This Is Why You’re Still Single

I’m very skeptical of “cure-all” fixes. I don’t claim to have them. What I do have is a perspective, and experience. I find people to be very interesting to talk to and observe, if for no other reason than to hear their problems – especially those with other human beings – and sit back and daydream about the cause of it all. Relationships (or lack thereof) happens to be one of the most popular and interesting, especially in the LGBT community. I’m sure there are parallels in the straight world, but I’m no expert on that. I try to look at things from an unconventional, yet holistic perspective. I don’t want this to be “just another Buzzfeed article”, even though the subject errs on it heavily.

Here it is, for what it’s worth, AND, more importantly, the logic behind it.

You don’t live in the right place

I’m a big believer that we’re far too sedentary. We don’t get up and out into the world enough. We don’t make an effort to see enough new things around us. We don’t travel enough. But most important of all, we don’t move enough – and by move I mean pick up stakes and find a new city. Most people who are perpetually single would not turn down the opportunity to move somewhere else if the option were proposed to them. In fact, most people already have an idea in mind of where they’d like to go. They’re just too lazy to do it. It takes a lot of energy, and there’s risk, but without it, you will just get more of the same. This isn’t something you do solely to find a partner, but it can often be a reason that things are the way they are. I lived in the same rural area for 26 years – when I got out, things instantly changed.

What to do: Talk to your family, both close and distant, your friends, and coworkers. There are opportunities everywhere for making a change, and there’s often someone that can help out in some way to make it a smooth transition for you. Check out CityData Forums and WikiTravel to do some research, and explore what interests you on Google StreetView

You’re unhappy with your life

…and you think having someone will make it better. Except for a small portion of the population (the people who seek out victims to try to be their savior) unhappy people are also unattractive people. If you’re unhappy, it’s not a look you project, it’s a vibe you give off. If you’re unhappy, it’s not what you’re doing, it’s what you’re NOT doing that’s hurting you. You don’t appear outgoing, you don’t smile, you’re not optimistic, you don’t share your interests with others, you don’t try to discover other people’s interests, you don’t have time… the list goes on and on. You’re probably not every one of those things, but if you’re any one or a couple of them, it’s like a magnetic energy that repels people. Drill down to the core of why you’re doing what you’re doing, find the cause of it, and fix it.

What to do: If you’re unhappy with your life, chances are it’s one of several things 1) where you’re at vs. where you want to be (in a progress sense), 2) what you do for a living, 3) where you live. The best advice I ever got during a tough time in life was to quit being so hard on myself. The exact words were “be kind to yourself; be truly kind”. You’re doing the best you can, right? Keep doing that, but just start changing a few things here and there.

Your standards are out of balance

Ever heard someone say “your standards are too high”? I don’t believe that’s true. Impossible. I don’t care what your standards for others are – you’re free to totally go and aim for whoever you want. You just need to make sure your standards for yourself aren’t too low, keeping you from what you’re in search of. Don’t be spending so much time looking for others that you’re not looking after yourself. The problem isn’t the type of person you’re looking for, the problem is that you’re not doing your best to be the type of person that they are looking for. Simply “being me” and wanting someone to see the good in you and appreciate you for who you are just doesn’t work when you have sky-high expectations of others. Lots of tough love, yeah? It is… but it’s work and change that’s worth the effort. Chances are whatever you need to change or improve are things you’ve been thinking about yourself for a long time. You just needed the motivation to do it. And now you have it.

What to do: Look yourself in the mirror. If you were dating you, what would you change? Look at your expression, not just your body. Are you standing up tall? Are you smiling? Is there optimism and charm in your expression? It’s not near as much about the body you have as it is how well you’re taking care of it. Work on the body last, work on the small, immediate, easy-to-change things first. Hair, nails, washing your face, shaving / trimming (eyebrows make a HUGE difference), and wearing clothes that fit you. Need ideas? Get on Pinterest!

You’re too critical of yourself

I once heard the idiom “if you go about your job with confidence, whether you’re wrong or right, 9 out of 10 people  won’t know the difference”. The idea is that, regardless of your faults and shortcomings, how you act and carry yourself in spite of them is what ultimately determines the outcome; it’s all about the presentation. When it comes to dating, it’s the same thing – if you let your weaknesses and the things you don’t like about yourself really get to you, it affects your confidence, which in turn affects how you interact with people. You allow things that you feel others may hold against you to influence how you carry yourself. Your self confidence and energy are low. You don’t embrace who you are. You don’t seek change because you lack motivation, as you get into a self-loathing “poor me” state of mind. Whatever it is, you allow your opinion or perspective of yourself to get in your way.

What to do: You’re a work of art, a sculpture always in a state of improvement and change. Are there things you don’t like about yourself? Of course there are! Everyone has them. First step is to identify what (if anything) there is you can do to fix it. When you know, it’s time to determine if you are actually going to do something about it. You can change it, but will you? If the honest answer is “no”, don’t fret; my guess is you’ve made it out to be some insurmountable obstacle. Look at things from an objective point of view, and realize that our flaws are magnified by our own perception. Try to step back and look at things from an outsider’s point of view. How would you react if you noticed your flaw in someone else? The biggest matter at hand is to get things in perspective. If it’s something that bugs you, do what you can, put energy into progress, take pride in that, and spend the majority of time focusing on the good in you.

You don’t make an effort

This is paramount. The more time I spend on dating apps, the more I’m led to believe this could be the largest contributing issue to singledom. This is your problem. It’s every single person’s problem, because it’s either a problem for you, or the people you’re trying to get something going with – otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this! The effort I’m talking about is in breaking the ice AND intriguing the other person to want to continue this conversation and go deeper with you. It’s about getting someone hooked on either 1) you, and/or 2) the attention you’re willing to give. That is totally the first and most important objective in dating (!!) – getting someone committed, at least in their mind if not in word, to getting to know you better. The old adage “to have a friend you must first be one” is nearly the same in dating… to have someone care about you, you’ve gotta show you’re genuinely interested in the collective whole of them first, who they are, their life, activities, and passions.

What to do: So here’s an example of the situation. Two people exchange an innocuous greeting; hi, hello, sup… One of them then attempts to show interest in the other by asking a question; what’s up, how’s it going, how are you… What the other person says next potentially kills or seals the deal. The momentum starts with the detail of the answer to the inquiry – sounds kinda clinical, but it’s where the effort and desire to make something of this meeting comes into play. I cannot emphasize this enough – if you don’t make an attempt to peel back a few layers, he won’t let you, you won’t open up, or he doesn’t try to get to know you, there’s your problem! This is your chance to find common ground – if you went after him, good for you! I hope he opens up and appreciates your effort, and if not, use your charm to get him to! If he came after you, make it worth his effort and share something about yourself! Ask more questions about him than he does about you, but keep it from feeling like an interrogation – when he says something, share some overlap you two have with the subject.


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