You’re single. And you’d rather not be.
You find yourself wondering why it is that absolutely everyone else you know seems to have found the person they want to spend the rest of their life with, whilst you’re still searching.
First things first. Before we look at some of the reasons why you might still be single, it’s important to make sure that you’re not under the illusion that you’ll never quite be complete until you find your ‘other half.’
Because other halves don’t exist.
Sure, relationships are fantastic. They can be incredibly fulfilling and bring you huge amounts of joy, and mean you’ve always got someone to fight your corner, no matter what.
There’s an awful lot to gain from being in a relationship… when it’s with the right person.
But falling in love isn’t a magical way to solve all your problems, and you definitely don’t need a significant other to live a full life.
There are so many benefits to being single, too, not least the freedom and independence of not having a partner to plan your life around.
True happiness is totally possible when you’re single, contrary to what a lot of people might believe, and in spite of the vision of singledom sold to us by the media and all those endless rom-coms.
And a lot of people, sold on the idea that being with anyone is better than being alone, end up in less-than-perfect relationships that, far from making them happy, actually make them miserable.
But, if you’d like to find the right person to share your life with and you’re wondering why they haven’t come along yet, you’re probably looking for answers, and I hope you find them below.
What follows is the ultimate list of reasons why a person might still be single.
A few of them might be true in your situation, or you might read one of them and suddenly realize that it’s that thing, specifically, that’s been holding you back.
And some of them will be reminders that the reason you haven’t found love yet is actually because you’re pretty awesome.
So, why are you still single? Let’s take a close look at all the possible reasons.
1. You haven’t met the right person.
Before you roll your eyes at how obvious this reason is, take a moment to properly think about it.
I know it’s frustrating to hear that the right person just hasn’t come along yet, but it’s probably the truth.
You’re yet to cross paths with someone who could actually be the perfect match for you. And that’s absolutely fine.
You can rest assured that sooner or later, somewhere on this wonderful road we call life, you’ll come face to face with the right person.
Patience is a virtue, my friend. I know how annoying that sounds, but it’s true.
2. You’re not ready.
I don’t care if you’re 22 or 52, you might not have arrived at a place where you’re in the right mindset to being open to love…
…or ready to face the challenges that you’ll experience when you do meet someone.
I know it’s a cliché, but if you don’t love yourself unconditionally, you’ll find it hard to love someone else, and you’ll definitely find it hard to understand why on earth they love you.
And, you’ll probably allow love interests to treat you badly, because your self-respect is rock bottom.
Some people find that they’re in the right mental space for a relationship when they’re surprisingly young, but most of us rush into relationships long before we’re actually ready to be in one.
The key here is to accept the fact that you’re not ready, and not beat yourself up about it.
Getting to a place where you are ready for love will involve plenty of self-reflection and self-awareness, and it might take years or more.
But those years can be filled with fun, adventure, and self-discovery, growing as a person before you’re finally ready to commit wholeheartedly to someone when the time is right.
3. They weren’t ready.
It takes two to tango. Some people take time out from dating to work on themselves and make sure that they’re truly ready to find love.
But when they decide that the time has come to start dating again, they get incredibly frustrated when they realize that the people they meet are still working on their own issues.
These people aren’t necessarily in the right headspace to be able to make a long-term relationship work.
So, the reason you may not have found lasting love might not have that much to do with you at all, and much more to do with the men or women you’ve been romantically involved with recently.
Chances are, it’s more of a combination of the two.
4. You’ve prioritized other things.
Love shouldn’t be the sum of our ambitions in life.
Now, I am of the opinion that, when it comes down to it, the relationships we build with our fellow human beings matter most in life.
But I wouldn’t mind betting that you’ve already got plenty of fulfilling non-romantic relationships in your life, so romantic love isn’t vital for your happiness.
You might have had so much other stuff going on that you just haven’t made romance a priority.
You might have consciously or subconsciously chosen to put your career first.
Or, instead of your career, it might have been a hobby you’re passionate about, your desire to travel, or even your friends and family that have always come first for you.
And that’s fantastic.
Have you ever ended a relationship because it was long distance?
Has a job ever come between you and a partner, or a potential partner?
Has your relationship with your family ever affected a romantic one?
Take a moment to consider whether you might have been relegating love to the bottom of your priority list.
That’s not a bad thing, by any stretch of the imagination, but it might be the reality.
You might have not yet found the person you’re willing to rearrange your priorities for.
5. You’re busy.
Love is time consuming. You’ve got to put the hours in.
The reason you haven’t yet forged a relationship that lasts might simply be that you haven’t freed up the time for one.
If you’ve got a busy schedule and you like it that way, filling your time with things that excite you and people that are important to you, then it’s hard to fit love in.
There might, in the past, have been someone that you really liked, or that you could have grown to love, but who things fizzled out with because you couldn’t find enough time to spend with them and get the ball rolling.
But that doesn’t mean you should stop doing what you’re doing. Keep doing what you love, and eventually, you’ll find someone who can keep up with you, or who you’re willing to make a few sacrifices in your schedule for.
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6. You’re not busy enough.
On the other hand, the problem might be that you’re not putting yourself out there enough.
I know it can be tough. After a long hard day of work, the last thing you might feel like is trying an evening class or starting a new hobby.
But if you’re serious about finding love, you need to get out and about, learning new things, making new friends, and just opening yourself up to the possibility that it could happen.
It’s another cliché, but joining that pottery class won’t only be a wonderful creative outlet, but it could be an opportunity to meet someone fantastic.
Don’t spend your time hanging around waiting for love to come to you. Get out there, stay busy, and enjoy life, and you never know what might happen.
7. There aren’t many fish in your particular sea.
Maybe most of your friends are coupled up or married and don’t have single mates anymore.
Maybe you work from home, or only have colleagues that are the same sex as you (assuming that’s not the sex that attracts you).
Maybe you just live in a small town or out in the sticks, and there aren’t many eligible people around.
Whatever your circumstances, it’s important to acknowledge them, and think of things you could do to expand your pool of potential dates.
8. You don’t like the idea of online dating.
Some people have a real chip on their shoulder about online dating.
They’ve got this idea that they need one of those classic love stories that starts with a ‘meet cute,’ with their eyes meeting across a crowded room.
I have a friend who’s so convinced that online dating ‘isn’t for her’ that she’s never given any of the guys she meets online a real chance.
She’s holding out for the love story and has such a negative view of online dating that she actually told me that she didn’t think any relationships that started online could last.
A little bit insensitive considering I’m currently in a relationship that started on an app.
But I digress.
Sure, it’s wonderful to be able to tell the story of how you met when you both reached for the same croissant in a café in Paris, but just because a love story starts online, doesn’t make it any less valid.
Online dating isn’t for everyone, but you shouldn’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
It’s a way to meet people that you’re attracted to and compatible with that you’d probably never cross paths with in real life. It can lead you to some incredible people.
Plus, it gives you the chance to make sure that you really have things in common with someone before you agree to meet up with them in real life.
And, you can make sure that they really are interested in finding a serious relationship.
The problem you’ve had up until now might just be that you haven’t dipped your toes into the world of online dating.
9. You’re not approachable.
If you find it hard to meet people, it might have something to do with the way you present yourself to others.
It’s hard to change this, especially if you’re shy, but notice your body language when you’re around someone you’re attracted to, and if it could be interpreted as you being closed off and uninterested.
The easiest way to fix this is just remembering to relax, breathe, and smile.
10. You’re intimidating.
This may sound like a bad thing, but it really isn’t.
You’ve got an awful lot going on in your life, and a career you love, and the sad truth is that lots of people can find that a bit intimidating, especially if you’re a woman.
But that doesn’t mean you should change. The right person will love you for your ambition and passion.
11. You’ve been dating too much.
These days, it’s totally normal to be seeing more than one person at the same time when you’re single.
But if you’ve been continuously dating multiple people at the same time for a while now, you might have become a bit jaded.
You get to a stage where you don’t really expect anything to come of your dates, so you just go through the motions and stop opening yourself up to the possibility that you could properly connect with someone.
If that’s the case, consider slowing things down a little.
Try only dating one person at a time, and when you’re with them, make sure you’re genuinely present and giving them a chance, and not mentally swiping on Tinder.
12. You have high standards.
You might not have found love yet simply because you’re not willing to settle for anything less than amazing, whereas other people are.
And that’s excellent. Keep up the good work.
13. You’re a perfectionist.
The other side of the coin could be that you’re just a little bit too picky.
Sure, high standards are really important, but some people refuse to give anyone who doesn’t fit their idea of the perfect man or woman a chance.
You may think you know what you like and what you want out of a partner, but you do need to be open to the idea that someone might come along and take you by surprise.
14. Your mind immediately leaps to marriage.
When you meet someone new, your first thought is whether they might be marriage potential.
And if you don’t think they are, you don’t bother going back for a second date.
You might have missed all kinds of opportunities to build relationships with fun, interesting people just because you’ve decided that they wouldn’t be the type to be walking down the aisle with any time soon.
15. You’ve learned from other people’s mistakes.
You’ve more than likely watched your friends enter into relationships that you know aren’t right for them, and watching them suffer has taught you an awful lot about what you want out of love (and what you don’t want).
That means that you’re much less likely to waste your time on people that aren’t right for you.
16. You’ve been hurt in the past.
You’ve been seriously hurt by someone you’ve been involved with in the past, so you’re not willing to properly let your guard down.
But you need to accept that love is always a risk. By putting yourself out there, you’re always risking heartbreak, but you could also find the love of your life.
17. You’d rather be alone than be in the wrong relationship.
You know that being single can be totally amazing, and that you’re far better off standing on your own two feet than getting involved with someone who isn’t right for you.
18. You don’t really want a relationship right now.
If you’re entirely honest with yourself, you actually like your single life right now.
You’re not interested in compromising on your time alone and with your friends, and you’ve got all kinds of interests and challenges keeping you engaged and busy.
There might well come a time when you are genuinely interested in finding someone, but that time isn’t now.
Throw yourself into your life, love the people around you with all your heart, open yourself up to new experiences, and who knows what might happen?
It might be next week, or it might be years from now, but you’ll have a fantastic time until then, and when you do meet the right person, you’ll be ready for genuine love and commitment.