1. Your self-worth stems from your romantic partners. You rely on someone else to make you feel beautiful and smart and strong. You need outside compliments in order to feel good about yourself. You need reassurance you have value. Instead of learning to love yourself, you rely on falling in love with others who are going to give you an ego boost. You believe their opinion is more important than your own, so you spend more time trying to impress them than learning to accept yourself.
2. You believe in the myth that relationships make your life more meaningful. You feel like, if you’re not in a relationship, you’re doing something wrong. You feel like you’re falling behind all of your friends who are already wearing rings and posting sonograms on social media. You feel like you should be married by now, or at least in a committed relationship that could lead to marriage eventually. You feel like a strong relationship is the ultimate sign of success.
3. You don’t have anything exciting going on in your world right now. You aren’t feeling fulfilled by your career or your friendships or your hobbies. Nothing in life is giving you a sense of excitement, and since society pushes the idea that a relationship will make your life better, you assume the missing piece is your soulmate. You don’t take the time to consider you might want to look for another career that excites you or develop deeper friendships that bring you joy because you’re stuck on the idea a relationship will solve all your problems.
4. You feel like your single status is inherently insulting. You feel like it’s proof you’re unlovable, unattractive, unwanted, unappreciated. You feel like, if you were actually as interesting as your loved ones keep swearing you are, then you would’ve been in a relationship by now. You feel like there’s something wrong with you for not being able to settle down. You feel like your single status is proof you aren’t good enough.
5. You’re convinced you’re missing out on something special. When it comes down to it, you’re jealous. You’re jealous of friends who get to spend the holidays decorating the house with their person. You’re jealous of cousins who get to take romantic vacations and post pictures kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower. You’re jealous of couples who seem like they’ve never been happier since they’ve found their soulmate. In essence, you’re comparing yourself to them. You’re assuming they’re happier than you even though you have no concrete proof. You’re assuming they’ve beaten you. You’re assuming your sadness runs deeper than theirs.
6. You feel like your single status isn’t by choice. You’re embarrassed because you aren’t able to say you’re happier being single or that it’s your choice to be alone because those things aren’t entirely true. If you could’ve been in a relationship with a certain someone, you would’ve been, but you were turned down. Your heart was broken. That wasn’t your choice. So saying you’re alone because you want to be alone makes you feel like a fraud.