I read or heard somewhere that people are single because they’ve spent too much time being alone. I thought about it, dismissed it, and it rolled back around into my mind. I decided to digest my thoughts and leave them here for discussion. The accompanying video can be found here.
My initial thought was the statement was a blanket comment and didn’t include any reasons, aside from the one mentioned, on why someone may be single. It also suggested that some people don’t want to be partnered. It left out the possibility that a significant other may have died, and a host of other reasons which I’ll write about below.
* I’ve come across people who are set in their ways, some of which cause them to be difficult to be around. This type of person isn’t flexible in making space in their life for someone else. A newcomer may never feel comfortable around this person, may find themselves changing for the sake of someone else, and may grow tired of not being acknowledged for who they are or of not having their needs met. They may feel the friendship or relationship is one-sided.
* I’ve crossed paths with people who aren’t sure of who they are or what they desire from life and love. It’s challenging to want to be in a relationship with someone who’s unsure of themselves. The self-aware person is patient and understanding, waiting for the other person to realize who they are. Some people will be with someone because they see potential in them to be become more settled than they currently are. However, when it begins to feel like the person isn’t committed or dedicated to self-improvement, the question arises on whether or not the relationship should continue. I disagree with being with someone if you’re not able to fully accept who they are in that moment. It’s not a healthy decision to be with someone and hope they’ll change.
* Some people have a certain set of standards they live by and are waiting patiently, while actively dating, to find someone compatible with their way of thinking and who have a similar lifestyle as they do. The key here is ‘compatibility.’ Do they hold the same, or have similar, viewpoints as you do? Do they live according to the standards you choose to live by? Can you picture yourself in that person’s life? Can you picture them in yours? Are you able to have intellectual conversations and agree to disagree with each other? Do you both accept each other for who you are and are appreciative of each other’s similarities and differences?
* There are terms floating around such as “introverted extrovert” and “extroverted introvert,” which describes people who may or may not enjoy being in crowds. They may become anxious in large groups of people. They may function more effectively in small gatherings. It’s not easy for introverted people to go out and meet others, though they sincerely want to. They may find small group settings for activities on websites such as Meetup or FB Groups to help them branch out and become more social. This person is different than someone who genuinely prefers to be alone.
* Some people are what’s called “loners.” They prefer their own company. They like things a certain way. They enjoy not being held accountable to someone else for their words or deeds. They enjoy solitary activities. They may want companionship, though it’s not a priority. If given a choice, they prefer to be their own company and to engage in an individual activity. They like the freedom of coming and going at their whim and not having the requirement of taking someone else’s feelings or desires into account. They see, and communicate with, others when they feel like it. This person may seem to be missing from your life for weeks or even months, and one day surprise you with a text, email, or phone call. Since they communicate with you on their terms without regard to your feelings, your texts, emails, or phone messages may go unanswered. This person can be considered a friend, depending on how you define “friendship.” You’ll need to accept them for who they are and acknowledge what they’re able and willing to put into a friendship with you, if you choose to have them in your life.
* Finally, there’s people who are consumed with work or travel a lot for work. They don’t have the time to invest in a relationship. This person makes time for you when they can and they maintain contact with you. However, they’re upfront about what they have to offer you. The same is true for those who are doing psychological work on themselves. They may have realized they have issues they need to resolve within themselves and are working on becoming a better version of themselves. A person who is on a journey toward self-awareness and is dedicated and committed to being a better individual, will have the stamina required to be dedicated and committed to a relationship when rough patches present themselves.
Regardless of why you’re single, if you are, it’s up to you to be realistic in what you desire from a person. At the same time, be honest about what you can bring to a friendship or relationship. Know your boundaries, and standards, and hold fast to them. Don’t feel bad or guilty about being single. Don’t tolerate behaviors or attitudes that make you feel uncomfortable. If you find yourself constantly questioning a friendship or relationship, it’s likely your intuition telling you it’s time to reassess having that person in your life. It may be worth it to have a conversation about your feelings whether or not you decide to maintain space in your life and heart for that person. You have to live with the choices you make. Choose wisely and continue working on being the best you “you” can be each day.
The above reasons for being single isn’t inclusive. I’d love to hear what other reasons you know of either for yourself, personally, or in the lives of others you know. Comments are always welcome.
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