Although there are more single people living alone than at any time in prior history in the US, it can be a challenge for many single people who perceive that world seems to be coupled. My single clients who want to find a partner sometimes struggle with feelings of loneliness and, anger and shame. Some of them express that they feel no one has ever chosen them (never married singles) and have no validation of their lovability that they can show to others. Some feel discouraged with the quest to find a partner in love. Other patients (divorced/widowed) feel sadness that their primary relationship is gone but don’t seem to have as much difficulty with validation.
Being single is a challenge in this culture where it is socially inappropriate to talk about loneliness and longing. Friends may kind- heartedly try to soothe with words like “when you least expect it, it will happen” but single adults can experience these remarks as empty reassurance. Still other friends come up with advice, dating strategies and stories of friends who found someone. These comments can be upsetting to a single person who is struggling to accept himself/herself as being alone and also has heard most of the advice before.
You might be comparing yourself to others and asking “what’s wrong with me ?” or you might be angry about being single. This won’t help you. It makes more sense to ask “how have I stayed single?”There are many answers to this question; each answer will be unique to the person who is asking. Some push people away without realizing it because their parents had a bad marriage or got divorced. Others make little effort to meet other singles, wanting it to happen naturally without extending any energy or taking any risks. There are plenty of staying-single behaviors that are not obvious to the person who says he/she wants a relationship.
It is hard to put yourself out there and be vulnerable and to risk showing someone that you like them. The best stance is to keep looking for the special one and staying open while at the same time being happy with your life. This is easier to describe than to do but it means keeping the joy of life while at the same time seeking to change your life. That’s where the hard part comes in. People you meet will be able to sense if you are unhappy with your life and that can be a turn off for them. They will also be able to tell whether you have a protective wall up and don’t want to risk letting anyone in and will move on. Wanting something and being okay with whether or not you are able to obtain it will keep you open while reducing your suffering about not having something that you want in life. For more help with understanding how to find a mate, please contact me.