17 Normal Reasons Stopping You From Having A Partner
No matter what people say, it's ok to be consciously single.
There are many people in your world who will happily tell you being single is weird, wrong and needs your immediate attention. Fix it now before it's too late.
Those people suck, by the way.
Cue my ex-best friend who liked to point out that my single status was something I should worry about.
Cue my ex-boss, of all people, who thought me enjoying my former single life was a sign of denial and, more so, an indication I wasn't as mature as my age suggested.
Yeah, their opinions didn't help.
There is nothing wrong with being single, happily single or miserable about the situation. But when someone starts analysing why you're single, there begins the doubt.
- Is there something wrong with me?
- Should I care more about this situation?
- And, worst of all, is my single status normal? Are my reasons for being single normal or is it time for a romantic attitude overhaul?
I'm here to tell you any reason you have for being single, no matter how few people understand it, is ok.
1. Trust issues
It doesn't take a romantic relationship to test your trust and make you resistant to romantic relationships.
That best friend I mentioned earlier tested my confidence with other people. I found myself questioning everything I knew about relationships, romance aside.
You have to be able to trust another person to devote yourself to a relationship with them.
If you don't have the trust for people in general, it's only normal for you to pull away from relationships altogether.
2. You can't be bothered
The cliche about relationships being work is one I don't like referencing. In fact, I hate all cliches and wish we didn't rely on them so much.
But if you've ever looked into a relationship or been in one yourself, you know it's no walk in the park.
You have to be able to:
- Dedicate your time to your partner
- Sacrifice spare time, hobbies, and events to make room for a partner
- Depart from your single behaviours
- Be accountable for your actions to someone else
- Make an effort to get to know, make connections with and get along with another person
This is a lot if you're not feeling up to it, or you would rather spend your efforts on something else in your life. Career, family, travel. Anything, really.
I don't begrudge anyone for believing the effort isn't worth it, either. Repeat relationship failures often contribute to this, not to mention all the time you've put into someone for them to reject you.
I've been there. But those stories are for another day.
3. Can't find someone to stick with you
Commitment - not yours, it's theirs. You're trying to convert potential suitors, flings and sustained dates into long-term relationships. But you're not getting any takers.
This is a hard reason for people to understand, for some weird reason. Everyone knows how challenging it can be to take the next step in a relationship, but they conveniently forget when they're analysing your single status.
This can make you feel like there is something wrong with you, hence why it's not normal for you to be in this position.
But you can't strong-arm people into relationships with bribes. This isn't a business transaction or an employment type of arrangement. It's normal to struggle with this side of relationships.
4. Career/education focused
I remember my third year of university. It was a tough one because I had failed a subject in my first year and had to overload my study to make up for it.
Sorry Mum, by the way. I know you hated my results back then.
Thankfully, I seized the opportunity to redeem myself and did so with every motivation and enthusiasm I had.
When I dedicated myself to my study and balancing work to pay the bills, I didn't have time for a relationship.
It's normal for this approach to your romantic life to last longer than your university days.
It's normal to put your career and education front and centre, and not drag someone into this laser-focused time of your life. It's not fair to the other person, too.
5. You don't believe you're likeable
This breaks my heart when I hear people say this.
I saw so many users on Reddit, Twitter and Facebook groups talk about this aspect of dating.
Despite everything going on in their life, despite putting themselves out there and doing everything "right" in the dating world, they believe they're unlikeable.
I don't believe this is true. Call me a hopeless romantic, but you're not completely unlikeable in a romantic setting. There is someone out there for you.
I genuinely believe you're hunting the wrong type of people. Or you're letting the views of one or two people guide how you view yourself.
There isn't anything wrong with you if this is your reason for being single, but I do suggest working through this view of yourself. Everyone needs healthy self-esteem regardless of seeking romance and relationships.
Again, for another day.
6. You can't be faithful
The cheating gene; some people have it so firmly engrained into their body, mind and actions, that they can't remain faithful to anyone.
Even the people they care about aren't enough to stop them from breaking their monogamous vows.
I applaud people who have figured out if they have the gene and remain single as a result. Whilst cheating is fun (yes, I've been there and can attest to enjoying it), it's not fun for the person you're hurting.
Cheaters have a sense of what is wrong and right, and if you follow this sense of what's right, you purposefully avoid relationships to ensure no one is heartbroken by what you do.
7. You're happy on your own
There are no rules to say you have to be in a relationship or that you should want one.
There are especially no rules to say you are happier in a relationship than you are on your own, too.
There is no normal, as much as our society might try to tell you there is.
8. Can't find someone for the long haul
There is sticking with you, which I mentioned earlier, and there are long-term relationships with serious commitment.
Marriage. Kids. Relationships that last longer than a calendar year.
To the people in your life, it looks like you can land a relationship, but you can't make it stick. It's almost like people can predict when you will be single again.
It doesn't make you abnormal to not be able to find someone to take the next step with. Our attitudes towards relationships and commitment are vastly changing, especially since we felt this shortness of life from the pandemic.
Many people are looking for freedom rather than grounding commitment. And you're a victim of this, so to speak.
9. The fine line between relationships
One user on Reddit said it so perfectly. They said:
"I'm in that awkward in-between area where I've got too much self-worth to settle for someone who's going to ruin my life and not enough self-worth to let a good person love me."
It's not that you're confused about what you want. It's that you're not going to settle for any old relationship to fulfil some misguided idea you have to find a partner.
But you often miss out on opportunities with people because you don't believe you're worth it.
It's a predicament that's only normal to come to, and not be able to get out of. You're stuck in this weird relationship trap that you can't get out of.
Or, for many, don't want to get out of.
10. You have terrible social skills
My husband always says that people don't like him when they first meet him. He believes he rubs people the wrong way, they don't quite understand his humour, nor do they love his honesty.
I disagree, obviously. I fell in love with him, after all.
My husband has a point about social skills, though. Sometimes you have amazing social skills and you attract people to you easily.
Yet, it's also normal to have poor, unsteady or problematic social skills that make attracting people to you a lot harder.
We aren't all the same, the joy of being human.
11. Don't put yourself out there
We can't ignore simple logic. If you don't date, if you don't try to date or find someone, you will stay single.
There isn't anything complicated about this. I find it strange when people can't seem to understand this basic concept, or find it abnormal why you're still single.
Again, like having a relationship, there are no rules to say you have to put yourself out there or be available for relationships.
You're only doing what makes you happy.
12. You get bored too fast
You wouldn't be the only person out there who finds long-term relationships boring.
The thrill-seekers of the world, the ones who need constant entertainment and find new ways to engage with life, don't always spend long in relationships. The boredom kicks in and they want to move on.
Relationships can be incredibly predictable.
Once the exciting, fast-paced and dynamic honeymoon stage of a relationship is over, most tend to play out the same. Every day, mundane activities often feel the same from relationship to relationship.
13. You think relationships are too much drama
And you wouldn't be the first person who wouldn't mind a little boredom in the relationships but can't find it, so preference single life.
To say relationships are simple isn't giving the situation any credit.
It's the colliding of two people's lives. How could it not have drama?
That doesn't mean the drama outweighs the good time. But it's normal to experience this type of relationship drama and want to never go through it again.
14. Your situation is a sh*t show
You don't want to bring someone else into the life you're barely managing yourself.
That's not only smart but selfless.
It's not fair to bring a partner into a situation you don't like, don't know how to improve or don't entirely know where it's going. If you're confused, imagine how a potential partner will feel.
15. You have no idea how to meet people
You don't need a master's degree to find someone to be in a relationship with, but sometimes it can feel like it.
How to meet potential suitors changes all the time.
We're always discovering new ways of finding potential mates and making connections. It can seem impossible to keep up with.
What's worse, and often not spoken about, is how it changes for each generation.
What works for young people, like a dating app on your phone, might not work for a recently divorced person in their sixties looking for love.
These roadblocks are everywhere and can derail you even from getting started.
16. Sexuality confusion
How do you get yourself off the single market if you have no idea who you're attracted to?
This is an idea so many people take for granted. For the masses who have it figured out, we don't worry about who we want to attract. It's like rich people wondering how they're going to pay their bills.
But for the people who have no idea about their sexual preferences, this is a massive hurdle to overcome before entering a partnership.
A relationship might not even be a priority at all as you figure this side of yourself out. That's running when you're still trying to crawl.
17. PTSD from past relationships
I don't blame anyone who hesitates delving into a relationship when their past romantic experience is enough to put a stranger off.
It doesn't even have to have been a committed relationship that's caused this feeling.
It can be any physical or sexual encounter that has left you emotionally scarred and unable to trust someone new.
Is there something else?
Being single is a choice. It's a choice you don't have to justify to anyone in your life.
Sure, people are going to ask. People will want to know, too. And people will judge your reason for obtaining from relationships. That's a part of life we can't change.
But there is nothing to say being single, at any age, is weird, strange or unusual. There are no life rules that dictate: 'To have lived you have to have loved.'
What's weird and abnormal is our fixation on other people's relationships. Or lack thereof. Perhaps the next time someone makes your single life their business, ask them about their obsession.
I'm sure their reasoning for diving headfirst into your dating life is far more entertaining than your reason for being single.
Food for thought.