Having just returned from meeting matchmakers in New York, I was particularly interested to see if there were significant differences there from the New Zealand dating scene. Apart from the obvious ones - population, economics, culture - the issues were surprisingly similar, including something of a 'man shortage'.
The shortage on the NZ dating scene is not so much anything to do with statistical differences or demographics, but rather a 'culture' that sees men less likely to seek dating help.
In my experience there is often a distinct lack of men who will make the effort to actually seek dating help, but once they do they can quickly find a partner. This is undoubtedly a motivation issue. Many men who are on their own and without partners will tend to 'stick with the boys' and do boys' things, rather than actively seek another partner, particularly if they are middle-aged or late middle-aged. Younger men are more likely to do the bar thing, or to be more inclined to find ladies at the gym, the supermarket, the golf or tennis club. But as life slows a little and perhaps work and other commitments become more onerous, many men simply decide that it is perhaps fate that leaves them partnerless.
A pity. Because in my experience so many of these men are absolutely able to find someone if they take the effort to 'get out' and do it.
The problem with many men is that they face rejection if they constantly try various pick-up lines. Some of a more robust character will respond that it's a numbers game and the more women asked for a date or attention, the greater the chance of success. But it takes a certain resilience to handle dating that way and a lot of men simply can't face either the rejection or the effort.
What to do? Depending on who I'm consulting at Matchcompany I tend to emphasise a couple of things with men who maybe have been out of the dating loop for a while. One, is to do some hard self examination in terms of what their strengths and weaknesses are - a kind of SWAT analysis - and to build up those areas that they may come up a little short on. The second is to build their confidence. The problem with a lack of confidence is that it can lead to either an over-compensation (too much talking, not enough listening, etc) or it can result in sheer lack of the 'charm' that women still love.
And being charmless is not only not entirely attractive, but it is actually something many men can work on. Interesting conversation, active listening, a little humour . . it all goes a long way towards making even an unconfident 50 year old a lot more attractive to the ladies. I know, believe me. If only they would come out of the shells that so many hide in. there's a whole world of companionship out there on the New Zealand dating scene.
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