I have two buddies. Both are in their 40's. Both recently divorced/broke up with their significant others. Naturally the course of conversation invariably comes around to "you looking to date any girls?" And the answer is...
Not out of recency from the divorce/break up.
Not out of time to let the wounds heal.
Not out of time to get their head straight or figure some things out.
The real reason?
They're just too damn tired.
I don't know about you but when I broke up with/got dumped by a girl in my 20's the very next NANOSECOND it was go find another. There was no down time, there was no "time to heal," it was an immediate, OK, what lucky girl is next? But fast forward 15 years and men in their young 40's who recently find themselves single are in no rush to go back to the bar, back to the night club, spruce up their POF profile, let alone gather the courage to make an approach in broad daylight. They're just too damn tired.
The first excuse would scramble to find would be age. The next would be healing. The third might be "losers." And the fourth might be "lack of choice." But the reality (as we're often finding out) does not lay in psychology or biology, but rather economics. The real reason they're too tired is one of a cold economic calculation.
A cold economic calculation of what?
A cold economic calculation of caloric ROI.
Recently, I've been giving more and more credence to biology, genetic programming and Darwinism to explain human behavior and decisions. And when you analyze these thoughts through the lens of economics you start to make some interesting discoveries. And this is one of those instances.
Understand that while money has been used in society for thousands of years, human evolution, genetics and biology has been evolving for 2 million years. Ergo, while we'd like to think our frontal lobes (the most advanced part of our brain) makes all of our decisions in a logical and rational manner, the remaining 65% of our brain is driven by instinct, survival, and raw desire and still (more often than not) overrides the most advanced part of our brains. Thus,just because money is a (relatively) recent human creation, doesn't mean the laws of economics and limited resources didn't apply to pre-currency humans (let alone EVERY creature on this planet). Therefore, even before the grain receipts of ancient Egypt served as the first currency, there was the ultimate currency that has governed all creatures on this planet and is the prime directive the governs 65% of our brain:
Until agricultural advances made food a non-issue, the vast majority of human-kind's experience has been finding food. Finding calories. Finding the energy to stay alive. It's why, despite having adequate food, we simply can't "turn off" the natural, darwinistic, survivalistic desire to eat more. It's been there for 2 million years (2 billion if you consider us descendants of previous creatures facing the same problem) while adequate agriculture methods have only been around for 300 years.
However, while the main problem with human's genetic programming to maximize caloric intake in a time of plenty is obesity, there is another problem. On the OTHER side of the cold caloric economic decision is one of expending calories of energy. Or more so, conserving one's energy.
View it from the perspective of an American Indian 10,000 years ago.
Tonto has a choice. Chase after the antelope with his bow and arrow or not. However, it's not one of whether he'd like to hunt, it's a 100% purely economic decision. Specifically, is it worth Tonto to expend 1,000 calories of energy to MAYBE get 4,000 calories of energy in antelope meat? Because if he chooses poorly too many times he won't have an adequate ROI on his caloric investment and will mathematically starve.
Naturally, over time humans developed less-caloric consuming hunting techniques that yielded more calories in return. Traps, spooking buffalo to run over a cliff, guns, and agriculture. But that still doesn't change the fact that for nearly 2 million years humans have had it beaten into their brains that calories expended damn well better result in a surplus of calories returned. Again, starvation was the other consequence.
Now return back from 10,000 BC to revisit my two 40 something buddies. They are no longer Tonto facing the decision as to whether they want to chase after antelope. They are two men who have to decide whether to expend the calories of energy chasing women. And when faced with the caloric demands of:
Going on line for 2 hours a day to "wink" at girls
Go to the night club to chat girls up
Go to a "Meet up" group and learn a new social skill (dancing, crafts, etc.)
Making approaches 10 times a day
not to mention the 8 year vetting process wherein they have to date 100 women to find "one"
you can see why they're "too damn tired" and are just shutting down.
Admittedly there is of course other reasons as men age they just don't go out clubbing anymore. They're getting older, a decrease in testosterone, a decrease in energy, the novelty of dating wanes, their 18 year old idealistic naivete about dating expectations was crushed with the drama, flaky, reality of dating, etc., etc., But I contend there is a Darwinistic aspect as well. One where the hindbrain is making astute economic calculations, demanding an adequate return on its dwindling supply of calories and time, and sadly coming to the conclusion that it just isn't worth the chase.
So light up those cigars instead,
Pour yourselves a glass of scotch that won't "flake" on you
And head out on the boat and go fish,
because the caloric rate of return on those things are 100% guaranteed, ensuring you
Enjoy the decline!