“Single Doesn’t Always Suck”

Don’t let that quote fool you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being single. We have all enjoyed the fruits of a single lifestyle at different points in our lives. Being single isn’t a curse or a negative brand on your forehead telling everyone you can’t get/keep a man/woman.

Some of us prefer being single for our own valid reasons. However, others use a single lifestyle (or status), as a time to not only enjoy being single but to learn to love ourselves.

Others take it a step further and use the time to heal from past hurt, [forgive] those that hurt them, and prepare for the next opportunity at companionship.

“One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.
Two can be as bad as one.
It’s the loneliest number since the number one.”

-Three Dog Night

1. Denial

When you refuse to look in the mirror and face the truth, I call that denial. You can deny the truth about why you’re single, consciously, or subconsciously. Meaning, you lie to yourself, and others, but you know what you’re saying isn’t true (conscious). Or, you lie to yourself and others, but you truly believe what you’re saying is true (subconsciously).

Denial is counterproductive like ice-skating uphill. Furthermore, it is also unhealthy and is extremely common among daters. Denial halts the healing process like premium Brembo brakes. If you’re always in a constant state of denial, how can you become an ideal version of yourself? Building a defensive wall of lies about why you’re single, only further aggravates an already frustrating, and sensitive situation.

2. Projection

Photo Credit – Adi Goldstein

A very popular reason why you’re single is that you lack the ability to take ownership and accountability. As a result, you blame others. From your ex, or anyone of the opposite sex, to the ratio of men-to-women in your city, I’ve heard them all. Blaming everyone, and everything but yourself is more popular than Facebook Live.

The most common method of projection is blaming the opposite sex. I have regular sessions with singles, and all we talk about are many reasons why the opposite sex is to blame for the inability to find a mate.

“Men/women are this…”
“Men aren’t loyal.”
“Women are shallow.”
“Men only want Instagram Models.”
“Women only want 6 figures, a 6-pack, and 6 feet.”
“Black men don’t want to marry, they want to, “hoe-around.”
“Women are like monkeys, they won’t let go of one branch, until they have a grip on the next.”

When You’re Single, You Love To Point Your Finger

These are but a sample of the excuses, and finger-pointing I’ve seen and heard over the years. It’s very easy to look at the other person and place blame on them. As a result, we never have to deal with our own personal demons.

Taking ownership gives us the opportunity to reflect, assess, heal, and evolve. Projection allows us to deflect, become stagnant, and enter a state of self-imposed depression and frustration (that we will also blame on someone else).

3. Fantasy

When it comes to the opposite sex, there are those of us that escape from the real world (outside our minds), for more unrealistic and unreasonable pastures (inside our mind). Some say it’s setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. Others believe this is a very real place where all the men are 6 feet tall or above, are in great shape, wealthy, or well-off, and can fly (underwater). The women are all c-cup and above and can have 3 babies (simultaneously) while keeping the same figure they had when they were 22. Oh and, they can also cook, clean, and have sex like a porn star. All while bouncing up and down on one foot and barking like a large dog.

Of course, I’m exaggerating (a little), but there are those of us that truly feel that way about the opposite sex. We place unrealistic, or unreasonable expectations on those that we are dating, and label them as, “standards.” Of course, not all standards are unattainable, we need to have base expectations to start from. We should also communicate those expectations to the other person and not expect them to know. (but that’s a different topic)

If you are truly looking for love, you will be willing to relax or compromise your standards. That being said, some standards simply need to be removed. I know plenty of men and women who found true love (after years of being inflexible) because they finally looked beyond the superficial and shallow.

4. Displacement

If you take a glass of water and fill it up… then, add one ice-cube, the water will spill over the edge. This is called displacement. If you take a person (single) who has been on many bad dates, or, has had a few unsuccessful dating encounters, you could say their glass is about to spill-over-with frustration.

As a result, a person may do one of two things:

  1. They may keep dating and adding ice cubes to their glass until they have displaced all the water they have. Eventually, they will lose faith in dating, begin to take out their frustration on anyone who is the opposite sex, and post negative threads/comments/memes on social media about dating. Or, even possibly go out on more ( no confidence) dates to pass time, or entertain themselves.
  2. They will forego dating and begin the process of projection immediately.

5. Emotional Insulation

Photo Credit: Dmitry Ratushny

When you withdraw to avoid rejection or guard your feelings to avoid being hurt, disappointed, or rejected, you are emotionally insulating yourself. You are protecting your feelings from (perceived) danger. As a result, you withdraw emotionally from dating and the pursuit of a relationship.

I’ve seen daters literally withdraw right in the middle of a potentially fruitful, and successful partnership because they were afraid of being hurt. Or, they didn’t give their all because they felt (without provocation), they would eventually be rejected or hurt. A self-defeating prophecy that may never have come true. All of these actions are similar to what I call, “fear-dating.” Just like, fear-dating, emotional insulation will only prevent you from ever reaching your goal of life-long companionship.

More examples…

Even worse are those who believe something is too good to be true. They really like the person, but intentionally isolate their feelings, fearing the person will eventually show their true colors. Or, they ration their feelings, giving only bits-and-pieces (if that), until the person proves to them they are legit. This is a very quick, and easy way to stay single.

Lastly, there are those who completely shut down.

They do this because they don’t want to be hurt. Or, they’ve overflowed their glass to the point where all that is left are the dates they went on, but no relationship. This is the ultimate form of emotional insulation.

6. Rationalization

We all have certain levels of rationale for most of the things we do. That includes (but is not limited to) the reasons why we’re single. Some of the rationales are legit and make absolute sense, such as: “I recently got out of a relationship and need time to recover, and heal.” However, there are those of us who have ascended to levels of rationalization that handicap us from engaging with the opposite sex on a romantic level.

Photo Credit: Comete El Coco

So much rationale

“I work a lot, and I’m too busy to make time.”
“Dating today is too complicated.”
“Chivalry is dead, there are no gentlemen left.”
“I’m a homebody, I don’t get out much.”
“The ratio of men-to-women, favors men. They have too many options.”
“There are no good (insert race) men in the my area (city, town, state).
“All the men/women are taken.”
“I”m not chasing a man.”
“I’m not inboxing or direct messaging anyone.”
“Half of the men are gay, or, down-low.”
“I’m traditional he should pursue me.”
“Men don’t date anymore.”
“Women will use you for free meals.”
“Women only want to date thugs, rough-necks or bad boys. They don’t want a man with a brain.”
“I am the prize to be won.”
“Modern women still want the benefits of a traditional man.”

There are many more where these came from.

I work with numerous singles who come up with rationalization like this regularly. Making statements like these prevent (or slows) us from ever attaining our goal of companionship. It’s that negative mentality that blinds our view of the good person (blessing) right in front of us and keeps us consistently single.

7. Preferences

Last but definitely not least is probably the most common reason of all. Preferences. There are many to choose from. The problem with preferences is, so many singles deal in absolutes. Meaning they don’t bend and are not open to anything different. These same people believe they won’t-be happy without their preferences and will overlook someone who is missing 2 out of 10 of their, “must-haves.” That’s 80%! And no, I’m not making this up.

“I like what I like.”

This is a common phrase among, “absolutionists” (yes I made that up). Indeed you do. However, being open to trying something other than a woman with long flowing hair, may change your status from single, to in a happy, and fulfilling relationship.

Since when is happiness linked to superficial attributes anyway?

I get it…

These are traits that attract you. However, the keyword in the word, “preferences,” is, “prefer.” That means, those traits are something you want but don’t need. You know, something like, “I prefer a 6 bedroom house, but a 4 bedroom is what I really need.” Or, “I prefer a 6 foot blonde with a d-cup, but I’ll take a 5-foot 5-inch brunette with short hair, a great personality, and treats me with respect.”

What are your reason(s) for being single?