By Lindy Earl
It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 years old or 70. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married or are widowed or divorced. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been dating for one year or ten years. When you’re ready for a relationship, and you’re actively putting yourself out there, you start to wonder, Why am I still single?
Your mom and friends tell you that you’re a great catch. You take care of yourself – good oral hygiene and regular showers. You’re witty and fun. You’re loving and kind. So what’s going on that nobody has found the wonder that is you?
Maybe you just don’t have a chance to meet other single people. I know that in my life I am constantly surrounded by married people. Not only are they all married but the vast majority have been married for 30 years. They don’t have any single friends, either. Maybe you’re shy and it’s hard to get out there. Maybe you’ve tried the dating sites but had miserable experiences, either rejection or scammers. Both are horrible. Maybe you’re tired of being hit on. I know I’m not alone when I open a message that reads, “Wanna be fwb?” That’s the entire message!
Okay, so maybe now I’m starting to understand why I’m still single. I don’t want to subject myself to this.
But that’s not the hard part. Really? Let me tell you. The hard part comes, usually after midnight when I can’t sleep, and I start having all these thoughts . . . I’m just too critical, judgmental, picky, finicky, demanding. I really start believing that these adjectives were created to describe me. It’s late and I’m tired and starting to feel sorry for myself. There is nobody on the other side of the bed who can hug me and tell me it will be all right. And it’s just so easy to believe the bad stuff.
In fairness, once the sun rises and dawn is on the horizon, I think we can all realize that what we believed in the middle of the night were all lies.
More likely, we remain single because of timing. Think about it, especially if this is your second time around. In order to find a relationship, you first need to be unmarried. I prefer this term. It includes everyone in a very factual, personal, and non-judgmental way. The person you want to find needs to be unmarried. You both need to be ready for a healthy relationship. You both need to be some place, at the same time, where you can meet. You both need to be open enough to accept a new person into your life, even with faults and foibles. You need to be willing to admit and show your own faults and foibles.
One of my foibles, of which I’ve only recently become aware, was that, for years, it was more important for me to be right than to be nice. I thought I was doing the right thing by correcting grammar and pointing out correct answers. I wasn’t helping. I was being difficult. Okay, now I’m understanding why I’m still single.
In addition, you need to have sufficient time to dedicate to the beginning of a relationship, which honestly does take extra time and commitment. I can understand canceling a date after several months of being together, but to do so in the first week or two could render your new partner insecure.
You both need to remain in the same general area – relationships are much more difficult if one person travels extensively or you live in different geographic regions.
The question becomes, who manages to not be single? The answer – the people who have already been together for 30 years and have built their work, children, friends, and lives around one another. Trying to do all that, with children from multiple marriages, and careers that could be equally demanding, half-way through life, is decidedly more difficult.
Another reason I’m still single is not that I’m too picky, as my late-night self would have me believe, but that I haven’t found someone who appreciates me for who I am. We all have a lot of great characteristics: loyalty, honesty, sense of humor. Those are pretty universal. Yet we all have some interesting quirks as well. I have a friend who loves puns. I don’t. If he’s looking for someone who will appreciate his sense of humor, he can keep looking. It’s not one of the eccentricities I especially want in my life forever. Could I handle it? Sure. It’s not enough to end a relationship, but enough small things will add up to stop a relationship from starting.
A common question is what you want in a mate. Common answers, both physical and emotional, ensue. But let’s look at what I don’t want and see if therein lies the reason I’m still single. I don’t want a lazy person, which nobody will claim to be, but it becomes evident once you begin dating. The people who say, “I really should have . . . but didn’t.”
I don’t want someone who interrupts me and makes every conversation about himself. I’ve dated these men. Heck, just recently I met a 20 year old who made the entire conversation about himself. He wasn’t that interesting but he had no idea. The other people in the room were in our 50’s, but this guy went on and on about being a student and working a summer job. Okay. We’ve all been there, and travelled a lot further down our paths since then. I wonder if he finds girls willing to date him.
So when I meet the people I don’t want to date, and when I consider that they may not want to date me because I have some traits that they dislike, it makes perfect sense that I remain single. And while I continue seeking my prince charming, I build my life and make myself a person who is interesting despite my faults, who is amicable despite my preferences, and who is willing to put herself out there, hoping I am not single forever. As I fill my life with good things now, I hope that they will help attract the man who is out there and looking for me, and wondering why he’s still single, when he has so much to offer.
That’s Life After Divorce.
Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant. Contact her at LMEarl@EarlMarketing.com or find her on Face Book.