Are you asking yourself why you’re still single?
Obviously some people are single because they have a desire to be. They simply know they are not ready for anything serious so they choose to remain single. Others are single due to circumstances in their life. They don’t like the situation they are in and feel overwhelmed by the thought of dating. Perhaps they have just gotten out of a long relationship or have dated relentlessly but just haven’t found the one that they could see spending the rest of their life with. There are numerous different obstacles that they could be hurdling. For a lot of people, particularly once they hit 30, they start asking themselves “what is wrong and why am I still single?”
When it comes to dating it is sometimes hard to not feel like a victim. People can be cruel and not always fair, you may get hurt and it may not work, however, it is not always your fault. There are certain things that you can’t control but the truth of the matter is, you have more power over this area of your life than you think you do. To a degree, we create our own destiny by the choices we make even though we are rarely conscious of it. We can determine if we live our lives as a victim of circumstance or we take control of our own personal destiny. So the question is, why are you still single? There are several different factors and the first thing you need to do is identify what the problem is and try to resolve it.
Being defensive can be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome and can easily play into many areas of your life, especially in the romance department. A lot of times these walls have started to form way before you ever started dating. For many, childhood incidents play a role in your level of trust and willingness to be vulnerable. So many people view life through a negative filter and use it as a defense mechanism. If you were hurt, abandoned or didn’t feel safe as a child, you can go through life building walls to keep yourself safe however all you are doing is isolating yourself from the opportunity to be loved. If you were raised in a house that didn’t show a lot of affection you may be distrustful of a partner that does. They may seem disingenuous with their actions. You tend to blame others as of why you are single and see yourself as much more open than you really are.
When you start to date with your defenses up, you tend to pick unhealthy partners. You may seek out a partner that is emotionally unavailable and you do so without realizing it. You do this unconsciously so you can blame them as to why the relationship didn’t work and satisfy a self-fulfilling prophecy. You often feel hurt and hopeless without even knowing that you are creating constant rejections by following the same pattern. While trying to protect yourself you are causing anxiety and stress by continuing to date without facing your own fear of intimacy.
Your fear of intimacy can manifest as a concern that someone “likes you too much” or to create problems in the relationship to keep yourself at a safe distance. You may find yourself punishing the person to push them away so you can achieve the results that you unconsciously desire. The truth of the matter is, most people can handle so much closeness but when it starts to feel too real, you sabotage it in order to evade anything too deep.
Being too picky is also a defense mechanism used in dating. You set your standards so high and then tell yourself there is nobody good left out there. You may have unrealistic expectations or find something wrong with them when you first meet them. When being extremely critical you tend to write people off before you ever take the opportunity to get to know them. So often I hear from people that they are not going to “settle”, they have their checklist and if everything doesn’t match perfectly they will pass the person up without even knowing the happiness they could be missing by not getting to know them. Sometimes what you call as “settling” is not settling at all, you may find yourself in a relationship that is much more rewarding than the ones that you have experienced in the past. Throw out your list and rule book and take a chance on someone that you may have looked past simply because he was a little shorter or he didn’t obtain his graduate degree or she was a bit heavier or a couple of years older than you originally thought you needed. It’s ok to have a list, just make sure you are setting your sites within reason.
Having low self-esteem plays a major role in why you might be single. That inner critical voice that keeps crying out that you are too fat, too ugly, not interesting enough will keep you sitting in your house isolated from the chance of love. I recently had a client that sent in her feedback expressing how much she enjoyed her date and that he was everything that she had been looking for but reading his feedback, it seemed that they were on two different dates. He said that he was attracted to her at first but he wanted to move on and meet someone new. It wasn’t because he didn’t like her, it was simply that he didn’t like how she continued to put herself down. In this situation, he liked her, but he started second-guessing what he thought and started to view her through her own negative filter. She had planted her views of herself within him. Her issue wasn’t how she looked or her intelligence, it was her self-esteem. She liked him and was trying to protect herself from feeling rejected by putting everything that she felt was wrong with her out on the table before he did. She would rather point her flaws out than to have someone else say them and hurt her. The problem with that process is, he didn’t see any flaws, only she did. Low self-esteem always leads to a fear of competition. Always thinking that someone could do better than you. It leads to jealousy, insecurity and eventually not trusting the person. If there are things that you are insecure about, work on them, don’t think that those fears are going to go away on their own but first recognize if the things you don’t like about yourself are realistic. See the true beauty that lies within yourself. Society may influence a false standard of what beauty is, but beauty comes from within and only you can find it and let it shine.
With age, we tend to stay closer and closer to home. We get into a routine of work, gym, grocery store and back home again. Whether it seems more practical or more comfortable we form a bubble around us. Being in the safety of our homes keeps us safe and our inner voices of doubt get softer. After a long day of work, people feel like putting on their comfy’s rather than dressing up and dealing with the anxiety of a meeting people. Our inner voice changes from a critical one to soothing one that tells you that “you’re ok, you would rather stay in with a nice glass of wine and just relax.” The problem with this soothing voice is, it’s deceiving and simply plays a role with your inner critical voice later. You start thinking that “you’re home alone again, you’re never going to find anyone, you’re not getting any younger, you’re not good enough.” A lot of things that we tell ourselves or do to be in our comfort zone will make you feel bad at the end of the day. As a relationship specialist, it is my job to pull you out of your comfort zone and help you recognize why you are still single. You need to take action and stop asking yourself why you are still single. Asking yourself will only lead to getting answers from the same inner voice that has failed you for years. Take a chance on seeing a different version of yourself, take a chance on love.