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Valentine's Day Excuses for Singles

Andre Gray |
February 10, 2014 | 3:54 p.m. PST

Staff Writer

Beating cuteness with statistics. Dailycutepictures, Tumblr.
Beating cuteness with statistics. Dailycutepictures, Tumblr.
Being single on Valentine’s Day isn’t a big deal. I know it’s not a big deal, and you know it’s not a big deal. But let’s face it, when your friends are making googly eyes at their significant others from across the table, and they’re snickering and booping each other’s noses and discussing who they want to set you up with, it’s nice to be able to defend yourself. Here are a few well-documented, scientifically justified excuses that give a sociological rationale for your singleness. Let your friends know that it’s not your fault you’re single. It’s the system:

1. Demographically, the dating pool is rigged against me.

If you’re a man living on the West Coast, chances are you’re living in a hypercompetitive dating market. 90,000 more single men live in L.A. than single women. In Phoenix and San Francisco, the number is 65,000. Seattle and San Diego are around the same. Tell your romantically-involved friends that the dating scene is inflated, and you’re waiting until after you move to Boston, where the dating pool evens out, to start looking. 

If you’re a woman and a college student, you don’t even need city-specific statistics to make your point. According to Forbes, women make up 56% of college students in the US. Tell your friends that you’re only single because a significant portion of the young male population has failed to meet your standards of higher education, and so you’ve been left with fewer choices. 

2. I’ve been deemed socioeconomically unviable. 

Young, single people tend to move to lucrative cities. Mostly, they’re looking for a job, and enjoy being around other ambitious people in a location with a lot of resources. So it’s common sense that the wealthier the city, the easier it is to find a date. But let’s say you live somewhere with a concentration of industry and resources (USC/Los Angeles is an example), and you still have no luck. Blame it on assortative mating, a sociological trend where individuals get together based on factors other than affection, like say, economic status. In fact, the income gap in the US has widened partially because of this trend, where wealthy people tend to marry other wealthy people. 

It’s not enough to live in a prosperous, academic environment like USC; you still have to fight the limitations of your socioeconomic standing. Granted, there are plenty of wonderful people who don’t play into assortative mating trends. But tell your friends that you’re being selected against, even if people do it unconsciously. 

Love isn't all that great anyway. My-perfect-relationship, Tumblr.
Love isn't all that great anyway. My-perfect-relationship, Tumblr.
3. The college dating market is isolated and physically perilous.

In a relatively enclosed market like a university, certain qualities get significantly concentrated within the population. One of them, as we all know, is STDs. In the US, one in four college students has an STD. One in four. Tell your friends that you simply aren’t a gambler. 

4. Hook-up culture is standardized, no room for romantics like me.

Psychologists and sociologists alike love discussing the nature of the famed hook-up culture of college. If you want to use it as an excuse, you can point to Kate Taylor’s research with U Penn students, suggesting that many students are simply too busy and ambitious for a traditional relationship. Or, quote a page from Donna Freita’s “End of Sex” about the way social pressure perpetuates the preference for casual sex. Tell your friends that you’re a hopeless romantic lost in the cold social machinery of a systematic superficiality. They’ll eat it up. 

With these learned excuses, you can beat the couples this Valentine’s Day, and even look smart while doing it. And that’s what true love is all about. 

Reach Staff Writer Andre Gray here



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