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.

Do You Have a “Fast-Food” Relationship?

We live in an age where we have grown accustomed to instant gratification. From instant coffee, to instant fast-food, to instant messaging we have become pros at pressing a button or two and having our every wish fulfilled. By the same token, we usually demonstrate loads of impatience with anything, any one or any process that takes longer than five minutes. So how does our propensity for the fast lane factor in our intimate relationships or even in our pursuit of such?

For those not yet in a settled or permanent relationship, viewing life through the lens of the instantaneous can yield a life-time of misery. In the first place, such an individual is likely to feel hard-pressed to make a relationship happen with speed. While looking for ‘the one” or seeking out a potential life-partner may be all well and good, a fast-food view of life could virtually cause us to make a wrong or hurried relationship choice. By the same token, those already in serious relationships or marriage could also be adversely affected if they adopt this “fast-food” approach when dealing with their relationship challenges.

But what exactly is this “fast-food” approach? Maybe we could understand it easily by simply examining the known qualities of fast-food. Everyone who has ever passed by one of those restaurants knows that today’s instant offerings thrive on external things like aroma and presentation. One glance at that large, brightly-lit menu board with its pictures of big, succulent burgers and of brown crispy-fried chicken, is usually enough to convince us that we need it; no matter what the health buffs say. In the same way, many of us can become carried away by the external packaging when making relationship choices, in spite of the fact that this practice has not served us well in the past. Everything we have learned about what we should avoid in toxic relationships can be placed on the back-burner, simply because we want a man and we want him now!

How many women have chosen to be with a guy simply because he fits the bill of her ideal guy which she has carried around in her head since childhood? He may be tall and handsome, in a well-paying job with all the right letters behind his name or he might have the sexy corvette and the mansion on the hill to boot. If, however, he’s also a jerk who does not know how to treat a woman, then in my books, we’re definitely making an inferior, “fast-food” decision. What about those girls who jump into bed with a guy because they presume (having looked at his large hands or feet) that his hardware is in tip-top condition. Major error; when a girl is genuinely looking for permanence and commitment, very often premature sexual involvement can cause interest to wane. This is especially so, when all that the said guy is interested in, is her body.

Finding your dream man, a guy with quality and depth, is unlikely to happen when you’re simply using an external gauge by which to measure his suitability. Of course presentation and packaging are important, I will not deny this, but character must supersede this and of course it takes time to know. No matter how good a guy looks, or how sexy he seems, simple things like how he treats his mother or his sisters can say a lot about how he is likely to treat you. If he has children from a previous relationship, how he cares for them and provides for their needs, also reveals a lot about his over all sense of responsibility.

Making the right relationship decision should also proceed from a place of emotional completeness or wholeness. Understanding what you are truly worth, and knowing that it does not take a man to make you complete, should help you to guard against settling. The last thing you want to do is be with just about anyone, simply because your biological clock is ticking or because all your girlfriends are getting married and you’ve grown tired of being the bridesmaid!

Not to be one-sided in my arguments, even those women in long-term relationships like marriage can be guilty of a “fast-food” relationship approach. This includes not dealing with critical relationship deal-breakers. If you’re married but are afraid to confront your spouse about important issues like infidelity, the setting of appropriate boundaries with other women, finance, greater involvement in housework, greater emotional support and the like, chances are you are doing your relationship a significant disservice. By sweeping critical areas of dissatisfaction under the carpet in order to preserve a semblance of happiness or in order to “keep the peace”, is to really exemplify a lack of relationship integrity.

A strong, well-balanced relationship should be characterized by honesty. This means a willingness to put all cards on the table with respect to both the relationship’s strengths and its weaknesses. Whether your spouse is a lousy lover, needs to practice good hygiene, needs to be more emotionally assertive or needs to help more around the house, there should be a willingness on your part to let him know how you really feel. These same principles of course also apply to men who may be dissatisfied with their partners.

While admittedly none of us is perfect, if we hide or deny relationship challenges out of “love” then this is really not love but fear and cowardice. Love that is perfect actually gets rid of fear and allows the truth to do its work in bringing about change. For those of us who really want a great love, know that it will take time, effort and a willingness to dig beneath the surface where necessary. A great relationship for the long-haul, is one that is groomed over time and like a young plant, takes watering, care, attention and nourishment; definitely not the stuff fast-food is made of.