Nobody's ever said relationships are easy, and sometimes, a friend who's been by our side can see some harsh but insightful truths that we've missed about ourselves. So recently, u/teekzer asked, "What is causing your friend to remain single that you don't have the heart to tell them?" While those who responded may not have the heart to tell their friends, they did have some astute observations — here are some below:
2. "He makes the same jokes about poop and farts all the time — like, constantly. Yes, some women like potty humor, but they usually also want it to be funny."
"He is also very negative; he finds insult or something wrong with any situation."
3. "She is so lovely, kind, generous, and beautiful — but her crippling lack of self-esteem is so huge it's visible from space, and her anxiety means that she talks at 100 miles per hour in several directions at once when she's at all nervous."
"I'm also 99% sure that she has undiagnosed ADHD. It's like being handed eight happy Labrador puppies to hold in your arms. I so badly want her to be happy and feel fulfilled, but even I find it tiring sometimes."
4. "His self-fulfilling prophecy is fucking up his life. He's not unlovable or ugly or uncared for — but walking through the world expecting rejection at all turns and living in a fog of negativity makes him unattractive. So-and-so isn't hotter than you; that's not the reason they're getting more friends and lovers. It's because they are more positive and interested than you, and people are attracted to that company."
5. "I can smell them. Everyone can smell them."
"My husband has a friend like this. He's smart, funny, handsome, and has a good job. The guys all think he's still single because he's overweight, but I guarantee it's not that. It's that he stinks! It's a really specific smell that's particular to him. I can get in the car and say, 'Oh, you drove Jack home, huh?' I really wish one of them would tell him."
6. "He lies to himself about almost everything and lives in fantasy land. He thinks he's in the gym five days a week, eats great, climbs mountains, goes camping, and makes loads of money. In reality, he's at the pub five days a week, over eats like shit, went on one hike in January, can't hold a job, and lives paycheck to paycheck."
"If you were to confront him, it wouldn't even get through to him."
7. "The people they like aren't real; they are idealized, cartoonish caricatures. In my opinion, my friend himself has a lot to offer, but he is looking for a person that doesn't exist. It's hard to find something that's not there."
"I have a friend who started dating his roommate after being really into her for a while. After a week or two, he told her something like, 'Dating you doesn't feel as good as I thought it would.' He torpedoed a potential relationship because of his ideal fantasy. Honestly, I don't know if he realized he'd created an unrealistic standard in his head.
He's been single for the last decade, and his mental health has only gotten worse in the time I've known him despite therapy. I think he's probably so detached from 'appropriate dating behavior' at this point that he could be single for the rest of his life."
8. "He keeps hanging on to the past and spending all his time with ex-girlfriends who are unavailable or women who like him but whom he doesn't romantically like."
9. "Her standards are too excessively high. She brings nothing to a relationship and is a walking contradiction. I think it's great to have standards — and high standards — but hers are just a checklist of 'wants.'"
11. "I always wondered why she couldn't get a date because she is gorgeous — then I saw her flirting with someone one night. Once they swapped numbers, she immediately became clingy. She started talking in a baby voice to him and making baby noises. When he made a completely inoffensive comment that she found offensive, she threatened to slap him."
"It's not shocking at all that he never called."
12. "He was an attractive, charming, and talented man in his 40s who only dated online. He got a good number of matches; they just never stuck around. He'd often complain on Facebook about how women on eHarmony only talked to him for a day or two before suddenly saying they didn't want to talk anymore or going radio silent. It was to the point that about two-thirds of his Facebook posts were complaints, mostly about dating; the rest were music-related. I'm willing to bet money that many of these women googled him — like you're supposed to when online dating — found all of his bitching, and ran away."
"God knows I would if I came across that. He'd post articles about the positives of online dating and then complain about how they were wrong, the specific women he dated, his job, his coworkers, etc. Basically, he used Facebook like Reddit, except Facebook isn't anonymous."
13. "The type of guys she claims she likes isn't what she's actually attracted to. She keeps saying she loves shy, introverted, and sensitive guys, but when she dates one, he's suddenly not outgoing enough, doesn't speak his mind enough, or is too shy. I think she has 'I can fix him' syndrome."
"She's attracted to the idea of a typical shy guy but thinks that once they're in a relationship, he'll suddenly be more open and turn into the guy she actually wants. That's not how it works!"
14. "Desperation. From laughing way too hard at mediocre jokes to bringing up marriage on the first date, she reeks of it. The sad thing is that if she were just her regular, funny, smart, and relaxed self, then men would fall over themselves trying to get her number."
"We have all tried talking to her about it to no avail."
15. "He talks way too much. Even when texting, my friend sends paragraphs to women he's just met."
16. "She has a long, long way to go in therapy before she'll be able to maintain a healthy, long-term relationship."
"If I did mention it, I'd be 'attacking' and 'gaslighting' her, so I'll let her work on her more pressing mental health issues."
17. "Horrid halitosis — it actually has been brought up before, but he never does anything about it. I'm fairly certain that he has gingivitis; his gums are blood-red and bleed easily."
"When I told him he probably has gum disease, he insisted someone in his family who's a dentist told him he didn't have it."
18. "He is needy and clingy. He also moves around a lot and has been in college for the last 15 years."
"There is a lot going on."
19. "I have a friend who constantly attaches herself to the worst men possible, gets treated like trash, and then reaches out to us for rescue. We tell her every time that the men she is seeing are horrible. Nevertheless, nice guys are always labeled boring, or she finds an excuse not to be interested. 'He has dinner with his mother two to three times a week; I'm not dating a momma's boy.' But the guy who ditched her at a concert twice? He's alright."
"At this point, I'm convinced she just likes being rescued."
20. "She's a beautiful girl — like, seriously, one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen in real life — but she needs constant validation. No man on the planet can give her the validation she requires."
21. "His standards are unrealistic. He's a four or five on a good day but is only interested in women if they're an eight or higher. He's also very overweight but constantly points out women's weight on dating apps and how it's a deal-breaker if they look to be above a US size 5."
"I didn't realize this was to such an extreme until the rest of his friends' wives and I sat down and went through the dating profiles of women who liked his profile. He just continuously criticized their appearance for such mundane reasons.
Per his request, we were trying to give him advice on how to talk to women. However, it became blatantly obvious to us why he was struggling. It completely changed my opinion of him."
22. "It's the selfish arrogance; 'I want what I want,' with the subtext that he never cared about what his girlfriend wanted. He wanted to spend all his money on sci-fi 'collectibles,' but engagement rings, investing, and buying a house were a waste of money. After almost 10 years together, she walked. He was 32 and thought he could find someone else. Now, he's 49 and hasn't had a girlfriend since. Of course, he says no one wants him because he's fat and bald. While those don't help, they're not the major turnoff."
"He was young and good-looking when he and his ex-girlfriend got together, but he put on weight and lost his hair during their relationship. While together, he only went to places he wanted to and never included her friends or family. No compromises were possible, either. He said no, and no discussions were entertained. His opinion on every topic was correct, and he was not interested in your opinion or listening to relevant, informative facts that he didn't know.
Since she left him, he still hasn't bought a house — and houses cost double what they did when they were dating. However, his rent has tripled, and he's bought a copy of all his favorite movies in every format (VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray). He even has a whole bedroom dedicated to storing them — if you can get in there, his house is a hoarder's paradise."
23. "She's really overdue for growing up and learning to self-reflect. She needs to allow herself to change. She's pretty, funny, and a great time to go out with — there's never a dull moment with her — but she's also not changed since we were teens. She's a mess. She doesn't clean or cook, can't hold down a job, lives paycheck to paycheck, and prioritizes a good time over everything else. Overall, she's extremely unstable. There's also no accountability for how her actions impact her own life, let alone the lives of others. Somehow, she has high expectations of her potential partners, though she doesn't bring much to the table or hold herself to the same standards."
"Sometimes, you need to slow down and get a grip on your mental health and life before actively seeking out relationships. I've watched her wreck so many people who have good intentions, and she doesn't even recognize how she hurt them."
25. "He's just too 'Catholic.' He wants this perfect trophy girlfriend who has to be a virgin. The girls that he meets either 1) are not interested in him, 2) have had boyfriends, 3) don't like his lifestyle, and/or 4) disagree with his relationship ideologies, like how he 'wants all the kids that God provides.' He also drinks too much alcohol, and it's always his way or no way."
"Of course, it's okay that he's not a virgin and has had a girlfriend. When I asked him about that, he told me it was different because he thought he would marry her..."
26. "His lack of interests. He's just a boring person. He has some hobbies that he picked up as a kid, but he only sticks with them because he's regularly done them. For example, he still plays tennis with his dad once a week. Otherwise, there is no development; you cannot get him to do anything he's not used to. He has no stories to tell and no life. There is no way to connect to him. He's just a kid getting older."
"I'm losing whatever connection we have left because we can't talk about new things. We've talked about the old stuff for over 20 years now."
27. "They don't know how to commit to anything (including a job) and act like things will happen on their own. It almost seems like their ideology is, 'It will happen when it happens,' so they don't try to make things happen at all. They'll meet a person, and then that's it — meet cute dead in the water."
28. "Her life revolves around helping her parents, whom she still lives with and do not need her help. Her hobbies include that and obsessing over her very ordinary cats. She mostly hangs out with her mother's friends."
"If I were a guy, I'd be scared to become part of her life."
29. "He can't seem to let go of the idea that women in their 20s don't want to date men in their 40s. Some do, and that's cool. However, his dating pool is tiny, and he is always confused and angry. He doesn't understand that he's not a silver fox; he needs to give women closer to his age a chance."
30. "Every new boyfriend is her baby's new 'daddy' — at least for a few months. Then, she cheats on them with older men at her plant job, practically brags about it to my sister, and wonders why nobody has anything to do with her daughter."
"It pisses me off because her daughter is so precious. Unfortunately, she's deranged when it comes to her love life. It also doesn't help that the men she typically fucks are married with teenage children and that their wives usually try to beat her ass afterward. I have no hope for her."
31. "He can't seem to understand that when he approaches girls, they don't want to hear about hunting, knives, and how he is very knowledgeable about killing things."
32. "I've known many guys who don't talk to women like they're human beings. It's bizarre. We'll be having a normal conversation when a woman approaches. Suddenly, these guys are sucking in their guts, puffing out their chests, and saying the whackest, weirdest, and fakest shit. It's like they think a woman is a thing to trick into some kind of attraction."
"It implies that they think of women as stupid or oblivious people who must be manipulated into a relationship. Obviously, women pick up on this immediate red flag and bail almost instantly."
33. "He's a nice guy, but he's also really exhausting. Everything is totally over the top with him! When he meets someone, he's totally in love. After a few dates, he's not anymore."
"I've told him to go for women who don't make him feel 'crazy in love' but more 'chill in love.' Also, he cannot shut up...ever!"
34. "Velcro. Velcro shoes, velcro wallet... They are hook-and-loop-fastener-mad, and the noise seems to drive partners away."
35. "She has a short temper. Instead of communicating, she is passive-aggressive whenever someone disagrees with her. It could be the most minor issue, but she needs to make sure her voice is the most dominant in the conversation. I think, deep down, she's very self-centered and influenced by the TikTok and Instagram videos she watches about how a man should know how to love and care for a woman naturally. Her standards are unrealistic, and it's hard to listen to her perspective of what a man and relationship should be like nowadays."
"As her friend, I try to keep my opinions neutral and have walked on eggshells with her for close to a decade. She was never problematic toward me until recently, when I saw that side of her which I believe caused her recent breakup and why she has issues with long-term relationships."
37. "He's not really empathetic and is a bit self-centered (though not in a narcissistic way). About 90% of the time, he talks about himself."
"He's also not one to change his views. He is always right, and he's not much into compromise."