Words are important. They help us articulate how we’re feeling and what we’re experiencing so that others can help understand us. When someone hears the word “incel” we want them to understand the meaning it represents. The incel category is so specific that many people have impassioned opinions about who is allowed to belong to this group. If an incel finds love once and only once for one year of his life, was he no longer an incel for that time? Are incels always male? Were those who have ascended the incel condition ever true incels to begin with?

An additional term is needed to encapsulate the incel experience. Most of us understand being an incel as a condition with a very specific set of criteria. While the standards for this criterion is objective, everyone seems to agree that the condition requires the person to be undatable and disregarded in the romantic and sexual marketplace. This is where the term hyposuitor comes in. A hyposuitor is any person with romantic advances that have been unanimously disparaged or eliminated by potential partners.

Hyposuitors encompass a wider range of individuals that apply to incels and also individuals that may not consider themselves to be incels or unaware that the term even exists. A hyposuitor that finds a romantic partner will remain a hyposuitor and continue to struggle to find love if he or she becomes single again. A woman that finds occasional sexual success but finds herself constantly rejected when looking for a committed relationship would be a hyposuitor.

Incels are unique hyposuitors because their obstacle to finding a romantic partner begins at step #1 when trying to establish themselves in the dating market. The complication is often broader than dating because an undesirable personality, physical disparity, or mental condition can cause friends, family, and coworkers to discriminate against them for often immutable characteristics.

A suitor is generally understood to be a man who courts a woman in order to pursue a relationship with her. This woman in question would be referred to as a suitress, but the word has atrophied in modern English. It stands to reason to keep the term hyposuitor gender neutral for the sake of simplicity and also to understand that the term is not an antonym for suitor. This line of thinking logically leads us to consider the type of individual that would be considered a hypersuitor on the opposite end of the suitor spectrum. Although, it would be a mistake to think this is where we would describe a Chad or Stacy. A hypersuitor is the hyposuitor’s true opposite, an individual with romantic advances that have been unanimously accepted and approved by potential partners.

The etymology of the term incel as an involuntary celibate incorrectly implies that a single sexual experience alone is the antidote for this condition or that incels only care about sexual access. The incel condition can not be solved with something as superficial as prostitution. Incels frequently have desires for a romantic relationship that expands far beyond sex alone. When people assume incels believe they are entitled to sex they are focusing on the wrong aspect of the incel condition. Incels want to be admired and cherished by a partner that loves them for who they are, something many people take for granted as a given part of life.

If we understand that incels are hyposuitors we can start to see the systemic implications of this condition. For every male incel that can’t find a partner there is a female opposite is also without a romantic relationship. Perhaps she is endlessly cycling through tinder dates, trapped in a relationship with a man who will never commit himself to her, or perhaps single and forever alone. Marriage rates are decreasing, and younger generations find it harder and harder to create meaningful relationships in a world of technology that was supposed to help build these connections with ease and haste.

An increase in hyposuitors is a societal problem, not limited to incels alone. We should see incels as the canary in the coal mine and begin to understand that if we don’t search for solutions to alleviate their condition then it will continue to expand and afflict more people we never would have assumed would represent the hyposuitor category. Perhaps being able to accurately describe the word that helps us understand the condition incels suffer from is a solid step in the right direction.

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