A common question that I get from some self-proclaimed lonely middle-aged clients goes as follows: “I’ve been single for so long even though I have always really want a committed relationship. What gives?”
Over the last 30 years of working with tho
To wit, if you’re getting enough of your relationship needs met in a partial relationship like emotional intimacy, warmth, sexual connection via your partial relationship, then you will not feel so compelled to venture out into the dating world to find someone you could feel truly aligned with on every level.
What to do about it: acknowledge what’s happening and audit if this is what you truly want. If not, then it’s time to end or renegotiate the relationship.
They don’t cut their losses soon enough. Another reason that someone can’t find their forever person is because they waste far too much of their time in relationships with minimal potential. If this type of person dates potential partners for months or even years beyond their expiry date, then they get the secondary payoff of never actually being available for a far more heart-aligned relationship. Perhaps the sneakiest ways that the ego keeps someone away from a true, honest relationship, is keeping them stuck in misaligned connections well beyond the justified period of ‘We’re just seeing where it goes.’
What to do about it: Cut your losses! If you’re in touch with yourself and you have enough discernment, you’ll likely know within a few dates whether or not this connection has any real potential. Once you know it isn’t what you’re truly want, then move on so that you can create the space for a healthier, more aligned relationship that can go the distance.
The benefits they get from being single outweigh the assumed benefits of being in a relationship
Whenever I ask someone who has been single for longer than they’d prefer, ‘What do you most enjoy about being single?’, their face lights up like a neon light.
They mi say , ‘I honestly just love having so much alone time’, or, ‘I love not having to consider anyone else in the decisions that I make.’
Ultimately, every decision we make comes down to the behavioural leverage points of pain and pleasure. And if we primarily associate relationships with pain and primarily associate being single with pleasure, then yes, it absolutely stands to reason that people who feel that way will continue to opt for being single.
What to do about it: reality test your assumptions that you can’t have the best parts of being single while in a relationship. Question if the positive parts of being single are all they’re cracked up to be, or if you could continue to experience those things while being in a relationship. And then also reality test your assumptions about what you can or cannot have while being in a relationship.
4. They’re afraid of relationships due to past experiences. Some people subconsciously remain single because they had one (or several) negative relationship experiences in the past, and they’re afraid that they will continue the same pattern with all future partners. While this resistance is understandable, it would only make sense if the person is a static entity that hasn’t grown at all since they first experienced that pattern to begin with.
What to do about it: Feel into whether or not you have grown as a person since you first called in the negative relationship experience. If the answer is no, then some coaching or therapy work might be beneficial. If the answer is yes, then congratulations! You have changed, and so there is a very high probability that the type of partner you will call in will also change. To be certain, simply go slow and use your discernment when meeting new potential partners.
5. They have a story that some part of them is flawed or unlovable. Some people may stay single for longer than they’d like is that they are secretly at war with some part of themselves. And it usually isn’t an insignificant part of themselves. More often than not, it’s one of their most significant traits. This is because the most significant things about us attract the most wounding when we receive negative feedback about them in our earliest years.
So The person with the big, loving, sensitive heart? They think their big heart is a curse, instead of a blessing. The one who is clear and assertive on what they want gets told they’re bossy and intense, thus and they shrink away from life as a result.
The individual who is creative, open, and in awe of their world? They receive the feedback that they’re unrealistic, a dreamer, always lost in the clouds and so they cut off their gifts and get a more reasonable, grounded job.
It makes sense that if we see one of the most lovable, unique things about us as a negative trait or burdent hat there would be negative consequences to that faulty self-perception.
And if we carry a story around that some part of us is unlovable, then we tend to call in potential partners who agree with that story, and also dislike that aspect of us.
What to do about it: audit the things about yourself that you are secretly (or not so secretly) at war with, and begin to shift your relationship with those aspects for the better. As you begin to love those things that you once deemed as faulty, don’t be surprised when you start to call in new potential partners who find those same things to be your most charming, lovable traits
In the end, it all starts with YOU. The common thread in what keeps someone single longer than they’d like to be is simply being in full relationship with reality. Audit the places that your existing/past relationships are standing in the way of what you’re calling in, and do the work of clearing them out. Then, ensure your expectations of relationships are true and fully aligned, and that your relationship to yourself is a healthy one. Do so with an honest effort, and watch as the type of potential partners you call in radically transforms faster than you ever thought possible.