I can’t really think of a good title for this one, and I don’t want to just rip off the title of the original. It comes from HuffPo writer Susan Rosenzweig, “3 Lies And 1 Truth About Why You’re Really Still Single”.
Being single isn’t inherently a bad thing. However, there is a lot of social pressure on people who are single, and to be “OK” with that state of being almost seems insane to most people. Why would you want to be… alone? Sure, companionship and affection are great, no argument there. But the amount that society pushes us to pair up, for the weaker willed or weaker of personal conviction, can potentially push us into relationships we don’t actually want or are not actually happy in, just for the sake of “not being alone”.
For the people who feel overly pressured, I like to share articles like this one here to help you find the right answer or counter-argument or reason to justify what you want, whether that involves being single or not. My family pressures me, and I mostly ignore them.
So, what are the marvelous points that this article makes?
Lie #1 – “There are no good men/women left”. Statistically and demonstrably false. As patronizing as “you just need to get out there more” can be, there’s some truth to that. Sure, there’s online dating, but if you’ve got the social skills to woo people in person, I personally believe you’re far better off. A glowing personality can win over people who were unimpressed with you on paper (that seems to be my problem). But for those who aren’t as comfortable socially, I think there are more people than ever doing online dating.
From the article:
Are there lying men and women out there, just trying to get into your pants or wallet? Absolutely. But there are also a whole bunch of nice alternatives that are looking for you.
Lie #2 – “You’re too picky”. This one hits really close to home, it’s something I’ve fought against for years and have made progress, but I’ve definitely got so called “high standards”. That includes for myself though, which is part of when led me to push myself to improve my social skills, hit the gym and be proactive about doing the things I want in life, with or without company. I’m building the life I want to live, to hopefully attract someone with similar goals, values and interests. The problem isn’t necessarily pickiness, but moreso what you are picky about. That’s why it’s usually more successful to pair up based on mutual goals and values, than purely based on what you’re physically attracted to. From the article:
Here’s the thing about this one: I don’t think anyone really chooses who they fall for. You can tell yourself that you need a guy who is six feet tall, devastatingly handsome and drives a Porsche all you want. Then one day, you find yourself head over heels for the 5’8″ balding but oh-so-charming bartender at your favorite restaurant. Think Charlotte and Harry in “Sex and the City.” You can’t help it — it just happens.
I would not have agreed with this when I was younger, but I do now. I’ve found myself really drawn to women who weren’t my usual type, because they were an absolute delight to be around. And that’s again part of why I say, if you’ve got the social skills – use them. Someone can be “devastatingly gorgeous” but if I can’t talk to them or we don’t have values/goals in common, it’s not going to last.
Lie #3 – “You haven’t made it a priority”. While the author of the article pretty much completely rails against this notion, I do believe there is some truth to it. I feel this way off and on, where I’m just so focused on achieving personal goals and trying not to burn myself out, that the last thing I am thinking about is meeting someone. That is a sharp contrast to how I was even just 5 years ago, where I spent considerable time on dating sites and craigslist trying to meet someone. It was the only thing I felt was missing from my life. Now my life is quite fulfilling, and I’m more leery of bringing someone into it who might not understand or respect the balance I want to maintain. But I guess what the author is actually getting at is that if you are looking, that you could always be “looking harder”. Our friends and family can mean well but some people just get lucky and find what they’re looking for with a short search. I do envy those people who found their partner early in life. Susan writes:
There is nothing I cannot accomplish if I set my mind to it. Overcome an eating disorder, check. Move to NYC, check. Get my first job in advertising at a global agency, check. Compete in ballroom dancing, volunteer, become a creative director, write a blog for Huffington Post? All within my control. But love — love is not.
Notice I said love, not just get married or have kids. I have the audacity to want real love, great love. Or nothing at all.
And there’s another great distinction. I also totally agree with her on this:
A real connection is beyond rare. And if you know (or even just long for) what that feels like, it’s impossible to settle for less.
All I’m saying is, finding real love is hard enough without the voices within and without that make it worse. It happens when it’s meant to happen.
You have to do what is right for you, in the end, no matter how hard it is. It’s a fight we all fight every day, and again, that’s why I like sharing these sorts of things, they give me great perspective and help me keep “the voices without” at bay. I think I’ve gotten pretty good at listening to the voices within.
Hope that helps you. I don’t remember to say this enough on here, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one readers. We can learn from each other’s experiences 🙂