If I had a dollar for every time I had a friend who “didn’t understand” why they were single, who bemoaned that “something must be wrong” with them, I’d easily be halfway out of my student loan debt. That this — the overwhelming concept of “I don’t get what’s wrong with me?!” — is the reason why a person who is single doesn’t have someone to fight with, cry with, kiss good morning and good night and with whom they can share sweet “I love you”s. Granted, if I had a dollar for every time I said it myself, I’d have absolutely no debt to speak of, which is to say that I get it. I do.
It’s easy to bemoan this — to think there’s something “wrong” with us, and therefore to try to find our flaw, because our flaws are the ones we can control, and therefore, the ones we can fix. It’s not so easy to chalk this singleness that society looks upon like such a tragic flaw (even though it isn’t) up to the simple fact that we haven’t met the right person yet. After all, how many people do we meet every day? How many people do we have to meet until we meet the right person? And how many right people are out there, anyway? What if, in the end, we wind up never meeting them?
But to ask what’s wrong with you, why you’re single, if there’s a curse or a plague that’s keeping you from living happily ever after, you’re asking the wrong questions.
The fact of the matter is, your singleness has little to do with things being wrong, and everything to do with the fact that maybe — just maybe — being single is right for your life in the right now.
Sure, sometimes there are things that we need to work on — but never for the sake of anyone else. There are things we do that are counterproductive to dating, let alone being in a relationship. There are the late nights at the office, the self-fulfilling prophecies, the commitment fears, the aversion. We all do things to sabotage our own chances for happiness, in part because sometimes we don’t know if we even deserve it to begin with. And so we stall and avoid and create problems for ourselves. We have our issues, and we have things that we need to work on.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that something is inherently wrong with us.
Because the first step to having a solid relationship with anyone involves having a solid relationship with yourself. And if you try to change yourself for the sake of someone else, those habits will never stick. They’ll be less genuine. Something will fall through.
The fact of the matter is, it’s much easier to craft a solid relationship with yourself when you’re single — which is not to say that you can’t work on yourself while you’re in a relationship, because you can, and sometimes, your partner can help you along. But we’re humans, and humans like things easy. It’s why we like to ask what’s wrong with us in the first place — because it’s the easy way out. The flipside to this desire to have everything come easy — the way to make what society likes to call a flaw actually work to your benefit — lies in the fact that it’s easy to learn to have a solid relationship with yourself, to know who you are without anyone else tangled up in the stuff that makes up your sense of who you are, and what you want and stand for. In that that sense, then, that singleness can be necessary. Singleness is something we all have to go through, at one point or another, after all.
If you want to know why you haven’t found the right person yet, ask yourself what you can do to increase your chances of meeting someone. If you want to know why you shy away the minute someone shows reciprocal interest, hash it out and try to get down to the bottom of why you fear that commitment. But don’t ask yourself what’s wrong with you — the fact that you think something is wrong is, more often than not, the thing that is wrong.
After all, confidence is attractive. And you shouldn’t be fixated on selling yourself short with the idea that something is wrong – focus instead on all the things you’re doing right.