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10 Ways Toxic Masculinity Affects Dating

It's true. Toxic masculinity affects dating, and poisons that sea full of fish.

People, I gotta tell ya. The dating pool needs chlorine in it, big time. It's not that there aren't sexy people out there; even the average person is fairly good looking. No, the problem isn't looks. It's peoples' attitudes.

Though we were all taught better, we have a lot of serious problems in today's society. They're starting to poison our relationships and ruin dating.

We ghost people because people are afraid of confrontation and being assertive—and rightfully so, because people stopped being able to take rejection. We have to look our best, because we've become so shallow. Our expectations on sex have literally caused people to go on murdering sprees.

Honestly, a lot of the problems we're seeing today deal with toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity is a set of cultural beliefs that emphasize unhealthy attitudes and behaviors about sex, gender, and social norms. 

It sounds like mumbo jumbo, doesn't it? Well, agreeably, it does; but it's something that's seriously affecting our dating scene.

The effects of toxic masculine mindsets make people shallow.

I'm not going to lie; looks matter. We all enjoy someone who will be a sexy partner, right? Of course, but there's a problem here. Because of how totally warped thinking about genders is these days, people are starting to objectify women at a pace that is really alarming.

Men now care more about weight and appearance than they did 50 years ago. It's become a status symbol to have a hot girl—more so, in fact, than having a girl who you relate to.

I've personally heard of guys who loved women dearly, but refused to be seen with them because of their appearance. I've also heard of women who increasingly value friends based on how good they make them look.

The increased pressure for good looks is one that is also having a serious effect on women. Eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and weight anxiety are at an all-time high. Why? Because women are constantly shown that their only value is in looks.

On a similar note, men often judge one another by their income and by how many women they slept with. If that isn't shallow, I don't know what to tell you, but body shaming needs to end now.

Women are encouraged to manage men's emotions.

When a woman is sexually assaulted in the dating scene, the first question people ask her is, "What were you wearing?" It's often followed by, "So, why didn't you say no?" or "Boys will be boys!"

Toxic masculinity tends to encourage men to dump their emotions on women, or even blame women when their emotions get out of control. This lack of responsibility for their actions forces potential partners to mitigate damage that is really beyond their control.

By shifting the blame onto the victims, the toxic social mindset we have towards men and women makes the world a more dangerous place for women. It's not a gender role thing; it's a sign that we need help.

Media frames dating as transactional.

Artwork: Olga Perelman

Anyone with an ounce of common sense can tell you that dating is not a transaction. You can't bribe a person into falling in love with you, nor can you do a bunch of nice little actions in hopes that they decide to be with you.

These kinds of skewed transactions tend to make guys (and sometimes girls) think that people can be "won over" if they do the right transaction. Some even think love means that there's an obligation to stay with one another based on "love points."

This leads to a toxic practice known as "keeping score." When the other partner feels that the match is incompatible and leaves, it leaves the other person feeling cheated. Others may also feel wrongly obliged to stay with someone just because they're nice.

If you think that this doesn't involve a toxic masculine mindset, you're wrong. It actually feeds into another major issue...

It makes men lash out in rage at rejection.

Want to know why so many guys can't stand rejection, or who so many people seem to go into a blind fury at the thought of having a girl refuse them sex? You can thank toxic masculinity and even more toxic beliefs reinforced by media for that.

The way media shows dating suggests that the guy has to "get the girl" in order to be a valid person in society. Men are taught that being rejected or being a "dateless loser" is the worst thing that can happen to them.

So, when girls say no, certain men freak out.

While we're at it, we need to bring up how toxic masculinity affects attitudes on sex.

I've noticed a pervasive belief among men affected by toxic attitudes towards masculinity that worries me. They tend to view sex as an act of domination—and one that should not actually be enjoyed by women at all.

Some guys I've spoken to literally don't believe that women can enjoy having sex. Those who openly admit to enjoying it are seen in a negative light...because, why? Apparently that's not supposed to happen.

When people turn sex into domination and rage-based control, it's a sign bad sign. It's a dangerous sign, and it's a sign of an abusive mindset, if not a sign you're dealing with a red piller.

The super-rigid roles that this kind of belief structure enforces also makes men feel embarrassed for choosing a non-traditional model.

Macklemore said it best in his song, "Stay at Home Dad." 

The hardest job out there is to keep the home looking great and making sure the breadwinner has a nice place to come home to. There's nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to being a homemaker—even if you're a guy.

However, people who buy into the toxic social mindset we're bombarded with won't agree. A man who takes care of the kids and stays at home is seen as shameful, even though it may be the healthiest thing for his relationship.

Guys are also dissuaded from showing emotions.

Artwork: Olga Perelman

Toxic masculinity tends to suggest that men should only have three emotions: angry, horny, and happy. Anything else, including grief or remorse, is seen as a sign that you're weak.

This belief couldn't be further from the truth. It takes a lot of strength to show emotions, and at times, it's the only healthy thing to do. When you don't talk things out or refuse to argue your point, bad things happen to relationships.

That stoic, stone-faced silence guys are being conditioned to use during arguments doesn't help anyone. Rather, it distances themselves from partners, and also causes their relationship to fray. This is why stonewalling is considered to be one of the easiest predictors of divorce.

The amount of emphasis put on sex and a person's "number" is absurd.

Sex happens. It's what our genitalia does. The amount of emphasis on how many partners a person has slept with, though, is not a healthy part of any relationship.

Men are pressured to sleep with as many women as possible and be as sexually aggressive as possible. Women are shamed for doing the same. This double standard doesn't help anyone, and makes everyone feel more self-conscious about their sex life.

If sex wasn't so heavily pressure-filled, people would care about things that are more important...like actually getting to know people and having fun!

Believe it or not, toxic masculinity also pits women against one another.

Did you ever notice how mean girls get when they're together? It's a legit thing that happens, and it's often because women get scared about their status in life.

A lot of studies suggest it's because women have to compete with each other, especially in terms of looks and dating. When you live in a non-egalitarian society where the majority of your power is in someone else's hands, you are left to fight for scraps.

Moreover, internalized misogyny is a thing, which means that toxic masculinity is for women, too. This messes women up, and will often make them turn against others who could be their friends in another life.

Finally, it forces us all to put up walls because we can't get people to legitimately respect one another.

If you want to know what the worst part about toxic masculinity is, it's the fact that it makes us all scared to be vulnerable. With that fear, we push people away. When we push people away, we can no longer love.

Read next: Women Today
Sasha Konikovo
Sasha Konikovo

Born in the Ukraine and currently a citizen of New York City, Sasha Konikovo has become obsessed with makeup, fashion, and anything that keeps her svelte figure looking sharp. She hopes to marry a billionaire and have a lifestyle like Paris Hilton soon enough.

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10 Ways Toxic Masculinity Affects Dating
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