The phenomenon is, many of them are single. Several of those recently had relationships with rather horrid guys. Of the few who are in relationships, some are still in relationships with horrid guys.
And the thing that strikes me?
At a certain point, many of these girls were with guys, or had the opportunity to be with guys, that were better than the fare that they're now putting up with.
This is not to say that those guys were perfect. But they do appear to have been better than whatever is available to them today.
I get to watch all this from a perspective of a guy who has enjoyed a nearly perfect relationship and marriage over the past 5 years - but also a guy who was previously incredibly frustrated with girls until my early twenties.
From my very limited personal observations, here's what I ponder:
- Can most people find a partner that is better for them than being single?
- If yes, what prevents them? Do they look in the wrong places? All first meetings are random chance, but it seems futile to me to wait for your Prince Charming to find you randomly in a stale environment that provides few or poorly aligned meeting opportunities. It seems more likely that you would meet one if you seek out a possible partner in places where there are many opportunities to meet people who are in some ways like what you think you're seeking.
- If most people cannot find a partner who is better for them than being single, then what prevents them? I would bet that a strong factor is an irrational conception of love. Quite a number of women who I observe stay single as they age appear to be causing that by refusing to take a rational view of partnership. Instead of looking for someone they would be compatible with, they look for someone to sweep them off their feet. They put the cart in front of the horse; instead of starting with compatibility and then letting love grow over time and develop, they want to start with a fiery infatuation to begin with, and hope for compatibility later. This, of course, usually does not occur.
- In their early twenties, they might find a reasonable match that could be good, but then they severe it because it doesn't feel like it's "the thing". Since they are looking for infatuation rather than compatibility, each following match is shorter and worse. But by the time they wise up, they are not in their prime any more. They might be looking for older guys, but the better older guys have taken younger women and are already in relationships. What now remains is the rejects, or people whose first marriages did not work out, who might already have children, or younger guys who are looking for yet younger women.
- You want to be with the guy you're going to be with by the time you're 25. By the time you're past your prime, you don't want to still be looking for your guy. The pickings will only get worse. You can delay this by aiming for younger guys as you get older, but that's stretching it.
- You want to look for compatibility first and foremost. Yes, the guy you're with has to be attractive enough to turn you on. That's part and parcel of being compatible. He has to be someone whose company stimulates you. That's part and parcel of being compatible, too. But he doesn't have to swipe you off your feet. In fact, it's preferable that he doesn't. That way, you'll be able to make a better decision about whether you're compatible with him or not.
- Infatuation is an illusion. Never forget that. It is passionate, and it is exciting, but it is an illusion generated by yourself. Moreover, illusions disappear. Once you have found someone you think you're truly compatible with, don't let an infatuation with someone else ruin your relationship. Infatuations are likely to not work out. They are however likely to make you single, lonely, and miserable.
- Look for your guy purposefully and intentionally. Don't be afraid to use the internet - social networks, good dating websites. A woman I know used a dating website to schedule dates with guys every day for weeks in advance. She found her guy. If you want to find a needle in a haystack, equip yourself with magnets by all means. But you have to do your part in sifting through the haystack, or else others are going to get to the needles first.