Why am I still single?. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve asked myself this question. Often accompanied with the following:

Am I not a nice person? Deserving of love? Have I not endured and suffered enough frogs? Am I too bossy? Too confident? Should I be less opinionated? Is it the way I look? Where I live? Am I not pretty enough? Perhaps I should be more amenable? Maybe tone down my personality? Try harder? Try less? Am I not open minded enough? Could I be terrible at dating? Am I too busy? Giving off the wrong vibes? Setting too high expectations? And so on, and so on …

If you are asking yourself the same, this blog is for you

The reason why we are still single, is that we just haven’t met our partner yet. I know, I feel your eye rolls. But it really is that simple. There is no magical way to know when we’ll meet that someone. No-one, not even a dating coach, online app, or a fairytale godmother, can accurately predict when that moment will come for us.

I wish I could tell you it’s more complicated than that. That hard work, grafting at those dates, doing a ten step program in becoming the best version of you is 100% going to result in partnership with someone incredible. That searching, is going to lead to find. That becoming the most fabulous version of you in the meantime, is going to see that person instantly swoop into your life as if they’ve just been waiting for you to find self-love. But it wouldn’t be true, because no-one has or knows that answer.

Yet I can tell you that for someone out there, you will be just right

And the reason why you are single, is quite simply because that someone hasn’t made an appearance yet. That unknown in itself, was a catalyst for single survive mode for me. Because it’s so disappointing and quite frankly, annoying, to accept that we have no control over love. But I would be remiss to suggest that it operates in any other way.

Although we do have choice here. We have control. It lies in the way we choose to spend our single time. In whether we choose to be okay with being single for as long as that lasts. Commit to concentrating on what we do have, rather than what we have not. Go out there and live our lives and remove ourselves from a waiting room of our own creating. Or, you can choose to do it how I did for seven years of my life. Attempting to rid myself of single by any which way possible. Loathing it. Feeling more and more miserable as another day passed by spent as a singleton. Self-analysing, criticizing and slowly depleting my own self-worth just because I wasn’t partnered.

If you’ve taken a peek at any of my other blogs, you’ll have read how that turned out. I wouldn’t recommend it

I spent a phase chameleon dating believing it would better my chances at finding a relationship. Been determined to confuse lust and love. Whiled away late nights in a swipe doom fest that negatively impacted my mental health. Grown ever more frustrated at being single, to the point I lost any ability to see the good in it.

I can tell you that these reactions, did not help me to find a relationship. They were also not the cause of me being single, or why you are single if you can relate. Because even if I’d met the right person in the depths of single survive, they would have stuck.

Every prospective partner I’ve met over the past seven years, has been entirely wrong for me

And rightly, those wrong people didn’t stick. So they are not the reason I am still single. I, am not even the reason I am still single. It’s simply a case of timing. Someone in a relationship, I can guarantee wasn’t ‘complete,’ perfect, or possibly even a decent fully functional human being before Dierdre met Joe.

Dierdre was not faultless or flawless. Joe, wasn’t either. People in relationships might feel they have a few handy tactics for helping you to find a partner. Yet the truth is, they don’t know squat. They only know how it happened for them. How it will happen for you, will be entirely different.

The reality is, becoming okay with single isn’t going to better your odds at finding partnership either

However, for me it entirely affected how I spent my time in that single zone. Whether I viewed it as opportunity, or a prison sentence. My point here is, no matter how much we search, that person is going to show up whenever they damn well show up. Frustrating and perhaps a little cliched I know, but unfortunately, entirely true.

You can read a lot of stuff out there citing how self-love and embracing single will lead you to partnership one day. But I don’t believe it will. I don’t believe that these things make a damn bit of difference to finding a relationship, or not. However I do believe, that enjoying single whilst you are in single, changes you immeasurably in a way you might not have expected. It did for me. And so I hope it might do the same for you if you are feeling in a shitty place.

When I first considered viewing single differently to the way I had almost my entire life, I’ll admit it was spawn from the exhaustion of modern dating and a repeated cycle of dating woes that caused me to question how and why I was persistently replicating the same events with different people, again and again, with no results to show for all that effort. And a kind of half-hope that becoming a better version of myself, would fix my future relationship problems. It’s true, that inadvertently it did resolve some of them. Such as no longer tolerating relationships that didn’t align with my values. Or seeing a relationship as the only way I could be happy. Refusing to alter myself to create a more appealing option. These were certainly benefits, and would absolutely result in less of my time taken up in situations I ought not to be in.

However, these things wouldn’t manifest a right relationship. They would only stop me from pursuing and entering wrong ones. Totally important. But still not the result I suppose I was hoping for when I first went into aiming for single thrive. My odds were no greater in single thrive than they were in single survive. But they did alter my view of the previously nagging, ‘Why am I still single’ question that manifested regularly and caused me to spiral further into single ‘I hate this solo shit’ mode. I no longer felt a need to ask myself, ‘Why am I still single?’ as if I were a problem that had a fixable solution. There wasn’t anything wrong with me per se. And it’s simplicity was in fact, reality. I just hadn’t found that person. Nothing more, nothing less.

Realizing that truth, gave me permission to stop questioning why I was single, and instead concentrate on how I was going to continue my singledom

Would I fall back into my die hard habits of dating with vigor, without boundaries, prioritizing searching in the hopes that it would therefore lead to finding. Could I stop searching for a time, and focus on myself instead? I chose the latter. Because I wanted better for me, than what I’d given myself for the past seven years. I wanted to be happy, with no partnership in sight. I wanted to stop living in an exhausting state of fear, shame and resentment, and start holding myself accountable for my own happiness and state of being.

Sure, relationships are wonderful

They can be incredibly joyful, fulfilling and there is a lot of good things to be said about being in a relationship with someone. But falling in love isn’t a magical solution to all your problems. You don’t need a partner to live a fulfilling, joyful, amazing life. Being single, is not a lesser situation to being partnered. And it is not something that requires survival tactics.

So, why am I still single? Just because I am. Just because that right person hasn’t come along yet. Because I haven’t crossed paths with them. Sooner or later, I will. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy riding this shit solo.

“The reason I was single, was quite simple. I just hadn’t found my partner yet. So I didn’t need to adjust myself, lower my standards, or accept something less in the meantime. They need not be a chapter, or even a page in my book. They could be a nothing. Not even a side note.”

By Amy Roullier
By Amy Roullier

Amy is the Founder and Editor of The Authentic Optimist. She talks all things life. From the highs to the lows, to all those messy bits in-between. She is a writer, rambler, lover of carbs (her true soulmate) and she is especially passionate about dispelling myths about women in their 30s. Amy lives in Lincolnshire with her two greyhounds.