The “Man Shortage” And Other Myths That Cause Women To Compete For Men

by Dr. Aesha on October 3, 2011

womencompete 300x226 The Man Shortage And Other Myths That Cause Women To Compete For Men
The "Man Shortage" And Other Myths That Cause Women To Compete For Men

By Aesha Adams Roberts

A good man is hard to find! All the good men are either gay or married! Everyone is getting married except me!


Have you ever heard any of these sayings? Maybe you've said them yourself.  If you have, I'm not here to judge you because when I was single, I used to say these things too.



These common sayings among frustrated single women reflect the belief that there is a man shortage–a phenomenon in which women outnumber men.  The jury is still out on whether there is an actual man shortage and the purpose of this article is not to argue one way or the other. Instead, I want to point out how buying into this belief actually causes unhealthy competition between women, keeping them single and unhappy. And if and when they do marry, this competition can create unhappiness in a marriage.   




By unhealthy competiton between women I'm talking about the tendency to compare yourself to other women, judging them, silently (or not so silently) tearing women down, gossiping, and doing whatever it takes to get a man's attention and affection, even if it means stealing him from another woman.  Metaphors we use to describe dating like "being on the market" and "playing the dating game" subconsciously encourage this competition.


There are two major ways unhealthy competition can keep you single and unhappy.


1) You can easily be manipulated by men

For example, whenever I resisted the controlling ways of my ex fiancé, he'd tell me about a female friend he ran into the other day who'd "made it clear she was on the market for a man" ( those were the words he used). He was trying to manipulate me by pointing out there were other women he could choose from, women who didn't care that he was already engaged to someone else, women who would do what he wanted, no matter how unereasonable or even abusive his request.


But it's not just controlling or abusive men that will take advantage of the competition between women.  A recent dating advice article on teaches men why women compete for men and shows them how they can use this competiton to get more dates!Amazingly, this article was written by a woman!


Beyond being manipulated by men, there is a more insidious problem when women compete with each other. 


2) You send a signal to men that you can't be trusted


Ponder this quote from a famous woman writer, Edna O'Brien:


I have some women friends but I prefer men. Don't trust women. There is a built-in competition between women." Edna O'Brien


On the surface it seems like Ms. O'Brien has found a way to avoid the ugliness of competition between women: just stay way from women altogether and hang out with the guys.  But her statement reveals a deeper issue, one that we shouldn't overlook because it will spill over into relationships with men. She, along with other women who feel this way, just doesn't trust other women. 


How can the fact that a woman does not trust other women affect her relationship with men? Because it violates the law of sowing and reaping. In other words, if you sow seeds of distrust, you reap a harvest of distrust. One man explained it to me this way:


"Don't you find it interesting that women overwhelming don't love and trust other women, but men are supposed to love and trust them? To me, it's no surprise that men can't get along with them either."


Maybe the real reason some women can't find a good man isn't because there is a man shortage; maybe it is actually the result of sowing seeds of distrust and competition with other women!


Start sowing seeds of acceptance and trust with all people and you'll find yourself reaping an abundance of love in your life and relationships!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Glenn December 19, 2011 at 11:09 pm

Could you explain why women often demand that men compete against each other for the attention of women, often viciously and violently, yet you urge women to avoid doing the same to earn the attention of men? This is posed as a simple question, requiring a simple answer. But you ladies feel free to toss in some of shaming language as a means to deflect the conversation.

If any cultural sub-group, in this case American women, are comfortable with a double standard to the point where they are unable to even recognize its presence, then you can all look forward to men continuing our marriage strike.
Taken to its logical conclusion, men will expand the rapidly growing foreign wife concept. After 14 years in the military, I packed up my bags and took off to Eastern Europe. Being a single American man in my late-30's, as well as having a full retirement, there was fierce competition between the ladies for my attention.

After 2 years and perhaps $75,000 or so, I married the woman that showed the best traits such as youth, beauty, education, and personality. Now, 7 years later we are still going strong, and I consider my marriage the best move I ever made.
The ingrained contempt for men that is instilled in American women will of course render most unable to understand my warning, but if you have not figured it out by now, the old saying is true. Ignore something, and it will go away. Or in the case of American men, we are already long gone.


Aesha December 20, 2011 at 8:58 am

Clearly, Glen, you haven’t picked up on the goal and mission of this site. You won’t find male bashing or demands that men compete for women, or contempt for men anywhere here! I am sorry your experience has caused you to believe that “all American women” treat men a certain way, and that “all American men” are deserting women, because it’s simply not true. I urge you to read the articles here under the category, what men want, and you will discover the truth!


Elise Adams @AdamsOrganizing December 20, 2011 at 9:15 am

This is a fascinating discussion.  I completely see your point Aesha.  The comparison game-whether externalized onto others or between ourselves and other women is so unhealthy.
Yes, Glen, you did super-generalize…which in general isn't a great debate tool :-) Aside from that I hear your frustration with what in 'society' (at least lots of media depictions) appears to be a double standard.  I don't think Aesha addressed this issue at all. Her call is to woman specifically–to be more genuine, straight forward and avoid the game playing that men AND women do in some circles. I'm glad you found your perfect match–but I'd dare to assume that it had much more to do with who YOU are and not the cultural circles you picked from!
Keep it up Aesha! Great topic!!!


Marleeka December 20, 2011 at 9:37 am

I can only say that is a very opinionated comment, Glen. To say that all American women are that way is kind of……shady! Can I suggest that it may have just been that you attracted some of the wrong types of females in your single days? Hey, we've all been there, done that! :) But something about your statement rubbed me the wrong way when there are plenty of good American men looking for good American women and vice versa.


Becky December 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I firmly believe that God has my destiny firmly in His hand. I've been married for 33 years to my high school sweetheart and I don't think 'competing' with other women for a mans attention is in the will of God. If/When he decides that my mate goes home to Him, I know that He will provide a new one, in His own time, if He wants me to have another. To me, that type of competition is contrary to His will and arrogant –  as if I have complete control over it! A man who invites women to compete over him is not a man that would be a good mate for the long haul.


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