Why Am I Single? The Top 10 Reasons You Are On Your Own
It is the stuff that rom-coms are made of, the single gal or guy’s pursuit of love is, if the films are to be believed, peppered with amusing pitfalls a-la Bridget Jones but all is alright in the end because there is a soul mate for everyone just waiting to be found.
Those in pursuit of a stable and long term love life respond to such characterizations in one of two ways, they either take hope from the fact that someone as stupid as Bridget can get her love in the end or they end up despairing. After all if someone as beautiful as the impossibly perky Isabella Rossellini look alike in Grey’s Anatomy can end up single and desperate for love then how can someone ordinary compete.
Single life is all very well in your 20s when everyone is having fun but sooner or later, as the 20s give way to the 30s and the biological clocks start ticking their way towards middle age, people start to pair up. When all your friends have found the man or woman of their dreams it is suddenly no longer fun to be single. Sooner or later you will start to ask yourself – why me? Why are you the one left on the shelf when everyone else is now part of a couple or even a growing family? While everyone’s circumstances are different there are some surprising reasons that come up time and again. Here are our top 10 reasons to explain why you are still searching for that elusive soul mate…
10. You Have Been Dating Married People
This should be a no brainer. If you want to have a fling, go right ahead and date a married man or woman. Of course the responsibility for cheating on a spouse will always be with the person who is married but the other woman/man must take some of the blame. Rightly or wrongly, people will not truly want to have someone in their life who is capable of breaching a trust in this way. You might find yourself being given a wide berth by friends who have significant others, after all if you have done it once the chances are, at least they will think, you might be unscrupulous enough to do it again. If you find out you have been duped by someone you thought was single is, in fact, married the best thing you can do is dump them straight away.
If you want more than a fling it is just not going to happen. Someone who is having an affair might tell you his wife ‘does not understand him’. A woman might say that she is staying because of the kids or is waiting for the right moment to leave her husband. In most cases it is all spin to get you into bed. In a small minority of cases there might be some truth to what they are saying but be realistic – they are a scumbag! Can you cope with the uncertainty that, having had an affair at least once they might do the same to you if you do get their ring on your finger? Anyone who has an affair is a bad prospect.
Of course we fall in love at inconvenient times. If you do find yourself falling for someone who is married don’t let yourself become tangled in the situation. Give them time to leave their spouse properly and reassess when they are free and single.
9. You Are Too Full Of Yourself
The world of dating is eerily similar to the world of work and the competition can be cutthroat. In almost any course on how to network you will be told that while there is a time for talking you should make the most of opportunities afforded that allow you to be an active and engaged listener.
If you are the type of date who spends the entire evening talking about yourself, prospective spouses will ask you out and even date you for a while but are unlikely to want to ask you to be their life partner. Of course this does not mean that you should not talk about yourself, the things that interest and inspire you. It is vital that you do because otherwise you will come across as vacuous but a relationship should be a two way street. Think about it – you would not want to spend time with someone who only ever spoke about themselves would you?
By taking the time not only to listen to what your date has to say but also making sure that you let him know that you have taken on board what he is saying you are setting yourself apart from the crowd, showing your date that you are that little bit different and special. You are also telling them that they are important to you and, as a result they are more likely to want to keep you in their life.
8. You Fail To Manage The Mystery
Think about the film ‘Pretty Woman’ and the clothes that Julia Roberts wore at different points in the film. In her ‘hooker’ outfit she shows a lot of flesh but looks awful. In later scenes she wears more demure clothing that leaves a lot more to the imagination and she looks so much better! Julia Roberts’ clothing is a metaphor for this particular rule of dating. The less you show the more alluring you are and this goes for achievements, interests, personality as well as clothing.
Let your date get to know you slowly at first. You might be a world class swimmer or top of your class in law school but don’t tell everything immediately. Similarly you don’t need to give your date a blow by blow account of your childhood or your grandmother’s hemorrhoid operation. Take the time to learn about your date (see above) and what makes them tick. Drop in information and snippets about you but always leave something more. If your date thinks they have nothing else to learn from or about you they have no reason to spend more time with you.
As your relationship progresses you will want to keep some level of mystery in your relationship. We do not suggest that you lie, or avoid telling the truth – there should be scrupulous honesty in any successful relationship but an element of mystery will keep the allure in your relationship alive, for example you wouldn’t want to use the bathroom with the door open!
The advice can be summarized in a nutshell – always keep him or her wanting more!
7. You Consistently Sell Yourself Short
Some people sell themselves short by finding a relationship and sticking with it even if they know it is not right for them (sometimes the other half of the relationship is married – see above). It is not uncommon for women in particular to wait and wait for a proposal and be told that their partner is not ready to commit only to be dumped a few months down the line for a woman that their other half suddenly decides to marry. They face the sad realization that they were nothing more than a placeholder relationship.
You are absolutely fabulous and completely unique. You deserve to match yourself with the very best person for you. Take the time to meet a whole range of different people and get to know them properly. If you find there is something about them that just does not click with you don’t waste time trying to change them. Don’t waste time either being a placeholder or using someone else as one. Too many placeholder relationships and you will see your best years behind you and end up, potentially, on the shelf for life.
Life is too short to waste on Mr. or Miss. Not Quite Perfect. Sure you could stay quiet and try to learn to live with the things that grate on you but, over time, they will get more and more annoying. The sad fact is that between 40 and 50% of first marriages in the USA end in divorce. These people are divorcing because they were not right for each other in the first place.
6. You Are Too Demanding
Having just told you not to sell yourself short this advice might, on first glance, appear to be a little contradictory. What this piece of advice means, however, is that you should not aim to change someone into something they are not nor should you demand 100% of their attention at all times.
While you do want to be the most important person in the mind and life of the person you are going to marry the chances are they will also have a family including parents, siblings and cousins and will have obligations to them. You may not like your in-laws, in fact you might feel that your intended is the only normal one from a nightmare family that makes the Witch King of Angmar look like a stand up family guy but they are family and they probably love them. You don’t need to become BFFs with potential mother or sisters in law but you do need to make sure that your partner can spend time with them. Don’t ever insist that they can’t. Similarly don’t restrict access to their best friends (even if you think they are a bad influence) or complain when they want to do something typically girly or have some guy time.
If you do these things you can come across as (and indeed probably are) needy and demanding and that is one of the most off putting qualities in a relationship. The internet is full of advice on what to do if your girlfriend or boyfriend is too clingy and a lot of it involves running away! Marriage should be for life and who wants to spend 50 years with someone that awful! Have the confidence to be able to enjoy your time alone safe in the knowledge that you can trust the person you love to have your back when you need them to and always to come home to you. If you can’t do this the relationship is doomed.
5. You Are Too Picky
Everyone has a type. Sure you might like tall dark and handsome or really go for leggy blondes but there is so much more to a relationship than the way someone looks. If you limit yourself to a particular look then you are going to have a very limited field to choose from and you might not find someone who is a suitable life partner in any other regard. The short guy with glasses that you would never normally look twice at might share your hobbies and passions and have a great sense of humor. We all aim to marry for life and let’s face it, few 90 year olds look that great, a sense of humor and a kindly disposition are, however, forever!
Did you know that there are now more women than men with a college degree? People tend to look for life partners with a similar level of education which means that there are many blue collar men without women and too many college women competing for a small pool of eligible bachelors. Many of the most eligible men and women in those demographics manage to have a fabulous time dating hot men and beautiful women and then take their pick when it is time to settle down. If you are not a ‘top ranker’ you may lose out to someone younger or hotter. By looking for love outside of your normal parameters you might just get a pleasant surprise!
4. You Are Too Eager
This ties in very closely to point 2 below (don’t get too intimate too quickly) but differs in that it deals with social behavior rather than sexual and emotional intimacy. It also bears a strong relationship to point 8 above (be mysterious) because if you play this right you will always leave your date wanting more.
There is no point in setting ridiculously crazy rules about how long to wait before answering calls or how many texts to send each day. That just gets manipulative and sets you up to be the crazy person people run a mile from. What we do recommend, however is that in the early days of a relationship you ensure that there is some element of the thrill of the chase (nb this is more alluring to men than to women, women will often just stress and dump you if you make them do too much running). You should also try not to book too many dates in close succession because if you do you run the risk of looking as though you have no social life! Remember we value most what we have to work hardest to achieve.
3. You Fail To Keep Your Dignity
Sometimes even what seems like the most promising relationship can come to its natural end. The key thing to remember is when it is over it is over. It can be all too easy and tempting to hang on to a dead relationship just for the sake of being able to claim that you are in one (see point 7 above), particularly if all your friends have a significant other. Unless you have always wanted to be ‘friends with benefits’, however, you are doing nothing but sell yourself short (see above). There is, of course, nothing wrong with such a relationship if both parties are aware that that is all it is. If you are hoping that it will turn back into something more and lead to a ring on your finger then it is not going to happen. The mystery has left the relationship (see above).
Equally if you have broken up with each other take the time to grieve the relationship but accept that it is over. Don’t try to find excuses to run into each other (yes that does mean you might have to avoid his favorite café or restaurant; tough!) as you will only end up looking like a stalker. If they get a new partner, get annoyed all you like in private but be polite and friendly (but not effusive) when you run into them together in public.
The person of your dreams is out there – it would be a shame if they never got together with you out because you are unavailable due to sticking to a deadbeat relationship or because they saw you act like a lunatic when you run into an ex.
2. You Get Too Intimate Too Quickly
In today’s culture it can be easy to get intimate sooner rather than later. But while it is possible for one night stands to turn into long term romance but it is unlikely. Whiel there are some double standards with ‘promiscuous’ women being seen in a more negative light than ‘stud’ men someone who has had a very active and prolific sex life is not necessarily viewed as the most promising life partner. Bear in mind also the commonly known ‘third date’ rule, social norms tell us that women who ‘put out’ before then do not respect themselves and men who ask for it before then are disrespectful of women but that people can get intimate from the third date without any negative ramifications for their reputations.
No matter what the societal norms and pressures, however, do not feel pressured to get intimate whether you are on the third date or the tenth until the time is right for you. Someone who truly cares for you as a person will respect your reasons for wanting to wait and, of course, by association, respect you. Take your time getting to know each other. Have a few dates a week in the early stages and don’t factor weekends into your plans until you are more comfortable in each other’s company.
1. You Put Your Partner Down
Has someone ever put you down in public or have you ever seen someone do that to another person? How did it make you feel? The chances are if it happened to you it made you feel small, worthless and exceedingly upset. If you watched another person being put down our guess is that it made you feel bad for the victim and contempt for the perpetrator.
With this in mind never, ever put your partner (or indeed anyone else) down in public. It is a deeply unpleasant trait and one that makes other people shy away from you. No one is going to marry a person who thinks so little of them that they will belittle them in front of an audience. If you disagree with your partner or if you have to argue about something make sure that you give your partner the courtesy of doing it in private. You might get away with it once but not as a regular habit. There is a lot of relationship advice on the internet that concerns how to deal with a partner that puts you down all the time. Often the advice is to get out of the relationship.
So there you have it, our top 10 reasons to explain why you might still be single. If you do find that your relationships do not stand the test of time or that your longer term relationships never lead to anything more then you might be guilty of one or more of the points listed above. Look at all your past relationships, have you exhibited one or more of the behaviors listed above? If you have then try to look at how that might have been perceived by your partner at the time. The chances are that that behavior made you quite difficult to live with or an unappealing prospect as a life partner. That said you are almost certainly a good and decent person who deserves a long term, satisfying relationship if that is what you want. Hopefully our list can help you pinpoint what changes you need to make in order to be successful in love.