If you’ve ever wondered “why am I still single?” this one’s for you.
Not too long ago, being single over the age of thirty was a shameful stigma. This is still true for many parts of the world. My Mother grew up in a different country and in a completely different world than I did. Her story is not mine to tell, but I hope one day she tells it here on the blog. When I was born, my grandmother was in her late thirties; I was lucky enough to know all of my great grandmothers except for one.
Here in Los Angeles, most of my girlfriends don’t get married or have kids until well into their thirties. Many men I know in their forties and fifties are having their first child or they have young kids. In other parts of the country, people get married and have children much younger. I love connecting with all of you around the world and learning about the cultural differences within the big cities and small towns of my own country, as well as others.
As of two years ago, for the very first time, unmarried people in America surpassed married ones by .2%. – making ours the most unmarried generation in recorded human history.
The reasons for this could be anything. Yes, we are collectively waiting longer to marry. Yes, it’s easier now to get a divorce than it was a generation ago. Yes, the online culture has now given us so many choices and distractions, it’s harder than ever to focus on finding “The One.”
It doesn’t matter if you’re someone who really wants to fall in love, get married, and start a family or if you don’t know exactly what you want right now.
Whatever the case may be, we all want meaning, intimacy, and connection. And as time goes by, if we feel like we’re doing all the right things – putting ourselves out there, evolving, improving, and are STILL single…
It’s devastating, it’s confusing, and it’s unfair.
You start to think that you’re just unlucky in love. And you reside in that awful tug-of-war-land-of-limbo where you’re constantly going from having to psych yourself into embracing your single status and not succumbing to the pain of “something missing” – despite being the kind of person and building the kind of life that classifies you as a catch.
So, if you’ve dotted every self-reflective “i,” crossed every relational “t,” are exhausted, and asking yourself “why am I still single?”….
Let’s make some sense of it.
In the past, when I would try to make some sense of the “why am I still single?” question, I ran into a lot of problems.
Because I had failed so many times relationally (and endured a lot of pain, broken trust, and suffering as a result) and because I had built a life that I thought, negated the possibility of ever having to wonder “why am I still single?” …
I felt like I had paid my dues.
I felt like I deserved what seemed to come so easily to everyone else. I had been through so much and now, it was my time and my turn. I deserved it.
As I’ve said before, failure of any kind is not a precursor to success or a sign of anything good to come. Failure feels like you’re living a nightmare. It makes you feel sick, powerless, worthless, hopeless, and suicidal – emotionally, spiritually and in some cases, physically. There’s nothing glamorous about it and it will never be a sign of anything better around the bend.
And as painful as it is, failure is a gift that can take you to heights beyond your wildest dreams. AS LONG AS you view it as what it’s always meant to be: an experience. Failure is an experience that is meant to be felt through and experienced – not diluted and passively avoided so that it can fill your self-fulfilling prophecy of “I’m not enough.”
Failure only becomes a curse when you view it as a definition. And you’ve allowed that false definition of you to spread like a virus into the database of your self-esteem and the hard drive of your relational belief systems.
In trying to make sense of “why am I still single?” most of us assume that our biggest obstacles to love are outside of ourselves and therefore, not really in our control.
And in all of our attempts to find answers, we finally arrive, emotionally and intellectually drained, at some very ignorant conclusions…
- That there really are no good men/women out there.
- That we can’t attract any good ones because we aren’t enough.
- That by now, all the good ones have already been taken anyway.
- That men really don’t like women who are more successful than they are.
- That women are just gold diggers.
- That we’re too old – our time has passed.
- That everyone in our past who hurt us and couldn’t see our worth was must have been right.
- That the only nice men/women out there aren’t attractive (this is the biggest joke of them all and is so much more about the beholder’s distorted vision and low self-esteem than it is ever about the attractiveness of the other person).
And the list goes on.
At some point though, most of us will come to the conclusion that we just haven’t met the right person. So, we put the blame on our careers, our obligations, our creative pursuits, and busy schedules. We do this all while secretly fearing that maybe we’ve never actually been the right person – pointing to our past fake friendships, relationsh*ts, and childhood trauma as evidence that a great relationship just might not be in the cards for us in this lifetime.
Yet, all of these notions have one thing in common: They don’t provide an answer for “why am I still single?”
And they leave us powerless to manifest the loving and fulfilling relationship we desire.
For me, the biggest barriers to finding true love were internal rather than external. It was so much easier to keep thinking that the issue was an external one because then, I didn’t have to focus on the one person I avoided the most: myself. Once these obstacles were identified, it’s not that I was ecstatic being single, it’s that I was okay with where I was in the present moment. There was a sense of calm and an “I got this” kind of peace. The panic was gone. I realized that I had much more control than my fears and insecurities lead me to believe. This is why they always say you find love when you’re not looking, least expecting, and you surrender to what is.
Surrendering isn’t about “giving up the fight.” It’s meeting the universe halfway by making the decision to no longer view it as a fight. It’s making the committed decision to clean up your contradictory side of the street and in turn, start attracting what you exude.
When it comes to “why am I still single?” Here are some of the most common internal barriers:
Festering resentments that disable your ability to be attracted to anyone that doesn’t trigger you into validation seeking.
If you’re still struggling with unresolved feelings of hurt and anger, it’s probably for good reason. He did lie to you. She was incredibly selfish. Your Dad did give you conditional love. He was cheating with his ex. You didn’t deserve that. Yet, here’s the thing about resentment: Whenever we find ourselves still ruminating about what happened, we can’t give our pain a purpose and thus, aren’t able to use our pain to help us learn from our mistakes and propel us into dignified action.
Make the decision now to compassionately understand your part – instead of wasting more time trying to empathize with hurtful behavior from sh*tty people.
Bottom line: Look to understand and own your part clearly. That way, you can identify the contradictions that you need to clean up going forward. In doing so, you will begin to trust yourself again, uphold your boundaries, and build unconditional confidence and self-respect (the kind that attracts emotionally available men/women).
Burn/Flush Old Agreements. Literally.
Another one of our biggest internal obstacles in answering “why am I still single?” has to do with the prior agreements we’ve made that are limiting what’s possible for us to manifest relationally. I learned this from The Four Agreements, by: Don Miguel Ruiz.
The agreements you’ve made with yourself serve as intentions that will subconsciously influence your actions and choices for years after you’ve made them.
“He was my soulmate.” “I’ll never love like that again.” “I always get cheated on.” “I’ll never find a replacement.” “His ex really was better than me.” “This happens to me every time.” It wasn’t until I really took some time to think about the agreements I had made that I realized, many stemmed from my parent’s divorce when I was a child. Every weed has a root and that was the root of the weed I kept cutting down my entire life to no avail.
Bottom line: Make a list of all the weeds – the old agreements you’ve made with both yourself, your family, and the people you’ve loved over the years. Next, identify the root. Examine the extent to which that list no longer serves you, rip it up and either flush it down the toilet or throw it in your fireplace/a bonfire (just BE CAREFUL, BE SAFE and do so with caution). The point is to experience the catharsis of physically rejecting these limiting agreements by tearing up the list and then literally, watching it perish.
Turning The T-Shirt Inside Out
Looking back, when I was struggling with an answer to “why am I still single?” I attempted to avoid that question through really bizarre means…
Instead of turning inward, I would continue to date men that on a surface level, were COMPLETELY different from exes of mine or one of my parents. The problem was, I failed to act on the recognition of the red flag common denominators that they shared.
This was just as idiotic as having a t-shirt that didn’t look good on (or even fit) me, turning it inside out, and thinking that it not only fit and looked GREAT… but that it was a totally different shirt.
Bottom line: You’re smarter than this. Being ignorant is one thing, but there is nothing more damaging than knowing better in the moment of not doing better.
The reason we are attracted to potential is that it gives us an opportunity to “show them what we got” and be “good enough” to hopefully turn a turd into a bar of gold.
Potential isn’t sexy. If what’s in front of you has great potential and nothing but confusing, ambiguous mixed signals in the present moment… how is that sexy?
You’re not a project manager for emotionally and relationally confused adults nor are you blind to an inside out t-shirt. You’re someone who deserves a whole.new.wardrobe. You just have to believe it.
In your current relationships, notice who you’ve been giving your power away to (including that cynical audience in your own head) and begin to set appropriate boundaries. The other party may not like it, but he/she will either exit or adjust – either way, you win.
This is how you build unshakable self-love, which is imperative to attracting a quality partner. When you have a high-quality relationship with yourself, you’ll never settle for relationships that give you any less of the love and respect you are already giving yourself.
+ If you need further and more personalized help, please look into working with me here.