Everything You're Doing To Sabotage Your Single Life
And stop you from landing a partner.
Finding a partner can be hard.
When you want one, when you're looking for a partner, to build a life, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack.
- You have everything against you.
- You can't control how people view you.
- You can't force people into a relationship with you.
- You can't make people like you, no matter how charming you are.
The world is against you, right?
This was me some years ago. Single. Miserable. And assuming the entire dating scene was conspiring to make sure I remained single my entire life.
I had my head buried in the sand, and every day I remained single, I piled more dirt on top. Confirmation bias at its worst.
Something had to change. Thankfully, I had that super dependable and amazingly honest friend who pointed out what I refused to see.
"Sure, some of this is the universe," she said. "But girl, you're doing enough to make a mess of it all on your own."
I had no idea I was doing almost all the following things to hurt my single life.
Let me stress something before we keep going. This isn't an assessment of whether being single is good or bad. Or whether you've failed if you're single, and that you've won if you're in a relationship.
This isn't that debate.
This is about people who are looking for a partner, actively seeking a relationship, falling down and wondering why it's happening to them.
It's about what that friend said to me and the denial I experienced. It's a healthy dose of self-reflection for those who want or need to know why they're single, despite trying to find a relationship.
You're not putting yourself out there with a sledgehammer approach
I'm going to start off with the most contentious topic when it comes to finding a partner; putting yourself out there.
Here's the problem. This idea means so much to different people. Putting yourself out there could mean changing your mindset from 'not looking' to 'looking'.
Or it could mean putting yourself on every single dating app, attending weekly speed dating activities, and actively taking part in social media singles groups.
Two vastly different approaches with equally vast results.
Don't downplay putting yourself out there. Screw subtly. Make sure you're open to every opportunity to find someone possible.
Forget your comfort zone. That place is keeping you single when you don't want to be. Leave it as often as possible.
People have no idea you're single
This seems like an obvious way of looking at the situation. But you don't have "single" written on your forehead.
The people you meet, the people in your life who aren't intimate with your dating status, do not know if you're single, married or anywhere in between.
Shy of carrying around a suspended sandwich board around your neck, if you aren't telling people you're single, they don't know.
You don't have to drop it into conversation like you're reciting your Tinder bio. "Hi, I'm Bob, I'm 25, single and looking for love."
But consider addressing those single signals you're giving off (or not, as the case may be). These could be something like:
- Wearing confusing jewellery - There are so many people who truly believe a ring on your wedding ring finger means you're taken. They won't approach you with a ring there.
- Placing yourself in unapproachable groups - When you go out to meet people, you're always with big groups of people. Or with someone who looks like they're your partner. Singles find the situation too intimidating to approach you.
- You call everyone by relationship pet names - You treat friends like you're in a relationship with them, calling them babe, holding their hand, being overly affectionate. It sends mixed signals to other singles interested in you.
People have no idea you're single AND ready to mingle
Your friends are one of your greatest dating sources. I'm not talking about blind dating, which I believe is highly redundant in the modern era. I'm talking about having the right support network around.
When your friends know you're single and ready to mingle, that you want to find someone, they help you by:
- Playing wingman to you - They help you approach people and make connections when you're not feeling confident enough to go it alone.
- Playing block to you - They do nothing to stop you from meeting someone, like acting overly affectionate towards you when you're around someone you like. Or saying anything that damages the get-to-know-you stage of dating.
- Boosting your confidence - Your friends can be your biggest cheerleaders, simply giving you some reassurance when dating seems tough.
- Pointing out what you're doing wrong - A little healthy feedback could never go astray, especially because you're biased about your dating behaviours.
You aren't exhausting your meeting opportunities
How many ways are there to meet a single person like you, looking for love?
I liken it to exercise. There are so many ways to push your body and improve your health, but we stick to the one or two we know.
Or those behaviours that feel good within our comfort zone.
Here's a brutal reality. You won't change your single status by doing the same things over again, hoping for a different result.
If this is what you want, a relationship, branch out. Use every dating method possible. Exhaust every avenue possible and quit relying on one or two methods.
You aren't thinking like other single people
The person you are trying to attract is just like you. They approach life much the same way as you. They are going about their life in the same way you do.
And if they're hunting, looking for love, they are taking the same steps to meet someone.
Quit thinking the other single people are some alien species. They are you. This means you know the following about other single people:
- You know what you're they are thinking - The same things as you.
- You know how they behave when they're single and looking for love - You can spot a single person because they act much the same as you.
- You know where they will be - Where you hang out (aside from your house) is where other single people hang out
- You know how you want to meet people - You know if you want someone to approach you, ask you out, express their interest in you, do the same to them.
- You know what people don't like - You know what are your dating turnoffs and what doesn't work when meeting someone.
Apply what you know to your behaviours.
Stop thinking this is some mystery to unravel. This mentality is holding you back when you know better.
You think a relationship will happen to you
I'm someone who found their forever partner by chance. My husband was a friend of my ex, and after I broke up with my ex, we fell in love.
From the outside, it looks so simple. It looks like the relationship simply happened to me.
If you wanted to look at it with rose-coloured glasses, the relationship seems bestowed upon me.
I hate it when people say I'm lucky to find my relationship because there wasn't anything lucky about it. I made it happen. I didn't sit by and wait for the universe to figure it out for me.
I'm not saying singles are lazy. Well, I'm sure there are some lazy singles. We can all be lazy at times. It's not about being lazy, though.
But believing in fairytales, the magic of romance where everything falls into place with effort, is naïve.
You think you're the problem
Everyone has emotional baggage and impossible situations a new partner has to adjust to. And I stress the word, everyone.
Each person has one or more of the following obstacles for new relationships to navigate:
- High demand job or employment issues
- Education demands and priorities
- Family situations
- Carer situations
- Health situations
- Housing problems
- Ex-partners and dating history
- Children and pet demands
Stop believing that your life, what makes you unique and special to be around, makes you undateable. You're not special, in the best possible way.
And whilst you're at it, don't listen to other people complaining about your baggage.
Some people will tell you that one or all your baggage means you're too hard to date. Those people telling you this have unrealistic expectations for a partner.
And more importantly, they're hypocrites. They're pretending they're perfect with nothing in their life that you could consider a challenge.
You're not committing to the dating process
I hate de-romancing dating, but when we really get down to it, finding a partner does not differ from achieving any other goal.
Sure, there are other parameters and obstacles in the way. But that's the nature of setting a goal and trying to meet it.
How do you reach your goals? Consistency, patience, perseverance and a big old dose of commitment.
You know if you want a relationship, you will push through the bulls**t that comes with dating.
- You will take heartbreak on the chin.
- You will understand and expect rejection.
- You will endure hours of getting to know people, going on dates that don't end well, and getting back on the horse.
No one can make you stay committed. The universe isn't in control of how dedicated you are to the process. That's on you.
You expect people to fix the situation for you
I don't think I knew I was waiting for someone else to come along and solve all my dating problems. I don't think I could ever let the words reach my lips.
But I was.
I knew I sat back and waited for romance to find myself. And if it didn't find me, someone else would wave their wand and send Mr Right to me.
Here's the reality that hurt me the most. Figuring out that I was the one who had to fix my dating dismay really sucked. Again, I was hoping the universe would have its influence.
It's not nice to think no one else can help you. Yet, this is true adulting.
You're responsible, you have to do all the work, and no one - parents, friends, good samaritan - will not swoop in and save you from pain. You're all on your own.
Some people find this realisation liberating. I know I did.