With all of life’s many responsibilities, where would marriage fall on the list of importance to you?
Between, acquiring an education, landing a full-time job, maintaining your health & fitness, and squeezing in some QT with family and friends; when did you make time to meet a partner and fall in love? The three reasons why you might be single longer than you anticipated is because of excuses, a lack of self-awareness, and your priorities.
There is a ton of excuses used to explain why you aren’t in a relationship.
I’m single because.....
There aren’t any good men.
Men are intimidated by me.
I’m focusing on myself.
I just got out of a relationship.
I want to be single (my absolute very favorite).
The last excuse makes me laugh every time because although we may be excited to try “dating ourselves,” the truth is that if the man of our dreams knocked on our door, we would gladly answer and ask him to stay. Therefore, you aren’t single because you want to be, you’re single because you haven’t met him. If we really want to take it a step further, you haven’t met him because you haven’t done the work required of you in order to. While there may be some validity to the excuses you have generated based on previous encounters, it’s time for you to be honest with yourself and acknowledge the role you have played in your relationship status.
Self-Awareness can help you figure out your dating habits.
Digging back into your upbringing and life experiences and how they molded your opinions, thought process, habits or reactions is the first step in understanding yourself. Dr. Baumeister, author of The Self has spent years studying the notion that "the information you have gathered and processed is based on the behavioral and emotional encounters with others but more importantly their reaction to you." For example, you may have had a crush on a guy when you were younger that didn’t like you back. This fear of rejection may now manifest in your adulthood by preventing you from voicing interest in a man you’re smitten with. Self-awareness is the state in which you actually pay attention to your feelings and behavior so that you can improve your circumstance or environment. Armed with knowing that the fear of rejection makes you nervous, or shy around men, you can take advantage of the opportunity to conquer your childhood fear by saying “hello” and asking to go out for drinks later.
Are you the person always needing to be in a relationship?
What has probably hurt us more often than not is your level of Self-Regard; the ability to accurately appraise our worth. Society has told us for generations now that if you are by yourself something is wrong with you and we have had a tendency to believe this. We have questioned our self-worth and at times even had relationships with others underserving of our love, simply to avoid being alone. Many of us who didn’t grow up with a father may seek the love from a man to fill a void or manifest acceptance. For others, mental and physical health issues such as depression, anxiety, or obesity have manifested as a result of heartbreak or rejection and we grew up to believe that a man’s love is the only cure.
Are you the "comfortable being alone" person?
Contrary to what society says, being single actually has healthy advantages, and permits time for self-discovery, self-love, career climbing, and independence. We feel as if we can’t accomplish our goals with the distraction of a relationship so we hold off on any steps in pursuing one. We become comfortable being by ourselves and wake up one morning like ”oh crap my clock is ticking.” While we may not be able to control biology or love on our stopwatch, we can prevent allowing ourselves from getting “too comfortable.”
While many of us keep hearing about the divorce rate increasing and millennials marrying at a slower rate than previous generations it’s easy to believe that our potential for love is doomed. Fret not, the hope and desire for a lifelong commitment still exists. A recent study by Pew research revealed that "58% of adults over the age of 25 who have never been married would still like to get married, while 27% said they’re unsure and 14% said nope, never."
Unlike our predecessors, we are being cautious before jumping the broom and blessed with access to a plethora of global dating options via technological advancements.
Even with the thousands of social/dating sites/apps there is still a challenge meeting a partner. Fifty-Nine percent of never been married adults believe that they are still single because they haven’t found the right person. Not to get all biblical on you but the bible explicitly says “seek and you will find.” Let’s be realistic, dating is like hunting for a full-time job and the truth is who has time for another job when our current career preoccupies so much of our daily lives. A study conducted by TD Bank revealed that a majority of people in major cities believe financial success is easier to achieve than true love so of course, we would put our time and energy to the achievable and independent accomplishment; financial success.
In all honesty, we prioritize making money above all else. There are 168 hours in a 7 day week, and let’s assume you work 5 days a week (40-50 hours), sleep (49 hours), bathing/grooming (7 hours), eat (14 hours), and commute (10 hours), you are left with 38 hours to potentially find a mate. That is if you don’t factor in the gym, television, walking the dog, and happy hour margaritas. If we dissect the numbers, it’s obvious most of our time is centered around getting dressed for work, driving to work, actually working, resting from work, and repeating it all over again. Seems like Rihanna’s “work work work work work” has become the sound track to our lives.
Because of our pursuit of wealth, it comes as no surprise that another 41% of never been married Americans blame their relationship status on their lack of financial security.
Of course, we want to be well off or at least comfy before we settle down. We don’t want the struggle or fights we saw our parents have over money and we definitely don’t want to come to the table empty handed in any relationship we enter into. So we work harder, longer, and we sacrifice our work-life balance so that when we do get an hour out of our day to swipe left, hit our favorite bar, or reply to the DM in our inbox we have a resume that makes our parents proud and our next conquest impressed. The unfortunate part is that just like a job, the less resumes you put out there, the fewer interviews you land, and the fewer interviews you attend, the less your chances become of reaching “partner” manifests.
Read “How Dating Is Like A Full-Time Job”
Read “Is Financial Success Easier To Achieve Than True Love?”
Read “Put Love Back On Your To-Do Lis