6 Brutally Honest Reasons Why You’re Still A Single, 20-Something Female

image – Flickr / Elba Fernández

Not everyone wants to be in a relationship, which is 100% fine. But there are people who complain about being painfully single despite that they don’t even try to fix it. Some people maybe really just haven’t met the right person. But then there are those who have to be a little more honest with themselves as to why they are still single, if it really does bother them so much.

For those women, here are some honest reasons why you might still be single:

1. You limit yourself with types and standards.

Otherwise known as: setting unrealistic expectations. Most females set expectations for “the perfect guy,” which are just plain absurd. Let’s start with the height requirement, for example. I’d be hard-pressed to find a female that didn’t insist on a guy being at least several inches taller than her, even girls that are 5’2” who somehow feel entitled to date a guy who is 6’0”. This automatically takes a large chunk of the male population off the table for you, and for absolutely no reason other than the completely vain and superficial expectation of having a male be taller. There is no real explanation, and girls that are still painfully single will say, “No, at the very least, he has to be taller than me.” Okay, well at the very least: do not complain about being single. Height has nothing to do with personality. Ya know what does have to do with personality? Forming and maintaining a good relationship.

Then there are superficial criteria such as, “must have a college degree,” “must live within this distance” “must be this age” “must drive this car” “must be blonde” “must be xyz.” This is all I hear people talk about, “I want this, I want that.” Guess what: it doesn’t work like that. Someone could be great looking and have all of your superficial criteria, and still be a complete ass, or not be even remotely attracted to you. So do yourself a favor and stop limiting yourself to a “type.”

People can surprise you, but they can’t do that if you dismiss them without even giving them a chance. It’s basic probability- if you take a large chunk of the population out of the equation, and keep narrowing your standards and criteria until there are only maybe 5 people on planet earth that would qualify, you’re an idiot and deserve to stay single, because you just created a fictitious person in your head and actually expect to receive that from the universe.

Accept that you may have no idea what you want and let it happen naturally. Keep an open mind. Focus on meeting actual people, learning about who they really are, and testing your actual compatibility with them as people. Not just your constructed ideal of a person – who likely does not exist, and even if he did, does not mean he would want you by any means. Harsh, but true.

2. If you want to find a catch, you have to be a catch yourself.

Otherwise known as: get over yourself. This is a big pet peeve of mine. People love themselves, which is fine, it’s natural. They think they deserve the best. But in order to get the best, don’t you think you need to be worthy of your ideal person as well? When women say they want a guy who is 6’0, makes six figures, likes puppies, wants kids, has a boat, etc., the first thought that comes to mind is – “So what do you bring to the table?” What are you offering in this scenario? Relationships are not a one-way street.

I’m not saying you have to be perfect, but you better look at yourself and really examine what it is that you have to offer. If you want a compassionate partner, I hope you’re compassionate yourself. Would your future partner want to be with someone who lies, cheats, is lazy, unkempt, unambitious, expects things to just happen for them? Would you want to be with a person like that? If someone is bringing a lot to the table, and you think you deserve them, remember they are asking themselves the same thing about you – “Do they deserve me?” People are far too concerned with “what I want” rather than looking at “what do I have to offer?” Be the person that someone would be lucky to find, and not just on paper. Be the person you would like to be with.

While you are single, you have all the time in the world to make yourself the best version of yourself. You don’t have to be perfect, but you can do little things like be a better listener, discover interests besides being a blob or sending out tweets. Find yourself, get to know yourself, work on yourself, confront yourself. Perfect the ‘I,’ before you start expecting everything out of others. Get up-close-and-personal with your imperfections, and start working on them.

3. You love yourself too much.

People would probably say this is a “millennial” thing, but I don’t think so. I’d say it’s more of an American/Western thing than anything. It’s the idea that the world owes you something, even though it doesn’t. It starts out with you expecting fate to drop someone in your lap, without doing any work for it. You expect the best, even though you may be a very shitty or simply lackluster person. You think you are “entitled” to the perfect person, simply because you want it. But it goes beyond that with some people – it permeates their entire attitude. It is an egocentric, self-centered nature which is diametrically opposed to what relationships represent.

Maybe you were spoiled as a kid, maybe your parents have just told you you are God’s gift to earth for your entire life to the point where you think they must be right, even though that’s just what a lot of parents do to their kids. But at some point you have to wake up and realize that you’re not perfect, and you have to give in order to get.

If you only care about yourself, and expect a guy to fawn over you, chase you, obsess over you, perform grand romantic gestures while you do nothing for him – maybe you just aren’t ready to be loving and caring towards another in the way that an individual must in a relationship. It’s not about what you want all the time, so you need to start working towards caring more about someone else than yourself. People can sense when you are too full of yourself, when you expect to be worshipped, and it’s generally not that attractive.

4. You don’t actually put yourself out there.

There are people who sit around whining about being single, waiting for fate to step in and the magic pumpkin to show up and take them to the ball. To those people: wake up. If you want to find someone you can’t expect them to fall in your lap. Well you can, I guess, but you do indeed run the risk of dying alone. The world doesn’t owe you anything, you have to grab the bull by the horns if you aren’t happy with your situation.

Yes, putting yourself out there is hard. This is particularly so for people who are not entirely comfortable with who they are. Rejection is scary and painful. But ya know what isn’t painful? Knowing you tried, and that you really gave it your best effort – even if it didn’t work that time. Being confident in your conviction, that this is something that you want, and then going after it. You are you, and that is not going to change in this lifetime. So get comfortable with it and start making it happen for yourself. Figure out what you bring to the table, and go for it.

Go out, meet people, not just at bars- do activities, speed dating, get a hobby so you can meet new people in whatever city or area you are in. Join a bowling league, go to an art class, it doesn’t matter what it is but you have to broaden your social circle. If your social circle currently has nothing to offer you in terms of someone you would be interested in, then you have to broaden your reach.

If you don’t want to put yourself out there in a physical sense, guess what? You don’t even have to leave your couch to put yourself out there anymore. Join online dating, and take it seriously. It’s a digital age, so there really is no excuse for not earnestly trying and putting yourself out there at least in some capacity. There’s like one million free dating apps nowadays. But, at the same time, don’t expect a guy to message you first. This is your life! If you think you’d be interested in someone, reach out. Just because you’re a female doesn’t mean a guy has to reach out to you. You want to meet someone, you make it happen.

5. You aren’t clear about what you want.

This one is important: if you are ready to be serious, then you are ready to be serious. If you do meet someone and they say stuff like, “I’m not looking for something serious right now,” or “I’m not really sure what I want,” then don’t lie to yourself and say, “It’s okay, he’s cool, let’s see where things goes,” because you’re just going to fall down the rabbit hole. If you’re ready for something legitimate, then don’t settle for less than that. You have to be upfront about it, both to him and to yourself.

Put in another way: You can’t date guys who are on a different page than you. If your “type” has always been someone who doesn’t even date exclusively, or who is quietly frankly an asshole and you think you can be the one to “change him,” you need to stop acting like a child. Stop wasting your time hung up on exes, or people like your exes, or guys for who marriage is not even remotely on the radar if that is what you want in your near future. There are plenty of 30-year-old men who still want to be bachelors, so don’t get hung up on age either. Query: if his lifestyle is centered around hanging out with his friends and he doesn’t make you a priority, then what are you doing? I see this happen all the time, and it’s usually obvious to everyone except the girl in that situation.

Just avoid it. Set clear expectations from the beginning: if you want something serious, then say that. If the person on the other end doesn’t say, “Me too, I’m at a place in my life where I want something serious,” just move on. I assure you that there are plenty of men out there who will respond that they want something serious, who are looking for the same thing you are. It is no one’s fault but your own if you are “it’s complicated” when really you want a real relationship. Stop, wasting, your, own, time.

6. You are impatient, settle, or give up too easily.

Maybe you have put yourself out there. Maybe you had some bumps in the road, some bad dates, or no responses to messages. For some reason some people just throw their hands up in the air and say, “I give up, there’s no point.” But every guy you meet shouldn’t be the perfect guy, in fact it would be pretty alarming if you thought so. So let each experience be a learning experience, and keep moving.

Knowing what works and what doesn’t through experience, rather than without foundation, is actually beneficial to you. That’s what your 20s should be for. Bad dates are really just ruling people out, one by one, slowly but surely. Maybe you’ll meet someone great sooner, maybe it will be later, but don’t start settling the second you get attention or can tolerate someone. If there are red flags, heed them. And don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t necessarily go your way.

People can usually tell when you are too eager, too desperate, or will settle for anything. It’s the opposite of having expectations too high, and it’s just as problematic. While you can’t limit yourself too much, you also can’t just jump into the first thing you see and pretend he’s “the one.” I’ve seen plenty of people do this and they go from relationship to relationship to relationship just because they will settle for anyone who comes their way.

Be realistic. Be patient. Be honest with yourself. You’re only hurting yourself in the end by clinging to whoever is there, or who seems “good enough” for the time being, because it won’t last and you’ll just have to restart again later on. So just give it time, ride the waves, and don’t give up. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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