Do singles have “too high” expectations?

“This is why so many people are single”.

I have to admit – this was my immediate reaction when I read this article.

It follows the tale of a woman who ghosted on a guy (ie ignored him completely and disappeared from his life) after a few weeks of flirty banter online.


And why did she give him the cowardly ditch? It was because, in her own words, he had “never really done anything off the expected life plan”.

“Brendan seemed like the perfect guy for me when I first swiped right on him. He was good looking, fit and had a good career in HR,” the writer explains.

But Brendan had never travelled, “or been arrested, or even bared his bum in public. In short, he was too straighty-one-eighty for me. I like my guys to have a past… I want them to have stories about being arrested in Amsterdam or streaking at the soccer in Rio.”

Alrighty then. Just so I’m clear:

  • Good face.
  • Good body.
  • Good job.
  • Good person.

But if he doesn’t have an arrest record or penchant for public nudity, he’s no good? No wonder my generation is chronically single. It’s an absolute minefield out there and the rules seem to change on the daily!

Step this way, you’ll get ghosted. Step that way, you’ll be subjected to insanely high expectations.

Engage with someone, and you might fall victim to breadcrumbing: where a person leads another person on by contacting them only intermittently (via text, in your DMs or publicly on social media). They reach out just enough to keep the other person interested, but never actually commit. Ultimately, you never know where you stand, making this the digital version of “leading someone on”.

Add to this the fact that a University of Michigan study last year found that 25% of online daters punch above their weight when contacting potential suitors online, and it’s easy to see why more people are single now than ever before.

All of that said, let’s finish on a positive. That same study found that of the people who contact others considered “out of their league”, around 1 in 5 get a response. Perhaps this is strategy is worth pursuing – and the answer to all of our dating woes?!