After spending years in exactly the same sort of "what the fuck is going on?" state, I began to apply the principle Ayn Rand states over and over again in "Atlas Shrugged" - if things you see just don't seem to make any sense, check your assumptions. You will find that one or more of them is wrong.
The situation as I see it for a lot of guys is like a mosaic - specifically, like one of those composite pictures which are made up of thousands of little pictures. If you stand with the thing right in front of your face, all you see is a few of the little pictures and they seem random and chaotic and don't add up to anything. But, if you start stepping back and work to detach yourself and separate your observations from what you want, at some point the larger picture appears and snaps into focus.
If you take the simple phenomenon of physical obesity, I think people are following exactly the same behavioral patterns when it comes to relationships that they are following when it comes to food - short term gratification of sensual indulgences without regard to the longer term consequences.
[Nice] Guys are being pushed out of the reproductive pool in two ways:
1- Genetically, because the EvilGuys™ are out there snapping up all the breeding opportunities with the stupid cows.
2 - Valuewise, because a lot of your potential mates have already gotten themselves pregnant with demon spawn. You would have to take on a woman with a few of these bastard kids and try to teach them your values, along with any kids you might have. One paradox there is that in order to do that you would already be violating part of that value system you are trying to pass on.
Even if you were able to find a woman who hadn't shucked out a bastard or two and had kids of your own with her, there are absolutely no protections for your ability to stay in their lives and pass on your values. Fathers have been completely marginalized out of the family and dads today are fighting like hell for just the ability to see their kids on a regular basis. Once cupcake has dropped the nuke of "abuse" on you, you could end up like those poor bastards who have to pay $85-$300 per hour for "supervised visitation." Great. You get to shell out a few hundred bucks to spend 2 hours in the equivalent of an interrogation room interacting with your kid while a lesbian wimmins's-studies/socialwork major breathes down your neck and watches your every move under a microscope.
How do you play the game if you are after a reward which is no longer a part of the structure of the game? Answer: you can't. It's like Global Thermonuclear War – the only “winning” move is not to play.
Where does a nice-guy like you fit in? He doesn't. The feminidiots declared open season on guys like you and you are being hunted into extinction.
Those are hard answers, and I know they aren't the ones that NiceGuys™ are looking for, but those are the answers I see.
Being an old-style male and having fierce pride in men and maleness, I have great faith that men will be able to adapt and find a way to beat the game. I don't have the answer, because my choice was to refuse to play - or more accurately to choose to play only limited parts of the game.
What I'm trying to do is pass on what I have learned so that younger guys can build on it and come up with some innovations - exactly like science and technology have progressed on the work of each generation and added new ideas and knowledge to it which led to new techniques.
If I were going to make some suggestions for approaches which might be more useful than others, I would say start with looking at older style courtship processes. When I was a kid, the first question parents would ask their child who had a new love interest was "Do they come from a good family?" That one simple question contained a huge amount of wisdom. Look at the value system they were raised in and thus are likely to hold to. Try to meet a woman's family. If her mother or sisters are skanks, or her dad is an asshole, or gone because he either got pushed out of the family or was a deadbeat, look somewhere else.
There is another factor in that as well. There really is something which might be called "social capital." A good family reputation benefits all the members of a family and a bad one harms all of them. If your brother fucked someone over, you automatically became less trustworthy, so families exerted a great deal of internal pressure on their members to behave ethically.
Does the tradition of "honor killings" start to make sense?
Another suggestion would be to take a real hard look at yourself and get real honest with yourself regarding any degree to which you behave like a skank behaves. As irritating as she can be at times, MNIK points out that a lot of guys are just as picky about women and have just as shallow criteria when it comes to looks as NiceGuys™ complain about skanks being.
If a flat-chested 2 otherwise met all your criteria, would you consider her? Any NiceGuy™ who cannot answer an immediate and unconflicted "yes" to that question is carrying around some internal hypocrisy which is going to keep tripping him up in his quest for a NiceGal™.
As the old saying goes, you cannot con a man who is honest with himself.
Guys [often] talk about wanting intimacy and closeness, and I can tell them that I have personally experienced the old "Ugly Duckling" fairy tale and watched a 2 turn into a solid 7 right before my very eyes when snuggled up against her. I have also gone to bed with 9s who morphed overnight into -1s.
Even for the guys who want to be "playas", if we put strictly in cash terms, if you had one 10, and I had four 5s, would you trade me even up? If not, the guy would be a fool, and if so, I would be the fool.
Like I keep saying, I am not without sympathy for the situation of younger men. But I have been through enough of the territory to know that what many of them think it looks like out there, is not what it actually looks like. I'm a hard-assed old codger throwing buckets of cold water on some guys who have illusions and fantasies which I don't see as being any different than the illusions and fantasies young women hold these days.
Female infanticide and selective neglect of female infants resulting in their deaths have been very real things in the past. A few hundred years ago, the average ratio of men of breeding age to women of breeding age was about 130:100. Female sexuality (breeding capacity) really was a commodity for which there was far more demand than supply, which explains the high cultural value which was placed on it. Not only does our biology drive us men to compete for desirable females, cultural circumstances and values amplified this even further.
I was raised to be a NiceGuy™, but women of my generation were also raised to be NiceGals™. Then feminidiocy came along and convinced them that being a NiceGal™ was proof that they were "oppressed" by the dreaded evil "Patriarchy", and that in order to combat that they had to become skanks - so, many of them did.
A lot of NiceGuys™ think that the way to cope with the situation is to become EvilGuys™. The problem is that they can't - most of them just don't have it in them. Let just one woman scratch them where they itch, and they instantly revert back to being the NiceGuys™ that they really are, which gives the skank the chance to revert to her real type.
A lot of people think I'm an EvilGuy™. (MNIK thinks I shave with a blowtorch.) But, I'm really just a HardGuy™. The world wants us to be hard and will either beat us into being hard, or beat us to death trying. Contrary to all the crap women have put out, they really want us to be HardGuys™ too, which is why they beat the shit out of us.
The reason that women seem to go for EvilGuys™ is because they are the only HardGuys™ left. All the NiceGuys™ are really SoftGuys™ and they are about as appealing as oatmeal when the Rottweilers that women have become really want to sink their teeth into a flavorful but tough steak.
The course [which I think is the right one] is - harden yourself, become successful, demand fair compensation for what you have to give a woman or don't give it.
You may still end up without a woman, because women really have become ruined by feminidiocy, but you will get to keep your soul. Every man has to make the decision for himself which is more important to him.