“Why am I single? Everything else in my life is going so well. I got rid of the fake friends. I have healthy and meaningful relationships in my life, a successful career, and have worked hard to become someone I would genuinely want to date. What’s so wrong with me? Is there something I’m missing?!”
Does any of the above sound familiar?
I’ve written about this before, but I’m asked this question so often, I wanted to revisit the “why am I single?” and take a deeper dive into the why’s (especially if you consider yourself a catch).
I know and coach a lot of people who seem to have it all. They’ve got a great family and solid friends; have achieved success in business, and even find the time to travel, take up hobbies, and do whatever it is they enjoy. They’ve conquered personal and professional goals and have an all-around great life that actually matches their Instagram profile.
They also feel very unfulfilled.
They’re unable to achieve success in the area that matters most to them: true love.
The “why am I single?” becomes even more confusing and depressing when you consider yourself a catch.
Achieving success in every other aspect of your life does nothing but highlight the lack of the one thing you’d trade all of your surrounding successes for (a mutual, connected relationship with your soulmate).
We’re heading into summer. And although the holidays can be extremely triggering and difficult (especially if you’re going through a breakup, having to deal with toxic family members at get-togethers, or are still looking for your soulmate and wondering, “why am single?”), summer is an extremely hard season for a lot of people. It seems like everyone has these incredible plans for the summer. And it feels like they’re all out having fun; partying, vacationing, half-dressed, meeting new people, and forgetting about you.
Dating apps do nothing but heighten your anxiety and make you wonder if you really ever will find “The One.” It feels like there’s no other option than to just settle at this point. Yet, there’s no one to even settle for.
The “why am I single?” becomes even more of a question when you see toxic exes of yours or dysfunctional people in your orbit all coupled up.
How can they all find someone and you can’t?
When I look back on times in my life when I thought to myself, “why am I single if I’m such a catch?” a lot of the reasons I wasn’t even conscious of.
Here Are Some Reasons Why You May Still Be Single…
- A Warped Belief System
I used to believe that I was still single for a variety of reasons. I hadn’t met the right person yet, but I had built a life that I was proud of and my standards were rightfully high! I was picky, I needed to be more positive, more patient, etc. There were so many contradictions and different reasons why.
I truly believed that I would attract the relationship of my dreams as long as I maintained a positive attitude, enjoyed my life, stayed active, focused on what I wanted in a partner, and never settled for anything less. And while all of that sounds great and none of it is theoretically “bad,” this approach failed me in every way.
I was insulting my own intelligence through avoidance, denial, and delusion. I did this by not only failing to recognize my own destructive patterns but being a victim to the suffering I was causing myself and allowing that to keep me in a mentality of relational entitlement (that I was not even aware of). When I started learning about boundaries, attachment styles, and abandonment issues, I was able to take ownership of what I needed to and shift the limiting belief system that I had.
- Trying to Protect Your Heart From Getting Broken Again
As much as I wanted to be in a healthy relationship, I was more comfortable in the certainty of my own pain and suffering than I was willing to take a bet on happiness. Every time I had, the other shoe would drop and I’d feel like a fool.
– If conditions were put around love that should have been given to you unconditionally as a child
– If you were primed to perform as a child instead of being accepted and encouraged
– If you never felt safe in the relationship with your parents or parental figures
– If a parent or parental figure betrayed your trust
– If as a child, you were told “you did this because,” instead of being asked “why did you do this?”…
You will gravitate to the certainty of your perceived, not enough-ness (and circumstances, situations, events, people, and relationships that validate that perception) no matter how much you claim to want and deserve a healthy relationship.
- Attraction to Unhealthy Dynamics
For years, I struggled to find the relational consistency that my childhood lacked. When I found it, sabotage would arrive in the form of procrastination, face and body image issues, insecurities, being obsessive over things that didn’t matter, copying others, and beating myself up for never being able to achieve their level of “perfection.”
I would get bored in the presence of consistency and things that actually mattered in a partner. If I didn’t have to work hard to prove my worthiness of basic relational necessities, then I wasn’t attracted to the person. There was no passion because I equated passion with intensity, not consistency.
And then I’d wonder, “why am I single? I’m such a catch! I try so hard!”
Things turned around when, instead of beating myself up, I looked at this emotional defense mechanism of mine with compassion and gratitude. I was wounded at a time when I did not have the tools to emotionally process the pain (as a child).
As an adult, my solution became creating these barriers (both conscious and subconscious) that prevented the happiness I wanted, while perpetuating the familiarity (and false sense of safety) I’d get from not ever feeling like I was enough.
You.are.enough. Independent of all of your failures and successes; just as you are. The second that you truly own and believe it, watch and see how the world adjusts.
- You May Be Scared to “Lose”
If you’re asking yourself, “why am I single if I’m such a catch?” you may be dealing with low self-esteem – even though you are able to identify aspects of yourself and the life you’ve built that you are genuinely proud of.
And when you’re dealing with low self-esteem, everything becomes a competition.
For me, the anxiety of having to compete amidst so many options that we are all inundated with (especially in this day in age) was just too much. I never saw an abundance of options for myself but allowed my anxiety over all the options everyone else had, to cripple me.
I see this a lot in people who ask the “why am I single?” question. They’re either too insecure or way too cocky (there is a fine line between cockiness and confidence). Both insecurity and cockiness are, in my opinion, fueled by fear and prevent true love from being found because it can’t be found within.
Getting back to the fear of losing/not wanting to compete, I see this often with readers and clients who are emotionally exhausted from years of self-sabotage and un-dealt with trauma. They think, “I’m too old for this” or, “my heart can’t take another beating.” Many are so scared of looking weak or feeling like a fool if they aren’t chosen, that they allow their fears to validate (and strengthen) this mentality.
- Caring About What Other People Think
In life, you have to care, but never to the point of cost. Nothing is worth losing your mind over.
Not caring what anyone thinks of you, your life, and your decisions is the most freeing, creative, rewarding, and powerful place to be in. I used to care so much about what everyone else thought about my partner and relationship. It was kind of like when I was in high school applying to universities. It was all about how the prestige of the university made me look; never about if the university was actually a good fit for me.
A preoccupation with what others think of you and your decisions will make you miserable (and ensure that you stay single) because you depend on the uncertainty of the outside world to give you a sense of worth.
When you stop caring about what others think (a blog post about this will be coming up next), you can make decisions based on what’s best for YOU – not your image or other people. You also, open yourself up to substantial relationships and endless possibilities. You’re finally free from the superficial rat race.
- Unable to Let Go of a Previous Relationship (Or the Pain It Caused)
You’ll know if you’re not completely over your last relationship or a relationship in your past. But you may not realize that while you may be over your ex, you may still be dealing, healing, and digesting the pain from that breakup.
You don’t need to be “completely healed” to start dating but you do need to know this:
No one’s love will heal the parts of you that are limiting the peace, joy, and relational possibilities/happiness in your life.
Only your unconditional self-love can do that.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.
Thanks alot for this wonderful piece of writing, always insight ❤️
Thank YOU, Odette, for your love and support!
I’m so glad that this post was helpful.
All my love to you. Xx
This was great Natasha!
I think when we add the clause “if I’m such a catch” it’s actually a sneaky form of criticism. It’s a way for us to compare ourselves, obliquely and indirectly, with everyone in a relationship – with our conclusion being “all these other people who are in relationships compare unfavorably with me, ergo it makes no sense that I’m not in a relationship.”
My belief is that most criticism like that above originates from low self-esteem. In trying to short-circuit my own propensity to compare and criticize, I’ve begun to remind myself that there are two ways to own the tallest building in town: 1) Build the tallest building, and 2) Tear down all the other buildings in town. Focusing on #1 instead of #2 helps me avoid the comparison death spiral.
100%!! I lived #2 for so embarrassingly long. And it was never because I felt so powerful or was so happy.
I can’t tell you just how much your insight, vulnerability, self-reflection, additions, and comments mean to me. They always enrich the message and drive the lessons so much further home.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for you, my dear friend.
Thank you Brandon! I will always choose #1.
Natasha. Thank you. The timing of this is helpful to me because I am in this very place in my life. You have listed a few of the reasons. Not sure if my circumstances will change but I am hopeful I can do things to make the change.
Thank you again. You are amazing
Likewise! I appreciate and value you so much, Linda. Glad that the post helped. I always look so forward to your comments. Miss and love you. Xox
thank you natasha ive been in relation like half of my life and always been disappointed and now ive been single for a year and im really in peace of mind i feel so much powerful i did get rid of a terrible abusif relationship & finally heel and forgive myself i do miss being in love because im really a picky person and i feel like il never be in relationship again because i only loved 2 man in my life…but im so busy getting my things together and i won’t settle for anything less thx u for this advice because i needed to hear this
So happy for and proud of you, Elcy! Happy and honored to have helped 🙂 xox
Maybe it is because I am older, have had my children and they are almost out of the house that I feel it is just fine to not be coupled up. I find after 2 marriages and a few LT relationships that I don’t really feel I need this.And yes I have done the difficult work with a counselor and on my own working to heal from the past. I have family and friends, and also enjoy my own company. Maybe women should also be taught that it is ok not to be in a relationship. Just a thought? When I let go of this and realized I was the captain of my own ship and didn’t really want to be in a relationship was when I was truly set free. Before then I was always asking some of the same questions and I felt everyone was expecting this of me. Now , no questions just happiness and peace. There is more to life than being in a relationship and forever “ working on yourself” I do love all your articles and find them very interesting. Thank you .
Thanks for your love, kindness, connection, and support, Anne. Thank you for sharing!
I talk extensively throughout my work about how it’s more than okay to NOT be in a relationship.
I appreciate you <3