Eugene Volokh cites his friend Marylin Zielinski on why some men are single:
I think almost any man can be sexy, can become a good flirt, can learn to attract women, if he is truly willing to. Like most social skills, the general principles aren’t that mysterious, and are quantifiable if you pay attention.
I think it’s particularly true that most men can learn to be sexy, since women are more forgiving about looks, which are less changeable . . . . Maybe it’s easier for women to cultivate appeal, since we’re sort of more raised with the idea of adapting ourselves, rather than just “being,” but men can do it.
But most men don’t really want to be sexy; they want sexy to be them. I don’t mean to man-bash, men are one of my favorite genders, but it’s such a waste of resources. Like you, I know tons of great women. They’re (list of all the good adjectives), and people want to be around them.
And I know a fair number of (good adjectives) single men, but [it’s generally] also clear why they’re single. They don’t listen, and won’t; they won’t get a real job; they’re boring but don’t want to acknowlege it or do anything about it. Hey, if that shirt was “in” when they were in high school, no need to see if any ads/mannequins/humans under 60 wear it today.
I don’t have a single female friend who hasn’t asked herself, “What am I doing wrong?” and been totally open — often too open, in a self-blame-y way — to the answer, and to changing the answer, often with great success. But I almost never find that men ask that question, or are even willing to hear the answer, let alone do anything about it. Instead, single men in my experience behave as if the only life possibilities are being the way they are, or acting. The idea of growth and change don’t make the radar.
Of course some men welcome growth and change. But those men grew and changed, or were pretty cool to start with, and are usually — not always, but usually — hooked up. . . .
With me, I’m single because I am boring (I talk/think/write about sports far too much for even the Australian woman to tolerate) and also I refuse to get a real job. A real job isn’t really practical for me at the moment, but even when it will be, I don’t think I could stomach getting back on a career treadmill. Especially because I’d be starting at the bottom.
There’s a lot to be said for not having a career, being answerable to none and being able to indulge one’s vices as one sees fit. I did the career stuff when I was younger. I like not having to get up in the morning and heading off to the office- there’s a lot to be said for heading out at 3 am for a coffee if you feel like it.
This doesn’t rule out ‘growth and change’: my life has been constantly changing in a big way since I was 20- anyone that knew me then wouldn’t recognise me now.
But there was a hilarious afterwards to this quote from Andrew Sullivan:
Much of this is true – but only for straight men. And that reveals the real source of male slovenliness: women. If women weren’t so damn forgiving of slobbiness, if they weren’t prepared to look for the diamond buried in the rough of a man’s beer-belly, men might have to shape up a little. The only reason gay men are – on the whole – better turned out than straight men is because they have to appeal to other shallow, beauty-obsessed males to get laid, find a mate, etc. The corollary, of course, are lesbians. Now there are many glamorous lesbiterians, but even the most enthusiastic Sapphic-lover will have to concede that many are not exactly, shall we say, stylish. The reason? They don’t have to be to attract other women; and since women find monogamy easier, they also slide into the I’m-married-so-what-the-hell-have-another-pretzel syndrome. When straight women really do insist on only dating hot guys, men will shape up. Until then, it’s hopeless.
So, you see, it really is the woman’s fault that men are slobs! Priceless!