Where Have All the Beautiful Women Gone?

Whenever I write about the struggles of single adults, there’s one sure-fire way to enrage the men: Hint that they carry any blame for the growing number of unmarried women.

I can’t tell you how many single men have earnestly looked at me in frustration and explained that they simply haven’t felt the “spark” with anyone. But none of these guys can seem to articulate what the “spark” is. They just know it isn’t there, and they can’t imagine moving forward without it.

As I listen to these men and reflect on my own days as a single man, I think I know what they really want. They want a woman with inner beauty, sure; but they also want that beauty to be matched by her outward appearance.

I know it’s easy to hear that and reflexively start preaching about unrealistic expectations, but I’m not sure how much that helps. We can’t shame men into letting go of their desire for beauty, nor should we. Because desiring physical beauty isn’t their problem — it’s their inability to see it.

Drowning in Beauty

A few years ago, my wife and I took a trip to Italy during which we visited some of the world’s most famous art museums. Neither of us were art connoisseurs, but we were open to being educated. So we rented the audio tour equipment and began our journey into art appreciation. We didn’t know what we were up against.

Despite our best intentions, we eventually reached saturation point after walking past hundreds of masterpieces. Room after room, piece after piece; it was just too much, and it all started running together. By the time we reached The Birth of Venus, we barely even glanced at it. We didn’t care anymore.

It reminds me of the endless exhibition of females that young men have at their fingertips today. They’re bombarded with thousands of pretty faces in Facebook profile pictures, Instagram selfies, dating apps, and advertisements. There’s no shortage of women who will pose for them in exchange for a few seconds of being noticed. And eventually, all the faces run together — even the ones in the real world, where the habit of indiscriminate viewing continues.

Pretty face, but big arms.

No spark. Click.

Nice body, but plain face.

No spark. Click.

Sweet girl, but too short.

No spark. Click.

No spark. Click.

No spark.

To read the rest of this article, click here, where you can find it at Boundless.org.  Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.


  1. Seeking Hope

    I read the whole article on Boundless, and I understand that you want to get more bachelors to seek a wife actively. However, there are a lot of young men reading this article (including me) who are not in a good season of life to pursue a wife. They are so deep in their own problems that they would only be a burden to the single young ladies they meet at church. Next time you want to address the problem of too many singles in the church, be careful whom you accuse.


    1. I get similar feedback on any article I write that generally applies to men: “This article doesn’t apply to me, and it doesn’t apply to every man.” I suppose I could put that disclaimer in every article, but I assume the reader understands that. The reaction I’ve heard about this article is, “This applies to women too!” Okay, but I can’t write about every nuance of an issue.

      On Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 4:53 PM, Joshua Rogers wrote:



  2. Graeme Phillips

    As you correctly imply, I think people tend to focus on appearance because it is the one thing you can form an opinion on straight away. It’s not that men don’t think a woman’s spiritual character is much more important, but in today’s fast-paced world, there is unfortunately no room for mulling over things and maybe that mentality has carried over into dating.

    This is one reason I think speed-dating is a bad idea and why I think looking for a lady in one’s church is a sound move: – you are not being forced to make a quick decision founded on things you can see straight away (i.e. appearance).

    Sometimes, we have to make a snap decision about whether to ask for her phone number (e.g. if we are visiting another church and the lady does not live locally). In that circumstance, the lady needs to make sure she responds to messages, as the man will use her replies to build a picture of her character (aside from the fact that unanswered messages will give the impression she is uninterested).


    1. Good points.

      On Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 5:02 PM, Joshua Rogers wrote:



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