Tag Archives: dating problems

5 Reasons Why You May Still Be Single

Okay I have heard it all; the moaning, groaning and complaining about why you haven’t yet found a man. Some of you have already written off the possibility of ever settling down in a serious relationship; much less marriage. You’ve basically given up the relationship ghost. Before you set your boat to sail off into the sunset of perpetual singleness, perhaps you need to closely examine a thing or two.  Do you even understand why you’re not presently in a relationship?  Perhaps an honest answering of the following may give some needed insight and perhaps empower you to move forward.

1.       Do you still have an impossible list?

When it comes to a relationship, I admit we must all have some sort of standards. We all have preferences when it comes to selecting a life partner. Sometimes, however, it is necessary that we examine the source and soundness of our expectations. Are we perhaps missing out on love because we have decided for instance to stay within the parameters of our own race, ethnicity or nationality? Must our guy really be six feet tall? And worst yet must he past the “heft test”? For the uninitiated, this is one of my girlfriends ways of finding out if a guy is endowed enough to meet her approval and involves more or less ‘accidentally’ bumping into his “you know what”.  What about things like salary, or his occupation? I know this is a ‘biggy’ especially with some professional women but should a man be wiped off your list simply because he doesn’t have a Harvard degree? What about more enduring traits like his ambition, dependability and integrity which are not contingent on where he went to school? While I am not suggesting that you throw all of your standards out the window, I believe that some of them are definitely worth re-evaluating as you look for love.

2.       Are you really interested in giving up some of your autonomy?

Some of you claim to want connection to someone but are fairly afraid of releasing your independence.  Yes you heard right. Lots of men claim to want independent women but what do they know about relationship success? I am convinced that some guys use this as a cover for not wanting a clingy or needy woman and I understand this. However, for a committed relationship or marriage to work, each individual must learn to share and live interdependently; not independently. This means having a willingness to unmask and be vulnerable with your partner as you benefit from each others strengths. It also speaks of sharing and mutual accountability. For a successful  woman who has grown accustomed to calling her own shots, this willingness to compromise in a relationship  may not be as easy as it appears and could actually work to keep her from totally committing to someone because she fears having to give up some of her autonomy. If you are like this, It may be necessary to re-frame this experience. Focus on what you stand to gain in a relationship, instead of what you think you are losing.

3.       Talk about someone loving you, do you even like yourself?

Yes, you want a great love who will affirm you, worship the very ground you walk on and in Rihanna’s words, make you feel like “you’re the only girl in the world”. Sounds good to go but is your self-esteem dependent on what someone thinks about you? Do you even like you? How comfortable are you in your own skin? What energy do you give off when you walk into a room? Are you so worried about your size or shape that your lack of self-assurance rubs a guy the wrong way? When a woman is confident and comfortable with herself and understands her intrinsic worth, then there is an undeniable sexiness that is very attractive and hopefully  the right  guy will notice.

4.       Are you “meetable”?

Did you ever consider what signals your body-language conveys? Is your demeanor one that invites conversation?  Are you approachable or do guys look at your scowl and bolt with speed in the opposite direction? Does your air of superiority relegate all guys to the category of “worthless minions” to which you wouldn’t give the time of day or does your forehead carry an invisible sign which says “approach at your own risk”? Does your Diva-stance make you appear shallow and a tad self-absorbed; you know as if your heavily applied make-up is hiding your true personality? If you are to capitalize on the several meeting-opportunities that do come your way, then take some effort to ensure that your attitude and body language convey approachability, interest and availability.

5.       Have you really let go of your past relationships?

It’s very difficult to move on to something new if you’re holding on for dear life to something old. If it is true that some guy in  your past  did you wrong, don’t give him any more power in your life by taking him into every other relationship you may have. The truth is, when you fail to forgive past hurts, you invariably short-change yourself out of your own happiness. Not only do you become bitter and resentful but it also becomes easy to tar each hopeful guy with the same brush and while some men are up to no good, each guy should at least be given a chance to prove himself. Expecting a new guy to treat you as your old flame did, will also erect unnecessary barriers between you and breeds mistrust even before you’ve had a chance to get started.

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If I’ve read some of you ladies correctly, I know that many of you assume that real love from a real-life prince charming will somehow surmount all the flaws, foibles and barriers which you have erected.   Many of you assume that real love from your true soul-mate will be so strong, that somehow, magically it will find you; no matter what you do.  While I do understand the seduction of such beliefs, unfortunately, they represent an immature approach to love and easily abdicate you of the responsibility to change you. While  this  advice  is not meant  to suggest that  there  is no happiness or satisfaction  outside  of  romance, if a great  love is what you want, then it makes sense to reflectively  examine whether or not YOU may not be your own greatest barrier. The best thing is that no matter what you discover, it’s never too late to change.

Are You Trapped In The Relationship Maze?

Are you trapped in a relationship maze?

Many women today, from various walks of life, are making the same complaint; they can’t find a decent guy to settle down with. Most of my single girlfriends voice the complaint, that there seems to be a shortage of good men. Not to be left out of the fray, many males by their defining behavior seem to believe that the girls should perhaps just learn to share. And therein lies the problem. One of the defining characteristics of the male has been his propensity to be fairly generous in his affections and this happens to be the one trait which most of us women find intolerable! We love generosity but not when it comes to intimacies like love and sex.

So what should a girl do? Should she settle? Relax her standards a bit? Get rid of that old, never to be fulfilled impossible list? Accept the “generosity” of her erstwhile male friend? Forget her idea of an exclusive relationship which will lead to marriage? Or should she just settle for spinsterhood? Certainly, critical questions requiring critical answers.

Like any other aspect of life, relationships and our perception of them have the power to define us. From which ever quarters we gather our information, most of us have a fair set of defined standards and I’m not here to suggest that we lay them down by the riverside. It is important that we know what we are looking for, especially in the area of a life-partner. However, having had a couple of conversations with men, I am not at all convinced that the good breed has become extinct. Somehow I believe that the lines of communication have become crossed between today’s men and women and the result has been a polarization of both species. We think we know what each others’ problems are, so we have perfected the art of accusation without pausing long enough to really listen to each other. As it stands, the guys with the really canine activity get all the attention and the really decent ones get branded with the same brush and could perhaps be overlooked time and time again.

In the war of the sexes the fight is not always fair.

Now I really believe that men and women appear to be at cross-purposes because we have easily become locked into exclusive communication styles designed to keep each other out. We have developed an adversarial “us versus them” mentality which deepens our mutual suspicions and keeps each other at arms’ length. But let’s face it, in the war of the sexes, the fight is not always fair. So then how is a girl to spot a decent guy in this crazy relationship maze we have created? More so, how can such a guy get through to a girl without having his tail whacked in a trap as it were? Have we perhaps become trapped in a complex maze of our own making, guaranteed to keep us apart?

The relationship maze speaks in fact to the walls which are built between men and women, as a consequence of our flawed perceptions and mindsets; walls of misunderstanding, distrust and generalization. If we are to surmount the relationship barriers which we have erected, we first have to recognize, understand and then hopefully circumvent them in our quest for true love. Here are a few examples to go by:

What Women Say What Men Think
  1. I’m confident, independent and capable of making my own decisions.
  2. All a man wants from a woman is sex.
  3. I’m not yet ready to take our relationship to the next level.
  4. My biological clock is ticking.
  5. I wish you would be more supportive.
  1. You don’t need a man because you have it all going on; so I’m not that important to you.
  2. You don’t plan to give up the apple without a fight.
  3. You think I just want to use you.
  4. You’re ready for a marriage proposal and I’m the lucky guy.
  5. You want me to agree with everything you say.
What Men Say What Women Think
  1. I want to spend more time with you.
  2. I can’t get you out of my mind.
  3. I want you to look out for my needs; I have feelings too.
  4. Maybe we can start an exercise routine together.
  5. I want to take care of you.
  1. You want another opportunity to jump my bones.
  2. You want to wear down my resolve with sweet, flattering words.
  3. I can’t stand a sniveling guy and I’m definitely not your mother.
  4. You think I need to lose weight.
  5. You want to control me with your money.

Of course these are just a few examples which are not exhaustive by any means and according to culture and socialization they may change. They however do bring home the point that what we hear/think, is often filtered by our past experiences, the stories we’ve been told by our friends, what we witnessed as children and even by the male-female script presented in the media. The problem with this super-script is when we allow it to become gospel and accept it as the defining parameter for all of our relationships.

There will always be men who are unscrupulous and women who are users. This tendency to look out for numero uno at all costs is just a part of human nature which is unlikely to change. If we hope, however, to find true love, then we have to be willing to give each man or woman we encounter the courtesy of a “clean slate”. So if you’re hoping to get yourself out of this maze, take some advice.

Try not to lump all male and female behavior into the same mold, no matter how tempting it is to do so. Yes we do share several traits but give your new interest the opportunity to shine. Allow a guy or a girl a chance to prove themselves. Keep the channels of communication open and don’t assume that this guy is exactly like your last. Resist the urge to channel your past pain into a new relationship prospect. This does not mean acting naively or putting aside our common sense or our intuition, but it means giving that individual a brief opportunity to prove us wrong. It means keeping hope alive and not being deliberately adversarial or negative in our expectations. Basically it means practicing grace and graciousness, while admitting our own foibles.

Navigating the relationship maze does not mean dropping our guard or lowering our expectations or standards but it does mean adopting a mature response to the exciting opportunity of meeting new people. More importantly, navigating that maze also means looking inward to ensure that we are perhaps somewhere close to the ideal, we are so steadfastly looking for in a mate.