You're Single Because You Have Way Too Much Self-Esteem, Science Says
Having trouble figuring out how someone as AWESOME as you is still single? Here's a tip: Get over yourself.
New research finds that Millennials have grown up with such an emphasis on self love that they might have missed the memo on how to love others.
We've been so focused on building up our own self-esteems that we completely bypassed the part of growing up where we would've developed the skills necessary for being in a relationship.
In her book "Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—and More Miserable Than Ever Before," Jean Twenge, PhD, compares Millennials to other generations and explains that Millennials (those born between 1982 and 1999) have grown up through the "self-esteem movement."
Basically, we were raised to be a self-loving, "army of one." And I mean, it makes sense, right?
I doubt you can tell me your kindergarten teacher never taught you that you were special no matter what anyone says or that your mom never told you to just "be yourself" no matter what anyone else thinks.
Heck, I've even written a million articles encouraging Millennials to fall in love with themselves before they fall in love with anyone else.
But according to Caitlin Cantor, LCSW, CST, for Psychology Today, this "army of one" mentality is really us being "skilled at being alone," and it's probably affecting our dating lives as a result.
You can imagine how being a total pro at being alone would get in the way of the whole "not being alone" thing, when it comes to dating.
And totally unsurprisingly, relational skills are a lot more important for relationships than individual skills (something else we Millennials have a lot of).
What are some examples of relational skills that we suck at using? Connecting with people no matter how similar to or different they are, caring what other people think about you (because it DOES matter, even though Mom told you it doesn't) without taking it personally.
And, relying on other people because —BELIEVE IT OR NOT— you are not a completely self-sufficient human being.
Without these skills, Cantor explains that Millennials tend to find pesky little things like "closeness, connection, vulnerability and intimacy" pretty hard.
Embracing all of those things in a relationship requires relational skills that we weren't taught.
To be honest, I'm surprised anyone finds any of those things enjoyable. So I think it's safe to say Twenge's findings are probably pretty accurate.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the most single of them all? We Millennials are. And it's because we won't put down the damn mirror.