Why Am I Still Single and How Can I Meet Someone?
By Toni Hoy
Updated December 02, 2019
Reviewer Elizabeth Strong
Even the happiest of single people sometimes wonder, "Why am I still single?" It usually boils down to two things-either circumstances brought them to be single or they're just not interested in being in a serious relationship.
Life's circumstances can sometimes be painful and unexpected. Some people are single because a spouse or beloved partner passed away. Others sought divorce for one reason or another. Many singles have done a fair amount of dating and they really just haven't found the right one.
For a lot of people, it's just not the right time in their lives to be married. If they're serving in the military, they may feel that they're not home enough to sustain a loving, happy relationship. If work takes them away on many business trips, they may believe it's too much to expect for a spouse to be faithfully waiting at home for them. Some people live with a lot on their plate during certain seasons of a relationship. When you're working and going to school at the same time, it doesn't leave much time or energy for a relationship. Perhaps one of the most difficult reasons to be newly single is that you've been burned by a past love and you're just not emotionally ready to get involved with someone again.
These are some of the surface reasons that cause people to be single, but there may be deeper reasons why you're single and lonely. It's possible to change your status when you know how and where to meet someone new. It's also possible that giving therapy a chance will help you to get out of your funk and put yourself out there and help you meet someone.
Dig Deeper to Understand Why You Are Single
When it comes to answering that question of, "Why am I still single?" you have to realize that you have more power over your situation than you may think. If you're at a point where you're saying, "I'm tired of being single," every time you look in the mirror, you may have some internal challenges you need to face to get you past the hump of remaining single.
If you've been hurt in the past, you may have some invisible walls up to defend yourself from getting hurt again. Your walls may have even started going up before your last serious relationship ended. As your walls went up, it made it easier for you to close yourself off from new relationships as a protective measure. Potential partners can sense those invisible walls and may not want to take a chance on you.
When you lack the confidence to fully open up to a partner, sometimes it's easier to pick a partner that's not everything you feel you deserve. In some ways, it becomes easier to blame someone else if the relationship doesn't work out. This fear of intimacy can hold you back from finding your true soulmate.
You may truly desire to have a loving partner but having an intimate relationship may cause concerns about someone else loving you too much and becoming too dependent on you. The pressure may cause you to unwittingly push a potential mate away to help you relieve your anxiety. Being overly critical, putting the other person in a sour mood protects you because they won't be in such a lovey-dovey mood towards you all the time.
As you bolster your defenses, you may narrow your criteria for the perfect partner, which is to say that you become extremely, and perhaps, unfairly picky. This often happens to people who have had bad experiences in the past. It becomes easy to generalize thinking that you can trust potential partners or that they're all the same. Try to be objective with yourself and understand whether you really gave yourself a chance to get to know someone before you placed them in a negative category.
When you've been out of the dating arena for too long, you can start to convince yourself that you don't have the qualities that would make you attractive to someone else. If your inner voice is telling you that you're too heavy, too thin, too old, too scruffy, or just plain uninteresting, you may be pushing people away subconsciously. Your lack of confidence can lead someone to believe that you're not interested or not available.
Dating can be competitive and if your self-esteem is low, you may believe that you'll have trouble making the list of the top few that someone else may be interested in. Is it worth the effort to try to win someone over when there might be others out there pursuing them as well? No one wants to look foolish by going after someone just to lose them to someone who appears to be better than you. You have to recognize that while you may face a little competition, someone may find you a lot more interesting than you think.
You can meet someone special, but first, you have to get out of your own way, boost your confidence, and be willing to change some old habits.
How Can I Meet Someone?
The advances in technology have given us even greater ways to meet people. So many people are using dating apps that there's no longer a stigma around it. As people have gotten more familiar with technology, they've leaned more on the internet to help them find people to date. To put yourself out there and give yourself the best chance of finding someone, consider adding some old fashioned, real-life ways of meeting people.
If you ask people how they met, it's never a surprise when someone says they met online. According to Pew Research, 40 million Americans use online dating apps. About 27% of young adults use online dating sites which is 10% more than used them in 2013. Older folks aged 55-64 years old are also using online dating apps. This age range increased dating app usage by 6% from 2013-2015.
There are other ways that you can use the internet besides dating apps. Chances are that you use social media platforms to catch up with your friends. If they post an event that they're going to ask them about it and see if you can get an invite. It will give you an opportunity to open up your circle of friends by adding their network to yours.
If public transportation is an option for you, why not try it for a week or two. Busses and trains are filled with the same people going to and from work every day. Sit by someone different with every commute and get to know them a bit. You'll be within earshot of many conversations and it should be pretty easy to figure out who is single and who isn't.
Think of other places where you might feel comfortable being a "regular." If you go to the same coffee shop every morning, why not grab a table and catch up on some news or social media? Plenty of other people are also regulars that might take a cue from you and also decide to linger around a bit at the café. Maybe you show up at the local swimming pool on a regular basis to do some morning laps. Of course, it's easy enough to be a regular at the local bar scene. Wherever your "regular" spot is, you're sure to meet people who like some of the same things you do. If you don't meet someone, consider that single people are often healthier than those who are married. The Journal of Women's Health showed in a 2017 study that single women has smaller waist sizes, lower BMI's, and a lower risk of smoking and alcohol than married women.
Is there a subject you've been wanting to learn more about? Every community offers all kinds of opportunities for classes on cooking, gardening, computer programs and applications, investing, etc. There are reasons you made friends years ago when you were in school. The small class size and the same people coming together year after year create a forum that's ripe for interesting conversations. Don't forget to take advantage of the time walking into and out of the building to strike up a conversation.
The next time you go for a walk, grab the dog leash. Lots of people are bound to stop you and ask what breed you have, how long you've had your dog, what his or her name is, and more. Exercising your dog gives you the opportunity to ask the same set of questions to a stranger who is also walking their dog.
Every dog owner has silly dog tales to tell which makes starting conversation easy and even easier to keep them going.
Whether you're not ready to be in a relationship and don't understand why or if you're having trouble meeting someone and can't figure out why, a few sessions with a professional therapist can help you figure it all out. Therapists at ReGain are waiting to be matched with you and help you discover how you can transition from single to being in a healthy relationship.