Why are you single?: Top 10 Reasons and How It Could Be YOUR Fault

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Being single is unique. It has both good and bad moments. At times, we tend to become more consumed within the bad moments, such as loneliness for example, and slowly begin pointing fingers at everyone else as to why we're single and lonely. Identifying the cause is healthy however, too often we fail to acknowledge our own responsibility in things. Sometimes, we hold just as much blame as others. Below, in no particular order, are some of the most common reasons why we're all single. Also below, are the roles we may play within those reasons and tactics we can use to tackle this debacle.

1) "I'm single because I wanna be"

No one truly WANTS to be alone. If they do, only temporarily. Is it wise to be alone at times? Yes. Do we need to be alone at times? Sure. Should we be alone forever? No way. Let's explore.

We all have periods throughout life where being single is like exercising. What we must first learn to do is to build up our muscle mass so that we can become strong enough to accomplish the difficult task of living with ourselves and most importantly, accepting ourselves, long before we ask another person to. This is rarely practiced but entirely necessary. Too often we tend to get into relationships not knowing or understanding ourselves, generally. In doing so, we're completely oblivious to the fact that we may possibly be the issue causing the inevitable break up(s). This can also play a huge part in how/why we choose the wrong mate.

Try to understand, if you don't know who you truly are nor what it is you really want from a mate, then you'll likely make poor decisions. It all starts with you. You must know your own self worth, if not, you'll likely settle for far less than what you deserve.

Suffice it to say, if you claim to be single because you "choose to be", it's probably because you've lost hope or simply been discouraged by the ideal of "true love". Several unsuccessful relationships may have been the cause. Those failures may have distorted your perspective so much so that, you no longer believe in the "fairy tale" and believe you're better off being single. You may also believe that the concept of relationships is false and overrated. Some would argue that this is an act of bitterness, but it's actually an act of realism. Relationships AREN'T like fairy tales. Some work out and some don't, it's reality.

Generally, when relationships fail, people are more than capable of accepting it and moving on. They're more than capable of understanding that the relationship with THAT particular person failed, not the concept overall. When this type of failure repeats itself multiple times, it adds insult to injury. People begin to get all too familiar with the motions and become increasingly frustrated with having no success. At this point, people begin to lose hope or simply go into a state of denial. One grows tired of putting forth so much effort into situations only to encounter the same outcome.

People, what you must understand is that everything doesn't happen overnight. Time waits for no one so yes, it gets frustrating dealing with the constant failures. But understand that this is a crossroad where you can either choose to become bitter and believe all relationships will fail or choose to remain patient and learn from every experience. Note, a touch of bitterness has been known to end relationships, just saying....

2) "Lack of options"

Of all the reasons, this may be the most common. Often enough, many people believe there's a complete lack of options when it comes to selecting someone to date. A few factors may come into play when addressing this rationale.

First, you have to ask yourself, are you being realistic? You have to ultimately determine whether or not what you're looking for is even attainable. We've all had our guilty moments of setting our sites so high that we may never find what we're looking for. Bear in mind, there's no such thing as Mr\Mrs. Perfect. If the moment you see a flaw you're out the door, there may lie the problem.

Second, as an adult, you're responsible for making decisions. You're responsible for taking care of your well being. What this refers to are three factors:

1) Evaluating a situation

2) Determining the best course of action

3) Carrying out that action

This primarily focuses on your selection process. If you're continuously selecting the same type of individual and the results are always the same, please understand that it may be time to direct your focus in this area. People commonly make the mistake of blaming the other individual for the failure of a relationship when the real blame was in the expectations you placed on that particular individual. Example, if you continuously choose women who want to be "saved" and "pampered" but then expect them to be independent, who's really to blame?

Lastly, there's always the possibility that one is "settling". Typically, if one has recently left a relationship where they were settling, they'll likely believe there's a lack of options with regards to relationships. This too is wrong. As mentioned earlier, people have standards. Once these standards aren't met, one tends to settle for 2nd best. Example, there are people who prefer not to date men (or women) with children. Due to the fact that there are more people with children than without, they'll re-adjust their standards and convince themselves to "settle". Once the relationship fails, they'll convince themselves that there's simply a lack of options for relationships. Truth is, they should've never re-adjusted their standards to begin with. Yes, being single gets lonely at times however those standards were set for a reason and it's foolish to deviate. Some things take time, therefore, finding what you're looking for will be no different.

3) "I haven't found the right one yet"

The question you have to ask yourself is "What exactly is the RIGHT one?". Are you looking for someone to perfectly meet that carefully selected list of preferences you have? Or are you looking for someone who has the best sex? Or could you possibly be looking for someone who has enough money to take care of you/your children? Whichever it may be, it's important to understand, there's no such thing as the right one. There is, however, a such thing as the most compatible one. The one who respects you, appreciates you and treats you how you deserve to be treated.

That "carefully selected list of preferences" may prove mediocre if that compatibility factor is absent. What this equates to is knowing the difference between standards and preferences. Ask yourself, when it comes to a household, for example, do you know the difference between necessities and luxuries? Same theory applies here. Your standards are like the necessities. Those are the things you need for survival; Food, heat, rent/mortgage. In terms of a mate: Respect, honesty, intelligence, love. Your preferences are like the luxuries. Those are the things you'd like to have for leisure; Big screen TV, newest iPhone, car accessories. In terms of a mate: Height, body size, good sex, complexion. Throughout life, what you'll learn, if you haven't already, is that the muscular, dark skinned, tall guy with good sex isn't guaranteed to be intelligent, honest, respectful or loving. Vice versa. The respectful, honest, intelligent and loving woman may not be short, curvy, light skinned with good sex.

A friend once told me that most men search for women based on appearance whereas most women search for men based on resources. What this means is that men will be selective based on looks (face, body) while women are selective based on assets (financial stability, credit). Both, argumentatively, can be wrong. The looks can be amazing; resources can be infinite, but if you two aren't compatible, why bother?

On a daily basis, men encounter several different types of women. Usually, there's one in particular who he's most compatible with but he's opposed to pursuing her because she isn't glamorous with a perfect body. Unbeknownst to him, that woman will likely cherish him, appreciate him and have his back beyond comprehension.

Women, also share the spotlight in the naivety department. That man who pampers you, buys you extravagant gifts and sexes you like crazy may not have your best interests at heart. While accepting all those gifts, ask yourself: "How is he making me a better person?". Is he supporting your goals and aspirations? Or is he giving you all that you want as a means to control you?

Before you so confidently claim to have not found the right one, maybe you should take a moment to reevaluate what's considered to be "right".

4) "I'm saving myself for...."

In short, some of us are just naive. We've all traveled down the path of naivety at one point or another in our lives. Most of us have likely pursued someone who either ignored us or didn't care to acknowledge our existence (literally). They're usually signs that tell us that the person isn't interested but instead of reading those signs, we go further and deeper inside. Why? Listen up...

Some of us are addicted to what's called the "chase". We get so consumed by the thrills of the challenge that we neglect any and all logic. This, without a doubt, is incredibly foolish. The first thing you have to ask yourself is why you're even seeking this person out? What is it about them that captures your mind and efforts? Are you intrigued by their physique? Their sex appeal? Is it the way they make you feel about yourself? Knowing why you're interested in someone is highly important because whatever that reason is, could determine whether or not you should abort before you even begin.

The most common instance is when you may be pursuing someone who has absolutely no intention of engaging in any activity beyond a platonic friendship. A clear sign of this is when you approach the subject in conversation and they clearly deflect and/or avoid the topic altogether. When this happens, ask yourself, why even continue? At this venue, you've seen all you need to see, they won't even give the topic attention so what makes you think they'll give you any? If they're obviously neglecting your desire to obtain clarity between you two, why would you even want to divest your feelings/emotions into someone like that? This, is exactly, where personal responsibility comes into play. From that moment moving forward, if you continue to engage this individual, please understand that they are no longer at fault. They've shown you who they are and more importantly, how they are. If you choose to accept, do just that: ACCEPT. But realize that reasons such as these are why you're single and incomplete, you're selling yourself short and being quite naive.

5) "They're all the same"

Commonly, when one has negative views on relationships and throws around phrases such as "I don't have time for the bullshit", ten times out of ten, they're bitter. They've likely been hurt before, multiple times even, and may have never quite dealt with the pain. In time, that pain tends to evolve into bitterness.

Dictionary.com defines the word "bitter" as follows:

characterized by intense antagonism or hostility; resentful or cynical.

Reference the following link:
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Bitter?s=t)

This definition, in no way should be associated with relationships. Truth is, relationships aren't the issue. Your Ex(s) were.

Dictionary.com defines the word "relationship" as follows:

a connection, association, or involvement.

Reference the following link:
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Relationship?s=t)

In every day life, you have relationships with everyone you interact with. While walking along the street, that person who passes you and asks for directions is a Stranger; that's your relationship with that person. When you arrive to work, the colleagues you work alongside are your Co-workers; that's your relationship with those people. When you break up with someone, that person who broke your heart and cheated on you is your Ex; that's your relationship with that person.

That all being said, relationships are a part of life and by no means are the issue. The real issue laid between the individual you were once involved with and yourself, not relationships. These moments of pain caused by the actions (or lack of action) from your Ex's are simply a demonstration of what human beings can be capable of. Moving forward, you should be much more wiser having now known that relationships can blossom nicely, but most importantly, can also deteriorate horribly. A naive mind will cause you to be oblivious to the fact that someone could hurt you so badly, which is why these situations serve to make you stronger. Every situation, every relationship, even every argument has one common element: Experience. This is what should be carried away from the failed relationship(s), not bitterness.

6) "It's complicated"

When someone can't even explain why they're single, so much so that all they can say is "it's complicated", ten times out of ten, they're emotionally unstable. This is actually great justification to be single. You never want to involve someone in your emotional tornado so yes, if you're aware of the instability, remain at ease. Solving the problem comes next. There are a few reasons why the instability may be present. Here are two of the most common:

1) Still in love with their Ex

Some people have quite the journey getting over their Ex. They just aren't yet ready to let go for many reasons. Capable, but not ready. Still being in love, selfishness of not wanting to see them with someone else (even though you claim to "no longer want them") or simply because you're still having sex with them are the most common reasons. All of these reasons, however, influence the emotional instability which prevents you from moving forward with your life. While many quickly blame their Ex for the situation, they never take the time to acknowledge their own role in the situation.

Sometimes the Ex has actually moved on and emotionally outgrew the relationship but you may not have gotten there just yet. All along, someone's right in front of you trying their damnedest to grab your attention but you're too focused on a failed relationship with someone who's living their life happily without you. If you can make sense of this, I'm all ears...

2) Having an affair with someone else's man/woman/husband/wife

Even more commonly than most would think, people are guilty of this. In the beginning, it's beneficial, there's no attachments, minimum time required, but in time, emotions develop. Those emotions tend to distract you from your regular course of action. After some time has passed, you begin to believe that the relationship/marriage your lover has will soon end and they'll inevitably be with you thereafter. "Rationally" you convince yourself that the relationship/marriage is bound to fail. You figure that if the relationship/marriage was "meant to be", they'd never have found other means of fulfillment (you) and began the affair in the first place. That part is actually accurate. If one isn't happy in their relationship/marriage they MAY find it elsewhere. However, this in no way guarantees you a spot in their life or heart once they've left their mate.

Affairs such as these never last. The unfortunate part is that foolishly, you may convince yourself that there's potential after the break up/divorce. Everyone, I PERSONALLY need you all to understand that if someone is willing to cheat on their mate with you, they will have absolutely NO hesitation with doing the same thing further down the road to you. There are no exceptions to thus rule. There's absolutely no way to hold them accountable for this when it occurs. Think about it, if you met someone who was physically abusive, and they openly admitted it, could you really blame them when they begin physically abusing you?

All in all, the choices you make will directly affect your relationship. If you choose to be single because you're waiting for someone to leave their mate or if it's because you're still involved with your Ex, at least be mature enough to accept the responsibilities for your unhappiness (which is inevitable). To say that "it's complicated" simply means you're making it that way.

7) "I don't know how to open up"

For some, vulnerability is viewed as a sign of weakness. In reality, vulnerability is really a sign of strength. The logic behind this is that it takes courage, strength and skill to open yourself up to someone. When you make the decision to open your heart to someone, you're pursuing that desire with hopes of comfort and reciprocation. However, vulnerability is a two sided coin. There aren't any guarantees. What this means is that once you open your heart for love, you're also opening your heart for pain. Let me be clear, no one intentionally opens their heart for pain but, in order to successfully experience love, you have to become vulnerable at one point or another. Vulnerability doesn't discriminate it's visitors either. Knowing all of this beforehand, knowing the risk taken when exposing your emotions, and still traveling down that path, all takes Strength.

In most cases, the same individuals who view vulnerability as a weakness have likely been hurt badly in their past experience(s). The story usually resembles that every time they've shown emotion in the past, they were either taken advantage of or their mate became too comfortable and ran them over/cheated. Although this is a different form, it still reflects the actions of a bitter individual (see above #5).

If you claim to not know how to open up, what could really be occurring is that you're subconsciously refusing to do so. Your defense mechanism is activating and viewing vulnerability as a weak trait while surrounding yourself with a shield of denial/stubbornness/fear. The true issue lies with the fear.

I, for example, love hard. I'm either 100% or nothing. I see no other way to accomplish love. That being said, when I allow myself to become vulnerable, I'm completely vulnerable. I lack that common skill of putting forth a partial effort therefore I'm completely exposed during relationships, within reason. Experience has taught me to be grounded and realistic enough to know that by exposing myself, I can either receive love, or pain. Whichever I receive, the transition becomes that much smoother because of my comprehension of the concept of vulnerability.

Other individuals, however, are convinced that pain will unquestionably occur and this becomes the cause of their seclusion from others. What one must understand is that this is all at a disadvantage to you and your mate. In order to give you love, you MUST become vulnerable. In light of this, one will never truly receive love if they aren't even equipped to express it. Love is reciprocal. It's easy to complain about not receiving the love you deserve, but if you aren't even capable of expressing love in the first place, it's a little hypocritical to complain, isn't it?

8) "No one wants to be with me"

Rather you know it or not, when you truly believe "no one wants to be with you", you're playing what's called the Victim role. Although most may believe women commonly play the victim, men are increasingly adapting to this role as well. Understandably, yes, you could have self confidence issues. Your past and/or present could typically be the cause of the lack of self confidence. What you have to come to terms with, however, are THOSE ISSUES. Whatever they are, whenever they were, they must be identified, confronted and resolved before you can truly move forward.

Another reason you may believe no one wants to be with you is due to several failures from previous relationships. After being unsuccessful so many times, at one point or another you'll begin to ask yourself "Maybe it's just me?". This is a common act and is no cause for alarm however, there are two things to accomplish:

1) Re-evaluate your performance in your past relationship(s).

If you were loyal, honest, open and respectful then the failure was likely at no fault of your own. The only responsibility you could've had was a poor choice in a mate. If you weren't loyal, honest, open and respectful, please understand that one cannot complain about mistreatment if you aren't demonstrating the same traits you desire from a mate.

2) Ask yourself "Would I date me?"

If you had to pause to answer this question then you may need to do a little self improving. No one knows you better than you. That being said, you should be quite aware of the areas in your life and/or personality that could use a little tweaking. If you could honestly, without hesitation, answer "yes" then moving right along...

Past relationships are dead weight that can have some of the strongest adhesive when attached to your emotions and memories. We've all had our moments where we may have carried that weight for quite a while, even deep into our next relationship. If this is the case, then yes, you most definitely have had some responsibility with the failure of your relationships. Example, your Ex was a pathological liar. While in your new relationship, your antennas are constantly tuned in anticipating that your new mate is guaranteed to follow the same trend. Ultimately, your mate grows tired of the constant suspicion and ends the relationship. You've just prevented a potential bond from forming because you never allowed those wounds to heal from your past. You carried that dead weight from your past relationship and introduced it into the reality of your current one. This is not fair to either of you. So no, it isn't that no one wants to be with you, you just won't allow them to.

9) "I don't have time for a relationship"

Let's be honest. As an adult, you have that popular luxury of making your own decisions. What this means is that you can make time for who and what you want to make time for.

Example, Marriage. This form of a relationship pits you against challenges never encountered before. Tasks, goals and objectives which must be met on a daily basis to include factors never experienced before. Have you ever heard a wife say she's getting divorced because she simply doesn't have time for a marriage? Or a husband say that he's too busy with work so she's going to get a divorce? Of course not. Reason being, they've formed an agreement and a partnership. They've made a commitment to be there for one another and have created a support structure. No reason why this can't be successful in a relationship as well.

Yes, you could be using time as an excuse for why you don't want to be in a relationship. You could be convincing yourself that relationships are a distraction and too time consuming. Truthfully, you may simply lack the multitasking skills necessary to balance work, school and a relationship. Again, no cause for alarm, but acknowledging the true issue is what's important. Sometimes, a pinch of bitterness may be present as well. What this means is that you could be viewing relationships as a distraction because you feel that the emotions involved can (or likely will) affect your focus on other tasks. Allow me to share a different perspective. Emotions will evolve in any relationship. How you assess these emotions is what will make or break you. This is defined as Emotional Management.

In short, your emotional management skills are what really matters when you say you don't have time for a relationship. You can most definitely make time. It may not be much time but still, time nevertheless. If you want to go have a drink, you do. If you want to watch a movie, you will. If you have homework to do, it gets done. You can watch a movie, while having a drink and doing homework simultaneously if you wanted. Not wise, but possible. So, obviously you can multitask. No reason a relationship can't be thrown in there as well. As far as emotions, how you acknowledge, accept and manage your emotions will ultimately make the difference. Let me be clear, emotions in no way, can be controlled. Management is not a synonym for control. Management simply implies re-adjustment, acknowledgement, identifying/modifying resources all for the most efficient outcome. No real difficulty here, unless you create it.

10) "I'm interested in someone, but they haven't asked me out yet"

Obviously, this phrase is most commonly heard from women. Ladies, I understand that many of you have been groomed throughout life to believe that the man HAS TO ask you out first in order for the dating process to begin. Traditionally, this is true. However, as generations have evolved, it's become increasingly acceptable for both men AND women to initiate the dating process.

Ladies, if you see a man you're attracted to, please have no shame in making the first move. Note, the first move could be a simple smile, eye contact, a flirty laugh or even a straight forward "asking out on a date". Most men will likely pick up on your flirtatious actions and eventually ask you out. If not, be assertive! Men love women who know what they want and are confident. Men aren't in favor of the "victim" role (trust me) and will recognize you more for acknowledging that you hold just as much weight as a man.

Common knowledge: Men frown upon women who are uncertain of themselves and are indecisive. Men want a match to their personality therefore again I say, be assertive. Rejection is a natural fear for men and women alike, but no reason to allow a potential mate to walk away all do to stubbornness. Believe it or not, men actually admire that one woman who can approach him rather than he approach her. Boys may be intimidated by this but for men, it's a turn on! Besides, men aren't mind readers. If you're interested in a guy, how would he even know if you don't do/say something?

Al Steven Harrison Jr.

Read more posts by this author.

Mount Prospect, IL

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