Why You’re Still Single
This article isn’t for the people who are happily single by choice, fulfilled and loving life. Sounds like a unicorn, but these people really do exist! This is written for those of you, both and male and female, who are single, counting the days you’ve been single, looking for a relationship everywhere you go and wondering why you are the only one on the planet not in a relationship (or so it seems).
From my experience working with singles, I’ve learned that it is important to start this article by clearly stating there is nothing wrong with you. You are not defective. You are enough. If you remain single the rest of your life, you will still be enough. Your worth is not measured by the amount of potential suitors you have texting you, how many people you’ve slept with, how good looking the people you date are etc. You are a beautiful whole person on your own. One day, if you choose, you will add to someone’s life, someone who is also a whole complete person on his or her own and who can add to your life. So now that you remember how amazing you are, you can stop beating yourself up for being single and focus on the rest of this article. You may find that one of the following, a number of the following, or none of the following are the reasons you’re single. My goal is simply to help you better examine your own experience and make the changes you determine are necessary. So here are the reasons (maybe) why you’re still single:
1. You have Codependent Tendencies:
This may sound counterintuitive, but many codependent people have trouble finding lasting relationships. “Codependent,” in a nutshell, refers to tendencies to be dependent on others for one’s own self worth. These tendencies cause us to latch on to friends and relationships very quickly, without considering whether this is someone we actually want in our life, or who treats us well. The sole motivation of someone with codependent tendencies is to be needed. The focus is completely on the other person, not the self. Including pleasing the other person and meeting their needs at the expense of our own needs. This may look like someone who can’t say “no” and ends up being the friend who can always be counted on to help a friend move or give them a ride to the airport at four in the morning. To make matters worse, people with codependent tendencies often find themselves in friendships and relationships with people with narcissistic tendencies, so essentially both people are making everything revolve around one person in the relationship. This topic of codependency really needs an article all too itself, but if you are frustrated with being single, ask yourself if you tend to be a people pleaser? Is your happiness based on the happiness of those around you to the extent that it becomes detrimental to your own well-being? Do you mold yourself and your life to that of whomever you are dating (i.e. all of a sudden you are doing five mile bike rides every morning together, until you break up and realize you hate bike riding)? Or have your past relationships been with people who have a lack of empathy for others and think the world should revolve around them (i.e. narcissistic tendencies)?
2. You’re Too Picky:
Friends may have pointed this out to you already. There is nothing wrong with having standards and knowing what you want, but if you can never get past first dates because you have an uncanny ability to find a deal breaker in everyone (the shoes he wore, she doesn’t like my favorite Will Ferrell movie) then you are probably sabotaging your own trajectory. I realize that trying to be less picky is easier said than done. And you may, in your mind, have very valid reasons why you cannot date a guy who wears those shoes. But if you can begin your dates with the intention of getting to know someone further, despite any turn-off’s, then you will eventually be able to forget about his shoes when he has you laughing by date two. If you stick around long enough, you may even be able to influence his choice in shoes. Relationships, when done right, are wonderful mirrors to help us all grow (even improve our style).
3. You’re Scared:
I realize this one may be met with adamant denial, “I’m not scared, a relationship is exactly what I want, I just have the worst luck with men/women….” Right. This one is going to be more subconscious, but considering this idea may shed some light on it. It’s a question worth considering. When we are internally conflicted about something, we can push it away without realizing it, even when we desire it. This is true for much more than just relationships such as success, praise, weight loss etc. Ask yourself if there is any part of being in a relationship that you might be afraid of? Maybe you’re scared of trusting yourself to be monogamous? Or maybe a past experience has caused you to fear being hurt again? Fear of commitment would also fall into this category and is a topic that also needs an article dedicated to it in the future.
4. You Think The Grass Is Greener:
This one is difficult to escape because we live in a time of digital dating. Just look at your phone and you can have a variety of options through a variety of apps, you can even find a date within a five-mile radius of you if you choose. This creates the misconception that if your first date is wonderful in all the ways you’re looking for, but you hate his shoes, that you can easily trade him in for another date who is also wonderful in every way you are looking for, AND wears good shoes. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. All this access to available singles at our disposal makes us forget that there are other factors that must come into play other than our interest. Those people have to be interested in a date with us, and have to have all the same wonderful qualities we just found in the bad shoes guy. It is pretty unrealistic when you think about it logically. Digital dating turns us all (even married people) into kids in a candy store. We are mesmerized and not exactly thinking clearly, or in our best interest. We develop dating ADHD.
5. You’re Not Asking The Right Questions:
When you think back to the majority of your dates, what do you tend to talk about? The conversation was probably light, breaking the ice with favorite restaurants, recently seen movies, what you do at your job? This is necessary to get comfortable and find common ground. But after the first couple dates, or, depending on you and your date, maybe even on the first date, after this type of conversation has run its’ course, do you ever get to deeper topics? Do you ever ask questions to see if this person is looking for the same thing as you? First and foremost, does he or she even want to be in a relationship right now? If you never find the right time to bring up this question and other important topics such as free time, spirituality, values, family life, future goals, you may get invested in someone you are wasting your time on.
6. You’re Missing Red Flags:
This goes along with number five, but I see it time and time again, a client will date someone who is a self professed player, who openly talks about fear of commitment, or “not wanting anything serious so I can focus on my career,” but the client will keep dating this person, hoping she can change his mind, or maybe this time it will be different and he’ll want to marry her, and it never is. If you are seeing signs that someone is not a match for you, or maybe they even tell you, listen!
Other common red flags would be someone who latches on to you too fast. Texts you constantly after the first date, wants to see you every day in the beginning (hint: refer back to number one).
Also watch out for someone who drinks too much on the first date, or the first few dates. Being nervous is an excuse to drink too much at first, but if it continues, or especially if their behavior drastically changes when they’re drinking, consider this a red flag.
Additionally look out for people who are not consistent either in what they say, or their behavior. If you cannot rely on her to show up when you schedule a date or she seems “flakey,” she probably is not as interested as you are.
7. You’re Misrepresenting Yourself (Putting Out the Wrong Vibe):
You know that in order to have a healthy lasting relationship, you have to be willing for your partner to get to know the real you, and this requires vulnerability. In the beginning, everyone is on his or her best behavior. Early on we are more conscious of being polite, in a pleasant mood, and of being interesting. But what are you leading with? Ask yourself: When I first meet someone to date, how am I presenting myself? Often we don’t even realize how much we tend to lead with a certain aspect of ourselves, or what we think our date wants, and we exaggerate it. Common examples would be a girl who is dressed extremely sexy, turning the conversation into a string of sexual innuendos and flirtation. Also name dropping, and talking about how much money you make (or have), even if it is true, is something people lead with. None of this is necessarily detrimental, unless you are leading with something that will attract a different type of person than what you are looking for (a guy just interested in having sex, or a gold-digger). Present yourself as accurately as you can, and be careful what you lead with, you may be telling him or her what they want to hear to impress them, but they may not be what you truly want.
8. You Don’t Learn From Your Mistakes:
This one can apply to any of the aforementioned points. The beautiful thing about the dating and relationship game is that there is value in all of it if you choose to use even the worst experiences to learn from and grow. One reason you may still be single when you don’t want to be is that you don’t learn from your mistakes, and then you keep repeating the same patterns over and over again. This is why suffering is inevitable when we choose not to examine our lives, emotions and experiences. Try something different and get out of your comfort zone.
If you’d like more help with your relationships, or with being single, feel free to contact me at Alyssa@AlyssaRand.com.