I'll be honest. Sometimes, I see couples on Instagram or Facebook and I think to myself, "If they can find someone, then why am I single?" I know it's petty to compare myself to others, but I've been single for so long that it's starting to take a toll. And my current relationship status isn't a result of being too busy or too lazy. I'm actively trying to find someone great. I swipe on different dating apps, but I don't stop there. I make plans to meet up with guys in real life, and I follow through. But I still haven't attracted someone who is looking for the same level of commitment that I am. So I can't help but wonder what I'm doing wrong.
As it turns out, there are a number of potential reasons why I haven't found a match yet. Some have to do with how I'm going about my search, while others are actions I should be taking but haven't yet. I talked to four experts who explained common reasons that perfectly dateable people remain single — and their advice gave me a lot to think about. If you're wondering why you haven't yet found a healthy and fulfilling relationship (or, like, any kind of relationship at all), here are six possible answers.
1. You're Closed Off To Connection
You may be closing yourself off to potential relationships without even realizing it, according to Relationship Therapist and Co-Founder of The Modern Love Box, Alysha Jeney. She recommends asking yourself how often you avoid engaging with people in public, whether it's looking down at the grocery store, avoiding eye contact on the train, or not initiating a conversation with someone sitting next to you at a coffee shop or working out near you at the gym. "Try being more intentional about being open to connection," suggests Jeney. "Smile more, use eye contact, be nice to people around you and start conversations with everyone and anyone."
2. You're Not Prioritizing Dating
Dating can be compared to job-hunting, says Evan Marc Katz, dating coach for women and author of Believe in Love. If you were unhappy being unemployed, you would update your resume, talk to friends, do research online, and ask for informational interviews. Katz says someone who isn't satisfied with staying single should have the same kind of drive. "Redo your profile, go on a dating site, make plans with your girlfriends to get out of the house, say yes to social opportunities," he says. "Put dating at the forefront of your mind instead of working on the false assumption that it’s a waste of time, there are no good guys, and it’ll never happen for you. Go on one date a week and you’ll find love this year."
3. You're Making Excuses
If you've been single for a while, you can accumulate a lot of self-doubt. Bridgette Hall, Matchmaker at Three Day Rule, lists some common ways women tend to justify their relationship status. "I'm too busy to find someone, I want to get in better shape before I meet someone, I'm not good enough, I'm too picky, the good ones are taken, I refuse to settle... If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to let go of these excuses," she says.
4. You're Stuck In A Routine
It's normal to have a daily routine, but your predictable schedule could be preventing you from meeting someone new. If you grab coffee at the same Starbucks every morning, go to work, hit the gym at exactly 6 p.m., and then grab a drink at your usual bar, you might miss out on potential opportunities, Hall says. "Have an open mind, be approachable and get out of your comfort zone. You don't have to completely switch up your routine, but a little change can help you run into someone that you might not have met before."
5. You're Going After The Wrong People
You may find yourself falling into self-sabotaging patterns or attracting the wrong type of person for you, says Julia Bekker, Matchmaker and dating and relationship coach. If this feels like a familiar pattern, try to learn from your mistakes. By acknowledging the reasons past relationships didn't work out, you can do things differently in the future.
Bekker explains that there is often a shared similarity among all the people you attract. "Recognize what that is and why it is you are so drawn to it so you can see it and not fall for it again," she says. "Changing who you are attracted to comes from self work, self awareness and self acceptance. When you value yourself enough, you will be turned off by anything or anyone who is not respecting you or serving your needs."
6. You're Too Emotionally Invested
Try dating a few people at once, rather than placing all your bets on one person right away. "Determine who is the best fit for you and see who puts in the work and who doesn't," Bekker suggests. It's easy to start planning a future with someone after one date, but it's important to consider how serious they are. Thinking someone will change and suddenly want a relationship is a common mistake, as is trying to "fix" them yourself.
"The more you date the more likely you are to meet someone worth settling down with," says Bekker. "You just have to be patient with the process. Take breaks when you feel drained, set boundaries for yourself and adhere to your standards. If a committed relationship is what you want, don't waste time with people who are more interested in casual dating."
Turns out that telling your last date, "It's not you, it's me," may actually have been true. Luckily, now you know better. Thanks to this roundup of advice, you're almost a dating expert yourself — almost.
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