They’re single but they’re not mingling.
New data from the Pew Research Center has shown that 63% of men under 30 are single – up from 51% in 2019.
COVID isolation and women’s high expectations for something serious are the main reasons they’re avoiding going out and coupling up, young guys say.
“Dates feel more like job interviews now. Much more like ‘What can you do for me and where is this going?'” said Ian Breslow, a 28-year-old high school teacher who lives in Astoria.
“The ‘getting to know you’ period is gone and that doesn’t feel so great after coming out of isolation.”
He recalled a recent first date that went quite well until the woman interrogated him on their walk home.
“She literally asked me, ‘Would you rather our kids go to public or private school?’ Followed by several more extreme questions about getting married. I just started responding with what I knew she would hate the most to get her to leave,” Breslow told The Post.
Experts agree that women are certainly wanting more than ever before.
“The overall picture [is] that if a woman is going to go on a date with a man, chances are it’s not for a casual fling,” Ronald Levant, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Akron, told The Post.
“Especially if the woman is kind of getting close to 30, [she’s] thinking about the biological clock and wants to have a family, he added.
Breslow isn’t looking to settle down and get married anytime soon, so he’d rather have casual flings.
“The way dating is currently just makes me want to hook up locally with no stress or strings attached,” he says. “Fortunately that part comes very easy . . . I’m unmotivated to search for something serious for the time being.”
Ian Breslow said the face of dating has changed greatly since COVID.
Andrew Bruno, a 28-year-old nurse from Bellmore, NY, says flirting in the post-COVID era just isn’t as fun as it once was.
“Being able to naturally approach people while out isn’t like it was pre-pandemic. People are still much less likely to leave their groups or cliques at a bar,” said Bruno. “They’re certainly less talkative and that’s lowered my incentive to put myself out there.”
He also said the pandemic, more than ever before, made dating apps the central means for meeting people — and he’s not a fan.
“That just really isn’t my style. Like there is a weekslong prerequisite before you can think about getting involved, even for casual things,” Bruno said. “I’d rather take all that effort and put it towards my career.”
And, like Breslow, he’s in no hurry to get hitched.
Andrew Bruno feels that people have become less approachable while out since COVID.
“I’m also still very young,” Bruno said. “I don’t feel the need to rush, especially if people don’t act as naturally as they did before COVID. Why would I put it all out there for someone who can’t or won’t hold a conversation?”
For Mike M., a 25-year-old in Queens, it’s his — not the opposite sex’s — social skills that are still battling a bad case of long COVID.
“I definitely can’t walk into a room and go talk to someone I’m interested like I used to be able to. It feels like my outgoingness has suffered some atrophy,” Mike, who withheld his last name out of embarrassment, told The Post.
He’s also having less sex than he did pre-pandemic.
“I have definitely been going online to take care of my urges more than I have by seeing people,” Mike admitted.
He feels as though he lost two prime years in his early 20s of being able to date and have fun without worrying about being in a serious relationship.
Now, he’s under pressure to find a long term commitment, but can’t put himself out there.
“I also feel like I’m caught between two worlds,” he said. “Ultimately I’ve just been crashing and have had neither lately.”
Young men reveal why so many of them are single: ‘Dates feel more like job interviews’
“The way dating is currently just makes me want to hook up,” says one 28-year-old