There’s no shame in being single, in fact it can be a power move.
But there’s also a big difference between being single by choice or single by default.
If you find that you’d love to find a partner but it just doesn’t seem to be happening for you, here are some hard-to-admit reasons why you might be staying single even when you don’t want to be.
I’m not saying these are definitely true, but they are definitely worth your time to consider so that you can ensure you’re giving yourself all the opportunities possible in your dating life.
If you find that you’re sure one of these reasons doesn’t apply to you, don’t worry and just move on to the next one: this is all about helping you understanding the situation, not blaming or labeling.
1) You’re too picky
This is the first possibility about why you’re still single.
What does it mean to be “too” picky? After all, who gets to define that?
Honestly it’s partly a subjective opinion, but the dividing line between too picky and just picky enough seems to be this:
If you’re missing out on good and rewarding relationships because of rejecting potential partners, then you’re too picky.
If you’re missing out on toxic and unrewarding relationships due to your standards, then you’re just picky enough.
But here’s the thing…
How can you be sure if you’re too picky or just picky enough?
That brings us to point two…
2) You don’t give people a chance
Clearly you shouldn’t just go out with anybody who expresses an interest in you, but giving people a chance is, in general, a good thing…
What this means is that even if you don’t feel a strong attraction to someone you keep your mind open about them.
It means getting to know people regardless of whether you have any attraction to them.
Sometimes going out on a date or two with somebody you’re not into ends up with you being introduced to their friend who you are into…
There’s certainly something to be said for keeping a bit of an open mind when it comes to who you date and who you are open to going out with, at least on a “get-to-know-you” basis…
3) You’re disobeying the P principle
It can be hard to meet somebody you click with if you ignore the P principle.
I’m referring to propinquity, which means putting yourself nearby to something.
If you want to meet someone who’s highly active, start going to the gym, jogging, going for hikes and join the local swim club.
You’re going to be around a much higher amount of people who also like being active!
Will you meet your future husband? Probably not!
But you might meet a great friend who invites you to a hiking outing next month where you end up meeting your future husband!
Stranger things have happened…
4) Your range is too narrow
This is sort of the opposite of the P principle, but it’s important to mention because it affects a lot of people.
We’ve all been on dating apps and seen somebody who only dates people over “6 feet 2” or who “love outdoor sports” or who only wants a guy who’s “financially comfortable.”
We all have standards, and it’s fair to have metrics of what you apply to any future potential partner.
But when you truly and fully rule people out based on outer characteristics, you can end up eliminating a potential match.
Attraction isn’t always as simple as sharing the same interests or both loving to ski.
Which is why having too narrow a range and “only” going out with a certain type or class of person can leave you high and dry.
5) You’ve dropped out of life
This is something that can happen when we’ve been repeatedly disappointed by life:
We just drop out.
If that’s you, then you know what I’m talking about…
Rarely going out, starting to sit around whenever you’re not working, losing your motivation to do new things or meet new people.
You’re just waiting for something to happen.
Sadly, it rarely does until you get yourself moving once again…
6) You’re letting yourself go
On a related note is that your energy, appearance and overall impression can suffer a lot if you’ve begun phoning it in…
If you find that even the desire to brush your teeth or comb your hair is lagging, it can be related to being single.
This isn’t just about outer appearance or your energy levels, it’s a commitment thing:
When you find it hard to commit to yourself and care for yourself, you subconsciously send a very strong signal out to the universe.
That signal is: I’m not worth it, don’t mind me.
And it can lead to all sorts of missed opportunities, because you are worth it!
7) You’re repressing your real desires
What do you really want in a partner?
What kind of person, what gender, what personality?
In some cases we are desperately on the search to date someone we think we want but who we actually aren’t at all attracted to!
Try dating somebody you wouldn’t normally go out with…
Try meeting up with someone whose beliefs totally clash with your own…
Try imagining you’re going undercover to meet “the enemy” and see what happens…
Could it be there’s a spark of attraction there?
8) You don’t love yourself
Self-love is really a necessity when it comes to finding love.
The reason is not that it’s impossible to meet someone special without loving yourself: of course it is…
But if you don’t truly care for yourself, eventually even any love you receive isn’t going to be enough for you or be rejected by you.
That’s why you need to know your own value first, and love yourself fully, including your faults that you are working on improving.
9) You have issues you haven’t dealt with
First of all, a spoiler:
We all have issues we haven’t deal with, we’re all works in progress.
There is no “perfect” state we reach where we’re finally “worthy” of love. We’re already worthy!
But when an issue is really tearing you up inside, it is true that this can make it harder to find and keep love.
Is there something you need to deal with first?
10) You keep trying to find partners to ‘fix’ you
Many times we grow frustrated about relationships because they fall into codependent cycles.
These are often based around a savior and victim cycle.
This is one in which you either play the victim and hope that a partner can “fix” or “complete” you…
Or a cycle in which…
11) You keep trying to ‘fix’ partners
This is where you play the savior role instead.
The result is that you only feel real attachment and love when you’re helping or “fixing” your partner.
Enough is never enough, however, and you end up feeling empty, because as soon as your partner starts doing better the feeling of love dries up.
And they come to resent you when they’re also not feeling you “fix” them.
It’s a lose-lose situation…
12) You’re living somebody else’s life
This is perhaps the hardest-hitting reason of all that I’ve included on this list.
I saved it for last because it’s a big topic that deserves some real thought.
Are you living your own life?
Are you being true to what matters to you and what inspires you?
Or are you living a life somebody else has planned out for you?
One of the biggest reasons, if not the biggest reason for having difficulty finding a partner you truly love is that you aren’t being true to yourself.
You’re living a life that you think you should live or makes sense to be in or is good enough for now.
You have one foot in, one foot out. So you meet other people who also have one foot in one foot out.
This is time for some soul-searching about what life you truly want to live and be in, even if it means going to teach in the Congo or becoming a painter in rural Uzbekistan.
You need to live your own life: the rest will fall into place.
Looking at the bright side
Even if none of the reasons above apply to you, being single provides an opportunity to develop more fully into who you are and what you stand for.
If you find that one or more of the above reasons do apply to you, have no shame.
They apply to all of us at some point or another and even if they don’t lead to breakups or being single a lot, they almost always lead to rough relationships.
The bright side of staying single is that you’re making a lot more inner progress and resolving many issues before getting too far into a serious relationship.
The downside is you may be holding yourself back from taking a chance that could be worth taking!