Being single for a certain amount of time has its benefits. I personally experienced the most growth and self-awareness during my years as a single girl, and while there were some painful and lonely moments, they all led me to a place where I could break through some of my walls and do some necessary inner work.
At the same time, no one makes it a goal to be single forever. We all want love; we all want a partner to share our lives with. Even though that is the goal, a lot of us mistakenly go about attaining the thing we want so much in all the wrong ways. We continue to live life in the same way and hope that it will somehow lead to different results. We know that this doesn’t really make any sense, and yet we continue to operate from a default setting.
Being single isn’t a curse and being in a relationship isn’t a cure-all. No matter what stage you’re in, it’s important to take a personal inventory—to look at the habits and choices that are helping you, and the ones that are hurting you. It’s not a matter of putting yourself out there more, of signing up for every dating site and side-swiping app—finding a truly amazing, healthy relationship is much more about being ready for such a relationship. It’s about identifying faulty patterns and thought processes that may be blocking you from getting what you want.
I have written many articles on how to get the relationship you want. There are also ways to guarantee that you never get what you want. Seeing what they are is the first step in correcting the problem. And with that, here are ten ways to stay single forever:
1. Don’t ever learn from your mistakes. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you are bound to keep making them (this was the story of my life for many years!). If you find that you keep ending up in the exact same situations over and over again, it’s time to do some reflecting and consider why it’s happening, and what is leading you to this place. For example, if you keep ending up in pseudo-relationships with guys who act like your boyfriend but won’t call you their girlfriend…try to uncover why you seem to only be drawn to the emotionally unavailable type. Take a look at your patterns and see if you can rewire some default settings.
2. Blame your singleness on the fact that there are no good men left. It is statistically impossible for every “normal” guy on the planet to be unavailable. It’s not that all the good guys are taken, it’s that maybe you’re so busy chasing the wrong guys and thinking they can give you what you want that you can’t see and appreciate all the good ones that come your way.
3. Have really high expectations…and justify it by saying this is what you “deserve.” We all have certain criteria when it comes to a partner; some of these can be valid and others border on ridiculous. We don’t know ourselves as much as we think we do and oftentimes what we think we want is not the same as what we actually need. You’ll be surprised what can happen when you stop assessing if he has all the qualities you want and instead try to connect to him as a person.
4. Don’t trust how he feels about you—assume he’s going to dump you, he won’t call you back, he won’t commit, etc. If you convince yourself bad things are going to happen…then you increase the likelihood that something bad will in fact happen. Being paranoid about how a guy feels creates a vibe and energy that can turn this fear into a reality.
5. Overanalyze everything. Analyze his texts, the things he said, his posture, the language he used. When you overanalyze, you aren’t being present or authentic. You’re in strategy mode and no matter how stealth you think you are, a guy can always pick up on this energy and it’s off-putting. Instead of being on constant alert and trying to figure out exactly where he stands, maybe ask yourself why you feel you need to date so defensively. What are you trying to protect and how can you release whatever fear is driving you?
6. Don’t take care of yourself and try to look your best. It’s been said many times and in many ways…men are visual creatures and physical attraction is extremely important. Attraction works differently for men and women. A woman can develop an attraction to a man because of his internal qualities. Men also need to be attracted to a woman on an emotional and intellectual level, but they will never get there if there isn’t already a strong and established physical attraction. You shouldn’t take care of yourself just to get or keep a man. Do it because it will make you feel good about yourself, which opens the door for many good things in life aside from a relationship.
7. Don’t deal with your issues. Most of us have been hurt in the past, be it a painful childhood or a painful breakup. It’s important to remember that issues don’t resolve themselves—you have to put forth some effort. Being in a happy, healthy relationship entails being your best self. You can only let in as much love from the outside as you feel on the inside, so if you don’t make self-love your focus, you will never experience the joys of true love (this applies whether you’re in a relationship or not).
8. Settle for “meantime” relationships. If you are at the stage in life where you’re ready to settle down and find a lasting relationship, don’t date guys who clearly are not in the same place! It’s pretty obvious when a guy isn’t serious; you know the signs, but you just ignore them because, well, he’s just so cute and what’s the harm in having a little fling at least to pass the time until someone else comes along….
The harm is this is usually where you end up getting hurt because the more time you spend with him, the more your emotions take hold and drown out your objective reasoning, the part of you that knows it would never work out long-term with this guy. If you want a certain kind of relationship, then date guys who want the same thing. It’s so obvious, yet somehow not.
9. Be afraid you’ll never find better.
I’m not going to identify all the signs that you’re in a dead-end relationship right now (I covered some in this article), but oftentimes you know the truth. You know he isn’t going to commit in the way you want but you push that knowledge aside and you stay…because staying just seems easier than walking away and starting again. Maybe you’re afraid you’ll never find better, maybe you’re afraid of being alone, maybe you rationalize that you’ve already invested this much time in the relationship so what’s a few more months or years? Yes, staying can be more comfortable, but think of it this way: as soon as you leave a going-nowhere situation, you are one big step closer to getting the love you actually want.
10. Panic over the prospect of being single forever.
Sometimes the panic and anxiety oozing out of my single friends is so palpable I almost feel like I need a Xanax. Worrying about ending up alone gets you nowhere, the same way that worrying about what to eat for lunch doesn’t magically make a sandwich appear before you. Worrying can feel like it’s serving a purpose, but it’s not. Instead, just keep it cool and calm, have faith that you will get the love you want when the time is right and try to just find happiness on your own until you get there.