Being single isn’t a curse and being in a relationship isn’t a cure-all. No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s important to take a personal inventory—to look at the habits and choices that are helping you and the ones that are hurting you. It’s not a matter of putting yourself out there for any guy—finding a truly amazing, healthy relationship is much more about being ready for such a relationship. It’s about identifying faulty patterns and thought processes that may be blocking you from getting what you want.
To solve a problem, you need to understand it. So let’s look at some of the main reasons why you might still be single when you don’t want to be, and what you might unknowingly be doing to push love away. (And before we begin, I just want to say my goal isn’t to shame or blame anyone. I’m not trying to place all the blame on you; I’m just going to discuss some of the most common areas I’ve seen women go wrong in their quest for love.)
1. You’re Too Needy
There’s no faster way to repel a man than to need him. Wanting a man is not the same as needing one.
Neediness is a state of mind where you feel incomplete, or have an emotional void, and try to fill this empty space with a relationship or male validation. A lot of women confuse men’s aversion to neediness with men’s supposed aversion to commitment. But men aren’t commitment phobes (at least, the majority are not). A man will happily enter into a relationship with a woman who sees and appreciates him for exactly who he is. Conversely, a man will run far away from a woman who sees him as an opportunity to feel good about herself or fill some void.
A guy wants to feel chosen by a woman he had to earn. He doesn’t want to feel like he’s just filling a spot that could have easily gone to any other man with a pulse.
Solution: Neediness usually stems from a lack of self-esteem or sense of worth. You feel like something is missing within yourself or in your life and erroneously believe a relationship will be the cure. If you were unhappy before the relationship, you’ll be unhappy in it. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself about being single, work on your relationship with yourself. Work on feeling your best and looking your best. When you are the best you that you can be, you won’t be able to keep men away!
2. You’re Too Picky
Most women are usually at one extreme or the other: desperate and willing to put up with anything, or too picky and unwilling to “settle” for anything less than their dream man.
In this day and age, we’re saturated with unrealistic love sagas and have developed an idea of what love should be and not of what love is, as I discussed in chapter two. We’re told that love conquers all, but in truth love alone does not make for a good and healthy relationship. (I mean, just about every divorced couple loved each other at some point.) We want to be swept off our feet and taken over by this all-consuming feeling of euphoria and harmony. If we’re not feeling the intensity on the first date, we’ll write the guy off and say there was no “spark.”
Another problem is that most women have adopted a sometimes inflexible idea that it’s “better to be alone than to settle.” Taken to an extreme, this mindset causes many women to close themselves off to guys with amazing traits just because of some superficial flaw that rules him out as their dream guy. The longer you’re single, the worse this can get because you might start telling yourself, “Well I’ve waited this long to find the one, I am not compromising on anything and deserve to get exactly what I want!”
It’s OK to have standards and to have an idea of the kind of guy you want to be with, but it’s also important to be a little flexible and realize that you might not get every single thing you want, and that doesn’t mean you’re settling.
Maybe you don’t like his job, maybe you don’t like the way he dresses, maybe you think his hobbies are lame. This all might be true, but it’s important to realize that these things don’t tell you who he is, and who he is might be a really wonderful, kind, caring person.
Solution: Make a list of three non-negotiable qualities you need in a man. This does not include things like how much money he makes or how far back his hairline is. Money won’t make for a happy marriage, and neither will a full head of hair, a chiseled jaw, or six-pack abs. Obviously you want to be attracted to your husband, but try not to get so caught up in the physical details. Also jot down three deal-breakers. This will help you gain clarity and perspective and take you away from relying on the long dating checklist you may have formed in your mind.
Next, when you go out with a guy and don’t feel that all-consuming spark, don’t write him off. Unless there was something that absolutely repulsed you about him, give him another shot. A lot of women are way too quick to dismiss a guy before really giving him a fair shot. I know more stories than I can even count of women who went on a few meh dates with the men they eventually married. Who knows where they would have ended up had they not given their future husbands another shot.
My husband doesn’t have some of the main qualities that I used to swear up and down I couldn’t live without. Through our relationship, I can now see how the type of guy I thought I wanted would have been a disaster when paired with my personality type. I, like most people, thought I knew myself way better than I actually did. Now every day I realize, with increasing awe, just how wrong I was about what I thought I needed, because I am with a person who couldn’t be more suited for me.
When you open your mind just a bit, you might find yourself very pleasantly surprised!
3. You Want Guys Who Don’t Want You
One of the biggest obstacle standing in your way and stopping you from having the relationship you want is wanting the guys who don’t want you. It’s a ubiquitous phenomenon.
He seems to be everything you want, so enticing you can’t resist him. But when you have him, you just feel pain and discomfort. Your stomach is in knots as you wait for the next text, or for a sign that he truly cares. Then he gives you some sort of indication that he does, and you’re ecstatic; you feel a rush of euphoria. But then he pulls back again and you’re back in those unbearable shoes. Then he comes back, and relief. And on and on it goes.
Remember, damage cases are a waste of time and energy. Wanting a guy who doesn’t want you is a tragedy. Time is a precious thing to waste, so get to work and undo the faulty wiring that leads you to the guys who can’t appreciate you.
More than anything else, the path that leads to lasting love involves making yourself a vessel to receive love. If you only want guys who can’t want you back then you are blocked, so make the decision, right here and now, to push yourself to break free and clear away all the obstacles preventing you from getting what you truly want.