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10 Reasons Why You Can't Find the Relationship You Desire

For things to be different, you have to do things differently.

By Aria WhitePublished 2 years ago 9 min read
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You're attractive, intelligent, funny, loving, caring, honest, loyal...the list goes on. You live an exciting life and want someone to share it with. But like many singles in the world, you can't find a great person with whom to have a relationship. What gives?

Well, as hard as it might be to hear, the problem could be you. Or rather, your approach to dating.

Perhaps it's not that "there are no good men/women out there," but that your vetting process is ineffective. If you find yourself feeling exhausted by modern dating, it could be due to one of these 10 reasons that are preventing you from finding the relationship you desire.

You Have Unrealistic Expectations

One of the most common reasons people find themselves single is that they don't have realistic expectations about dating. They generally fall into one of two categories:

1. They go into dating with a "find my soul mate" mentality. In other words, they want to jump right in with the first person they meet, regardless of incompatibility or red flags. They envision a future right off the bat, hear the sound of wedding bells, and delete all their dating apps because they are sure they have found "the one." It's not wise to start a relationship with someone just because they are available. This ends up causing more problems, confusion, and hurt down the road.

2. They go into dating with such a casual attitude that they prevent themselves from being seen as a partner and refrain from being emotional or vulnerable. They don't open up or allow their minds to even wander into relationship territory. This mentality prevents you from being able to form a genuine connection with someone and will hinder your chances of finding a great person to have a relationship with.

The best approach is to have expectations that fall somewhere in between. The point of dating is to find your life partner - however that looks for you - but it's also to weed out the people who aren't a good fit. Being too serious too soon means you might be overlooking red flags, entering a relationship with rose-colored glasses, or investing too much in a person who isn't good for you.

On the contrary, not taking dating seriously will not lead to you finding someone who wants you for you, who shares your values, and who is willing to invest in you.

It's important to keep in mind that the majority of dates you go on will not lead to more dates. Most of your relationships will end. It only takes one person to change that but that's why it's important to choose the right person. Take dating seriously enough to explore different people but don't sabotage a good thing when you find it.

Your Standards Are Too High

It's one thing to require your partner to share your values when it comes to raising children, religion, marriage, finances, and other major life topics. But if you are refusing to date people because of things like hair color, height, or age, you are narrowing the dating pool in a way that works against you.

If you meet someone really great, are you honestly going to pass them up because they are divorced? Because they have children? Because they haven't traveled? You could be missing out on the love of your life because you are letting your self-perceived ideals determine the outcome instead of actually letting things play out.

Sometimes the person we fall in love with is the one we least expect. They are often someone who doesn't fit a certain set of criteria. Someone we never could have imagined we'd end up with. So if we lower our standards when it comes to superficial traits and characteristics, we just might learn that those "dealbreakers" are the very thing we love most about our partner.

You Aren't Dating People in Different Ways

Lots of singles are using dating apps these days because they offer convenience and easy access to hundreds of other local singles. Others refuse to use dating apps because of their often sour reputations as hook-up sites, ghosting grounds, and catfish cesspools. Whether you are dating exclusively on apps or exclusively not on apps, your chances of meeting someone greatly increase when you try multiple avenues.

If you aren't having much luck with dating apps, think of other ways you can meet new people. Join a Meetup group, pick up a new hobby, find more excuses to get out of the house. The more you open yourself up, the more likely you are to meet someone.

Likewise, if you're against dating apps but haven't given them much of a chance, you might want to sign up for one or two and just test the waters. There are several that are completely free and very simple to navigate. Give them an honest chance before completely writing them off. At the very least, you'll discover more of the traits you desire in a partner and learn about your own reactions, needs, and areas for improvement.

You Are Exploring Too Many Options

Have you ever been to a restaurant that has a menu several pages long? It can be overwhelming to decide what to order! The same goes for dating. Most people think it's a good idea to date multiple people at once and then "weed out" the bad ones to determine which one to see exclusively. The problem is, that the more people you date simultaneously, the harder it is to figure out which person is best for you. This also usually requires you to only give breadcrumbs of yourself to the people you're dating, instead of offering a whole slice of bread to one person. It's harder to get to know people and for them to get to know you when you are only investing a portion of your time and energy.

This doesn't mean you have to only date one person if you are interested in more than one, but you shouldn't drag out the casual dating for too long because that's when it gets harder to make decisions. Don't force yourself to have a little black book of dating prospects. If there are just one or two people you are interested in, put your best foot forward and focus on them. If you are dating multiple people and there isn't one who really stands out, try stepping back for a bit; maybe it's not the right time to meet anyone yet.

You're Not Doing Anything Differently

Have you heard the Albert Einstein quote, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"? Unless you do something different when it comes to dating, you won't get different results. If you aren't changing where you look for people, if you aren't changing the type of people you look for, if you use the same approach with everyone, you'll end up stuck in the same fruitless patterns.

The best way to have success when it comes to finding a life partner is to be as open to new possibilities as possible. This can be trying to meet people a new way, expanding your location or age range for a partner, or allowing yourself to explore people with different physical traits that you prefer.

Also - pay attention to the way you date. Get familiar with your relationship attachment style. See how you react to situations with people you're dating and try to be very aware of your behavior. Do you need to be less clingy? More trusting? Less serious? More serious? Even if you can't change your behavior overnight, it's good to be aware of the ways you might be sabotaging potential relationships.

You Aren't Willing to Compromise

It's important for people to maintain a sense of independence in a relationship. But that doesn't mean you can't compromise. Every good relationship requires compromise at some point. After all, if you want a partner who will meet you halfway, you have to be willing to travel to the middle too.

You shouldn't have to compromise anything that feels unsafe or that forces you to violate your needs. But you can compromise on which restaurant to go to, which movie to see, which tourist attractions to visit, and other things that will make your partner happy. Many people compromise on how many children to have, where to live, or who gets the bigger closet.

The thing is, when you refuse to compromise on anything, you're not in a position to be in a relationship. If you are in "me" mode and not "we" mode, you won't be happy or successful with a partner. Relationships require give and take. If you aren't willing or able to do some of the giving, it's best to just stay single.

You're Not Going to Therapy

Everyone needs therapy. Everyone. Even if you live a happy, healthy, fulfilling life, therapy is good for you. Because nobody's life is 100% rainbows & butterflies 100% of the time. And it could be the very thing that helps you meet your person and maintain an incredible relationship.

Therapy helps you see things about yourself that you might not even be aware exist. Maybe you don't know that you have an anxious attachment style that was formed during childhood. Maybe you aren't aware of the reason you have a hard time trusting people. Maybe you have a tendency to make your partners feel smothered when you think you're being supportive.

Therapists are trained to help us see the parts of ourselves that we try to keep hidden; the parts that stop us from giving ourselves fully to someone and feeling secure being vulnerable. Many of us are not very self-aware and don't realize the way our upbringing has set the foundation for how we are in relationships. Once you know the ways you can improve as a partner, you increase your chances of finding - and being - a great one.

You're Letting Fear Lead the Way

"I'm afraid of getting hurt."

"I'm afraid of feeling too much."

"I'm afraid of letting my guard down."

"I'm worried about the distance."

"I have a hard time trusting people."

For people who let fear lead, the list of excuses is neverending. The more you allow yourself to be motivated by fear, the longer you'll go missing out on so many amazing things in life - including a phenomenal relationship.

All of us have fears that can hold us back from living a great life. Starting a new relationship is scary and uncertain for many people. But unless you are willing to embrace and face your fears, you'll never be able to completely give yourself to a partner.

Yes, it can be scary. But there are no guarantees in life. You might get hurt. You might not. You might have doubts. You might feel certain three weeks in. Every relationship requires taking a leap of faith. Your desire for love must be greater than your fear of x,y, and z. You have to want to experience love more than you want to protect yourself. Until you're willing to take a risk, you risk never finding your person.

You Aren't Being Honest About What You Want

Before you download any dating apps, ask for someone's number, or invite someone to coffee, make sure you know what your intentions are. Going into dating without knowing what you want is bound to lead to confusion, heartache, and frustration - for both you and the people you date.

If you aren't ready for a relationship, make that clear upfront. If all you are looking for is casual sex, friends, or someone to spend time with, be honest about it. Likewise, don't be afraid to tell people that you are interested in something serious and long-term. You won't get your needs met if you aren't honest about what you want.

Many people go into dating without having any idea what they are looking for, and in most cases, that's the reason they don't find it. If you aren't sure what you want, don't waste your or anyone else's time. Wait until you are sure before jumping into the dating scene. And once you figure it out, don't be afraid to express it.

You're Waiting to Be Fully Healed

You don't have to be fully healed from past relationships in order to have a new one. In fact, new relationships are often the vessel through which healing occurs. It is in these new relationships that we become aware of our triggers, work through our insecurities, and face our fears. You can't truly heal from pain until you have been in a situation where the pain reveals itself again. Relationships are where this happens.

It's ok to have wounds that still need tending to. Let your new partner love you through them. It's fine to have days where you feel like you took a step (or two) back. Healing takes time and everyone's timeline is different.

You deserve to be loved fully, even if your heart still needs to be mended. Even if you have trust issues. Even if you still can't hear "that song" on the radio without getting emotional. Things will get better. And many times, it's a new, loving partner who makes things better much faster.

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About the Creator

Aria White

Aria White is an author, mental health advocate, narcissistic abuse survivor, and relationship expert. Her first book, "Dear Me, I've Missed You" is available at Amazon and other book retailers. Follow her on Instagram @authorariawhite.

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