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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 AskMen.com 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!