Do you want a relationship, but for some reason, you’re still single?
There are many reasons why people stay single even when they don’t want to. They may be subconsciously self-sabotaging themselves or dealing with circumstances beyond their control. For whatever reason, they may be wondering, “Why the heck am I still single?“
Consider the following obstacles that may be causing your singledom—and the advice we’ll give to help you increase your chances of finding your perfect partner if that’s what you’re looking for:
1. You’re Constantly Dating the Wrong Kind
Everyone has that one friend that is still single because they keep dating the same type of person, expecting things to work out.
No matter how much you try to steer them in the direction of someone who’s the opposite of what they go for, they eventually find their way back to Mr. or Ms. Wrong, and you’re left listening to them constantly complain about it.
There are several reasons why people constantly find themselves dating duds, but some of the bigger ones include the following:
- They get a high from the chase. Instead of finding a secure and healthy romance, they prefer the relationship roller-coaster. In other words, they love the drama more than they love the person.
- They feel comfortable dating what’s familiar rather than what’s healthy.
- They never get on the same page with a potential partner before becoming emotionally invested in a relationship.
- They’re only interested in looks without checking out a person’s heart.
- They ignore the red flags.
- Jumping into a relationship when you’re missing several green flags.
2. You Have Yet to Meet the Right Person
According to some dating experts, people often stay single longer than they want to be because they simply haven’t met the right person. Despite their desire to find their mate, they haven’t because it’s a numbers game.
For those who fall in the latter group, it may take slightly longer to go through potential partners before you find The One you’re genuinely compatible with.
3. Your Expectations Are Unrealistic
Sometimes, the inability to find a suitable mate is due to expectations that are too high. While it’s OK to maintain high standards for a potential relationship, you want to avoid going into dating with a laundry list of the qualities you expect your partner to have, especially if it’s so detailed that no one will fulfill it. Could you fulfill it?
When the bar is set too high, the hope of locating your perfect match lessens. Additionally, while waiting for that person to fit every aspect of your list, a good fit may be overlooked.
4. You Expectations Are Too Low (Or You Have No Standards)
Conversely, some are single because they don’t set their bar high enough. And then you have those that don’t set a bar at all. The goal is to find a healthy middle standard that’s not too high or too low.
You’ll want to have some standards you will and won’t accept. Some people will find themselves perpetually single because they force connections with others who disrespect them or cross their boundaries. Or, they continuously allow themselves to date people with who they aren’t compatible or interested in.
The key is to create reasonable expectations, so you don’t feel disappointed by possible partners.
5. You Don’t Make Dating a Priority
Another big reason people stay single is that they haven’t prioritized dating. They dream of being in a long-term committed relationship someday, but they have yet to make the time for dating and don’t go to social events where they might meet someone special.
Even when people express interest, they brush them off. Or they maintain such a hectic lifestyle that even if the right person knocked on the door, they’d be too busy to answer it.
For people who don’t prioritize dating, their lives are all about work, friends, working out, and hobbies. Even when friends make it easy by fixing them up, they quickly make an excuse and decline the offer.
Even though they want to find love, their energy is more aligned with “If it happens, it happens,” which isn’t a proactive way to find a mate.
Don’t misunderstand; there is nothing wrong with making other aspects of your life a priority over dating, so if that’s what is most important to you at this stage, own it and do it with pride!
Additionally, there are times in your life when you can’t make dating a priority, even if you want it to be. You may be raising children, dealing with a physical or mental illness, etc., so don’t be too hard on yourself. But remember, just like a career will only progress once you put some time and attention into it, the same holds true for finding love.
Your life isn’t a romcom, so very few people accidentally bump into the love of their lives at a supermarket. If, by chance, that does happen for you, then great. But those chances are slim to no way in hell.
That’s OK because you don’t need a produce aisle in a grocery store to find love. You can actively start investing in your dating life with just a little time and energy.
6. You’re Allowing Fear to Hold You Back
Fear is one of the most prominent reasons why people remain single. This includes fear of starting an online dating profile, fear of rejection, and fear of making their intentions known to strangers.
You may be ready to prioritize dating, but you’re scared to go all in because you’re afraid of what others may think or you don’t want to risk getting hurt.
Often, even though we want to find love, it’s more comfortable to sit back and say, “I’m focusing on myself,” or “I’m too busy,” than to openly admit you’re looking for a relationship and do the necessary work to make that happen.
7. You’re Clinging to the Past
Some individuals struggle to get involved in another relationship because they’re still emotionally attached to people from the past, including exes, crushes, or any unrequited love that’s still weighing heavily in their minds. This closes you off from any new connections.
8. You Don’t Understand Key Relationship Skills
Unfortunately, to maintain a healthy, long-lasting relationship, you need certain skills, and some lack these basic skills. The good news is that you can work on these.
For instance, if you deal with insecurity in relationships, you can exhibit clingy behavior that can push away potential partners.
Or, you have a quick temper and need help managing conflict with a level head, so your discussions can become explosive, making your relationship less desirable for both parties.
The remedy is to get real with yourself. We all have personal challenges, but when you identify them, you’re in a better position to correct them. Doing so puts you in a better place to help you form healthy, successful future relationships.
9. Societal Biases Leave You at a Disadvantage
If someone told you that being single is not all your fault, would you believe it? Dating is a battlefield, especially for minorities, including heavy people, those with disabilities, etc.
There has been some progress regarding inclusivity and body positivity. However, the sad truth is that many other people are slower to incorporate such beliefs into their dating world.
Ableism, sexual racism, fatphobia, and other biases can determine how people interact with one another and how they choose to date–and who they won’t date. Sadly, people base dating on matching physically. Doing so doesn’t treat everyone equally.
10. Your Wounds Are Not Healed
Even beyond the exes, other hurts from our past may find their way into the current way we move through and pursue connections with others. Unresolved issues often screw up finding a loving and caring partner.
For instance, our childhood experiences, family history, and relationship with our parents may tremendously influence how we connect with others as adults. These wounds can manifest as abandonment issues, trust issues, attachment issues and more.
These issues can make sustaining a relationship much more challenging than needed, especially if we aren’t aware of these internal challenges. Because we’re unaware, we often unconsciously push away others away. After all, we can’t fix what we don’t know.
11. You Don’t Really Want to Connect
Some people stay single because, deep down, they’re not interested in finding a true connection. They could be happy without one.
There is societal pressure to be in a relationship, especially for women, and sometimes we take on that pressure without even realizing it. In other words, we don’t want a relationship, but society says there’s something wrong with you without one.
Also, we live in a society that rewards individuals for their ability to find a match and sustain that romantic relationship. Often, being single is viewed as a personal failure.
In this environment, it makes sense that so many people desperately search for a partner and feel insecure or embarrassed when they don’t have one, whether or not they want one.
12. You’re Closed-Minded Regarding Dating
Remember meeting your partner at a bar, the supermarket, or a church group? Some people still long for those old days, but times have changed.
Sure, plenty of folks still meet their partners that way, and it can happen that way for you, too. However, it’s essential to recognize that more and more people are looking toward dating apps as a preferred method to meet a potential life partner.
If you’re hesitant toward the dating app movement, here’s a thought; many people you used to meet out on the town are now searching for the love of their lives online. To increase your odds, you should head where the masses are, and that’s online dating apps.
Regarding dating apps, you must get in the right mindset to be successful. If you think the apps are a waste of your time, that’s exactly what they’ll be. If your attitude is negative and bitter, it will show in your profile.
This makes it more challenging to connect with positive-minded people who are excited to be there, and unfortunately, you may miss a potential match.
13. Are You Normal if You’re Still Single?
It is absolutely normal if you’re single, whether or not you choose to be. According to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, approximately 30% of U.S.-based adults are still single. Half of them aren’t searching for a relationship or are currently dating. Some are even choosing to remain single their entire lives.
Another recent report found that one in seven never-married adults don’t want to get married. And over 25% say they’re not sure they want to get married. These studies suggest that the single population in the U.S. is increasing.
What if You Want to Find a Relationship
The flip side is that some people want to be in a relationship and desire to marry eventually but have yet to find the right person. If that’s the case, here are some tips to consider.
Seriously Think About Your Dating Life, Including Your Past, Present, and Preferred Future.
If you honestly seek a partnership, spend time thinking deeply about your current dating life. You can do this by journaling about your past dating experiences to determine if some leftover traumas or wounds may hinder you from finding your true match.
Also, reflect on your expectations for a partner and a potential relationship. Are they too high or too low? Perhaps they’re non-existent or unrealistic.
If needed, work with a therapist to walk you through past relationships and figure out how to break those old dating patterns.
What Do You Really Want?
If you’re wondering why you’re still single, take a minute to ponder why. Begin by looking at whether or not you genuinely want to be coupled up or if you’re succumbing to societal pressures or others’ expectations. Are family and friends pushing you to have a romantic relationship?
This is where the difficult work comes in because it relies heavily on detangling your true desires from what society (and your family and friends) has TOLD YOU to desire.
If needed, you can work through this with a relationship coach or a therapist to help you sift through your desires and what others desire for you.
Prioritize Your Dating Life– But for Real This Time.
Once you’ve completed the work of digging deep and taking a closer look into your dating life, it’s time to dive into this section of your life more proactively.
Take the first step toward gaining a relationship, regardless of how big or small it is. It could be filing out the profile information on a dating app for the first time. Perhaps it’s simply being honest and admitting to your family and friends that you’re ready to begin actively searching for a partner.
Whatever that first step is, take it! Over time, small steps start adding up as you become more at ease with the process of finding a mate.
Additionally, find new methods to put yourself out there. Join a cooking class or start going to the gym. Get involved with a church or volunteer group. These are all new places where you can meet people and expand your circle. If you haven’t signed up for dating apps yet, what are you waiting for?
If you need help figuring out where to begin, ask for help. Dating coaches are here to help guide you on your journey as you dip your toe back into the dating pool again.
Find Ways to Appreciate Being Single
It’s not the end of the world to be single, even if you want a relationship. In the meantime, you can still enjoy the single life.
When you start feeling uncomfortable being single, pause and take a moment to figure out where the uneasiness comes from. For example, are you getting pressure from family, friends, and society? Or, do you feel uncomfortable being the “fifth wheel” when you go out with friends in a couple? Whatever the source, tackle them head-on so you rid yourself of the pressure of not being in a couple. Then go out there and have fun, coupled up or not!
Be Clear about Your Intentions
What exactly do you want? Regarding the dating profile, be truthful about who you are and what you’re searching for in your profile.
Most individuals attempt to sell how wonderful they are, and that’s OK to a point. Just be sure to include that you want a relationship and even what that relationship looks like to you. Doing so helps people with similar interests find you.
Take some time and envision how a person would fit best into your life.
For example, you can say you’re searching for someone who doesn’t mind a cute and cuddly cat sitting on their lap as they watch a classic horror movie. Once you get a clear picture, go ahead and ask for it.
Don’t let society pressure you into thinking you’re ready for a relationship when you’re not. Being single doesn’t have to be a negative thing. However, if you are ready, embrace it. Take your time and enjoy the process because, eventually, you will find the right one. All you need to do is put a little effort into it. Good luck!