Where have all the good men gone at our age? In his book, Date-onomics: How Dating Became A Lopsided Numbers Game, US author Jon Birger argues that dating is difficult for women simply because they greatly outnumber men.
“It’s not that he’s just not that into you,” he says. “It’s that there aren’t enough of him.”
According to the UK census, women outnumber men by almost a million and suitable suitors are even scarcer for those with a university degree.
“According to World Bank data on higher education, the number of UK women enrolled outnumber the UK men by 36 per cent,” says Birger.
Birger believes that because there are fewer men in the dating pool they are less likely to be committed partners: “Not only does a shortage of men make it statistically harder for women to find a match, but, according to psychologists, sociologists and other scholars who have studied the effects of lopsided gender ratios, oversupplies of women give men an incentive to play the field.”
So with a man shortage and only a handful of commitment-phobes in the dating pool, how do you beat the depressing odds of finding a date?
“Men want to be wanted,” says Birger, “and in a lopsided dating market, women who are pursuers are more likely to succeed than those who sit back and wait for Mr Right to woo them.
“The long-held stereotype that men enjoy the chase – a theory that drives dating guides like The Rules and countless other dating strategies – may well be a myth.”
“Sitting at home in front of a laptop every evening and weekend is not the only way to meet guys,” says Rebecca Perkins, midlife dating expert at eHarmony.
“Get fully involved with a hobby such as life drawing or joining a running group or a book club. These interests can then be used in your dating profile, which will attract interest from like-minded guys.”
Birger suggests that if a man perceives a woman to have many interested suitors his fear of rejection will increase and he is less likely to ask her out.
“College graduates tend to date and marry other college grads,” says Birger. “As a result, there are too many men in the non-college-educated dating market and too many women in the college-educated dating market.
“My suggestion to college-educated women is to open their hearts and minds to non-college-educated men because there are more of them and their dating behavior has not been distorted by an oversupply of women.”
Moving to a male-dominated profession such as the tech industry, finance, law enforcement, emergency services or construction may provide more opportunities for romance.
Seek out new venues for meeting men from a lower socio-economic background. In a city like New York, single women may have more success meeting good men at a fireman’s pub in Staten Island than at a wine bar on the Upper East Side, suggests Birger.
Tell everyone who comes to bring a single friend, whom they are not interested in dating but who might be suitable for someone else. Even if you don’t find a match you’ll have fun meeting new people.
Then you can meet up with fellow pet lovers of the opposite sex at shows or walks. In London alone, there are more than 6,500 dog meet-up groups. Explore By Paw organises monthly out-of-town dog-walking weekends and dog-friendly places to stay.
It’s a serious suggestion. There are areas where the gender ratio is more favourable. “When it is the men who are in oversupply the dating culture is more likely to emphasise courtship, romance and monogamy,” says Birger.
If all else fails there’s always the possibility of a permanent move to Silicon Valley in the US where the men are educated, intelligent, high earners and the women are in short supply.