Concerned about a single person?

Are you concerned that someone in your life has been single for a long time, and might be lonely, depressed or angry about their dating difficulties? What should you do to support this person you care about? It depends on your relationship with the single person. Here are our suggestions for conversation with:

For other relationships, try blending the approaches in these posts. For example, if your sister, brother or cousin is not dating, you might be able to talk to them like a friend, but consider how family expectations might affect your conversation.


Alana is the founder of the Love Not Anger project, and the creator of the original "involuntary celibacy" support website in 1997. This post expresses her own views; she is not a mental-health professional or dating expert.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. It’s funny you say you started “incel” to not use insults like “virgin loser” but now “incel” has become synonymous with virgin loser. How about you just stop labeling people? Any new word you come up with will just turn into an insult because you are replacing an insult with it. It’s like if everyone started using “fudge” instead of the F-word. Eventually fudge will turn into the F-word because of how it’s used. There’s already a word for people that can’t find love: lonely. Loneliness is the real issue, not sex. You can have as much sex as you want and still be lonely. With the word “incel” you are just distracting the real cause of resentment in people that can’t find love, it’s their loneliness NOT that they can’t get laid.

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      I believe we are in violent agreement.

      You’re alluding to the “euphemism treadmill” discussed in this article about incel terminology.

      I use words like “lonely”, “inexperienced”, “long time single” and “people with dating difficulties”. (Some words are needed to express thoughts, but using existing words seems safer than coining a new term.)

      Sometimes I use “angry incel guys” to refer to the men who are angry at women and identify themselves as incels, or participate in incel community forums. Lots of lonely, single and inexperienced people are not angry incel guys. Some people still call themselves “incel” or “involuntarily celibate” according to the original meaning, but I would not want to confuse matters.

  2. Hi Alana! Thanks for starting this site and for what you are trying to do for people. In short, I’m a 50-something year-old male who had a bit of success but mostly failure with women for years and years. This year I finally found a woman that I really love and getting almost everything I want out of a relationship. Though I was never at risk for hurting anyone, I could have been called an “incel”. Things changed for me when one of my older brothers lost his wife of 40 years, but was able to get another woman and even have her become a fiance in just 1 year after becoming a widower. And another friend of mine in his 70s told me he was dating. I figured, if those guys can get a woman, why am I still stuck in the mud. All I did was start asking women for drinks to celebrate something they had accomplished, and that got me the girlfriend I have today.

    So my message to men and women alike (but mostly men) is, you never know who’s going to like you, so just take small chances and talk to people at places you are comfortable in. If you don’t succeed once, try again. But in short, clean yourself up, and get off your butt, go places, and make invitations.

    Keep up the great work!

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      That’s great to hear! Celebrating a woman’s accomplishment shows that you respect her abilities, not just noticed her body. So that’s an approach worth trying, for anybody who has enough confidence to meet & talk to people.

  3. There are more things in the world today to keep people from being lonely than there were in the past, however, we now live in a heartless culture as inanimate as the clockwork machines that keeps being invented.

    Millennial’s such as my cousin were raised Christian (born in the 80’s) so we grew up doing what we thought was the correct thing to do taught by a society who twisted biblical words in their own favor for their own selfish gain. This went on for a few decades; God would probably not condone preachers asking an entire congregation for a private jet to be able to “preach more effectively” as an example.

    So now after literal decades of being taught by a previous generation society now looks down upon those teachings as something to be reviled thanks to politics and cancel culture. Cancel culture is something virtually non-existent in the 80’s and 90’s compared to now thanks to the invention of the internet.

    Politics and religion have more often than not very different views on things, but throw a social media bias for one political party in the mix, and it split entire generations of Americans down the middle. One example is this; a side who believes in God are being “blamed” for being pro-life, and not pro choice. Not only do things like this split Americans on politics, it splits them on religion too.

    People have forgotten how to look the individual. Instead they make sweeping generalizations about people based on the opinions of cliques, political affiliations, and religion.

    This caused an entire generation of confused people, who absolutely hate everything (including themselves; Suicide rate) because they themselves are conflicted, and people’s impatience and hate with new norms is boundless. The idea of what a person should be in modern day American society is the result of clashing ideologies coming to a head.

    Basically you have a bunch of confused people walking around that don’t know how to talk to people anymore, let alone want to even be outside. People are growing older now never having sex because men are afraid of women, and women are afraid of men. I don’t know if there is any way to heal this gap.

    VR is getting better and better by the day. People are opting out of society, and that leaves lonely people who would rather indulge in their own fantasies than reach out to people in reality.

    America is in an emotional crisis, and the shifting power from men to women is not only being felt; it’s driving some people to become withdrawn, and even exhibit psychopathic behavior. For both men and women.

    People need to treat each-other better, and maybe dating will one day be a viable option in America once again. But until that day, woman will always talk about the wage gap before the many war veterans who fought for their rights; still living on the street.

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