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8 Types of Single Men
Keep in mind as you read this, no one is hopelessly doomed. Some men are quite willing to change under the right circumstances and influences. As always, seek the Lord's counsel earnestly and use Scripture-guided common sense before linking up with anyone.
NOTE: I will use the term pairbonding at times throughout this writing. I understand there is an evolutionary psychology use of the term, but I am not in any way using the term in that sense. I am using the term in its generic and basic sense to mean "the romantic process between two people".
It's Not Raining Men
In 1982, The Weather Girls recorded their hilariously famous song, "It's Raining Men". I first heard the song in junior high school, and laughed painfully as I envisioned Martha Wash as a green-eyed, man-eating monster.
Years later the song still tickles me, but with a reserved and silent sigh. Because really, it's not raining men. In fact, we are in a drought of healthy, godly, mature single men. Our churches and support groups are busting seams with single women, divorced women, abandoned women, lonely women, disillusioned women. Even Israel, God's very people, saw seasons of such man-famine (Ps 12:1, Ecc 7:28).
8 Types of Single Men
As a Christian leader I am responsible to both my sisters and brothers in Christ: to help women remain sure-footed on the slippery surface that is single men, and, help men become the high-value prospects that any sister would love to have. Therefore, in today's writing I will make appropriate applications to both.
This article describes eight types of single (Christian) men. The following tendencies need to be discerned early in friendship, before attachments or entrapments develop.
(1) The Mama's Boy (Needy Guys)
This type of single man is still reaching for his mother, consciously or subconsciously. He has not individuated from her emotionally. Consequently, he sees every other woman through that emotional prism and sets her on that same matriarchal pedestal.
Men like this are needy and clingy. They look to their girlfriends and other women around them with childlike longing. He wants to be taken care of domestically, in some cases financially too. These guys generally lack signature masculine traits, like assertiveness, courage, and stoicism.
This type gravitates to strong or domineering women. Likewise, strong or domineering women gravitate to him. He gets his mother fix and she gets her power fix, like a blind man carrying a lame man. Ahab and Jezebel had this relationship exactly.
Recognize the temptation associated with these types. It can feel empowering, even cathartic, to care for a grown man in such a way. However, as time always proves, your deeper femininity will ache for a true, full male, one who is capable of being a tree trunk for you. Scripture says a man is to be just that, a strong, stable tree trunk on which his woman can lean securely. Song of Songs 2:3 (NIV): Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade…
Appreciating Mom is Biblical (Pr 15:20, 19:26, 20:20, 23:22, 30:11). However, our emotional development has been paused if we are excessively and disproportionately needy of her, and by extension, all women who subconsciously symbolize her. One of the best ways to grow out of this is by connecting with strong, godly, mature males who will help you flesh out your embryonic masculinity. Do not let your mother keep you needy and codependent on her. You may have to set firm boundaries with a domineering or toxic mom. In the most extreme cases, you may have to distance from her entirely and honor her by interceding from a distance.
(2) The Womanizer (Egomaniacal Guys)
The womanizer is an egomaniac, not a sex addict. As a former professional athlete and lifelong competitive athlete, I have been surrounded by womanizers for most of my adult life. Each one had a monstrous craving for attention and validation, and every sexual success story simply fed that monster. When they experienced dry periods of celibacy, aloneness, or rejection, they often spiraled into a black hole of self-hatred and gnawing depression. It had very little to do with orgasms and very much to do with ostentation.
These types are usually significantly attractive and socially charming, radiating sexual energy intentionally and unintentionally. As annoying as they might be to some (women who have been hurt or let down by them, jealous males, etc.), the deeper female instinct and brain is powerfully drawn to this kind of masculine potency. Numerous pop songs have written about this type, like Carrie Underwood's "Cowboy Casanova" or Britney Spears' "Womanizer".
This guy hunts three types of women: the lonely, the insecure, and the high-libido female. And they hunt him, too, knowingly or unknowingly. The lonely gets to feel what a dreamy companion is like. The insecure gets to feel validation that she is "not so bad after all". The high-libido female gets to feel the same kind of experience he is offering.
Most women can smell a Casanova, yet many still surrender (partially or totally) to his charm for the sheer pleasure or escapism of it. Here's the hook, though: some women do not want the euphoria to end. They try to reform him and draw him into a committed relationship. Ninety-nine percent of the time this is energy wasted, and the residual feeling of being used can linger on for years.
The Judge of heaven and earth will hold each of us accountable for how we use our attractive or influential traits. Remember how God dealt with Solomon. He will not relent from chastising you either, especially if you are His born-again child (Heb 12:5-11).
Realize the roots of womanizing are almost always self-hatred and egomania. When your self-image finds wholeness in the Lord Jesus Christ, and your egomania is obliterated before His glory, the womanizing will lose its power source.
(3) The Manchild (Irresponsible Guys)
The "manchild" is a man who lives like a teenager--minimal responsibilities, excesses, slothful, flighty, teenage-style partying, etc. His house either is or looks like a pothead's bachelor pad. Junk food is his staple diet. Watches pornography, but says he does not. Plays video games too much.
Manchilds are simply not ready to grow up, for whatever reason. They are stuck in adolescence, in the same way Mama's Boys are stuck in childhood. These types can be maddeningly frustrating to women who see promise and potential in them.
This guy gravitates to the cool gal who is fun to hang out with and will not harass him about his immaturity, at least not right away. However, when she starts to care deeper for him she will either indulge him and become his caretaker/manager, or, go ten rounds of frustration with him and finally let him go.
The manchild is fun. And in a world of stress and pain, he can be a welcome delight and portal back to high school when things were easy. But you must stay in tune with reality and what is best for you longterm.
Only the Holy Spirit can fully motivate a manchild to drop the child part. Granted, you might be a tool in that inspiration. I have seen that happen. But sometimes it does not. Your exhortations might polarize him even further into fratboyness. Your safest course is to pray seriously and discern early if this is the best path for you.
Men sometimes revert like this after a painful blow to their career or after a painful breakup/divorce. The need here, then, is not necessarily maturation, but healing. There is nothing wrong with seeking out nonsinful pleasures and lifestyles (Ecc 2:24, 5:18, 1Ti 6:17). However, to avoid dismantling our lives and responsibilities completely, we need to seek full healing when significant disappointments happen. Seek it from the Lord (Ps 107:20), from trusted spiritual leaders (Heb 13:7), from Christian friends (Jas 5:16), and other Biblical recovery strategies.
Men, in cases where manchildness is simply raw immaturity…grow the hell up!
(4) The Secret Homosexual (Disinterested Guys)
Recent years have shown us the sinful tragedy of secret homosexuality in the church. Some of these are single Christian men, some have girlfriends or fiancées, some are married. Because the church, in many ways, is not adequately equipped to bring these men freedom, they endure their struggles secretly. Then, after endless seasons of silent torment, many give up and embrace their impulses. Some even seek to rewrite and revise Biblical truth and propose homosexuality is not (or is no longer) a sin or "detestable" as the Scriptures state. 2Peter 3:16 speaks sternly against those who tamper with God's Word in such ways.
These men are usually marked by their romantic and sexual disinterest in women, yet also their seemingly greater ability to bond with them socially and emotionally.
These men sometimes select girlfriends or wives with low sex drives, thus concealing their sexual disinterest. One couple I knew had sex only a few times a year. It wasn't until her friend pointed out the strangeness of this that she began prying, and, discovered his secret sin.
God created men with a vigorous sex drive, generally speaking. This does not mean all men desire sex with equal intensity or frequency,
however, it is baseline masculinity to have persistent sexual compulsions.
If, during the pairbonding process, there seems to be a sexual blankness to him, you need to consider the possibility of latent homosexual issues. If you discover this to be so, do not become his smokescreen or enabler. Challenge him with heartfelt love to seek freedom. If and when he does, it is between you and the Lord what you do from there.
If this is your struggle, the longer you keep it a secret the more it will metastasize and engulf your personality. You do not have to broadcast it to the world, but seek freedom from the Lord and trusted, capable spiritual leaders (1Co 6:9-11, Jas 5:16). There is no form of sin or disorder that the presence of the Most High God cannot sanctify and transform until you become more than free, but free indeed.
(5) The Cheapskate (Stingy Guys)
The Cheapskate has made money his ultimate security through obsessive saving, rare or nonexistent giving, and almost-always cheap purchases. Fueling his miserliness is a root of poverty. Somewhere in his life he contracted the fear of destitution and he obeys this fear daily.
Perhaps the best way to sum up this type is, bargain over quality, convenience, and comfort. Nine out of ten times he will pinch the penny at the expense of quality, convenience, or comfort. This might be a little cute in a quirky way at first, but realize he will sacrifice your quality, convenience, or comfort just as easily if and when the time comes.
I am not at all disparaging financial prudence, or for certain expenditures, going with the cheapest option. This is no doubt wise, sometimes. Scripture urges calculated, strategic money management (Pr 21:20, Lk 16:11,12). However, discern the distortion. Discern a poverty root, fear of destitution, stinginess. A man should use his money to improve and insulate your well-being as a potential life partner, whether it means paying extra for valet parking or higher quality tires for your car. Boaz did exactly this for Ruth even before they were married.
These types often link up with women who have a similar poverty issue. This way he is not resisted or challenged to change.
Be sure there is not a poverty root or fear of destitution in you. This will unconsciously pull you to men with those same issues, even if they have a lot of money. Resolve with God your own financial emotions and mentalities. If possible, do so before pairbonding with anyone, since money is a top three issue for all couples everywhere.
Be hesitant to pairbond with any man that does not have a healthy, Biblical prosperity outlook. Remember, you will be on the receiving end of whatever his financial outlook is. How does he spend money on himself? Is he generous or miserly? Does he give money into God's kingdom? If so, is it consistent and systematic, or rare and occasional?
Attitudinal fear is a false god. If we have a poverty root we need to get raw with God and dig that rottenness out in His presence, perhaps also with a James 5:16 person. One of the main ways we heal and change is by giving consistently. Generosity not only heals our hearts, it initiates the Biblical prosperity process promised by God to His people (2Co 9:6-11).
(6) The Materialist (Opulent Guys)
At the opposite extreme is the materialistic man. Usually wealthy, he tries to buy his way through life. His underdeveloped spiritual, emotional, and relational life cause him to overcompensate through money and possessions. He is that man who will miss a special event but send a check or extravagant gift instead.
These types are known by their extravagant expenditures and gifts. Romantically, he will attempt to buy love or sex. His typical solution to relationship problems is to buy her something she likes.
These types gravitate to women who are materialistic themselves--yes, gold diggers--women who respond favorably and pliably to opulence. He tends to shy away, though, from women who want significant spiritual maturity, emotional depth, or face-to-face quality time.
The lure of opulence is intense. I have known women who would bed and wed certain men exclusively for the benefits. They had no intention of loving him or staying faithful. And since he was emotionally and relationally shallow, she had large chunks of time to go and do what she really wanted without him ever knowing. Do not be that woman. You are accountable to God, and He will certainly impose consequences on those who are.
Be wary of a man who shows more of his wallet than his heart. Wealth is a great thing in the hands of an emotionally healthy, godly man. It is a root for all kinds of evil in those who are not. It is not at all wrong to desire a prosperous partner; just be sure his relationship with God and overall maturity are as abundant as his account.
Do not be that man! Your finances are merely one aspect of who you are, and it is not even in the top three: (1) your relationship with Jesus, (2) your relationship with yourself, and (3) your relationship with your inner circle. Continue to have an abundant and generous financial life. But be sure to develop that same bounty spiritually, emotionally, and relationally first.
(7) The Super Nice Guy (Docile Guys)
After enough heartbreaks from Casanovas, headaches from manchilds, and shallowness from materialists, many women finally try out the super nice guy. He is super nice, and most importantly to her, super safe. He will adore her incessantly, do whatever she wants, remain easy to predict, and most likely never break her heart.
In the animal kingdom, the alpha male is the most powerful and most virile male. He gets first pick in mating, feeding, and shelter, and in some species, he is the only one who mates. The beta and omega males are those who come in next (beta) or last (omega).
The same has proven true with humans. Super nice guys are known for their passivity and sexual reticence, and thus, are often second or last when it comes to females. In certain instances, though, a woman will seek out these types if she has had enough of other types of men.
Beta and omega males often pair up with females the most desirable men brush aside (beta and omega females). As mentioned, though, on occasion beta and omega males they will link up with wounded alpha women who are burned out on the other types.
You do not have to settle for either/or. They might be rare, sure, but there are men who possess strong male qualities who are also loyal and safe. Women who settle for either/or are destined for another disappointment, since one of their feminine instincts will go neglected--sexual chemistry or emotional security.
Every Christian must have a kingly self-image (Gen 17:16, Job 36:7, 1Sam 2:8, Ps 113:8, Ro 5:17, Rev 1:6 NKJV), how much more so Christian men! The paradox of God's kingdom is that every Christian is an alpha, appointed to redeem and rule some portion of the earth (Ps 37). Paul recognized these "spheres" (2Co 10:13). Super nice guys who strengthen and flesh out their full masculinity are some of the most balanced and desirable romantic prospects.
(8) The Mature (High-Value Guys)
Finally, the mature single man is the highest value prospect. These are the guys who are both ready and capable for a fulfilling marriage-minded romance. They are emotionally individuated from Mother. They do not need the ego's heroin of constant seductions. They are responsible. They are secure and virile sexually. They are financially independent and generous. They are kind and loyal. They have a daily experience with God you can trust and cooperate with.
The previous paragraph provides several dominant traits of the mature man, so let me simply add two more here: balance and abundance. Think of Boaz. Balance requires multiple seasons of spiritual and emotional maturation. Abundance (in every area) requires multiple seasons of wisdom, discipline, and diligence. Of course these, and all maturity traits, are developed through a proactive, daily experience with God and His Word.
Men like this are cautiously cat-like in the females they consider. They gravitate to women who are high-value themselves, or, who are obviously progressing towards it. These types often remain single and unattached for extended periods of time, unwilling to settle for less than quality sisters in Christ.
Men like this are searching for someone on their level. So realize you will have to match or exceed his overall value to be in his thoughts and prayers. You will have to upgrade every area of your life that is romantically relevant. See 1Samuel 25, especially verse 3. Abigail won David because she was attractive, astute, respectful, and spiritually advanced. Ruth won Boaz for the same reasons (see Ruth 2,3). And so again I say, you will have to match or exceed his overall value to be in his thoughts and prayers.
High-value prospects are rare for both genders. The temptation, even for mature men, is to become discouraged and settle for second or third best. As relieving as this might be for the moment, it will prove disillusioning when real life happens and all your maturity kicks in, and the quality differential separating you and her becomes obvious and felt. Continue having joyful friendships with women of all types, but reserve your masculine sapphire for a high caliber sister who truly, truly deserves it.
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