Singleness | Top 7 Reasons You May Be Single
by Wyatt Fisher, Psy.D. & Michelle Graham
What is singleness?
Singleness refers to not being in a romantic relationship despite the person’s desire and multiple attempts at being in one.
The women say why don't I have a boyfriend and there aren’t any good men left and the men are wondering why don't I have a girlfriend and where have all the great ladies gone. Whichever group you fall into, the same issue stands: singles today are having a hard time meeting Prince or Princess Charming. Why am I still single? Is it something I did, or something I’m doing? While it’s nearly impossible to lay the blame on any one thing, we have a few ideas. If you’re single and reading this, odds are that you’d rather not be single. Don’t give up! Just because you haven’t met him or her doesn’t mean everything is hopeless. Now is the time to live your life, not after you finally have met someone. As you read this guide to Christian singleness, take everything as a general possibility – some of it might apply one hundred percent, and some of it might just make you chuckle. No matter what, remember to focus more on God than being alone. He works everything out for His own glory, which can be a hard pill to swallow when you just want to go on a date with a nice person for once. Remember to stay positive; if you declare that you’ll never meet someone, there’s a good chance you’ll be writing a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of speaking words of failure and loneliness over yourself, cover your life with prayer and the knowledge that God can do anything.
1-You’re Too Picky
Being picky can be a good thing. At the very least it means that you have standards. But if you let those standards get higher and higher and every person you meet fails them, you could be missing out. For the ladies, you may be thinking I'm pretty why am I single? It’s important to set the bar and not settle for someone who doesn’t truly click with you. Just make sure you give people room to not hit every single item on your Top 100 Must-Have Characteristics list. When the bar is too high, it’s easy to focus on all the negatives about a person and “he’s too short” or “her teeth aren’t straight” soon become the first things we notice. Instead of their successes, we seek out failures, almost like we want to prove no one is good enough. Amidst the “must be”, we lose the “could be”. Some men and women like the challenge of pursuing the other person, and playing hard to get can be fun. However, you don’t want to play too hard to get. Try re-examining your date filter and your standards. There’s an important difference between being selective and being overly picky, and if the bar is too high, it’s no wonder no one is good enough for even a quick lunch date. Don’t be so fastidious that you miss out on someone amazing. Be sure to set the bar according to your faith and values. All that surface stuff will most likely change or fade away altogether anyway – so why let it bother you? Take a chance on someone who isn’t absolutely perfect on the first glance. You might end up clicking better than with Prince Charming.
2-You’re Not Picky Enough
The opposite of being too picky is being so accepting of all people that you’ll date anyone who comes your way. In that case, your bar is too low. When you have a weak filter, all kinds of people can get in, and it can be hard to spot red flags. We’ll admit that everyone deserves a second chance and that being overly judgmental is no way to live, but when it comes to your love life, discernment is key. Overlooking red flags because you want to be optimistic about a relationship is a great way to end up in a troublesome relationship. Some enjoy taking a why am I single quiz or test to determine if they are too picky or not picky enough; however, one easy method is to inspect your dating habits. People who tend to end up in “It’s Complicated” types of relationships might have the bar set too low. Instead of thinking with your brain, you wait for love to make everything perfect – you see mixed signals as a cue to keep going instead of run away. Maybe you set the bar low because you honestly don’t know what you want. Maintaining low-lying standards isn’t the best strategy when it comes to something as serious as love – this is your heart we’re talking about! Just about everyone is looking for a teammate. In order to find that, you need to pick someone who is on your level. There’s talk of being “in the same league”, but really it’s more than that. Don’t settle for someone who doesn’t share your values and doesn’t know what they want or where they’re going in life. Seek out someone who respects you and rises above your standards and you won’t find yourself dating a bad decision.
3-You’re Looking In The Wrong Places Or Not At All
If you need the ingredients for a steak dinner, you don’t go browse the aisles at a shoe store. Many people are looking for a certain type of person, but they always seem to find themselves looking in the wrong places. The only way to find a strong Christian man or woman is to put yourself in a place where you might cross paths. Rave parties? Nope. Book clubs? Maybe. Bible study? Definitely. Make sure you’re actually interacting with Christian singles in your area – it might mean moving to a bigger church or finding a city-wide Bible study to join. This is also the reason Christian dating sites can be so helpful because they expand your circle of possible singles to date. Also, be careful not to be passive in your wait for love. Instead, empower yourself to wait the way it’s outlined in Isaiah 40:31: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” Waiting doesn’t mean you sit in the wings and hold your breath until you hear your cue. It means you lean on the Lord and do something. After all, “waiting” is an action verb, and when you’re being active, you don’t sit around and just wait for love to happen to you.
4-You’ve Got Issues From Your Childhood
Sometimes we just need to admit that we are the only thing holding our lives back. Most people have issues from their childhood to deal with, but have you dealt with yours? It can be hard to invest in a healthy relationship if you have unresolved wounds from your upbringing. The path from childhood to adulthood may have been fraught with trauma, bad decisions, or terrible circumstances that you just can’t get away from, and that often bleeds into your love life. After all, when you fall in love you bring all of yourself, not just parts, into the relationship with you. And when you’re dating someone who has unresolved issues, it can be hard to love them the way they need. Perhaps you were abused, neglected, or abandoned by your caregivers and the thoughts/feelings associated with it get triggered when you enter romantic relationships, such as “I’m unlovable, I’m a failure, or Everyone leaves me.” It can be hard to hear, but it might be time to find a counselor or to spill the beans to your best friend. Getting loving and honest feedback from trusted others could save you a ton of heartache. Besides, it’s always easier for other people to see our blind spots. People with issues often find themselves in unhealthy relationships because they can’t help it. It’s like sabotage – part of you loves the drama of falling in love, but some unconscious reaction makes things crash and burn just before you hit any milestones. Early trauma usually replays itself in adult relationships over and over until we recognize the pattern and receive wise counsel on how to heal from it.
5-You’re Haunted by Past Romances
Pain from past romances can be haunting. It’s like accidentally touching a hot stove or getting a terrible sunburn – after that moment, being doubly burnt seems to be all we can think about. No one wants to be hurt the same way over and over again, so we avoid the telltale signs of incoming pain. It can be all too easy to avoid the pain that can come from a failed relationship: simply don’t invest in the other person, or pull away before things get too serious. While this strategy works wonders for living free of extra pain, it also means that you sabotage your chances at a healthy, long-term relationship. If your past few relationships haven’t ended well, try to determine whether you undermined them to avoid getting hurt. Or maybe you haven’t even seen a relationship for so long you’ve forgotten what they look like. That could be because you can’t bear the thought of any form of commitment. People who have problems with commitment often avoid romantic gestures from others – even if they want to be in a relationship. It could be time to sit down and deal with the hurt of your past relationships. If it’s holding you back, facing it head-on might be the only way to move on and be happy with your life. Don’t waste time running away from people who want to pursue you. It’s never easy to fight back against your past, but it’s almost always worth it. Stop playing games with your emotions – admit you are as much of a gift to your date as he or she is to you. Only when you’ve begun to heal from your hurt can God finish his work in your life.
6-It’s Not Your Time Yet
While hearing the phrase “All in God’s timing” is enough to make many Christian singles hack up their lunches, the words are no less true. It really is all up to Him and how He spins our stories. Trust him. Seriously. He has it covered. Part of the reason it feels like it’s taking so long is not because God is taking too long – it’s because He’s God and operates on a timeline that spans centuries, not decades. He also gets to look at the big picture, which is kind of like the ultimate VIP backstage pass to everyone’s lives. Would you really want to meet the woman of your dreams before she was completely ready to appreciate you? Some of the best things just take more time to pull together. Take heart, God knew it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone so He created Eve. He wired us for intimacy and knows the desires of our heart. Also, everything in our lives should point to God. Everything from the things we say to our coworkers to the way we treat Starbucks baristas should speak of God. When His glory and His purposes are our top priorities, even our romantic relationships become a form of worship to God. Perhaps it simply isn’t time to meet your soul mate yet. The only thing you can do is actively put yourself in situations to meet other believers as outlined above in step three and then trust that everything will go according to His plan.
7-You Aren’t Healthy
Body image is a hugely personal thing – you should love the body you wear every day. But if that body isn’t healthy, it could be getting in the way of your romantic life. The New Testament commands us to take care of our bodies, which are like holy temples. “….Didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)? No matter what size you are, it should be healthy from head to toe. God has wired us to be attracted to others. If men or women are turning you down because of your looks, two things might be wrong. First, you might need to take better care of yourself. Second, you might just be dating the wrong people. Do you really want to spend that much time with someone who wants you to drastically change your body? If you’re dating online, look at your profile with fresh eyes. Your bio and profile photos are essentially an e-version of your body. If the first impression is lacking, fewer people may reach out to you. A healthy body starts in the head, and if you feel like you’re filled with nothing but toxic things, it’s time to take stock and make changes. Focus on healing – whether it’s spiritual, emotional, or physical. Healthy people are attractive people. If you want to find someone, you have to be worth finding. Do you take care of yourself by eating well and exercising? Are you doing more than an impression of a couch potato? A new wardrobe might even be in order. Do you feel mentally and physically healthy? Focus on healthy living to honor God with the body you’ve been given and others will most likely find you more attractive as well.
If you’re still wondering why you’re single, try discerning how much of it is in your control and how much of it is not. Is your bar too high where you’re overly picky or is your bar too low where you ignore red flags? Do you have unhealed trauma from your upbringing or past romances that are keeping you from cultivating secure attachments with others? Are you waiting passively for Mr. or Ms. Right to miraculously show up at your doorstep or are you actively putting yourself in environments to meet other singles while trusting in God’s perfect timing and sovereignty? Are you caring properly for your holy temple to maximize your health and attractiveness both inside and out? Finding love is nothing short of brave because it involves laying down everything that makes us up – our mind, our emotions, and our soul – and waiting to see if the other person likes it. It’s nerve-wracking, but at the end of the day, it’s good to know that we tried. If none of the above Top 7 points apply to you, it might be time to re-evaluate exactly why you’re trying to find a date. Is it because your mom wants grandkids, or is it really a deep yearning from within? Remember God loves you and knows your craving for intimacy because He wired you. So take a leap of faith, try something new, and trust that He knows what He’s doing with your life.
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Which of the top 7 apply to you and what will you commit to trying differently this week?