By: Anna Leifeste, Three Day Rule Matchmaker
In my line of work, I spend each day meeting with single men and women from all walks of life. They each have different backgrounds, passions, pet peeves, and relationship histories. What they have in common–and what brings them to meet with me–is that they believe life is better when shared with a partner. And yet, some of them are struggling to find and maintain the relationship they want. Why is this?
For our male readers, here are six reasons why you’re still single:
1) New Game, Old Tricks
Chances are, if you’ve been single for a while, you’ve developed a few skills in the game of
casual dating. You’re probably adept at maintaining your independence, socializing in big, co-ed circles of friends, and knowing where to meet women to have fun with. You might even be a repeat offender of ghosting when you start feeling bored. But, it’s a wildly different ball game to find someone that you’re truly excited about, feel compatible with, and has long-term potential. With this new objective, it’s important to refresh your approach. Look for opportunities to meet people in places where you can really talk and have a meaningful conversation. Invest time in hobbies and groups of people who share your common interests and values. Overall, think about your long-term goals, not your short-term whims. You need to do things differently if you want different results.
2) Fear Of Missing Out
Yes, FOMO is an over-used Millennial term, but in the world of modern dating, it’s also an unfortunate reality. In this age of apps, online sites, meet-ups, and networking (both virtual and in vivo), we are inundated with the message that there is an endless supply of singles with potential to be the right one. While this feels exciting, it also prevents us from giving any real time, attention, or investment to each individual encounter. The mentality of thinking someone better might be riiiight around the corner tends to blind us. Try slowing down, narrowing your focus, and really investing in each conversation and date. It just might lead to something that’s more than mere potential…
3) You’re Not Meeting New People
As you grow older and more professionally focused, the opportunities to organically meet new people start to decrease. This is especially true as your friends begin to pair up. Without a revolving door of engaging, attractive, and available women flowing through your social circle, it can feel like your only options are to date online, which often requires a great deal of patience and perseverance, or be set up with the one single woman your best friend’s buddy’s wife works with. Either way, it can feel like a hopeless goal to schedule a date with someone you’re truly excited about. And really, dating should be exciting, not a chore! It’s important to proactively create opportunities for new encounters. Start by saying “yes” to invitations from acquaintances and fringe friends or striking up conversations with co-workers you don’t know as well. It takes effort and an adventurous attitude to meet new people, but the payoff could be huge.
4) You’re Searching for a Unicorn
The longer you play the dating game, the more time you have to over-think every aspect of
who you’re looking for. You feel too short on one date and decide that you MUST marry someone under 5’5”. You get frustrated with someone’s work travel and swear off all consultants. You watch a bad rom-com and walk away with the conviction that, if she doesn’t know how to sail, then you’ll never enjoy vacations together. This ever-growing and highly specific wish list ultimately works against you; it is dangerously limiting to think we know what package our person will come in. It’s important to think about what matters in the long run. Will your wife’s leisure sport ability make you happy in 20 years? Probably not. Nor will her height or eye color. Think about all of the characteristics you value in your closest friends — what makes them good companions, confidantes, and adventure partners. These same qualities – plus vital chemistry – will be at the heart of your lasting relationship.
5) You Care Too Much About What Your Buddies Think
Men are often socialized to develop a competitive instinct, which causes them to be highly attuned to comparisons within their social networks. This means that men can struggle with preoccupations about what friends, co-workers, and even strangers may think of their partners. This keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality is both powerful and crippling. Realistically, it is impossible to please and impress everyone in your world. More importantly, all of these standards and judgments ultimately serve to distract you from what works for you. The sooner you can hone in on what qualities hold your interest and make you feel connected, the sooner you will be able to invest in the right relationship for the long-haul.
6) You Haven’t Done Enough Self-Reflection
Depending on the day and the area of our life, we are our own harshest critic or our own greatest fan. Accurate and balanced self-perception is a difficult thing to develop and accept. This can impact us in many areas of our life, including dating. To set yourself up for success, it is important to honestly reflect on what makes you a desirable partner and what your imperfections are. It can be helpful to think about (or ask) what your closest friends and family would say about you. Odds are, they can see your virtues more clearly than you can. “He makes the best timed jokes. He’s so talented at his work. He always initiates creative social plans.” They might have an accurate read on your shortcomings as well. “He doesn’t always follow through on plans. He can come on too strong at first.” It would be nice to believe you are the perfect partner. However, understanding yourself accurately can help you set realistic expectations about what you have to offer and what you can expect in return.