you're competing with every male within your specific age range within a 50-mile radius or more. Also, your profile needs to be exciting and interesting enough. When I started online dating before I was married, you just needed a couple of photos. Now, 10 years later and divorced, I need a picture of me on a mountaintop; a picture of me, but not too close, but not too far away; a picture of me with friends, but not too many friends; and a candid photo of me doing something outside. Luckily, I met my current girlfriend after using Hinge for a couple of weeks, but I absolutely hated the experience."


    Aladdin and Genie from "Aladdin" with the Genie saying he has to be more confident about what he has to offer, and Aladdin asks, "What do I have to offer?"

    14. "The hardest part as a young man was that following the advice and literal statements from women on what they want in a dating partner turns you into a 'Nice Guy.'"

    "You have to just know that there is a mile-long list of other requirements unstated by a woman that she may not even be consciously aware of — like you need to seriously hit the gym for those impressive gains and always be hustling for more green."


    15. "All the marriage risks are on men. If there is a divorce, the man almost always has to pay the woman alimony and continue working to pay for her existence. Courts almost always take the kids from the men and give them to the women and make the men pay them; 50-50 joint custody is not the norm. Most states are 'no fault,' meaning she can cheat or just get bored one day and then take half his stuff, take the kids, and get alimony."


    "This right here makes me legitimately question if I want to get remarried. For now, I restrict my dating to women in my tax bracket, even though I'd really prefer not to. It would just be extraordinarily imprudent to take on that kind of risk with someone who's coming into the relationship from a very different economic perspective: 'Never enter into a contract with someone who benefits from breaking it.'"


    16. "I've always found it annoying that essentially ZERO women ask guys out. That ish is a lot more common in TV and other entertainment, but I personally have only heard of it twice in my life. They don't have to put forth any effort."


    Scene from a film on a bridge with a man asking a woman out and her declining; when asked why not, she says "I don't know, because I don't want to"

    17. "The hardest part is walking on eggshells for miles to reach a person who, 9 times out of 10, isn’t 'good' themselves."


    "Being gay and using the apps, there were also a lot of men who were depressed, lazy, didn't keep very good hygiene, and had no real sense of accountability or responsibility.

    "They were in a rude and condescending mood all the time, but they wanted the kind of guy they were jealous of: the tall, athletic guy who makes really good money and can travel. If they didn't envy you, they didn't have time for you. Some of them would tell me that I wasn't 'conventionally attractive' and that they 'already had friends' and didn't even feel like getting to know me...or even answering my text messages. This was a direct and outright admission from some of them, LOL.

    "I got tired of 'working on myself' for people who couldn't even show me a basic amount of respect and put in any effort themselves."


    18. "I make over $500,000 as a physician. Before I met my wife, I dated countless women who thought my income was THE standard. These are women who worked at Walgreens, waited tables, were teachers, and other below-average-income jobs. Like, shit, $500,000 a year is top 0.1% income. Barely 10% of men even make $100,000 a year."


    19. "The hardest part is wondering, Can I read her signals accurately?"


    "There's a girl at work who, when she started, was married. After a while, I noticed that she was staring me down constantly; suggested we get together a couple of times, and I overheard her talking about lawyers being expensive. Then I heard from a friend at work that she got divorced. In our random conversations, she never once mentioned that she's not married anymore or anything even hinting at that, so she basically expected me to figure that out or risk hitting on a married woman because her signs are 'so obvious.'"


    20. "I can sum it up in a conversation I read in a forum outside of Reddit. Someone asks, 'Should a guy bring flowers on a first date?' Most responses were ambivalent, just stating a preference, but a fair few read like this: 1) 'Ugh, flowers tells me the guy is a total cheeseball, and now I've got to carry flowers around all evening.' 2) 'If a guy doesn't bring flowers on a first date, it tells me he's trash and has no class.' In both examples, the guy is getting cussed as if he's a problem. Caught between being cheesy and rubbish."


    Two characters from a TV show engaged in a conversation, close-up shots of their emotional expressions, with the young woman saying ""First date stuff — candy, flowers —that's easy" and the young man, confused, saying "Candy, flowers, right"

    21. "It's hard to find a gal at all...good or bad, LOL. I feel romantically/sexually invisible to women. I get way more attention from gay/bi men, and that's saying a lot, considering how much smaller a portion of the population they make up. Not that I'm looking right now, but it's not as if I'm turning anyone down, either. I haven't had a woman besides my S.O. obviously interested in me in 14 years."


    22. "Not all women are impressed by my knowledge and have the same interests. Most good guys have certain hobbies that they did a deep dive into. And a good number of women will want a guy to get rid of the majority of those hobbies or put them in the shed or storage. It can be hard to talk about our hobbies because a lot of women would consider it childish if we are nerds. I have told women my interests just to try to make friends, and they ghost me. And trying to convince a woman you are not her ex half the time can be exhausting. But not all women are like that."


    23. "After they agree to a date, it's up to the man to do 100% of the planning. Even after multiple dates with the same woman, the man is generally expected to be the social planner. It's exhausting and expensive, since most women still don't think they should pay for anything."


    Will Ferrell as a detective in "The Other Guys," saying "It's exhausting!" to someone else

    24. "Where can you meet single women without being shamed and lambasted? Yet you're a loser if you can't meet them. If women are interested, they'll 'drop hints' like blinking and breathing. If you approach and she doesn't like you, then you're 'creepy and weird.' If she likes you and you don't approach, then you're 'not a real man and it's your loss.' You're expected to initiate everything from the first conversation to physical intimacy, but you're 'creepy and weird' if you find women sexually and romantically attractive. And if a woman does want to have sex with you, you'd better have a black belt in the Kama Sutra or else you're a loser."


    25. "Today’s dating — swipe left or right — has been tweaked to a gambling-like formula. You will be judged immediately by a few pictures and two sentences as the combined value of your worth, and worst of all, you're competing with every other single (or not) man in the city. Now, them is some tough odds."


    26. "You always have to pay. It doesn't sound that bad on the surface. But it adds up and sometimes starts to feel as though we are being taken for granted. It feels as if we're escorting this beautiful princess around whom everyone loves and adores. Everyone is fawning over her, but if you make one mistake, she's gone and on to the next one. You're just some chump who happens to have the credit card tonight, which is paying for everything."


    "Not sure if it's the 'hardest part,' necessarily, but the expectation to pay for everything (at least early on) can really be a barrier to dating. When you don't have a well-paying job and you live in an expensive city, dating becomes a significant investment."


    Nathan Lane from "The Birdcage" wearing a robe in a dressing room next to a mirror and saying, "That's all I am to you — a meal ticket!"

    27. "Being denied any support or compassion whatsoever and somehow being expected to be confident. THEN I might get the support and compassion I don’t need as much anymore."


    28. "Some women like bread-crumbing and only provide one-line, dead-end responses to thoughtful conversation starters. There's an entitlement that comes with the 'entertain and impress me' mentality that some women have, all while contributing little to nothing to the interaction."


    29. And finally: "The most apt analogy I've heard is that if quality partners are like fresh drinking water, men live in a desert and women live in a swamp. It's a struggle for both, but it's not the same struggle."


    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.