Why am I still single?
This question haunts even the most confident women. You’re not alone. It comes up when you’ve spent years in and out of failed relationships and you finally reach the point wanting to give up on love.
If you ask this question in the form of a complaint, like “why me?” you won’t get a satisfactory answer. But if you ask it with an open mind and in the spirit of wanting to know the truth, it can make the difference between finding the love of your life — or being alone.
Here are three possible reasons why you might ask “Why am I still single?”
One or two of them may apply to you, or maybe all three. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself when you consider them. You, like me many years ago, may have some “blind spots” that make it hard for you to see the truth of your situation. If any one of these strikes a nerve but you’re not sure, get some objective feedback or ask a friend what they think so you can move forward.
1. You’re ambivalent about entering into a committed, intimate relationship with a man.
As much as you think you want a partner, you may find it hard to leave your comfort zone of being single. I know you don’t think you’re comfortable, but we tend to go for what’s familiar. Ambivalence will prevent you from taking the emotional risks necessary to get close enough to a man to love him and let him love you.
It will keep you from fully committing to finding a partner, and creates all kinds of sneaky ways to ruin your relationships. If left unchallenged, it will keep you falling for unavailable men or with acts of self-sabotage such as drinking too much on a first date. Ambivalence will make you believe all kinds of excuses and rationalizations as to why you haven’t met the right man, and it will keep you in a state of blaming rather than taking responsibility.
2. You make finding a man more important than finding happiness.
It’s a cliche but it’s true: You can’t depend on anything outside of yourself to make you happy. Believe me, if you tend to be a negative woman who always sees the glass as half empty, nothing is going to change when you find Mr. Right and marry him.
Yes, you might have a few months of intoxication when you are still in the honeymoon stage of the relationship. But soon, as the headiness wears off and you start to see the real man with all of his imperfections, you’ll no longer be able to get the “happiness fix.” Your negative attitude will creep back in and you’ll be stuck feeling miserable again.
3. You don’t value yourself enough to set boundaries.
Every relationship you enter into requires some form of boundaries. Whether it’s your hairdresser, your doctor, or your mother, there are “rules” that are implied in the nature of a relationship. If you let people — men in particular — get away with breaking the rules you need to feel safe and loved, you’ll end up floundering emotionally and be full of resentment.
Boundaries, like discipline, create freedom. If you don’t have standards in your relationships, you’re at the mercy of someone else’s bad behavior. ”Why am I still single?” is a good question to ask yourself and you shouldn’t be afraid of the answer. Facing what has been holding you back is the only way to move yourself forward to get the love you desire.
And the big question. So what do I do?
Gets real about why they ” and possibly you ” are still flying solo.
Below are very optimistic solutions to end a “solo life”.
>Do an autopsy on your past relationships. Why didn’t they work? Look at things honestly and learn from your mistakes.
>Acknowledge what you own in a relationship. If you look at relationships that haven’t worked, the common denominator is you! That means you own part of the problem. You create your own experience and control the choices you make. Your behavior and decisions have consequences. Take responsibility for them.
>Be your authentic self. Your authentic self is who you are when you have no fear of judgment, or before the world starts pushing you around and telling you who you’re supposed to be. Your fictional self is who you are when you have a social mask on to please everyone else ” and it doesn’t work if you’re looking for a lasting relationship. Give yourself permission to be your authentic self.
>Change your internal dialogue ” what you’re telling yourself in real time. You may be programming yourself for failure with negative thoughts. For example, if you call yourself a “freak magnet” while waiting for a blind date to show up, you’re starting off with a negative internal message.
Tapes can be even more insidious than your internal dialogue because they’re so well rehearsed and ingrained. Evaluate a particular situation, rather than listening to your tapes and deciding ahead of time. For example, if you’ve told yourself that “all good men are taken,” then you’ve labeled the man you’re out with as “a leftover” before you’ve even gotten to know him! Your pre-determined beliefs, which you may not even be conscious of, can be destructive.
>A common mistake of many single people is that they try to change themselves for the person they are dating. When you do that, you’re not being true to who you are, and it will bite you in the rear.
>If what you’re doing isn’t working, change it. Do something different. Don’t be someone you’re not, but have a broad range of who you are.
>Decide what kind of person you’re looking for and put yourself in a target-rich environment. If, for example, you’re looking for a man who loves the outdoors, go there. And if you’re not looking for a barfly, don’t go to a bar to meet someone!
>Only 7 percent of communication is verbal. For every thought you have, there’s a physiological reaction. Become aware of the signals you are sending out. Desperation, for example, comes through in non-verbal communication.
>Recognize that you don’t have to be in a relationship to be whole. It is better to be happy alone than sick with someone else. The most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself.
>Don’t put pressure on yourself. You don’t have to be married. It’s not required. Stop telling yourself you have to get a ring on your finger.
>Are you available?
Look at your life and ask yourself if you’re leaving time to meet someone. Would someone have to throw himself on the hood of your car to cross paths with you and get your attention?
>Don’t act desperate.
Send a message that you “want to” be in a relationship ” not that you’ve “got to.” Even if you hear your biological clock, it need not tick loudly enough for every eligible man to hear it!
Credit to Dr. Phil and Virginia Clark.