Having been single for the majority of my adult life, I'm now a single woman in her early 30s. I love my life, and have lots going on, but would like to share it with someone, and so I'm a prolific dater. If you want something you need to go out and get it, and for me dating is the same as anything else. However, I'm still looking, and have heard every explanation under the sun. There are people who seem to have no trouble hopping from one relationship to another, and those like me who seem to find it much harder!
So, why am I still single?
1. "You're too picky." This is usually said as a form of compliment, imagining a long line of men that simply don't match up to my high standards. Wouldn't it be brilliant if this were true, if I were some throned queen singling out a match in a crowd of suitors?
2. "You're looking too hard." If I've lost my keys I don't find them by not looking for them, so I'm an advocate for having your eyes wide open, and being willing and able to put yourself out there. I suppose people mean, "Don't look desperate," but this excuse can quickly become a reason to stay firmly in your own comfort zone. It's rare to find love tucked up on your sofa.
3. "You're too independent and successful." This explanation makes me the saddest, but I hear it often. Apparently most men like to feel needed by women, and need to feel in control. The message is that women who are ambitious and driven at work will also take control in a relationship. The notion that strong women are less attractive disappoints me, but perhaps doesn't surprise me.
4. "You date the wrong men." As a heavily tattooed woman, I certainly have a lot of presumptions made about the men I'm attracted to, and the men who are attracted to me. I may well look alternative but I'm pretty vanilla (mainstream) inside, and I tend to be attracted to pretty mainstream people. I've been advised to date men with more tattoos, as I'll never be be the one the suited boy takes home to meet their mothers. Not much I can do about this one though!
5. "You're too clever." Again, a depressing explanation but one I hear regularly. Men seemingly prefer to know more than their date, and my inner-geek is apparently off-putting. No one likes a know-it-all for sure, but when did ignorance become attractive?
6. "You're not generically attractive enough."To be fair, no one has said this to me, this comes from my own inner demon. Logically I know it is nonsense, love is not reserved for the beautiful, and lust comes wrapped in every shape and size.
7. "You're too busy." I perhaps give off a sense that I'm a whirlwind of engagements, but I always make time to date. I'm often surprised at how little time some people are willing to give up when dating, you have to make room for a new person if you are indeed looking for one.
8. "You're too easy." I don't just mean this in the sexual sense, but that women who are more successful with men play hard to get. They make men chase them, and they're held out as a prize to be earned. I'm never sure what happens once the game has been won? Are the men ensnared forever, or do they get distracted by the next shiny game that comes along?
9. "Internet dating pushes the idea that there is always something better out there." I've definitely noticed a grass-is-always-greener attitude growing among singletons. The men I date seem less willing or ready to commit, for fear of missing out on something that is just around the corner.
10. "Men want to be Peter Pan."Having never dated a woman, I can only come at this from my experience, but I am oddly reassured by friends that Peter-Pan syndrome is alive and well in women too. When it was announced that our 30s were our new 20s, it left in its wake a sea of single people wanting to hold off from settling down with a single partner. I'm finding men in their 30s who haven't already fallen in love, seem to want to keep playing their fields and sowing their magical oats for as long as humanly possible. They're keen to date, but not so keen to choose.
In reality, dating seems to be a rather random luck of the draw. Unless you're a miserable, mean and unkind person (and to be honest even those people manage it!), it should be entirely possible to find someone who rocks your world. Some people may be more of a niche attraction than others, but love is out there, for the taking, if you're willing to go out there and find it.
The real reason I haven't found the best friend I can't keep my hands off? I just haven't met him yet.
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