I have been single now for over 5 years. I had a few flings and situationships in between but nonetheless, I’ve been considered single. One of the reasons I started this blog was because my relationship status was single 90% of the time. Through the years, I sometimes wondered “Is there something wrong with me?” I mean I know I’m attractive and intelligent, I have a great sense of humor, plus I’m ambitious enough for two people but why am I still single? When I sat alone with my thoughts, I had to face myself and really wonder if there was something wrong with me. Those were sad, discouraging moments because I really wanted to know if I was the problem.
After coming out of a toxic relationship, I had to come back to this same question and I finally got my answer. There was actually nothing wrong with me, there was something wrong with my mindset. The way I thought affected how I behaved. How I behaved formed a pattern that eventually formed a subconscious identity; broken girl. My mindset told me that I must not be that great of a catch because no one had caught me yet so I must pursue them. This created an irrational eagerness to go after every man I thought had potential.
Our thoughts shape our life. If you are questioning if there is something wrong with you then your thoughts are already saying that you’re not “good enough“. This will then manifest into you feeling less than which leads to more self-defeating thoughts that continue to keep you single.
So to answer the original question, no, there isn’t anything wrong with you. Of course, we can all work on ourselves to be our best selves. But if you’re like me and you’ve gone to therapy and you constantly pursue the greatest version of yourself but you’re still single, then I’ll reiterate…no, there’s nothing wrong with you. But I do want to help you uproot some negative thought patterns that may be causing you to think yourself into a constant state of being single.
1. If I had a boyfriend/husband, I would be happier
For a long time, I felt this way. Then I got a boyfriend and realized it didn’t automatically make me happier. When I was single, all I could focus on was how great it would be to be in a relationship. I didn’t realize the work relationships take. I had been single for so long that I forgot. Even happy relationships take work. You have to constantly be mindful of how someone else feels 24/7. If they’re having a bad day, you have to figure out why and try to help them through it. And don’t let there be an argument, you then can’t focus on what you have going on long enough to get any work done because you’re too emotional about the argument. The moral of the story is that you won’t necessarily be happier in a relationship.
If you dwell too much on how awful being single is, you’ll miss the time you need to learn how to be content and happy alone. You’ll also feel anxiety and begin to try to manipulate your way out of being single. You’ll do things like lower your standards or entertain bad situations longer than you should because you feel you need a companion to be happy. It’s not true. When you develop contentment while being single, your dating life will improve.
2. I’m running out of time
I don’t know about you but social media sure makes you feel like you’re running out of time. As I scroll down my Facebook and Instagram timelines, everyone is pregnant, engaged, planning a wedding, or planning a divorce. Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out how I’m still sleepy after getting seven hours of sleep plus a nap. If you’re constantly tracking your imaginary deadline for when you’re supposed to be married with kids and buying your second home, you have no time to enjoy dating. It is no longer fun or exciting for you, it feels like a task.
If this is how you’re dating, there’s nothing wrong with you but there is something wrong with your dating strategy. You’re NOT running out of time so live in the moment and enjoy your dating season. Stop thinking that every man you meet is your potential husband. Relax and get to know the person and take your time. It will happen but you have to believe that it will and find peace in that belief.
3. Maybe I’m asking for too much
This has got to be the biggest brainwashing tactic many men use to avoid giving more effort. I think they had a meeting and decided to tell women who have standards that they’re asking for too much. The sad thing is that a large part of the media we listen to and see daily is supporting this false notion. But I refuse to receive it and so should you. Wanting to feel valued, loved, heard, seen, and wanted isn’t too much.
If you keep meeting people who make you feel like that’s too much then you maybe need to adjust your tastebuds. For a while, I kept falling for emotionally unavailable men because my mom was emotionally unavailable. I got to the root of this in therapy. When you grow up seeing love a certain way, it becomes your norm. So you’ll have a tendency to entertain people with those same characteristics.
Take inventory of the type of people you date and see if there’s a pattern. Feeling like you’re asking for too much is a sign that you’ve most likely just been dating men who are unwilling to do more. Switch the question from “Is there something wrong with me” to “Is there something wrong with the men I choose to date?”
4. There has to be something wrong with me
I had to bring this thought process up again so I can dive deeper. If you think that there’s something wrong with you, then you will date like there is something wrong. You will settle for men you think you’re “good enough” for because you think a man of a certain caliber won’t date a woman like you.
After a while, this was exactly how I felt. I had been rejected so many times that I just settled into my identity as “damaged goods”. I then began to date men who needed me because I felt if they needed me, they wouldn’t leave me. This led me to make some very peculiar choices in men. I thought I wasn’t worthy of a good guy so I subconsciously picked not-so-good guys in hopes that it would be easier to keep them around. It inevitably left me still single because, at my core, I felt there was something wrong with me so no one would ever stay.
If you’re questioning if you’re “good enough“, then you should take a break from dating and cultivate self-love. You have to always feel worthy of the best in order to attract and be attracted to the best.
5. Men don’t approach women anymore, I gotta go after what I want
Social media and dating apps have created shifts in how people meet these days. A lot of people opt not to approach because they know they can meet someone online and that’s less scary than approaching someone. Be that as it may, people are still making genuine face-to-face connections. Men are still approaching women so you don’t have to feel pressed to make a connection with everyone you find attractive. Dear Future Wifey podcast has a quote that says “Women shouldn’t approach, they should present.” I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Show interest with eye contact and a smile, maybe speak and ask how they are doing. This puts the ball in their court to come after you so they can set the pace.
I don’t want you to think I’m being a prude by saying that you should let men approach you. I just know that when you’ve been single for a while, your desire to be involved can sometimes turn into desperation. That desperation gives off a scent for a certain type of guy. This is not the type of man you want sniffing around because they are typically users. You want to be confident in what you have to offer and content with where you are. That level of contentment and confidence draws in the right man and repels the predators.
Please don’t take this as me saying a woman should never approach a man. I am definitely not saying that. But I am saying to value yourself and walk with an aura that you know that you’re a great catch. Eliminate the thought process that you have to go after it. That’s a mindset of lack and that just puts anxiety around your dating life. Relax and be secure in your awesomeness. Someone’s son will recognize it and be happy to approach you.
I get it, being single for a long period of time is tough. I’m right there with you. I just don’t want you to feel damaged due to your relationship status. Learn to value where you are so that you can appreciate love even more when it comes. Release the self-defeating mindsets that are keeping you miserable in this season. Begin to affirm yourself by constantly reminding yourself that you are amazing, beautiful, and worthy of a love that is on its way to you.